Archive for November, 2008

Patient appointment reminder service is a dentist’s best helper

November 25th, 2008

Many dentists are turning to an automated appointment reminder software solution to complete all-important appointment reminder calls to patients. There are a couple main reasons that dental offices deliver appointment reminder calls to patients. The first is simply as a reminder call to ensure a scheduled patient does not forget an appointment or neglect to cancel in advance. This is an important service for the patient who may not keep a good schedule or one that does not offer the courtesy of a phone call in advance. Additionally, a telephone reminder can be used to remind recent patients to schedule follow up visits which are very common with certain types of dental procedures. Some patients will avoid or neglect to schedule a follow up after a procedure. The dentist wants to make sure everything is okay and repeat visits are an important revenue driver for the dental practice.

Surprisingly to some providers, an automated appointment reminder is often more efficient and cost-effective than a live agent telephone reminder, and many patients prefer the automated patient appointment reminder. Receptionists in a dental office can be stressed or overwhelmed with work which prevents them from efficiently completing appointment reminder calls. Sometimes, their irritable tone can even turn off new or existing patients. However, the automated reminder service does not grow tired or weary and it performs the telephone reminder consistently and accurately every time. Though not as strong on personal interaction, the appointment reminder software solution is just what the “dentist” ordered for many patients.

The automated reminder as an appointment reminder courtesy can allow the patient to confirm or cancel their appointment. This way, a cancellation still leaves time for the appointment time to be rescheduled, preventing lost revenue for the practice. Dentists rely on appointments to generate revenue and missed times are a burden. The phone reminder can also include notes directing certain types of patients (new, follow up, certain procedures) on arrival times, what to bring, and the like.

The telephone reminder as a reminder to the patient to schedule a follow up visit helps encourage ongoing relationships with patients and repeat business for the dental practice. Many patients just forget the importance of a follow up visit and get caught up in their day-to-day lives. A simple telephone reminder can be a great prompt to get them to return to the dentist office for follow up care.

The efficiency and accuracy of an automated appointment reminder is a great value for many dentists, especially given the moderate up front cost and little to no ongoing investment. It is not just the performance of the phone reminder program that is important to keep in mind. Employee performance should also greatly improve if they are freed from the burden of processing the reminder call program. Employees can focus on personal attention to callers and patient visitors, while also completing important insurance paperwork and other routine office tasks. Everyone wins when an automated telephone reminder is used in a dental practice.

Appointment reminder software drives optometrist revenue

November 25th, 2008

From a consumer standpoint, an eye doctor appears to be someone there to perform eye vision screenings, give us glasses, and manage our ongoing eye care needs. These are all elements of an effective optometry practice, but optometrists are also business people who must earn revenue and manage costs. One of the biggest drains on eye clinics is missed appointments and lost opportunities for follow up appointments. Though many clinics rely on appointment reminders to handle these challenges, the effectiveness of an appointment reminder is questionable at best given that they are sometimes missed or poorly delivered by stressed and overwhelmed receptionists. This is why many eye doctors are looking to a best in class appointment reminder software solution to perform daily patient appointment reminder calls.

Patient no shows are a burden for any optometry practice. Each scheduled appointment time is important to the clinic as completed appointments are the key driver of revenue for the business. When a scheduled time is missed or empty, the practice does not collect that revenue despite having to pay for the costs to earn it. Employees are still present, utilities and other resource bills are still paid. Thus, avoiding patient no-shows or last minute cancellations is critical. A top automated telephone reminder program is an efficient and accurate way to cut down on missed appointments. The phone reminder is not only an appointment reminder service, it also allows a patient to confirm or cancel an appointment. Earlier detection of a cancellation allows the eye clinic to fill that time with another patient, thus avoiding the lost revenue. The telephone reminder can also be a way to deliver quick notes about the appointment as it pertains to the patient’s situation.

Another important use of an automated telephone reminder in the eye care profession is to encourage patients to schedule follow up visits. When patients have treatments, new prescriptions, or other issues handled in an office visit, the eye doctor generally likes the patient to return for a follow up visit. This is a way for the provider to ensure everything is going well and it is also an important way for the practice to maintain an ongoing relationship with its clients. The phone reminder can be used as a tool to prompt the patient to schedule a follow up visit and it can give them specific reasons to do so.

The efficiency and accuracy of the automated reminder is what separates it from a live agent in delivery effective telephone reminder calls. People struggle with stress and fatigue and must also manage personalized situations with in-clinic visitors and complete tedious paperwork. The appointment reminder software can be programmed to perform reminder calls quickly, accurately, and in a way that works for the provider and patients. Some even come with a multilingual appointment reminder feature that allows the clinic to manage the telephone reminder with a multilingual population. Best of all, the reminder service is a moderate up front investment with little ongoing maintenance.

