Archive for October, 2008

Virtual Receptionist Offers Excellent After-Hours Answering Service

October 24th, 2008

If you are a doctor running a medical practice, you certainly know that most standard office hours are not always convenient to patients. Sometimes people just cannot make that call to schedule an appointment when your staff is available. As well, your patients do get sick 24/7 and there are those emergencies that arise at any time. To meet their needs 24/7, you have to have an after-hours answering service,

Consider what a caller to your medical practice wants from you. First, they want someone to respond immediately to their call. They do not want to wait by being “on hold.” Secondly, they want friendly service from congenial front-desk personnel. Third, they want efficient service that meets their need.

Is your answering service efficient, friendly and dependable?

As you and your staff cannot be available 24/7. An after-hours medical answering service offers you the ABC’s of running a profitable practice. These are:

Around the clock availability

Your medical practice may have set hours, but your virtual answering service does not. It is available 24/7. It does not need to take lunch break, it never get tired. It handle multiple calls simultaneously and will never put anyone on hold.

Backup for the live staff
The virtual receptionist can be configured as a backup to you live staff. Thus give patient option of speaking to live staff when they are available. The business calls are forwarded to virtual receptionist only when your live staff is busy on the phone, unable to answer the call or off work.

Your staff will appreciate the backup help a phone answering service gives. Your patients’ will appreciate the quality care your staff can offer them because they are free from phone duties. A back-up answering service for busy times gives your staff time to perform other function that are more important such as attending to in-office patients or insurance billing. This will improve revenue streams back to your business.

Need a low maintenance medical front desk receptionist?

October 23rd, 2008

Physicians and medical providers are more than just caretakers for the sick and ailing. They are also business managers responsible for driving revenue, managing costs, and managing people. It is this final task, managing people that can often be the most laborious and resource-intensive for a medical practice provider. People have emotional challenges, needs, and limitations that all must be managed. This can slow physicians from their primary task of caretaking and can be a drain on the culture and resources of the practice. It is no surprise that many medical practices are exploring the fast-growing popularity of a new, low maintenance virtual medical office receptionist.

This new low maintenance technology option, the virtual receptionist, has proved to be a practice saver, literally, for some clinics and practices. Still, some medical providers have been hesitant to turn over portions of their customer service to a virtual receptionist. After all, most people would prefer to have their medical questions and concerns handled by a live receptionist equipped to provider personalized attention. The trouble is, people can have off days, are often overwhelmed with stress and patients in busier practices, and can forget or neglect important routine tasks that a virtual medical receptionist could perform precisely and accurately every day.

Advanced technology solutions can make a virtual medical office receptionist an exceptional 24/7 backup receptionist. Though not as personalized as a live receptionist, a virtual receptionist is not emotional, can be programmed to perform accurately and precisely, and requires very minimal maintenance. The best in class virtual front desk receptionist requires no hardware installation which is a cost savings. It is also a human resource savings as your practice does not need to employ or allocate an employee to maintaining and working with a hardware.

The virtual receptionist desk can complete many of the time consuming and routine tasks that are less efficiently delivered by human receptionists. Appointment reminder calls for instance, a key revenue driver for medical offices, are accurately and cleanly completed daily by the virtual receptionist, whereas people may not be as efficient or effective with them. The virtual front desk receptionist can also answer calls from patients with the receptionist is busy, preventing bad service or patients left on hold. It can be used for appointment scheduling, emergency transfers, and other basic services. Perhaps most importantly, this low maintenance solution for routine tasks allows the employees to focus on more immediate patient concerns and necessary insurance claims paperwork.

Any medical practice that suffers from overwhelming traffic, stressed employees, a demoralized culture, or a low performing revenue machine, should take advantage of the low maintenance benefits offered by the virtual medical office receptionist. Patients appreciate the personal approach they can get from a live receptionist. But, they also prefer the efficient care and attention of a backup receptionist, as opposed to being left on hold or receiving no response to calls.

The virtual dental receptionist makes tooth care less painful

October 23rd, 2008

When surveyed about the things they least enjoy doing, many people list going to the dentist’s office high on their list of avoidable experiences. The thought of sitting in a dentist chair and having one’s teeth examined, prodded, and sometimes drilled or surgically repaired is painful in itself for many. One factor that might make the experience even more frightening for many is the though of going through the stressed-out receptionist overwhelmed with managing patients, phones, and paperwork. Filing insurance paperwork is an important function of the dental receptionist. However, many struggle to complete this time consuming process during busy days. What if there was a tool that could improve the dental experience for both the patient and employee? Perhaps a virtual dental receptionist could be the solution.

