Archive for the tag 'medical office assistant online'

Virtual Medical Answering Service – Pay per Call or Flat Fee ?

April 18th, 2009

When it comes to medical answering there are many services out there to choose from. But what narrows your search is the ability to stay out of long-term contracts, and be in charge of how you would like to be invoiced. It is important to know what is available before you jump into a service package with a vendor. Once again do your homework, shop around (Search google using on “medical answering” and you will find everything on the Internet), and ask copious amounts of questions of the vendor.

The first question you should ask yourself when choosing medical answering service is what you intend to use it for? Will it be mainly used as a back up or will it be your main front desk receptionist for answering the phone? Are you intending to use it as an after hours appointment scheduler , or will it be used for callbacks and reminders or other functions? This then brings into question how feature rich do you want your package to be?

The more features you purchase the better your overall price will be relative to a basic package with limited options. This will also mean you could probably negotiate for more flexibility when it comes to invoicing. Do not be afraid to ask for what you want in a package, technical support, and billing options. If you shop around and get competitive pricing perhaps you can use those prices to leverage a better deal from your medical answering vendor of choice.

Although purchasing an online virtual medical answering service may not be the largest expenditure your business will ever make but it could well be the most important one. This means you should not jump at the first service that impresses you. Watch the demonstrations and take advantage of the free trial offers, which are generally for 30 days each. DO NOT be afraid to say no if you are not satisfied after the trial ends. Make a call and try a different package.

Pay per call medical answering packages are probably a wise choice for after hours use because the number of after hour calls will in all likelihood be fewer than what you will receive during regular office hours. You can purchase a package with numerous features sufficient for after hours use and pay [depending on the vendor] $50.00 per month. This will include 50 calls, and if you average ten after hours calls a day for 20 days @ $1.00 per call, that’s $150.00 per month extra for paid calls with an excellent medical answering service package.

Flat fee monthly pricing is more cost effective if you are going to be using your virtual medical answering service more often throughout the regular workday. Regular hours use could include back up phone duties, reminder calls, sick days or vacation leave. Perhaps you would like to transfer one of your employees permanently to other more important office tasks, let the virtual answering service be your new office workhorse. An all-inclusive monthly flat fee on a premium package works for these scenarios.

Whatever your reasons for using your new virtual medical answering service, calculate the number of phone calls on average during the time you will be using the service the most and which options you are likely to use more frequently, and base your choice on these factors.

Virtual Medical Office Receptionist: Things to ponder before buying this service

February 25th, 2009


I have penned many articles about online appointment explaining its benefits and why every doctor in private practice should invest in it. At the risk of sounding repetitive it is important for me to point out that the services of online appointment are a big plus for any medical practice. There will be reduced pressure, patients will be more satisfied and will most likely visit your practice another time.

Best of all online appointments is having a speech-recognition capable virtual receptionist enable patient self-service appointment by phone. This modern service will help you reduce patient now-shows and generally reduce your operating costs. That said it is vital for me to point out also that not all remote receptionist services are good. So, how do you make sure that you get value for your money?

The Internet is awash with many types of virtual medical office receptionist service providers. However, not all are good or are suitable for your medical practice. It can be tricky for a potential buyer to choose the right service but the following tips should increase your chances of getting a good return for your investment.

Know what you need first

A virtual receptionist can do many things but you may not need all them. It is therefore important to have list of what you are looking for in a front desk receptionist service before committing to buy. What you need depends on the nature of your practice. If you have a problem with patient no-shows for instance, then you need a service that offers ‘call backs’ to remind patients of their forthcoming appointments.

Initial investment

Just like any other businessperson a medical practitioner should be savvy enough to know that tying huge sums of money by paying for services that will be used in the future is not a very good idea. The future is very uncertain and you don’t want a situation whereby the company offering you the service goes under with your one year’s service subscription! Whenever possible, pay in small amounts e.g. for a month’s service. If within that one month you’re not satisfied with what you are getting then you have the liberty of shopping elsewhere.

