What is a Medical Answering Service?
Anserve’s Medical answering service is a 24×7 answering service that will answer calls, take messages, and assist callers when the medical facility is closed, or short-staffed. In addition to answering services, Anserve can also offer many other services to the medical community, such as telehealth and appointment services. Anserve provides support around the clock with bilingual and multilingual HIPAA-compliant agents.
In order to keep our HIPAA-compliant medical answering service status, we partner with each of our clients to ensure we follow their procedures to meet regulations. We make sure to provide all the necessary documentation and safety procedures we need to be a HIPAA compliant medical answering service. We have the security measures in place to ensure your calls and communications are HIPAA compliant preventing expensive violations. This includes compliance with audits and internal procedures that we strictly adhere to. We use secure encryption whenever we document, send, or store personal health information, and when using mobile devices. We utilize secure web portals for access to personal health information.
How Much Does a Medical Answering Service Cost?
Another way of addressing this question is, How much money will using medical answering service save my organization? Fees for this type of service vary depending on what types of services your organization is in need of and how busy your office is.
- Anserve provides services for:
- Startup offices needing a more-established perception
- Startup offices in need of phone support
- Organizations needing live answering without extending office staff hours
- Organizations that prefer to receive transcribed messages instead of listening to voicemails.
In hiring Anserve, you’ve partnered with an organization with over 50 years of experience in medical answering services. This allows you to quickly scale your human resources, ensure your incoming calls are answered at the first ring and extract the highest quality information from each caller. If you try to do all this with in-house staff, you will have to manage a full-scale hiring process, extend your use of HIPAA-compliant technology, take on compensation packages, add management oversight for your staff and monitor employee burnout, etc.
Is a 24 Hours Medical Answering Service Affordable?
For-profit and not-for-profit health clinics, in-hospital clinics, and after-hours clinics all struggle with rising costs and increasing patient populations. Their shared core mission is to maximize value for their patients by achieving the best health outcomes at the lowest cost. Many of these clinics around the country are realizing that they can implement affordable medical answering services that help to fulfill that mission.
Minimizing operational expenses and inefficiencies are a top priority for all businesses, but these aspects are critical factors for health clinics. Often short-staffed with a rotating on-call practitioner schedule, there are numerous health clinics that do not have dedicated receptionists. If they do, the likelihood is that they are often overwhelmed by the walk-in nature of clinics as well as the high volume of calls.
Of course, healthcare clinics need more than just a standard telephone answering service. Medical answering services must have the best technology for their back-end systems to provide a great deal of flexibility to the clinic. One aspect of this flexibility is the need to reach the on-call physician who may not be at the facility when the call arrives. Another aspect is the regular need to relay messages from hospitals or imaging centers regarding patient information that must reach the right person promptly wherever they may be regardless of the time of day or night.
Patient health information and its privacy as mandated by HIPAA is also a prime consideration for clinics. While private health information may not be formally shared when patients call, it may be necessary for the patient to describe their health problem generally to the medically-informed receptionist.
Patient names and updates may be part of messages to on-call physicians or to affiliated healthcare providers working with the clinic on behalf of the patient. Not only must this information be kept private, but the messages themselves must also be securely archived in the event of any need by the clinic for legal reasons or statistical data associated with funding or payments.
Dealing with this larger patient population with constrained budgets requires clinics to find ways to efficiently handle walk-ins as well as a high volume of patient calls without compromising patient health outcomes. Today, the telephone answering service that specializes in supporting medical practices and healthcare facilities can provide medical answering services that fit their needs and their budget. From the ability to provide daily secure messages to on-call personnel, automated on-call scheduling, and toll-free message retrieval at no cost can all be inexpensively included in a minimal package that clinics can afford.
Having the ability to understand how a specialized medical practice operates and to tailor their protocols to the clinic based on their needs allows the clinic to make changes as on-call and staff personnel schedules change. The structure to handle after-hours and weekend calls as well as to respond to sudden surges, such as flu season when the medical answering service is needed more, can be easily accommodated.
Since the telephone answering service expenses can be based on the number of incoming calls, the clinic is essentially paying for a virtual receptionist only when they need them. The savings over hiring a dedicated receptionist that must be trained and provided with a salary and benefits can make the difference in treating more patients within the budgetary constraints.