A virtual dental receptionist is a customized virtual receptionist technology that is designed for the specific needs of the dental practice. A virtual dental receptionist can perform many of the routine tasks that take time and energy from the live receptionist. It can also handle many of the basic needs of callers who want to set up appointments or be directed with emergency care needs. The virtual receptionist desk can take phone calls that would normally be ignored with busy signals or the patient being placed on hold. This is a much better service experience for the dental patient or prospect. It also enables the receptionist to focus on giving attention to the task at hand.

A virtual receptionist can also be programmed to deliver daily appointment reminder calls that are an important revenue generator for any dental clinic. Patient no-shows are a drain on any practice and a virtual receptionist desk is a low cost, low maintenance solution to preventing a significant portion of these missed appointments. The best in class customized virtual dental receptionist solution can alleviate many of the routine tasks that bog down clinic employees. This makes the live receptionist less stressed or more attentive to patient concerns of a more involved nature. It also allows them to spend time completing insurance claims filing that bring in a large portion of the dental clinic’s revenue.

Though the virtual receptionist desk can not eliminate the tooth problems and issues that bring people to the dentist office, at least not yet, it can make the experience a bit less painful. A friendly, available staff is a great relief to visitors already fearful or anxious about what the dental appointment might bring. Friendly relationships with employees are also an essential component to maintaining relationships with patients. Business relationships are vital to business operations in today’s competitive healthcare environment. A dental practice needs to give proper care to patients to keep them coming back. Otherwise, the practice would always be spending money on advertising to bring in frequent visitors. The 24/7 backup receptionist would be a welcomed member of any dental practice team. Employees and patients alike would appreciate the benefits this virtual receptionist provides.

The Benefits of Using an Online Medical Scheduler in Your Medical Office Practice

October 23rd, 2008

It’s hard enough dealing with the day-to-day demands of any medical practice without having to spend hours of it on the phone making appointments, changing appointments, answering questions and trying to avoid over scheduling that increases wait times, while at the same time trying to maintain a steady flow of patients through the office.

Using an automated online appointment scheduler may help to take the brunt off the shoulders of medical staff and empower them to do what they are trained and paid to do; take care of your patients. Choosing an automated online medical appointment scheduler enables patients to search for available appointment times that suit their busy schedules as well as yours. Utilizing the benefits of technology and automation help to reduce stress and demands on medical staff personnel as well as encourages patients to keep appointments that they have made themselves.

Automated appointment reminders increase productivity and enhance cost efficiency for any medical practice. A virtual 24/7 medical front desk receptionist or online appointment scheduler software not only helps patients make their own appointments, but may also be utilized as a patient appointment reminder.

An automated online medical scheduler may also be configured as a multilingual appointment reminder, and enables patients to engage in 24/7 appointment scheduling that caters to their busy work schedules and obligations even after hours or on weekends.

Choose an online appointment scheduler that takes advantage of new technology in speech recognition that enables natural sounding dialogue and instructions for medical patients. Appointment reminder services such as those offered by an online scheduler will help to reduce the number of no-shows in any medical practice, which will naturally increase efficiency and patient satisfaction in the waiting room.

Medical practices in a variety of specialties and fields will enjoy an increase in patient satisfaction, loyalty and referrals through a smoothly running front desk system that enables patients to have more choices in their health care needs.

An online scheduler should include:

· The ability to state the name of the service

· The length of appointment time

· Specific weekdays or hours when a service is available

· Capabilities that allow patients to make appointments by themselves

· Capabilities for the physician’s office to offer special instructions to patients after appointments have been booked

Doctors, patients, and medical office staff benefit from automated 24/7 medical front desk receptionist and online appointment scheduler software in a variety of scenarios, from hospitals, to medical groups, to sole practitioners. Cut down on the time spent on the phone and use it to serve the needs of patients and physicians, dentists, chiropractors, psychologists and other medical personnel to the greater benefit of patients and also to reduce stress on medical staff personnel.

When selecting an online scheduler or appointment reminder software, make sure that it is HIPAA compliant and has capabilities of auto-call, auto-search, and auto-complete capabilities. In addition, Web user privacy should be ensured. Last but not least, an online appointment scheduler designed for medical office practice should easily migrate or offer customization into current practice scheduling methodologies.

