Archive for the tag 'health care receptionist'

What Can a Virtual Medical Office Receptionist Do For Your Practice?

November 13th, 2008

A virtual medical office receptionist can be a virtual money saver for the physician’s and healthcare providers. It will be a virtual timesaver for patients and medical staff. With this type of system you have a 24/7 medical receptionist at your service for a minimal cost compared to having a live agent answering your calls, setting appointments and doing reminder calls.

The automated medical office receptionist software is designed to be a backup to the medical front desk receptionist. It will not interfere with or affect the routine of the staff doing this task. It is created and designed to answer calls only when the person calling your office can’t get an immediate answer. This enables the automated health care receptionist to handle calls when the regular medical receptionist is away from the desk or after-hours.

Virtual medical receptionist systems that are web-based are the best choice due to the fact there is no hardware to maintain and no complicated software to install. These types of services that are fee based are cost effective and can have all of the advantages of a hiring a medical receptionist without the expense or having to train someone.

An online scheduler can be a time-saving tool for both medical staff and the patients. This software is customizable and can be used by traditional physicians and other healthcare professionals including chiropractors, psychologists, and massage services or all types of spa treatments. Automated online appointment scheduling allows a patient or client to set appointments by interacting with the voice recognition software and using user friendly interfaces.

Systems which have high tech innovative features will also include automated appointment reminder software. Using this type of system can decrease the amount of no-shows which will affect your bottom-line. It will also decrease the time that the front desk medical receptionist has to spend trying to reschedule missed appointments. The extra time this software saves the staff can be used to increase overall patient satisfaction. It allows more time to do spend with the actual patients and not on the phone.

The high-tech automated reminder programs have features that will relay messages in several languages. The software is customizable so the physician or healthcare provider can set options to the specific needs of their patients. Some services offer features which gives you the option to relay personalized messages that are put into the system.

By using a virtual medical receptionist you would have a system which would handle online appointment scheduling, appointment reminder calls and be a phone answering service all-in-one package. This would reduce cost and time spent interviewing and training additional employees. The medical staff would spend less time on tedious and mundane tasks and be able to spend more quality time with patients.

Patient satisfaction would increase due to the fact they would have the option of scheduling appointments online and be able to reach the physician after-hours incase of an emergency. Overall this type of solution would lower over head costs and increase the bottom-line of the business.

Optimize Your Medical Practice with a Virtual Medical Receptionist

November 12th, 2008

What do most people do when they can’t get through to their doctor’s office to schedule an appointment? Or when they need to speak to the doctor right away but they’re put on eternal hold?

They hang up and call another doctor.

Sometimes getting through to the doctor’s office to schedule an appointment, or speak to a staff member can be very frustrating. The staff is backed up with work trying to file, process insurance claims, schedule appointments, and check patients in and out. It can be frustrating for the patient, and even a nightmare, if the patient’s call is urgent.

Many medical receptionists will tell you that they leave the office at the end of the day feeling mentally and physically exhausted. The front office staff can easily get pulled in many different directions throughout the day, and the demands of the field can leave them feeling overwhelmed, cranky, and unappreciated.

It is often said that the medical receptionist is the glue that binds a physician’s practice together. They are the ones that are responsible for keeping the office flowing and working like clockwork. But if the attitude of the receptionist fails due to being overworked, or understaffed, it can have a variety of affects on the practice, including the office coming to a stand-still.

There are a number of reasons for a breakdown in an office:

(1) The office is understaffed and the receptionist is overworked.

(2) There is a sudden overflow of workload. i.e. everything happens at the same time.

(3) Too many responsibilities put on one person.

If the workload is dispersed evenly, the medical receptionist will be more apt to get the things done she needs to, to keep the office functioning at its optimum level where patients will get the attention they need and deserve, and the doctor will be able to dedicate his time to patient care. That is where a virtual medical receptionist comes in. An automated receptionist can do what most receptionist do: She can take calls and make appointments, and give appointment reminder calls. For the patient, they always are able to get hold of someone. Even if the office staff is busy, the virtual receptionist will answer the call and either take your appointment or connect you to the right person.

