Many medical offices understand the need for a call center. After all, patients could pick up the telephone at any time of the day and night, and they need to reach someone, not a cold answering machine. However, not all call centers offer the same options and many of them aren’t even ideal of medical facilities.
Obviously, you should choose a company that ensures all employees are properly HIPAA trained. This is required by law since they could hear or write down sensitive patient information. However, to offer the best service to your patients, you may want to go beyond the basics of choosing a medical answering service. You may want to consider such important options as nurse telephone triage.
What Happens When Your Patients Call?
When your patients call your office currently, what happens? If you don’t have a medical answering service, then they may get just a ringing telephone or an answering machine, which is far from professional. Even if you currently do have an answering service, they may not be getting the best results.
Usually, if patients call after hours, they will be calling with questions. With a basic call center, none of those questions can be answered. Instead, all the operator can do is take down a message and then forward it to you. This can leave patients frustrated, scared, or worried that you aren’t providing the best in care.
People need to know that you care about them at your medical facility, and without the right services through your call center, you could be making them think they aren’t your top priority.
What Happens When You Choose Nurse Telephone Triage?
If you add nurse telephone triage to your service, then something very different will happen when your patients call. If they have a medical question, then they can be transferred to a live, trained registered nurse who can actually, legally answer those questions. Additionally, the nurse will be able to determine if the patient is in an emergency situation and request help for them.
Most people are looking for simple peace of mind when they call your office after hours. They may even know that nothing is really wrong, but they just need to hear it from someone else. An operator can’t legally respond to any patient questions, but things are different when you have added a nurse telephone triage service. Now, someone actually can answer the questions and put the patient’s mind at ease.
This will lessen the number of messages you have each day and your patients will know that they are top priority in your practice. Not all medical answering services are the same, so you need to ensure that you choose one that does. If you don’t already have such a service, then you can shop around and pick the right one. Always be sure to ask about nurse telephone triage options before you purchase any services.
When you operate a medical facility, you have certain responsibilities to your patients. You must always be available to them in some way, even when your office is closed. An answering service can provide that availability, but it can’t deal with questions, concerns, or worries your patients have after hours. When you add on a nurse telephone triage service, you can change what happens when patients call. By providing someone who can answer questions, you can put your patients’ minds at ease and give them medical help no matter the hour of the day.
Kurt Duncan is the Director of Operations of MedConnectUSA.com. MedConnectUSA is a leading medical answering service and has been serving the healthcare industry since 1991.
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