Modern technologies have changed everyone’s lives, even if we’re not always aware of the extent of these changes. And although medicine and healthcare are still focused on caring for patients, the methods that are used in the health industry to achieve this are constantly changing and become more tech-oriented.
E-health and telemedicine apps and services are growing in popularity each day, and it’s easy to see why. They provide an easy way for patients to communicate with a healthcare professional whenever they feel the need to do so, regardless of time or place. Patients can simply open an app and quickly connect with a healthcare provider who can help them.
Patients’ expectations and their desire to receive immediate care can affect their experiences with traditional medical practices, as well. When a patient doesn’t receive the care that they are expecting, they may choose to seek out a different healthcare provider. This can lead to unhappy patients, lost profits, and poor care.
It can be very difficult to keep up to date with these changes and expectations, especially if you’re running a smaller clinic or practice. Providing care around the clock can be an expensive undertaking — not to mention the complicated logistics that hide behind 24/7 care.
But does that truly mean that smaller healthcare providers are simply unable to step up their game and combine modern technologies with a more traditional approach to medicine? Of course not!
The difficulties of providing 24/7 care
When a patient tries to reach you after hours, it’s usually because something is troubling them. They’re seeking your services because something has happened to them which can affect their health. Under those circumstances, the last thing they want is for their call to go straight to voicemail.
But for a small practice, the costs of after-hours service can be prohibitive. Hiring staff to work the night shift means paying extra wages, training new employees, and organizing a schedule that allows staff to have much-needed time off after a night shift is not a workable scenario if your clinic is small.
Additionally, having a full staff keeping your office open 24/7 may not even be necessary, depending on the type of specialties that are covered by you and other physicians working at the same place. There are many medical specialties that rarely encounter emergencies that require immediate care. However, that doesn’t mean that patients won’t be disappointed if they can’t reach you and seek support after your office has closed.
But how can you adapt your practice to patients’ expectation of instant service, and how can you blend your healthcare services with modern technologies?
How a virtual receptionist can help your medical practice
Creating a virtual reception for your medical office can help you provide after-hours care without negatively affecting the way your practice runs or imposing additional responsibilities on your staff.
Integrating virtual receptionists for medical practices into your office is an effective way to help your practice provide after-hours care to all patients without delay. Through a medical answering service, you will ensure that every patient that calls your practice is greeted by a warm, knowledgeable operator who will be able to address their concerns promptly and in an adequate manner.
Virtual receptionists working with medical practices are trained before they are assigned to work with you, so you will only have to provide basic information about your practice to enable operators to answer questions accurately. These services are also HIPAA-compliant and will always strive to protect your patients’ confidentiality.
Operators work around the clock to answer every phone call. Using the information you provide, they will engage with every caller and provide help according to your patients’ needs.
They will be able to take messages and deliver them to you or your staff in the morning, schedule appointments or take cancellations, and even transfer emergency calls directly to you according to your instructions. If necessary, you will be get to decide the best course of action for emergency patients once their call is transferred to you.
A virtual answering service will enable your practice to take better care of your patients 24/7, even when you and your staff are actually resting. Patients won’t feel like their healthcare provider is unavailable to them during part of the day
By the time you and the staff are up and ready to work, your virtual receptionists will have handled any issue that arises after office hours, and you will have an updated scheduled and messages from your patients to ensure that everyone receives the quick care they deserve.