For a busy medical practice, a virtual receptionist will keep the office running smoothly, stepping in when everyone else’s hands are tied. Furthermore; she is never rude, curt, or in a rush. She will handle the situation with efficiency and will make running a medical practice of any sorts, easier, and with less stress for everyone.

Physician will soon see a virtual receptionist the best employee they ever hired; A virtual receptionist works 24/7, cost a fraction of minimal wages, will never take sick leave, requires no on the job training.

A medical assistant will find benefits from her help too; virtual medical receptionist means no more interruptions for non-emergency calls. She will get the calls to the right person all while the medical assistant is able to keep up with her responsibilities in patient care.

The virtual medical secretary is a cost effective way to enhance your office and give it the efficiency of having more staff, without having the extra staffing costs. With its easy set-up, and low set-up fees, can your practice afford not to have one?

Benefits to Using a Virtual Medical Receptionist

November 11th, 2008

A virtual medical receptionist is an easy cost effective solution to assist physicians, clinical staff and patients in a healthcare facility. A virtual medical receptionist uses a speech recognition based scheduling system which can handle appointment reminder calls. The web appointment scheduler can be used as a backup receptionist and there is the ability to have after-hours answering service.

These types of solutions are usually fee based. The medical practice pays a monthly fee and has the opportunity to choose from a variety of packages which will fit the needs of their particular facility. The physician is able to pick and choose which type of service is right for them. They can choose to use only one solution or to use all of the services available.

The benefits of using this type of solution are many, including; being an economical solution for a medical office which has a shortage of staff. It can decrease patient no-show revenue losses with the use of the appointment reminder. The medical staff is able to spend less time on the phones scheduling appointments and making reminder calls which leaves them more time to interact with the patients. Patients have the ability to make appointments anytime and are not limited to just office hours.

Most appointment schedulers are customizable and have the ability to work for all medical specialties and for all types of healthcare service providers including chiropractors, spa and massage services. The systems allow for customizing the name of the service, when the service is available and what type of appointments can be set by a patient. Once you have set up specific and defined appointment profiles the software will function according to the restrictions you have set.

Automated telephone reminder applications have the ability to call patients and remind them of their scheduled appointments. The innovative ones will be able to provide reminder calls in various languages and provide the healthcare provider with logs detailing exactly when the call was made and if the reminder was delivered.

Telephone reminder applications with sophisticated technology will be able to detect the difference between a person’s voice and an answering machine or message service. Usually these systems will recall patients at different times until they have delivered the message. By using this system healthcare providers can dramatically cut costs and time spent manually making appointment reminder calls.

The automated response front desk backup receptionist and after-hour answering services usually provide the physician or healthcare provider with a telephone number and they have the ability to choose when the back-up service is to be used. This service can be used immediately, when the office line is busy or if there is no answer. Applications which have high-tech innovative software can take care of patient calls for appointments, emergency calls and voicemails. This type of service is very cost effective compared to the cost of having a live agent answering service.

Any medical practice or healthcare provider can benefit by using a virtual medical receptionist. These types of solutions can cut cost by doing tasks which frees up the medical staff so they can focus on patient care. There isn’t a need to worry about high medical staff turn-over rates or the cost and time needed to train new personnel. Patients are happier due to the fact that they wont’ be waiting on hold or repeatedly getting a busy signal. This type of system will save time and money for any type of medical practice or healthcare provider.

