Respond to the High Turn Over of Health Care Office Staff

November 25th, 2008

Your office hired an excellent medical front desk receptionist not too long ago. She had medical office superpowers that allowed her to answer phones, cater to patients, make reminder calls, deal with insurance paperwork and companies and rescheduled appointments.

Now she is gone.

Once again you are left with the prospect of advertising, rehiring, and training another qualified receptionist who may leave at anytime. Is there a solution to this all too frequent scenario? One alternative is to take your medical reception online.

A good online medical scheduler will streamline all of your essential office operations to allow you smooth transitions between office receptionists or assistants. Imagine being able to have your appointments scheduled, calls answered, and emergencies dealt with 24/7—even during under staffed periods. Well, it’s not a dream. You can get all of this and more with the right online medical appointment scheduling software program.

What can the right online scheduling program do for you? Well to start, you have a remote receptionist service. In or out of office hours, around the clock service is available to answer calls from your patients. Even if you are one of the fortunate ones and are fully staffed, the service can pick up the phone when your receptionist gets overwhelmed or takes her lunch hour.

If you do keep a full staff (you may not need to with the right software), an online medical answering service can free your staff up from the most trivial of office duties. For example, some programs can perform automated appointment reminders. This is something that staff hates to do and often forgets. Automated appointment reminders can cut down on income loss due to missed appointments.

A Virtual Medical Office Receptionist can triage urgent or emergencies by immediately forwarding calls to the appropriate contact number, unlike most human operated answering services. A few programs can actually differentiate a regular call from an urgent one. A feature like this will increase patient safety and will assure a timely response. Speaking of patient safety, make sure the software that you use is HIPAA compliant. Many of them are, but you need to make sure that patient information is secure.

Self-service patient appointment scheduling is available for patients online with online scheduler software. This is not only great for your short staffed moments, but also for the growing number of people who would rather do most things online, including scheduling their medical appointments.

Automated appointment scheduling programs include the ability to track statistics such as cancellations and no-shows. You can then pinpoint problem areas and make corrections. Even the best medical receptionist does not have the time or the skills to do this with the fill-in-the-blank paper schedule that you are probably using.

The best of these web-based doctor appointment scheduling programs are maintenance free and do not require hardware— the software installed in your office and administered remotely. Given the versatility of current medical appointment scheduling software at a fraction of the cost of full-time medical receptionists, it makes sense to automate well in advance of the next resignation notice.

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