Archive for October, 2008

Adapt Your Automated Online Appointment Scheduler To Your Needs

October 28th, 2008

A web based scheduler can help reduce the amount of time that medical staff members spend on the phone every day. Any doctors or dentist office, including chiropractors, psychologist, and psychiatrists, know how much time his or her receptionist may spend on the phone every day. Hours are spent scheduling appointments, answering questions, and changing appointment times. Choosing a HIPAA compliant web based scheduler will help to reduce the amount of time your medical staff spends on the phone that can be better served taking care of patients.

When looking for a quality web based scheduler, look for the following features:

  1. 24/7 online support -You may be out of the office on evenings or weekends, but your patients need to be able to contact you in the case of an emergency.
  2. SSL secured website – This means that all information is encrypted, enhancing website security and confidentiality.
  3. Daily database backup
  4. Automated e-mail of appointment reminder – An automated online appointment scheduler may be customized to automatically send appointment reminder e-mails or phone calls to patients
  5. Online doctor office appointment scheduler that may be managed from more than one practice account – Some online appointment schedulers may only be set up with one account. Choose an appointment scheduler that is capable of handling patient load and appointments for any number of physicians in a medical practice
  6. Self-service patient-Web communication capabilities to book appointments – Cut down on the time spent by medical receptionists answering phone calls, making appointments, only to turn around and cancel them later. Studies have shown that patients who make their own appointments tend to keep them more often than those who don’t.
  7. No-show and cancellation logs -Keep track not only of completed appointments, but trends in no-shows and cancellations. Tracking these logs will help medical providers enhance medical office practices and service to reduce wait times, cancellations, and no-shows.
  8. In addition, automated online appointment scheduler software should be able to adapt to specific needs in specific fields. For example:

  9. Automated online appointment scheduler software should include the capability to modify clinic emergency, call back, or voicemail numbers
  10. Online schedulers should also be able to offer after-hour call management for individual or shared medical and dental practices
  11. Online schedulers should also offer detailed telephone call logs that may be marked or monitored by physicians or dentist with special instructions for patients

When it comes to choosing the best appointment scheduling software or phone answering service technologies, make sure you are offered a choice. A quality online doctor appointment scheduler should be capable of replacing Windows-based appointment software. It should also enable functionality with Windows-based tools and offer HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) compliant confidentiality and security of information.

Whether you are a medical care provider, a chiropractor, psychologist, psychiatrist or medical staff or a patient, an automated online scheduler or 24/7 patient scheduling software program will make your job a lot easier.

Medical answering service a patient saver

October 26th, 2008

In the hyper fast pace of today’s culture, people have little patience for waiting on hold, not having access to information 24/7, and not having immediate attention for their needs. Enter the medical answering service. The virtual answering has helped medical providers respond to all of these concerns on the part of their patients and prospective consumers. Personalized service is still preferred by most people, but immediate service is quickly taking precedence over delayed service or service delivered by a distracted live receptionist. The 24/7 medical answering service has become not only a competitive advantage for many practices, but a customer service necessity as well.

The medical answering service offers many customer service and business advantages for the medical practices that use a best in class call answering service solution. Many physicians’ offices and clinics are faced with low morale or service deficiencies because their receptionists are overwhelmed. During heightened periods of patients’ illness and health issues, a receptionist may be burdened with in-clinic attention, answering phones, and completing tedious tasks like appointment reminder calls and insurance paperwork. All of these things are distracting and often prevent a capable receptionist from answering important calls from patients or prospects.

A medical answering service can alleviate much of the stress that prevents the receptionist from giving the personal attention to people. It also enables them to more effectively and accurately complete some of the every day tasks mentioned. Also, the virtual answering service is a great backup receptionist to handle incoming calls when the receptionist is busy dealing with a patient concern or question. A best in class 24/7 medical answering service can not only respond to calls when the receptionist is on the phone or busy, it can also organize calls based on need. Patients can schedule appointments, be immediately transferred to emergency contacts, and have other basic needs met by the top call answering service.