An Unexpected Business Dinner

November 11th, 2008

Do you remember when you wanted to be a doctor so that you could help people and treat diseases? Did you ever anticipate the amount of “business” that would be required in order to practice medicine? I am hiring. I am firing. I am making out work schedules and calling in people to cover when the person on the schedule cannot come in to work. Okay, I know what you are thinking. You are thinking I should just hire an office manager (you could be right, but keep reading). I run a solo Internal Medicine practice and when I crunched the numbers (another business skill I never learned in medical school but sort of learned along the way) the cost of an office manager was not in the budget. I had to figure out what my overhead was going towards, what I could cut (or add) and what I could do to get out of the office before eight in the evening every day.

As I was complaining to a colleague over dinner (a colleague with a much more business-oriented mind), she suggested that I look into eliminating personnel. At first I could not imagine cutting back at all. I felt like a whirling dervish from the moment I unlocked the front door until the last note was signed or the last insurance form completed. Not only that, but I had trouble keeping staff, letting any go just did not seem possible. She must have read the perplexed (panicked?) look on my face. She suggested that I look into a virtual receptionist. I asked her half seriously, “You want me to hire a robot?” She laughed and I laughed but I still waited for her response.

She told me that she was able transfer the duties of a front desk receptionist to the equivalent of a virtual medical office receptionist. The best part was the service is that it is available 24/7. Apparently this one program could act as a patient appointment scheduler, appointment reminder, medical answering service and 24/7 medical reception. This colleague and friend asked me to consider what I was spending on a receptionist, office management software and a medical answering service combined. Then she told me what she pays for access to this web-based doctor appointment scheduling program. Even though I do not have the strongest mind for business, I know how to save money.

Of course I had a lot of questions. For instance, is this system secure? I did not want my patient information out on the ether for everyone to see. In turns out that many programs are fully HIPAA compliant and secure. Will my patients think this computer is an impersonal way of communicating? She first asked glibly, “How congenial is your front desk staff now?” Point taken. She went on to explain that her online medical office assistant has a natural voice dialogue and responds interactively. As far as the software operating as physician answering service, her program operates as a 24/7 medical answering service, schedules appointments (!) and even triages patient calls. I could not believe this it first, but when I investigated on my own (Yes, I checked. It seemed a little too good to be true), she was right. Some packages will identify emergent calls and put them through to appropriate emergency contacts immediately. The medical appointment scheduling feature was amazing. Parents can call my office or use an online appointment scheduler to set up a time to see me, essentially self-service patient appointment scheduling. I picked up the tab at dinner that night, but as far as I am concerned it was a business expense!

How to help your Medical Front Desk Assistant?

November 6th, 2008

When your office is ready to hire a medical front desk assistant you will need to know what to expect from the one you hire. Hiring staff is always hard to do because you want to find someone who is dependable, reliable, and plans to stay there with you for quite a while. In order to do that you will need to offer something in return that will keep them at your office and not looking for something better on the other side.

Your medical front desk assistant will be the one that will set the impression that your patients will have on you. The medical front desk assistant will be in charge of answering the phones, greeting patients, scheduling appointments, preparing charts, billing, and more. The medical front desk assistant becomes the heart of a doctors’ office.

Because there are so many different jobs for the medical front desk assistant things can become hectic at times which can cause a delay in signing patients in, answering phones, scheduling appointments and assisting in other medical needs of the patients. There are several different ways that you can assist the medical front desk assistant to help him or her run the office more smoothly. This will have a positive affect on your patients and an overall increase in business just due to the fact that it is organized and all your patients’ needs are met.

With an online scheduler patients can log onto your website in order to make or change an appointment. This will give your receptionist enough time to do other duties to keep your office running smooth. Online schedulers are also used for other reasons besides scheduling appointments. It can also call out to scheduled patients as a reminder of an appointment.

Other features of an online scheduling software includes tracking stats to let you know how many appointments were kept, how many were cancelled on time, and how many never called in to cancel or showed up. This will help you to reassess your business and make any necessary changes to be more successful if you need to do any changes.

