Are you thinking about a new answering service for your healthcare business? You have a lot of options to explore and many different features to consider. Here is a look at some of the available answering services for medical office use, to help you make an informed decision.
Live Answering Service
Years ago, this was the only option available to businesses. After hours, your calls would be forwarded to a service with live operators. They answer the phone and provide information to patients. Today, live services are still available but they may be cost prohibitive.
Some people do not feel comfortable talking about their medical conditions to an answering service operator. As such, not everyone requiring assistance may be helped. In addition, if you use an outsourced service from a foreign country, you may experience communication problems.
Automated services take care of calls without the need for human intervention. They can be used during the day when people are busy and after hours when no one is in the office. Many healthcare companies are going with automated services for a variety of reasons. For example:
• Cheaper than live services – the difference in cost can be significant. In today’s world with rising healthcare costs, lowering expenses is very important.
• Callers can leave a message and their calls will be returned promptly.
• Patients can contact doctors in times of emergency.
• Automated services can provide important information like hours of operation and directions to the office.
Usually, Internet based systems and not for answering services for medical office use. However, many automated systems have Internet capability and are known as virtual answering services. For instance, they can notify people by email and also send text messages. These systems have some of the best features and lowest costs available. However, it depends on the provider you choose for your business.
Call centers are often reserved for businesses with a high volume of calls. They may consist on an entire department with people standing by to take calls, and an automated system to filter the calls. Unless your practice is extremely large, there may be no need for large call center answering services. However, small to medium size call centers can easily be fully automated.
When you shop answering services for medical office personnel, you will see two basic types of fees. Some companies offer services by the minute. This can be cost effective if you have a limited amount of calls. However, the charges can add up very fast. Flat fee services are also available, and you only pay one fee every month, and your fee does not change.
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