Another great benefit of the 24/7 medical answering service is that it allows a smaller to medium sized medical provider to still meet basic customer needs 24/7. Health issues are unpredictable and some emergencies or health concerns develop after regular hours. Many small practices simply cannot afford to maintain a full time after-hours receptionist and have relied on a traditional voice message system. Now, these practices can respond to many of the basic patient needs and acquire new business with the patient scheduling feature of a virtual answering service. These help a practice provide a great customer service experience and receive a business opportunity by potentially gaining and maintaining patient relationships.

Consumers are very impatient and customer service expectations have evolved to fit the fast-pace environment. Consumers are more satisfied to work with a virtual answering service if it means having their issue or need handled right now. Medical practices not only are able to offer this service expectation with a top physician answering service, they also save costs and get great value from a solution that is a moderate expense with little to no ongoing maintenance.

Virtual receptionist helps chiropractors compete

October 26th, 2008

Consumer interest in chiropractic care is growing. Many consumers are starting to appreciate the physical benefits of routine and ongoing chiropractic treatment. Health insurance companies have recognized this trend and the benefits as well since many now offer chiropractic coverage as part of basic health insurance packages. As consumers begin to enter the market, chiropractors must position themselves effectively to take advantage of the growing market. One way to do this is to offer 24/7 medical reception to respond to patient needs as they develop.

The ability to offer 24/7 medical reception has not always been practical or possible for many of the small to medium sized providers that offer chiropractic services. The cost to have a receptionist and offer care after regular hours have not been viewed as cost effective since labor expenses and resource requirements generally outweigh the consistent demand in some markets. This is not the case anymore. Thanks to advanced in technology, many of these practices can now present a 24/7 medical reception through a top of the line virtual medical office receptionist.

A virtual medical office receptionist is the next best thing in customer service to working immediately with a friendly and personable receptionist. Most patients would love to call any time and have their situations managed immediately by a live receptionist. Unfortunately, many offices operate with one, or maybe two, receptionists. During busy times, these humans simply cannot immediately handle every phone call. Receptionists are also bogged down at times by tedious insurance paperwork or reminder phone calls. Additionally, there is no one available after hours at many practices to respond to calls.

The virtual receptionist is a low maintenance, one time cost solution that can respond to all of the aforementioned issues in patient care. The medical front desk can be used to answer incoming calls when the live receptionist is busy or away. A best in class backup receptionist can respond to many basic call needs including appointment scheduling, emergency connections, and more. This enables the provider to manage immediate customer needs that might otherwise be ignored. An ignored customer does not wait long to move to another provider if treated poorly or ignored.

Many practices have been unable to offer a service for 24/7 medical reception because of the cost to benefits issues noted. The virtual medical office receptionist can work any hour day or night without the cost of an employee. Thus, an after-hours call can be handled without the caller needing to leave a message that might not be retrieved for some time. The virtual chiropractor receptionist can respond to basic needs and organized calls based on the situation. Sometimes, callers simply want to schedule an appointment in the evening. The evening virtual receptionist desk allows the patient or prospect to do this without any hassle and at the time that is convenient for them. All of these factors suggest to a struggling or competitive chiropractor that the virtual medical office receptionist is a potentially huge opportunity for his or her practice.

Psychiatrists and psychologists see great benefits with 24/7 medical reception

October 26th, 2008

Most psychiatrists or psychologists would like to manage the needs of their clients on a 24/7 basis. However, their ability to do this practically is limited for a variety of reasons. First, mental healthcare is often stressful to begin with. Psychiatrists or psychologists need to have some down time without patient. Still, psychiatrists or psychologists could benefit by scheduling appointments or responding to emergency care needs after hours. How is this possible though? The cost of maintaining a 24/7 front desk receptionist is simply not cost effective for many of the small and medium sized clinics and providers that deliver care. That is, it was not cost effective, until now. Thanks to the advanced technology and capabilities of a virtual medical office receptionist, a psychiatrist can now manage many client needs through 24/7 medical reception, with the ongoing cost and maintenance of an employee.