The medical front desk assistant can have more time to handle your clients’ needs directly. There are other software programs out there to assist the assistant in running the office. These programs include virtual medical receptionist to help with the front office, and a medical answering service, just to name a few. A one time investment in a software program will keep your business running more smoothly and will reduce the chance of making costly mistakes and an overall loss in your business.

When your medical office assistant needs time off you will be able to count on the virtual assistant to help you through the day until your assistant can return. Your patients will be more satisfied with their overall visit to your office and will return.

Is it Time to Automate Your Medical Reception?

November 6th, 2008

No matter how hard I tried, I could not find decent medical receptionist. For a period of about three years I was cycling through a new receptionist every few months. Perhaps it was partially my fault; I run a busy internal medicine practice and did not have the overhead to pay my receptionists more than what I thought was a competitive salary. My medical receptionists would leave early, show up late or sometimes not come in to work at all. We had arguments over hours and wages; there was constant drama and even confrontations with patients. It was a mess.

With this rapid turnover I was forced to use a part time receptionist or backup receptionist many times, and they never properly triaged the emergent cases, from the ASAP cases, from the end of the day cases. It was potentially dangerous.

Even if I could have found someone competent, I asked myself: what am I really gaining from a medical front desk receptionist? Well, I suppose I was a bit nostalgic for the doctor’s office staff of my youth, with their warm greeting when patients came into the office. Unfortunately, I came to realize that my patients were not even getting this from the people that I was hiring.

So what was I really missing by not having a medical receptionist?

After talking with some colleagues I began to consider a virtual medical office receptionist. I learned that there are some software programs on the market that function as a remote receptionist service. In a way it was almost too good to be true. This virtual receptionist never gets sick, never shows up late, and functions as 24/7 medical reception.

I did not change overnight—there were some fundamental issues that needed to be resolved before I committed to a virtual receptionist fully.

Would having a virtual receptionist be a violation of HIPAA rules? It turns out that programs must abide by all HIPAA regulations and keep patient information fully confidential.

Would patients resent talking to a computer? Actually, some software actually has natural language dialogs that are very user friendly. Since patients were able to call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, they did not mind using the phone interface. This led to my next question:

Could a phone system triage my calls? Believe it or not, the program that I use actually separates emergent from non-emergent calls. It is no substitute for medical decision making, but neither is having a real medical receptionist. The software acknowledges there is a difference between prescription refills and acute onset of shortness of breath. In truly emergent calls, the system automatically forwards the call to the appropriate emergency contact.

Who will schedule appointments if I automate? Some of these programs will. Patients are able to call at any time, day or night and schedule a time to see me. The system even allows me to squeeze in walk-ins or emergent visits.

While this approach felt non-traditional at first, so did the move to electronic medical records, and that turned out to benefit to my practice immensely. Even at the “competitive” rate I was paying a front desk receptionist, the cost of this online medical office assistant is much less expensive. The additional money allowed me to hire an extra medical technician to help me with patient vitals, charts, etc.

If you are having the same trouble with finding a good medical receptionist, you really should look into a virtual medical office receptionist program.

Medical Receptionist Efficiency Just Received A Clean Bill Of Health

November 5th, 2008

If you ask any medical practitioner, what his or her greatest asset is they would probably credit their medical receptionist with keeping things running smoothly allowing them to practice medicine. In a perfect world, this is how it should be. In business however, there are always knots in the line that require undoing. Even the most efficient medical receptionist could use occasional support.

What happens when their medical receptionist becomes ill, misses a day or two of work, or takes a well-earned vacation? At the best of times, a medical clinic receptionist works in an active environment where incoming and outgoing calls are frequent, appointment scheduling and patient appointment reminder calls. Patients need to be received and properly vetted before they see the doctor and no one likes to be kept waiting. It has been said that the perfect office assistant has two heads and four arms!

