Answering patient telephone calls is one of the most important functions of a medical practice, yet it’s also one of the most difficult to handle. One of the best ways to take care of calls from clients is by using a physician answering service. Using this type of service will benefit you and your patients in several ways.
A physician answering service will provide live phone answering. Rather than using a voice mail system or machine, a real person can help to determine the needs of the caller. Some systems will allow for paging of the on-call physician each and every time a message is presented to the mailbox. This can cause a lot of wasted time for the on-call doctor or medical personnel. Instead, an answering service can be used.
The answering service will be able to screen callers to determine their needs. They will then contact the on-call doctor only when it is necessary. The answering service will be able to work directly with patients who call in, since most of the calls will be on a non-urgent nature. Only the urgent calls will be put through to the doctor.
Another use for the physician answering service is to take the burden off of your own staff. You may have a small staff that is busy with other tasks. The phone service allows you to forward your calls directly to them at any time of the day or night. If you have flexible office hours, the answering service will be able to pick up any slack. Also, if you have personnel who are on vacation, the service can be used to answer calls. The service is also useful for covering lunch breaks or busy times during the day. Both patients and staff will appreciate the value of using a live answering service to take incoming phone calls.