A best in class virtual medical office receptionist has revolutionized patient care in many industries, but it is especially valuable in a healthcare sector that deals with patients who sometimes have immediate needs. Psychiatric patients come in all shapes in sizes. Some simply need consistent ongoing care through regular office appointments. Others have needs that are less consistent and stable. Some patients are more fragile or have irregular flare ups that require immediate attention. For many of these patients, options have been limited after hours because a call to a psychiatrist would likely be met with a basic answer machine where the patient’s only option is to leave a message that might not be listened to for some time.

The virtual psychiatric receptionist can respond to many of the basic or emergent needs that a person might have. The virtual receptionist can assist with appointment scheduling. This alone is a tremendous advantage in a service sector that is often self-operated. Many psychiatrists do not use a full time live receptionist in smaller practices. Others rely on one receptionist to answer all daily calls, give reminder calls, greet patients, and complete paperwork and appointment scheduling. The 24/7 medical reception service can assist with the appointment scheduling process and relieve much of the pressure on the receptionist. Additionally, it can give some peace to the after hours caller who does not want to wait until the next day to have their appointment scheduled.

Additionally, some psychiatric patients need emergency care or have more serious issues that develop after regular office hours or when a live receptionist is not present or is busy. The top virtual psychiatry receptionist can connect patients with the appropriate person, provider, or clinic in emergency situations. This is a great advantage to a psychiatrist looking to maintain relationships with patients. Losing patients can be stressful for a psychiatrist since constantly coping with new patients can be difficult. Having a consistent group of ongoing patient relationships is generally more manageable for psychiatrists since they are more aware of the situations faced by clients. Any psychiatrist should consider these great service and business benefits offered by a virtual receptionist and add this cost-effective “employee” to their teams.

Medical practice online scheduler appeals to patients

October 26th, 2008

As the internet has become a more stable and consistent medium for information access and product purchases, consumers are looking for more and more access to services. Internet sales are currently growing at a much faster pace than overall business sales. This is because consumers are recognizing the internet is a great venue, and a safer venue, to buy products conveniently and quickly. Additionally, many industries are seeing the opportunity to sell services and offer services through the online medium. The hospitality industry has seen a huge increase in online bookings for travel and hospitality. Healthcare is another industry that has leveraged the connection to the online market. Thanks to advanced technology such as the online scheduler, medical providers now have great tools to interact with, and can sell to an online market.

One of the greatest reasons for the new ability for medical providers to offer online appointment scheduling is a change in perception as to what customer service is. For a long time, many medical practices felt that the only way to offer good patient service was through a friendly and helpful live receptionist. Actually, in an ideal world, this is a great way to deliver service to healthcare consumers. However, in the realm of illness and injury, idealism is hard to follow through on. Many patients and callers to a medical practice do not receive friendly, personalized service because the live receptionist is busy, overwhelmed with patient issues and laborious insurance paperwork. Stressed out and overworked receptionists have a hard time delivering ideal customer service.

The online scheduler is a tremendous relief to some of the burden faced by the live receptionist. Online appointment scheduling enables a patient or consumer to access a medical practice’s schedule openings, and book an appointment through self-service appointment scheduling. Applying older rules of patient service, this online scheduler might appear to be an impersonal approach to healthcare. However, to the busy consumer, self-service appointment scheduling is easily a more preferred option to a busy signal, being left on hold, or dealing with a stressed and overwhelmed receptionist. Plus, as many people spend lots of time on the internet and are used to the internet concept of customer service, the online scheduler fits the desired need. Web-based doctor appointment scheduling is efficient, hassle-free, and accurate. As gifted as a live receptionist might be, this is not always the case with direct patient interactions.