Answering machines are outdated and leave callers feeling abandoned, hoping their message will be heard. Voice mail is little better since the caller is still left wondering when their message will be acknowledged. What the patient needs is a way to get ahead in the queue and know their message has been received, their issue recognized, and if possible resolved. Up until now, this was a tall order. Welcome the virtual medical office assistant.

Automated call answer programs have been on the market for a while and have shown some promise but they were limited in what they could accomplish and voice recognition quality was poor. Caller patience was tested. Virtual medical office assistant software can perform a number of medical receptionist duties so your in-house medical front desk staff can greet patients, collect insurance information, and see to other important tasks. This software has advanced a long way in recent years.

Imagine allowing your medical front desk receptionist to take time off from work for her own needs or so you can save on salary. Your Virtual medical office receptionist can provide call answering service, medical appointment scheduling, patient appointment reminder calls you can even arrange for online scheduling. If your medical receptionist moonlights for you as a medical transcriptionist, the virtual medical office receptionist will free up time for your medical front desk staff to perform these important responsibilities.

By implementing virtual office assistant services in your medical office the stress level of you and your staff will be lowered due to the assurance that lesser office functions are being taken care of virtually and you and your staff can confidently leave for lunch or an emergency with this understanding. Talk about peace of mind.

No one is saying you can replace your entire staff and go virtual since this is unrealistic. But those mundane jobs, which interfere with optimal office functionality, can be outsourced virtually in seconds. A physician’s time should be devoted to their patients and knowing those patients are being respectfully serviced when they call is not only courteous but also essential and professional.

Virtual Receptionist Improves Medical Office Practices

November 2nd, 2008

Advancements in technology today have enabled the need and demand for virtual medical office practice support. Such support is necessary in the areas of online doctor appointment scheduling, virtual answering service capabilities and appointment reminder software. While the design may have been created for medical office practice, such software may be customized into a number of fields and industries.

Massage Anyone?

Have you ever called your local spa or massage business and been met with a voice mail that says to call back later? What’s with that? You’re trying to find some relaxation and you can’t even talk to someone to schedule an appointment if he or she is busy with a client and no one is up front to answer the phone!

Some virtual receptionist and online scheduler software may be customized to work in the spa and massage industry. Doing so helps provide 24/7 backup receptionist supports and self-service appointment scheduling by your clients and potential customers.

Spas and solo practitioner massage professionals may customize various features to allow:

· Automated telephone or email appointment reminders

· Customized appointments that allow massage therapists and spa owners to define the type of appointments for his or her own practice

· Customers or clients to self-serve their own online appointment booking needs

· Backup front desk receptionist call-taking when you are busy or after hours

· Massage therapists and spa owners access to detailed logs for cancellations and no-shows

Oh My Aching Back!

Chiropractors also benefit from the features provided by a virtual medical office receptionist, appointment reminder software and even 24/7 medical answering service capabilities. Such software can take at least some of the load off your shoulders, allowing you to spend more time with clients.

After all, you only have two hands, and most of the time, they’re with your patients. Enlist the help of automated technology to help enhance your practice and keep clients happy. Allow them more choices and give them the opportunity to make their own appointments when you’re busy.

Online Appointment Scheduler Benefits

The benefits of utilizing an online appointment schedule include but are not limited to just some of the following:

· Multi-use by shared practice accounts

· Automated email appointment reminders

· SSL security

· Database backup

· 24/7 online support

· Self service web booking

When it comes to saving time, expenses and overhead, more medical office practice managers and those in the health care field (and yes, that includes massage therapists, chiropractors, optometrists, orthodontics and more) realize the importance of providing superlative and timely care for clients and patients.

Virtual Receptionist Software Rocks!

Whether you own a small-town massage business out of your garage or manage a multi-doctor medical practice group, take advantage of the benefits that automated virtual receptionist software offers you and your business. Spend your valuable time with your clients, not on the phone.

Choose the best backup receptionist that you can find, which means choosing one that is maintenance free, doesn’t charge overtime, and won’t demand holiday pay.

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