Doctors use virtual receptionist to improve office morale

November 25th, 2008

Doctors’ offices typically face a common challenge of high employee turnover. Because of the stress and fatigue than can come with multitasking and running a healthcare office, live agents often get burned out. Receptionists are usually the first point of contact for patients that come into a clinic or physicians office. They sometimes deal with concerns and complaints. Live receptionists also must answer phone calls, complete routine office tasks, and file important insurance claims paperwork. Though many great front desk receptionists can deliver all these tasks, they can become stressed and tired, and their personalized service can suffer. Plus, other important tasks, like daily appointment reminder calls may get neglected.

The best solution to improve office morale, lower turnover and employee stress, and drive better performance is a virtual front desk receptionist. A virtual receptionist is an advanced technology that operates as a backup receptionist when a live agent is busy, on the phone, or making reminder calls. The virtual medical office assistant can be programmed to complete all important daily reminder calls and relieve that burden from the live agent. A good virtual receptionist can also answer multiple phone calls at once and prevent callers from getting busy signals or being left on hold. It can assist with appointment scheduling and conduct immediate transfers to doctors for emergency situations.

A virtual front desk is also a great value as a backup receptionist compared to hiring another part time or full time employee. A best in class virtual medical office assistant has a moderate up front cost with little to no ongoing maintenance. Whereas employees are costly and have stress, exhaustion and human emotions, the virtual front desk multitasks accurately and efficiently without getting tired or offering up complaints.

More importantly, the virtual receptionist makes both patients and live agents more satisfied. Patients are glad to have their needs addressed immediately as opposed to having to wait. Live receptionists like the backup receptionist support as it reduces their burden, freeing them to deliver excellent customer service and accurate insurance paperwork which drives important revenue. Overall staff morale is greatly improved with happier employees and patients.

There are other great advantages as well with a broad-based virtual front desk. The virtual medical office assistant can complete those tedious reminder calls quickly and accurately everyday. They also allow the patient to confirm or cancel the appointment and can deliver important notes to the patient based on the appointment situation. These are capabilities that are often not delivered or inconsistently delivered by live receptionists. Appointment reminder calls are an important task in any physician’s office as they prevent missed revenue opportunities from patient no-shows or last minute cancellations. Though important, reminder phone calls are sometimes overlooked by the live receptionist. The virtual medical office assistant makes the reminder call process simple and effective.

All of these benefits of the virtual front desk receptionist make it a worthwhile investment for any medical office. Employee morale, customer satisfaction, and overall business performance will all be improved through a virtual receptionist.

Cut down on human error with a virtual receptionist

November 25th, 2008

Human error has long been recognised as one of the biggest obstacles to improving productivity, efficiency and quality of service. Just look at the improvements inventions such as cash machines, vending machines and now self-service supermarket checkouts have made to our quality of life.

The same principle can be now be applied to a medical reception desk using an automated answering service.

Upgrade and improve

Whether someone is looking to improve on the service their front desk currently offers, or simply to provide an out-of-hours service for patients, a virtual medical office receptionist will be there to help with every need.

A virtual medical receptionist will man your front desk 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It can schedule appointments, provide natural conversations with patients in their own language, divert emergency calls to the correct number when necessary and even remind your patients of their appointments, thus slashing the costly no-shows from which practices currently suffer.

Cost-effective

You can often try a service for free with a one-month trial, and should you decide to keep it, you could find it is a much more cost-effective option than a live agent.

A virtual receptionist will never call in sick, never be late for work, never need a holiday and never go on strike! It is easy to use and maintain and exceptionally reliable.

You will find that your practice improves, both in terms of business efficiency and also in patient satisfaction, because a virtual receptionist works the hours that they do. Whether they call at four o’clock in the morning or 10 o’clock at night, it will be there to take their call.

Never miss a call

A virtual receptionist can distinguish and therefore separate emergency calls from non-emergency calls, so only really urgent situations will be diverted. And you can be assured that when they are, they will be connected to the correct number without any delay.

No longer need you be interrupted by unnecessary calls, or risk missing a vitally-important message, your 24/7 medical answering service will take care of it for you.

Multi-task without hiring more staff

Your current receptionist can only handle one call at a time. This is no slight on them, they are only human, but it means that if you have an exceptionally busy day, some patients may not be able to get through to you.

There are no such problems with a virtual receptionist, which can handle multiple calls regardless of the call length or reason. You need not worry about loss of calls due to telephone congestion any more, as all calls with be handled simultaneously, and with exceptional service and dependability.

No longer will there be the constant sound of ringing, unanswered phones from your medical reception desk, as instead of your staff constantly being on the phone making appointments and generally attending to the callers, the virtual receptionist will be there to handle their every need. This means that your reception staff will have the time free to concentrate on patients who are actually in the building.