Online medical scheduling is not just a great customer service strategy to meet the needs of the 21st century patient or ill person. The online scheduler is also an excellent business opportunity for the struggling, or growing medical practice. It enables the provider to add an additional point of contact for the busy consumer, but at a minimal cost, and with little to no ongoing maintenance. It is hard to argue with the value of an online scheduler compared to a part time receptionist who is paid, may have benefits, and is a person with real life issues to manage.

Hire an automated receptionist and give your overworked staff a break!

October 25th, 2008

The medical profession is a fast-paced community of people who are working long hours to provide health care to the people of the United States. There is always a high demand for people who have experience and education in the medical field. The caliber of people needs to be strong. The medical world is high stress, and some people simply can’t handle the long hours it takes to succeed.

Thankfully, technology is on our side. Have you heard about software that can replace a medical front desk receptionist? It absolutely exists! Your medical office can have the 24/7 help of an automated medical receptionist service. That’s right! You can have 24/7 medical reception.

The point of automated receptionists isn’t to just answer the phone after hours….they offer much more than that. This software can handle large volumes of phone calls, forward patients to the proper emergency services if needed, schedule appointments with patients and place call reminders to let patients know about their upcoming appointments. There is no need to be short-staffed with reception help when you have this automated service. Software won’t take a sick day and can handle all your phone system operations without getting stressed out. With automated medical front desk receptionists, you can be assured that the software is more reliable and cost efficient than if you hired someone to do the job.

Doctors simply can’t have someone sitting at the phones all hours of the day, waiting for calls. It would be expensive to staff an office afterhours or to farm it out to a secondary answering service. However; patients sometimes can’t wait until their doctor’s office opens in the morning to attempt to get an appointment scheduled. Not knowing if they can get in, many people who are ill chose to go to the emergency room in the middle of the night, because they have no clue what scheduling an appointment the next day will leave them with. Their doctor could be filled up with patients for the day, meaning they’ll have to wait another day at least to see their doctor. With an automated assistant…they’ll know if they can get in to see the doctor as soon as they call. They can schedule their appointment right then and there, even if its 2:00am. Now there’s no waiting. Give your patients the instant help they deserve.

Automated medical receptionist software is an amazing asset to the medical community. There are so many medical assistants in the United States that simply cannot handle all of the office work that needs to be done to run a successful medical establishment. Greeting patients and handling the stack of paperwork associated with insurance claims can be enough of a handful. Now, add on an overworked, stressed out assistant who has to juggle all of those tasks, but also needs to answer the phone every time it rings! They wouldn’t have 5 minutes to take break. This high demand, high stress work load will leave your staff discouraged and rushed. You can alleviate the stress by using automated medical software to handle the work of one person.

The quality of healthcare in the United States seems to be deteriorating because of the overwhelming job description that many in the medical profession face in their careers. Help put a stop to that. Invest in 24/7 medical receptionist front desk software and make your medical office as efficient as possible. Your patients will thank you.

Let your medical Practices thrive in an efficient environment

October 25th, 2008

Successful medical practices are dependent on efficient and organized communication between the medical staff and their patients. If your medical staff is unable to answer the patients’ calls, and your practice loses a new patient to the competition; then your practice’s success is at risk. Eliminate that risk by purchasing a virtual receptionist. Your Virtual Medical Office Receptionist can be the professional alternative to your personable and educated medical staff. Virtual Medical Office Receptionist vs. Live-Agent Answering ServicePractical Investment

Advantages of a Virtual Medical Office Receptionist

Due to the occasional under-staffed period that occurs in all medical offices, staff may not be managing the workload appropriately and revenue may be deteriorating. When an office is under-staffed the patient takes a direct hit. The patients are placed on hold, they are sitting impatiently in the waiting room, and by the time they get to the doctor’s office they are irritable and unhappy about your medical staff’s performance.