Operating costs

One of the biggest reasons why many doctors invest in a remote receptionist service is to increase their bottom line. If the service you are buying does not help you to reduce costs and therefore bolster profits especially during these challenging economic times then it makes no economic sense at all to invest in it. Don’t go for a service that requires installation of software or hardware. There are very good receptionist services that are solely based on the web. Go for those ones as you need not call a technician to fix them in your office because they are not working.

Benefits

The main goal of most businesses is to maximize profits. So, ask yourself what you stand to gain by investing in a given type of remote receptionist service. Other than the ability to provide ‘call back’ services, a good receptionist service should also act as a back up receptionist. This will enable your practice to handle pressure especially when there is an upsurge of patients with each needing attention. In addition, if the human receptionist is out for one reason or another the backup receptionist can ‘take over’. This would in turn prevent unnecessary losses in revenue due to customer dissatisfaction.

Thus, as you plan to give your practice a boost make sure you bear these few points in mind. You will end up with a better service at a lower cost and ultimately more returns.

Virtual Medical Office Receptionist: A Good Investment Now and In The Future

February 2nd, 2009

Medical professionals should be a happy lot especially due to the fact that health related practices and the education sector are some of the areas that have managed to remain steady even with the current economic tantrums. Despite the recession people still have to go to school and seek medical care. However, it is important to note that the recession has been so severe such that some people are even postponing visits to the doctor. That means that the profits are not as high as they used to be before the recession set in.

Due to this medical practitioners are devising ways of beating their competitors. They are doing major restructuring and changing the way they normally run their business. One way of doing this is to ensure that the overall customer satisfaction is looked into. Private medical practices are ensuring that the medical receptionist not only helps in retaining the usual clients but also attracts new ones. Unfortunately most health practitioners have realized that human receptionist can only do so much. When overstretched, the human receptionist caves in easily. A medical clinic receptionist can only take one phone call at a time, attend to one or two clients at a time and gets tired pretty fast. Human beings are also affected by their surrounding environment and the pressure that sometimes characterizes medical practices can sometimes take its toll on the medical office receptionist. This has made medical practitioners to invest in what is commonly referred to as a Virtual Medical Office Receptionist.

Unlike a human front desk receptionist a medical office assistant online will not get tired or sleepy on the job. It is an easy to install program that can complement the existing medical office staff and can do the necessary but otherwise repetitive and sometimes boring tasks. This program does not require any maintenance and will not complain or ask for a raise! A 24/7 backup receptionist as it is also known ensures that your office remains ‘open’ even after your normal office hours. It is capable of distinguishing between the important and less important calls and ensuring that the important ones get through to you in real time. This is a huge plus for your practice because patients will know you as a reliable medical practitioner and hence developing customer loyalty. In addition, such a health care receptionist will help your business cut the huge losses that are sometimes as a result of the patient no-shows.

Well, you may be saying to yourself, ‘that must cost a whole lot of money’. It all depends with what you want and the software provider. The market is awash with a lot of office automation software. However, before buying any kind of software ensure that you know exactly what you want. Once your ‘shopping list’ is ready then find the software that serves your purpose.  Get a program whose payment is done monthly so that you don’t tie up a lot of your money and the software is not delivering what you expected. Have some ‘exit route’ if a need to exit arises. With this information now you can buy the software that suits your practice well.

Give your medical practice a ‘facelift’ today by investing in a good back up receptionist.  It is a sure and cost effective way of not only beating this recession but also a worthwhile investment into the future!

Your Medical Front Desk Receptionist Is the Tip of the Spear

December 19th, 2008

Think about what your medical front desk receptionist does all day long and you will realize how critical this presumably straightforward staffing position really is. They are on the frontline of your medical practice and deal with the day-to-day, hour-to-hour and minute-to-minute needs of your callers. Every one of these callers believes their reason for calling is THE most important matter to be dealt with and front desk receptionists are often juggling two or three calls at once!

Separating incoming calls and in-office patients is a mind-bending burden for the health care receptionist especially if the practice is an established one. They must be courteous, relatively outgoing, and even friendly without losing their professional edge. Each patient expects to be treated with respect and given the time of day. If they have been going to the same medical practitioner for some time, chances are they know the medical front desk receptionist as well or even better than the doctor.