Virtual Medical Office Receptionists Help Medical Practice Management

October 23rd, 2008

Do you wish you had a medical office receptionist willing to work 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year? Do you wish that you had a front desk receptionist or a medical appointment scheduler willing to take phone calls on a daily basis from a multitude of patients seeking a variety of services? Do you wish your front office medical receptionist had the time to take messages during the wee hours of the morning and on weekends?

Today, technology has provided a number of automated services for medical facilities to take advantage of. No matter what type of practice you run, automated medical practice software can take care of after-hours medical answering service needs, provide online patient scheduling capability, appointment reminders software and a virtual 24-hour a day medical receptionist for your medical practice.

An automated medical receptionist can help to:

· Initiate telephone reminder calls

· Provide e-mail reminder messages to patients regarding scheduled appointments

· Provide medical answering service capabilities

· Provide medical appointment scheduling services

· Provide online appointment scheduling capabilities

Doctors enjoy a multitude of benefits using an automated 24/7 medical front desk receptionist and online appointment scheduler. Cut down on overhead expenses. Avoid the necessity of having to pay overtime, benefits and retirement packages. No more worrying about the receptionist calling in sick.

Premier automated medical front desk receptionist software engages natural language dialog with callers and is capable of searching and scheduling appointments or forwarding calls to voicemail or office emergency contact numbers. Increase patient satisfaction because medical staff is able to spend more time with them and not on the phone.

Patients don’t have to be put on hold or leave messages in a voice mailbox when they have questions regarding an appointment, or other issues or concerns when staff is too busy to return phone calls or after office hours. Allow your patients to make their own appointments at any time of the day or night, even when your office is closed.

Medical office staff is able to spend more time addressing patient needs and concerns by taking advantage of automated medical front desk receptionist and online appointment scheduler software. No more multi-tasking to the point of frustration and stress. Medical office personnel have enough to do on a daily basis without having to schedule or anticipate at least two or three hours of every workday to deal with phone calls.

Take Advantage of Automated Technology

For long term cost savings and increased medical office practice efficiency, consider introducing 24/7 automated medical front desk receptionist and online appointment scheduler software into your office practice. Cut down on no-shows. Reduce patient waiting times, which reduces complaints and increases patient loyalty and referrals that will enhance and grow your medical practice.

Never miss an emergency phone call from a patient or family member because you’re with a patient or out of the office. Focus on what you were trained to do – take care of your patients. It is wise to let an automated medical receptionist take care of the “small stuff” that takes up nearly 50% of your normal workday productivity.

Growing web traffic leads healthcare providers to offer online scheduler

October 23rd, 2008

When the World Wide Web revolutionized business and media during the mid-1990s, some thought that there would be no need for regular brick-and-mortar business and industry. This soon proved to not be the case as people still found many great benefits for finding products and services in the traditional business setting. After a transition period during the turn of the century, the internet has begun to find itself and marketers are starting to recognize the opportunities of leveraging the best of the web with the traditional business benefits. Healthcare providers are even seeing the opportunities offered through web based scheduling solutions that offer 24/7 patient scheduling, self-service patient scheduling and more.

Economic efficiency has long been considered an advantage of the web based scheduling. Businesses have seen that they can reach audiences in less expensive way if they communicate effectively. Medical practices that do not leverage the new media opportunities offered through web based scheduling and website are missing out on great opportunities to find new patients and maintain relationships with current patients. Consumers are quickly being ingrained to look to the web first when a need arises. In fact, only about six per cent of product purchases are currently made online. However, a much higher percent of product buys are tied to some sort of web-based research. This is certainly the trend in the healthcare industry as many people are beginning to turn to the web for self-diagnosis and support for health issues.

A medical practice that has a web presence benefits from this movement of health resources to the web. Some even share basic tips and information from their own site as a marketing tool to attract visitors to their practice. With the traffic flow, the healthcare provider can then use an online scheduler backed by appointment scheduling software to capture some new patients. Many industries like travel, hospitality, and healthcare are experiencing huge growth in online transactions or contacts.

Along with having a presence where the audience goes, a medical practice that offers 24/7 appointment scheduling on the web can potentially save on human resources. Personalized attention from a live receptionist is still necessary in today’s market. But, there is also a large contingent of consumers who would prefer to use online medical scheduling from the comfort of their homes. This is simpler, hassle-free, and avoids having to wait for a busy receptionist to follow through. Plus, an online scheduler has a much higher accuracy rate than a busy receptionist.

Many small and medium medical practices could potentially enhance their profit greatly through the use of a web-based doctor appointment scheduling solution. A modest investment in a software solution is much less expensive than paying a part time receptionist who may have off days. The online scheduler is not prone to emotional trauma or human error and is a great backup for reaching efficiency and convenience seeking patients. Online medical scheduling is not just a business opportunity anymore, it is virtually a necessity for a competitive medical provider.