Your Virtual Medical Office Receptionist can be your 24/7 back-up receptionists. Since the Virtual Medical Office Receptionist can answer the phone lines, schedule appointments, and make reminder calls to patients, the staff has more time to improve the one-on-one patient care and is happy to be relieved from these tedious, but necessary tasks. Thus improving communication between your medical practice and your very important patients.

Medical offices are not able to stay open 24/7 to meet all of their patients’ demands. Medical staff needs time off in order to perform at 100% capacity. So it is very important that the most efficient person is handling the calls during after-hours. Most live-agents cannot make appointments for your medical practice, they cannot connect emergency calls to the proper contact numbers in a timely manner, and they may lose calls due to telephone congestion. A patient’s time is precious and during an emergency situation they need to be helped without delay.

A Virtual Medical Office Receptionist can separate emergency calls from non-emergency calls and is able to connect a patient to the doctor immediately; and connect them to the most appropriate contact numbers. Conveniently, during non-emergency calls, patients will be able to leave a voicemail and make an appointment. The most important difference from a monetary perspective is simply that the VMOR is much more cost efficient and has been shown to reverse doctors’ revenue loss.

A Virtual Medical Office Receptionist can do a lot of the receptionist’s tasks at a fraction of the cost. It can cut patient no-shows and improve filing to insurance companies for a better and more-timely payment. The money you invest in your Virtual Medical Office Receptionist will provide long-term returns. Lets face it, better patient care means more patient visits, which adds up to more revenue. More and more business is being conducted online; therefore, it is to the advantage of the medical office to offer their patients the newest technology. Investing in a Virtual Medical Office Receptionist that offers online scheduling, an after-hour medical answering service, and reminds the patients about upcoming appointments while simultaneously handling multiple calls with exceptional reliability is as good of an investment as medical school.

Why is an automated medical receptionist the best helper you ever hired?

October 25th, 2008

The doctor must always be available for the patient when it comes to their personal care, however, hours spent doing the functions of a Medical Receptionist are consider wasted time. The doctor does not have time to waste or money to burn. Most doctors are in a time crunch just seeing patients in the office and at the hospitals. They rely on competent Medical Receptionists to handle the other major things that keep their office running smoothly. The ideal person will be able to answer medical calls in the person’s language and do the scheduling and appointment reminders giving the staff time to do the other important duties.

The patient normally feels that their situation needs attention immediately and does not understand or like being on hold when setting an appointment. The idea of setting and waiting just to get an appointment or a prescription renewal is very demanding on some patients. The patient feels ignored and that is not good for doctor patient relationship. The Medical Receptionist needs to make sure that each patient is handled with great care providing service immediately.

The 24/7 Automated Medical Front Desk Receptionist

The ideal Medical Front Desk Receptionist is available 24/7 takes calls from patients, sets appointments in the patients own native tongue, able to search and make the scheduling with the patient making the patient feel as they are speaking to a real person. The automated system is capable of handling the position on a long-term-cost efficient basis removing the short-term shortage in staffing problems. The system is great in the fact that it is available 24/7, requires no maintenance, and is exceptionally reliable. The system is very easy to use making it even more desirable. The system you select should contain the best in modern interface with a beautiful graphic design. The office at all times should have the air of modern efficiency showing the doctor to be one of the best in the field of medicine.

The duties that a Medical Receptionist are required to do can become overwhelming for one person. The office staff is usually tied up doing other important functions for the patients leaving the Medical Receptionist entirely alone. Today the use of an Automated Medical Receptionist is becoming more and more popular amongst the doctor and the staff. The patients have accepted this type of service so there is no problem in providing better quality care. The use of automated systems is popular in the doctor’s offices but choosing the right system is very important. The doctor finds that when he/she is looking for a great Automated Medical Receptionist that certain qualifications apply. The system relieves the staff of certain duties, freeing up their time for other duties. The patient serviced immediately and in his or her own language. The doctor finds that he has a smoother and quieter running office at less cost. The doctor wants to make sure that he is getting all the specialized advantages his office needs before accepting the automated system.

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