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.

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