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Medical Practice 101 - Can A Medical Answering Service By Live Agents Benefit Your Practice?

Mar 12, 2008
Using a medical answering service can be seen as a workable solution for you when your medical practice has become too busy for your front-desk receptionist to handle alone, or when your office is closed. A medical answering service by live agent can, undeniably, help your practice by picking up those patient calls that would have otherwise been missed or been put on hold.

The question remains, however, what are the benefits and problems associated with using a medical answering service?

Why answering service is so often not an ideal solution for medical practice?

Many doctors would choose a voicemail box over a medical answering service. The reason is simple; most answering services by live agent cannot perform anything more than merely deliver a message from patient. Some doctors would even consider the service waste of time and money. If you think about this picture; a patient calls the answering service agent. The agent then calls the doctor. The doctor then calls the patient. What is the gain of having such a service than having a voicemail box?

If you are looking for a medical answering service that can do more than just relaying a message, you should know that there are alternatives, such as hiring an automated medical receptionist that may meet your business needs.

What an automated medical receptionist can and cannot do?

Automated medical receptionist is a computer that can understand a caller's simple commands via advanced speech recognition technology. Because it is not human, it will never be able to take detailed message from your patients same ways as a live agent. However, that weakness is more than compensated by what it does the best; an automated medical receptionist can immediately connect your patient to you in case of emergency. It can also perform most of the receptionist tasks for you. For example, some automated medical receptionist can even talk to your patients, set appointments for them, and make patient appointment reminder calls.

Same as for medical answering service, an automated medical receptionist can be set up as a backup or part-time medical receptionist by using call transfers. You can have your patient calls transferred to an automated receptionist while your staff is busy, or not in office.

Answering services by automated medical receptionist offer true multi-tasking capabilities

Even the most competent medical receptionist is limited by his or her ability to physically perform more than one task at a time. That is not a problem at all for an automated medical receptionist. Who can not only take multiple phone calls simultaneously, but also perform different services for different needs. An automated receptionist can talk to three of your patients at the same time, connecting one to your emergency contact number, setting an appointment for the second, and sending the third one to voicemail box for non-emergency matter. Such a "super employee" can not only be a time and money saver, it can drastically improve your practice's bottom line by making your patient happier and relieve your staff from trivial repetitive tasks.

Automated medical receptionists works 24/7 and are not subject to "human weaknesses"

Another major benefit of using an automated medical receptionist over a human one is that they lack the ability to be "sleepy" on the job, and they are maintain a pleasant demeanor 100% of the time.

Tired or cranky personnel, whether they are your in-house employees or they are working for a 3rd party answering service, are hindrances to the positive image of your medical practice. People have problems in their personal lives, and sometimes people have problems at work, and as humans, sometimes our problems are noticed in situations where they really shouldn't be; namely when they are on the phone speaking with your patients. Automated medical receptionists are never tired or cranky, and their attitude is unaffected by their surroundings; maintaining a constant professionalism regardless of the situation.

Just as a medical answering service can be seen as a more dependable and cost-efficient solution than hiring new personnel, Automated medical receptionists can offer more features, prove to be more affordable and dependable than other considerations. When you are ready to acquire the services of an answering solution for your practice, you should check out all of the benefits of using a virtual automated medical receptionist instead of a live agent; all things considered, you might end up making your patients happier and adding a little bit more to your financial bottom line as well.
About the Author
This article is number nine in a series By Andy Press about Medical Receptionist, Answering Service and Online Scheduling. Additional resources and articles written by Andy Press related to Medical Practices Efficiency are accessible on line.
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