Doctors are great at what they do, and are irreplaceable in society. Yet, one of the things that doctors aren't usually taught in medical school is how to run their own practice, and aren't necessarily given the business acumen to run a successful business, which is what a successful practice is. This means that as a doctor with a successful practice, you might be missing out on key technologies and services that could help you do your job better, such as a medical answering service. Here's why doctors (and other medical professionals who have a private practice) need a medical answering service:
A medical answering service is an extension of your office, taking calls from patients and potential patients while organizing that information and forwarding you the important messages. Without patients and someone taking these calls, you don't have a practice, so you certainly don't want people going to someone else because they couldn't make an appointment or check to see if you were available that day. Use a medical answering service to take care of that for you, and to keep everything together so you don't end up with double-scheduled or forgotten appointments. Better yet, we go above and beyond filling your planner. We can work with you to ensure that someone is already a patient of yours (if you're not looking for new patients), if he/she could use your specific services, or if they have health insurance.
Answering the Easy Questions
Obviously, a medical answering service isn't going to diagnose someone over the phone or offer tips in managing an illness, but all questions that come through the doctor's office aren't that technical. A medical answering service can forward the tough ones to the doctor while handling the easy ones such as confirming an appointment, offering directions to the office, or providing basic medical information.
Taking Calls 24/7
Doctors don't make house calls like they used to, and they certainly aren't in the office all day, every day. However, patients can have an emergency at any time of day and need to talk to a real person, even if its just to schedule an appointment the next day or reassurance that everything is okay. A medical answering service is there when you're not, and can be set up so that you are notified when there is an actual emergency, or even have the patient and call transferred to the emergency room.
There are Multiple Practitioners
Maybe the private practice of a single doctor or dentist doesn't need a medical answering service, but a practice that has two or more medical professionals can easily get confusing without the service. Patients might not realize there are multiple doctors or dentists, and multiple practitioners means that there are that many more schedules and patients to coordinate, which could get difficult for one person. A medical answering service can ensure that a patient is scheduled with the right person and is better equipped to handle the increased workload.
Doctors and other medical professionals have close to no time to talk on the phone. Although you may take a call from time to time, you really need to be practicing medicine, dentistry, chiropractics, or what ever medical specialty you practice. After all, that's what you went to school for and started your own practice for. Do you what you do best, and leave the call answering to an actual medical answering service. Don't think of it as outsourcing your wonderful receptionist, think of it as a business asset that will help your receptionist do his/her job better, and to help you do your job better.