Psychiatrists love virtual answering service

November 25th, 2008

Many small to medium sized psychiatrist practices struggle with balancing fiscal responsibility with legal and ethical obligations. Though some providers in some areas are legally required to offer an after-hours answering service, many professionals cannot afford to pay someone to cover phones after hours. The labor and benefits expense is likely too much given the fact that no revenue is generated while the office is closed. The challenge then is for psychiatrists to meet the need of offering an after-hours call service without bearing the expense of paying someone to deliver it. What is the “answer”? A top of the line virtual answering service is the best solution to efficiently answer calls with only an up front cost and little to no ongoing maintenance.

A virtual medical answering service is a technology that is able to handle multiple phone calls at one time, while working with callers to set up new appointments and transferring them to providers in cases of emergency. Given the unstable nature of some of the patients that psychiatrists work with, the ability to be efficiently contacted when a patients is in dire situations is vital. Obviously, the provider does not want to sit by the phone all day. A virtual call answering service is typically more efficient than even a live receptionist at transferring emergency calls as it skips delays and interruptions.

Along with the fact that a virtual answering service requires little ongoing investment, it also does not struggle with human limitations. Psychiatrist clinics can sometimes be stressful places. Receptionists often deal with patients, phone calls, office tasks, and insurance paperwork. Juggling all of these can be stressful and exhausting. People may become irritable and inefficient when stressed or tired. The medical answering service does not face these limitations. It performs endlessly and tirelessly despite being able to take on multiple calls at once and never getting a break. Additionally, many virtual answering service solutions come equipped with a multilingual answering service capability in order to effectively respond to calls from a population that is become more and more diverse in culture and in language.

The business advantages offered by a best in class virtual call answering service are many. It is not only a good tool for use as an after-hours answering service, it can also function well as a backup receptionist. If the live receptionist is away from the desk, working with a patient, or on another line, the virtual answering service steps in to take the call. Although most people would prefer to talk to a live agent if one is readily available, they also prefer to work through a virtual answering service if it is immediate, effective, and hassle-free. It is better to let a great virtual answering service help your patients set up appointments than to make them wait on hold or face a repeated busy signal every time they call your clinic. The virtual medical answering service can improve appointment scheduling and reduce the stress for your live receptionist.

Get Your Medical Office Assistant an Assistant

November 25th, 2008

Your medical office assistant knows all too well how busy one day can be. Depending on the type of medical front desk you operate, there can be appointment scheduling, patient reminder calls and in-coming calls to juggle. Your assistant may have responsibility for product orders, billing, insurance reimbursements, maybe even feeding the dogs and picking up the dry cleaning.

This multitasking is why medical office assistants are so valuable to dentists, doctors, chiropractors and other busy health care professionals. They do pretty much everything. Without a dependable assistant, one of those balls will drop and then the whole show crumbles. If your office operation comes to a halt, patients may not receive the quality health care they need in a timely, safe and organized fashion. On the other hand, even your highly efficient medical office assistant can use some help to make your office the most efficient that it can be. This is where an online medical scheduler service will make you both shine.

Humans need to sleep. You cannot ask an employee to work 24 hours a day, 7 hours a day (only residents work that much!). An online medical scheduler service does not sleep. The beauty of having a 24/7 back up receptionist is that when your office is really busy, callers do not have to wait for someone to answer the phone. After a specified number of rings your automated program will pick up the slack.

Make sure to get a package that includes appointment scheduling software. This will help your staff efficiently handle setting and changing appointments, a well known challenge. This feature can eliminate the confusion that sometimes arises when different office staff making appointments.

Multilingual appointment reminder is a unique feature to look for in an online scheduler service. You may be fortunate enough to have one bilingual assistant, but multilingual? We should all be that lucky.

Web-based doctor appointment scheduling not only takes a lot off your assistant’s plate, but a growing number of people prefer to do everything they can online. When your patients have the option to go online, make an appointment, at any time of the day and receive a confirmation right away, you have a major potential for expanding your patient base. It could be a selling point.

Instant answering service is very important in emergencies. An online medical scheduling service can connect the patient’s call directly to the doctor with no delay. While it may seem counterintuitive, human answering services are actually worse when it comes to triaging phone calls.

Automated telephone reminders not only save your assistant valuable time, but will also save money on patient no-shows. Creating a reversal in revenue loss without added staff time is about as good as it can get.

Often health care offices have a medical front desk receptionist in addition to a medical assistant to handle the normal crazy flow of a busy office. With a good online medical scheduler you may need only your star medical assistant, which will save greatly on operating costs. Plus, your valuable assistant will be freed up to do more important things like put that precious time into better quality patient care.

