What you need to know...
Before choosing a physician answering service
- Ask yourself what you want the service to do for you. Do you need the service to take calls only on nights and weekends? You may want certain calls to be relayed to you immediately or perhaps you need a service that can also book appointments. Reputable physician answering service should be able to provide a host of options and the flexibility to change your requests as your circumstances change.
- How extensive is the training for staff and do they provide services for other types of businesses or exclusively for medical offices? You want to make certain that the people who will be answering the phones represent your office in a professional manner and are familiar with your particular type of practice.
- What sort of contingency plans do they have in effect in case of power failure or in case of equipment failure? It is vital that the physician answering service you choose has made adequate provisions in cases of emergency. You should also find out how often they perform a data backup and whether or not hey store their data off site.
There are many things to consider before committing to any physician answering service. If possible, plan to visit their offices in person. This can tell you a lot about how they treat their employees and whether or not their facilities are clean and well organized. Find out if they are locally owned and if the owner is regularly on site overseeing the day-to-day operations. An owner that keeps an eye on his or her business will certainly have a vested interest in making sure that the staff is well trained and knowledgeable. He or she will most likely perform more quality control checks to ensure consistency. While visiting ask them for testimonials of current customers and if you can contact them.
Some things to watch for in your search
- Be careful of attractive pay-by-the-minute plans. Although they may seem to be a good deal at the outset, they often include many hidden charges that you will want to know about upfront. Plans of this type will often charge extra for things like the time it takes them to send you a fax, or for the time that a client or patient is waiting on hold. These charges can add up very quickly making the plan a lot less attractive. Even though it is important to stay within your budget, never base your decision on just he cost factor.
- Find out if the company uses state of the art equipment. Some companies that provide physician answering service still use antiquated equipment, which will greatly limit the options that they can offer you.
The right physician answering service is a positive tool that will help you manage a healthy balance between your professional and personal life as well as helping you grow your business more efficiently. Take some time right now to browse the many companies that provide high quality answering services that will treat your clients and prospective patients as though they were their own and choose the one that best suits your particular needs.