Running a Medical, Dental or other health Professional Office? – A Business Perspective

October 23rd, 2008

Do you run a small dentist office? Or own a massage practice? Maybe you’re involved in a growing chiropractor or psychologist practice. All these kinds of offices, both small and larger, need to keep costs down while providing their needed services. Your office is more than just your medical or dental practice. The public visits your office and sees your front desk and employees first, and it can sometimes be difficult to have the right number of people manning the desk. You want to always have help available, but you also can’t afford too many employees either.

So have you looked into a back up, or virtual, assistant? Imagine an online program that can answer your phones, provide an appointment reminder service and schedule appointments, or even forward emergency calls to the doctor. If your front desk receptionist is busy, this service will answer multiple phone calls at once and sort calls so real people can handle more urgent calls. This is open to patients 24/7 so they are not restricted by your office business hours.

I’m a small business owner and many aspects of running a business interest me, plus I know about keeping costs down. To run your business successfully, you have to weigh the cost and benefit of each service or product you invest in. Sometimes, though, spending a little money on a monthly service that’s a big help will actually save money and time. There are some tasks that I, as the owner, don’t want to spend a lot of time on. I want to handle the issues that really need my attention.

That’s why an automated backup receptionist is a great investment. It’ll save time while you don’t have to go through the hiring process to find another employee that needs medical insurance, lunch breaks or vacation time.

Having an online virtual medical or dental assistant doesn’t require you to install expensive equipment at your office. Because such service is often packaged and connected with online appointment scheduler, it offers another self-service option to your patients and saving even more time.

Some medical practices suffer under staffing only during busy times. Hiring more receptionists or nurses is not a good business solution for their short-term temporary problem. i.e. When your office is flooded during cold season, a slow front desk poses serious business problem. Imagine your patient at front desk is a toddler with a fever of 105, and your receptionist can not attend his need as she is busy on the phone making an appointment. As a provider, you can avoid that situation and save time for yourself, your staff, and your patients with a virtual assistant.

Greater medical practice revenue an automated appointment reminder away

October 23rd, 2008

As civilians, most people think of the doctor’s office as a place to go to manage illness, accidents, injuries, and other health-related issues. To the physician, we are not just people in need of their advanced health-care knowledge, we are the customers that pay their bills and put food on their table. Because of this reality that a healthcare provider is a business, medical practices want to collect as much potential revenue as is available to them. It is quite sensible then, that if there were a new high-tech tool that could dramatically improve revenue collection and profitability, no medical practice should go without. The automated appointment reminder is that high-tech solution, that can increase revenue and profitability and help a practice maintain strong relationships with its patients.

One of the biggest drains on a medical practice is empty appointment slots. For some newer or underdeveloped practices, this may be the reality of business for a while. However, an established medical practice with a consistent flow of patients should not have to struggle with filling appointment slots. In fact, many successful practices are booked in advance. Unfortunately, even these sought after practices can potentially lose out when a patient fails to show for an appointment. A no show or a last-minute reminder leaves the practice with little ability to fill the slot and thus it goes empty, or revenue-less. Some providers attempt to manage this problem by assessing missed appointment fees. This is not always good for customer relationships though. A better solution is a moderately low cost, no maintenance appointment reminder software program.

Traditionally, appointment reminders have been a task performed by receptionists. However, some receptionists are overwhelmed with in-clinic patients and phone calls or keeping up with important insurance filings that they do not have time to accurately call all appointments daily. Given the missed revenue with a no-show, a telephone reminder is necessary for good business. An automated appointment reminder can be fast, accurate, and effective if a good quality solution is used. The automated telephone reminder can call all patients every day and dramatically lower forgotten appointments or neglected cancellation calls.

Another benefit for medical providers in diverse markets is a multilingual appointment reminder. This is a much more efficient way to remind a multilingual customer base without the added expense of hiring multilingual employees. The automated reminder is perhaps the greatest revenue producer available today when you consider the cost for high quality appointment reminder software, and the potential revenue it generates.

Long-term relationships are the goal of any business including those of a healthcare nature. Consistent service and performance keeps patients coming back. This reduces extra advertising expense to continually draw new traffic. An accurate and warm reminder service is a customer service that many patients appreciate. In a fast pace society it is easy to lose track of medical appointments. Most patients appreciate the telephone reminder as missing an appointment means having to reschedule another one. This can take a while.

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