What Technologies Your Medical Answering Service Should Offer
From small private practices to large hospitals, healthcare businesses and organizations should expect certain features from their medical answering service providers. These features are vital to ensuring that information is transmitted securely, seamlessly, and promptly so that your staff can offer the best care for patients. Anserve offers the following features:
Secure Texting Service
Having secure text messaging as a resource at your medical business is one of the best ways for your staff to keep each other up-to-date. Look for a service that provides excellent data security to protect sensitive patient information. Furthermore, make sure you are able to establish protocols for when messages are read and for when they have not been read in a given amount of time.
Secure Client Web Portal
A secure web portal gives you an opportunity to access and update information about your practice. The portal should be easy for any of your staff members to use. More importantly, your answering service should be transparent about the security measures in place. Storing in PHI on the web puts your practice at risk for HIPAA violations that could cost you a lot of money.
Appointment Booking Service:
Your office has a lot of jobs to perform, so wouldn’t it be great if your medical answering service could take over-scheduling your appointments, thus freeing your staff to perform other essential duties.
Multilingual Answering Services:
Any medical answering service should have dedicated Spanish-speaking or multi-lingual representatives to answer calls from patients who prefer to communicate in Spanish. You’ll also want the option to write customized, pre-recorded greetings in Spanish that can include office hours, directions, and other key information.
Secure PHI Communications Platforms
Larger facilities, such as hospitals, might want the convenience of combining the features offered from secure healthcare communications platforms with the services offered by medical answering service. Anserve is pleased to be able to offer this level of integration.
The medical answering service team at Anserve will provide real-time responses to patients who need urgent assistance. Your staff can’t possibly respond to everybody at the same time, no matter how much you try. Getting the assistance of a team who can answer questions for you can be a huge time saver for both you and your patients.
Remain Connected 24/7
Anserve’s medical answering service is available to take calls 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. This covers call overflow during working hours, and calls that come in on evenings and holidays. We use cutting-edge technologies to ensure that every call follows your existing procedures, so your calls will be answered without a hitch 24-hous a day.
Health practitioners no longer have to deal with requests and questions off-hours, or out of the office, thanks to Anserve’s medical answering service. Regardless of holidays or staff days-off, we assist in maintaining balance between professional and personal life for your staff without sacrificing the high-level of medical services for your patients. No matter how many workers are in (or out) of the office, callers will still hear a friendly, helpful voice from Anserve’s medical answering services team, and no interruption in service.
Increased Patient Satisfaction
In any medical situation, accuracy and speed of service are critical. While having the finest equipment and resources, the medical professionals are often let down by personnel that are ill-equipped to handle high call volumes. In situations like this, a single delayed or unattended call may result in lower customer loyalty, patient loss, and potentially catastrophic outcomes.
Since illness and patient distress do not always follow your call response plan, it’s critical to have operational and personnel backups in place. This allows the employees to devote their full attention to the patients under their care, with the confidence that Anserve will handle all overflow calls.
How To Decrease Your Communications Costs with a 24 Hour Medical Answering Services
Doctor’s offices and hospitals often experience large volumes of patient phone calls, which can be difficult to answer efficiently, especially during busy periods. Staffing and communications costs can quickly add up! Your medical practice or hospital can benefit from the help of medical answering services—these services manage the large volume of phone calls health service providers receive, helping to free up staff, saving time and money.
Medical answering services are no longer considered a luxury for doctor’s offices or hospitals—it’s essential to keep a line of communication open between the patient and health service provider at all times, especially after hours, on holidays, and on weekends. Medical answering services can assist with appointment scheduling, appointment reminders, and follow-up calls. These services can also serve as the emergency contact for patients after hours.
Good medical answering services act as a platform for the health service provider and the patient, working with entire hospitals, in-hospital clinics, after-hour clinics, and hospital-owned practices in hospitals across the country. These services can design answering programs to fit your individual needs and budget.
Medical answering services provide a range of services that help save your office time and money. Professional operators will answer all calls in your name, providing consistent service all day, every day. You will be able to call in for messages toll-free anytime or have sent securely to you for free. The monthly rate for medical answering services includes daily secure message delivery. Operators provide bilingual service and will accept text messaging to cell phones and other handheld devices. You will be able to customize the service to fit your needs, providing operators with customized scripting on every account. Medical answering services provide automated on-call scheduling, automated first-ring pick-up with your personalized greeting, automated check-in and check-out, and caller ID on every message. Outsourcing your telephone answering needs can save your doctor’s office or hospital significant time and money.
Why Choose Anserve’s Medical Answering Service?
Anserve’s medical answering service can help you reduce overhead costs, resulting in a new source of savings. Your employees won’t have to deal with a high volume of patient calls, and you won’t have to find a medical receptionist or pay anyone else to handle any of your medical calls. For more information contact Anserve.