Chiropractors like benefits offered by online scheduler

November 24th, 2008

Chiropractors come in all shapes in sizes. Some chiropractic clinics are very large, have several providers or professionals, and a decent sized staff of a receptionists. Others are smaller, may have one chiropractor, and may only operate with one receptionist. Regardless of the size of the clinic, any chiropractor can benefit from the new technology advantages presented by an online scheduler. An automated appointment scheduling software program is a fast-growing tool used by many medical practices to take advantage of growth in online bookings and to present an efficient and practical automated appointment scheduler and patient relationship management solution.

Online business continues to grow rapidly. Internet sales transactions currently account for about six percent of all purchases. This number is expected to grow by 2-3 percent per year for the next several years. Internet sales along have been growing at an impressive clip of 20-25 percent per year. Part of the reason for the rapid growth in online business transactions is that the internet is now used for business by companies that do not actually deliver a product or service online. Two service-oriented industries that do not offer online solutions, travel and healthcare, are prime examples of businesses that now leverage the online forum for growth. Thanks to advancements in technology, the best in class automated appointment scheduler not only allows consumers to schedule appointments online, it also enables the chiropractor to collect patient data for relationship maintenance and automated email reminders.

The online scheduler can be customized based on the needs of the chiropractor. Appointment timeframes vary and appointment information needed does as well. The chiropractor can set up their online appointment reminder to fit their needs. This not only benefits of the practice it is a great service. The practice benefits in that the online scheduler is much more cost-efficient appointment scheduler than a live agent. The chiropractor is also able to build and maintain important patient relationships and reduce patient no-shows with automated email reminders and phone reminders.

Patients appreciate the ability to use the online medical scheduler as opposed to having to potentially waste time trying to make a phone call. Receptionists are busy, some leave for lunch, and others may be stressed or busy with paperwork. With an online appointment scheduler, the patient can schedule appointment times quickly, receive automated email reminders, and schedule their appointments at any time day or night. It is all about convenience for today’s busy consumer.

The online appointment scheduler is an all around profitable tool for any chiropractor. The benefits of an online scheduler combined with the modest costs and little to no ongoing maintenance are extreme. The best in class automated appointment scheduler should also come with a database backup to ensure key patient data is protected and usable. Privacy is also a necessary factor in getting the best online scheduler for a chiropractic office. Consumers are still concerned about protection of their personal information when share on the web.

Dentists make most of resources with virtual medical office assistant

November 24th, 2008

Dentists are like other professionals in that they must manage their resources and make wise investments in order to achieve business success and profits. Labor is one of the most costly items that dental practices must pay for. Dental professionals cannot operate a clinic on their own. They rely on a staff of receptionists and frost desk help to manage patient relationships, phone calls and completion of laborious insurance paperwork. A good front desk receptionist is often what makes or breaks the success or failure of any clinic. The live receptionist is the first point of contact for in-clinic patients, phone callers, and other parties. However, in today’s fast-paced environment, some consumers find it difficult to wait on the phone to talk with a busy receptionist. Also, stressed and overwhelmed receptionists may not offer the personalized attention and care necessary. These factors have contributed to the rise in use of the virtual medical office assistant.

The virtual medical office assistant is the closest thing to a live receptionist, without actually being a live receptionist. While it may lack the personal qualities of a live agent, a virtual receptionist makes up for its deficiencies with awesome efficiency and cost-effectiveness. The virtual medical office assistant can answer multiple phone calls at once while a receptionist is preoccupied with one. The virtual front desk receptionist can also assist callers with routine processes like scheduling appointments, while providing the most efficient connection to a provider in an emergency. Live receptionists often are delayed or forgetful in getting emergency messages to the dentist or provider.

The cost advantages of the virtual medical receptionists are remarkable given the benefits best in class virtual receptionist solutions provide. The up front cost to purchase a quality virtual medical receptionist are modest and there are little to no ongoing maintenance requirements. Whereas employees require ongoing pay, benefits, motivation, and personal management, a virtual receptionist performs its duties consistently and accurately every day without fail and without getting stressed or fatigued.

Human emotions and limitations prevent live agents from always meeting the timeliness and accuracy expectations of patients. Patients generally prefer personalized attention, but they also are willing to take the efficiency of a virtual medical office assistant if the alternative is time consuming. Live agents are sometimes flooded with patients, calls, and paperwork. The stress that results contributes to the high rate of turnover that is common in the medical industry. With the help of a backup receptionist in the form of a virtual medical office assistant, a live receptionist is free to offer personal assistance and is more efficient with other office tasks because they are less stressed.

The virtual medical receptionist is the perfect complement to a quality dental receptionist. The virtual dental receptionist is an excellent value and can greatly improve the morale of any dental practice. Investing in a virtual dental receptionist is a good move from a business standpoint and enables all members of the dental practice to perform up to their potential.

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