How to Find Qualified Medical Answering Services
If you are a medical provider or work in the medical industry, you understand the importance of having a reliable and professional medical telephone answering team. The people that are hired to answer your patient lines are entrusted with the well-being of your medical practice or facility. Here at A Courteous Communications, we have 30 years of experience in answering for doctors and physicians and as such, we understand the pressures and responsibilities of answering those medical calls. In this article we want to help you find qualified medical answering services that will help streamline your internal policies and procedures.
What to look for in Medical Answering Services
Is the Medical Telephone Answering Service HIPAA Compliant?
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) requires all doctors’ offices, hospitals, hospices and various other healthcare organizations to obey certain rules concerning their patient care. As you also know, any third parties or vendors working on behalf of your facility and handling patient health information (PHI) or the patients’ personal health records are also required to be HIPAA compliant.
You have a responsibility to perform due diligence in finding a medical telephone answering service that is HIPAA compliant and understands certain health insurance confidentiality laws. We suggest asking all of the medical answering services you are interviewing, these straight-forward questions.
- •Is your answering service current in its compliance with all HIPAA requirements?
- •Are your agents trained specifically to answer, dispatch and field medical industry calls?
- •How long have you been answering medical calls and assisting with patient care services?
- •What are your message delivery service encryption and password protection options?
- •Can you explain the details of how medical industry calls, messages and data are stored and destroyed?
- •Will your medical answering service sign a separate non-disclosure or confidentiality agreement?
- •Has your answering service won any customer service awards or accolades in the telecommunications industry?
Click here to send our medical account expert a message to discuss our answers to these important questions and allow us to tell you why we are the best answering service for your medical call needs.
Advised, Available and Alert 24 Hours a Day.
When researching various websites to find the very best answering service, make sure they are available 24 hours a day. The medical industry cannot call in sick, show up late for work, take vacations or request holiday time off. As such, you need a medical receptionist that has the three A’s.
- 1. Advised. You need an answering service that has the access, technology and training capabilities to customize the specifics of how your medical facility lines are to be answered. You need a professional and experienced team that can make changes to your accounts often and accurately.
- 2. Available. It is very important that your patients have 24 hour access to your medical facility through medical telephone messaging and dispatching options. Your medical telephone answering service must, more importantly, be available to your doctors, nurses and on-site medical staff 24 hours a day as well. When you call and say, “Jump” your answering service should answer and ask, “How high?”
- 3. Alert. Handling, dispatching and prioritizing medical calls can be a life and death situation and you need a support team that is not only alert 24 hours a day, but is also trained on how to handle certain situations that may arise. Being alert also translates into being accurate. A medical receptionist must confirm all information and pay very close attention to detail to avoid any mis-communication.
Compassion, Empathy and Patience Tips the Scale.
You entered the medical industry for your own personal and unique reasons just as our team entered the answering service for our own reasons. We wanted to help people and their businesses by providing friendly and professional telephone agents, and so we opened A Courteous in 1986 with that goal in mind.
When it comes to hiring the best answering service for your medical facility or hospital, you really need to look into the overall customer service culture of the companies being considered. If you have found several virtual medical receptionist teams that will provide the three A’s above, the clear winner will be the answering service that places patient service and satisfaction as a top priority.
We have a specific medical team of receptionists in our call center that deal specifically with our medical client accounts. Their training consists of medical language, terminology, frequently misspelled names, correct medical abbreviations and other medical industry specific knowledge. Another big portion of their training is compassion and empathy for all callers.
As an answering service that has been answering medical lines for 30 years, we know that a lot of our medical callers are usually going through emotional times. To be a good receptionist, you have to be a great listener. And to be a good person for the job, you have to be a great empathizer. We are trained to guide your callers with a delicate yet controlled presence. We will help relieve them of any concerns they have by being eager to help with the knowledge that caller control is necessary as well. It’s a delicate balance that A Courteous Communications continues to practice with our millions of medical calls answered each year.