It is an understatement that the medical receptionist’s job is chaotic but many medical practices now institute online voice recognition software to lighten the load. Virtual medical receptionist software is the answer for a busy medical practice that wants to keep its professional edge yet maintain a personalized atmosphere within. Allowing your receptionist the luxury of turning on your remote receptionist service every once and a while will give them the freedom to catch their breath and focus on important in-office functions when things get hectic.

The busier your practice becomes, more tasks will inevitably fall on the shoulders of the front desk receptionist. If this employee becomes overwhelmed, having the virtual medical receptionist system as a backup will make them more productive. If staff training were taking place than having the back up receptionist available would be helpful during on the job training periods.

Training your medical front desk receptionist to take on more office challenges is normal for a growing practice so this backup receptionist capability will be a windfall. Being able to trust that your valuable patients are well cared for not only in the examination room but also in the reception area makes for satisfied patients. Having a virtual receptionist as back up for your employee will improve the office environment by ensuring in-house patients are treated personally. As a medical practitioner your focus is your patients’ health and worrying about office operations is simply unacceptable.

Building a medical practice is not easy and requires a plan of action starting with the medical front desk receptionist. They are representative of the kind of practice you are trying to achieve so streamlining their effort with a virtual medical receptionist as back up will increase efficiency. Medical visits are stressful and wait times can be long, so having a virtual medical front desk receptionist frees your staff to provide in person assistance. Your call-in patients will not suffer because of a busy waiting room either.

Back up receptionist duties are vital to any medical practice especially newer or growing practices since staffing levels are being tested constantly by an increasing workload. You could hire a part time receptionist but this will add to your expenses. Considering the use of a remote receptionist service as your medical practice grows and prospers would be a prudent measure.

Virtual Receptionist Easiest Hire You’ll Ever Make

December 19th, 2008

Hiring staff employees can be a time consuming burden on your organization or business practice. You need to place a newspaper ad or online advertisement and depending on the position like say, a medical receptionist, it could become costly. When you start fielding phone calls or sorting emailed resumes and snail mailed CV’s you soon realize the burden this all has on your time.

The hiring burden does not stop there. You or someone else on your staff will need to choose a number of reception desk candidates to then interview by phone and eventually, choosing three or four for an in-person interview. You could also call an employment service and they will charge you the first month’s salary or more to find your medical office receptionist candidate but you will still need to interview them. There is a lot of work involved in hiring someone and it is all so unnecessary.

Hire a virtual receptionist! You will be free of all of those hardworks!
A virtual receptionist is a 24/7 back up receptionist you can count on! For the time and money it would cost to hire even a part time or back up receptionist, a virtual receptionist can be ready to handle your front desk receptionist duties in a fraction of the time it would take to hire someone qualified. Your initial investment and set up will be minimal in comparison.

A virtual receptionist will save you money like you won’t believe. Automated voice recognition software never takes a vacation and you will not pay any benefits. You won’t need to worry about scheduling and paying extra hours for a part time versus full time employee. Human resource issues regarding payroll will be non-existent. It is not nearly as costly as it sounds to start using virtual receptionist software and it’s actually simple to learn and use.

With a virtual receptionist, you can avoid staffing issues like maternity leave. You will not experience the frustration of having to arrange for a long-term temporary front desk receptionist when your regular employee informs you of her “happy event”. There are no sick days with a virtual receptionist. So even last minute sick day calls mean a simple switch over to your virtual receptionist and you will not lose any valuable business.

You maintain professional control of all the functions of the virtual office assistant and can even have different languages available. You can program your virtual assistant to ask and answer questions callers may have and set up immediate paging for emergencies. Whenever you leave your office unexpectedly you can be assured your call in clients, patients or general inquiries are being looked after.

If you run a medical practice, dental office, chiropractor clinic, naturopath clinic, or any other form of out patient facility in the medical field the virtual office assistant will seem like it was created and engineered just for you. The virtual receptionist will fit right in to your practice…but you will still have to get your own coffee!

Dealing with seasonal demand with a virtual receptionist

December 16th, 2008


With the holiday season upon us, you may find that your medical or dental surgery is experiencing lager-than-usual custom, especially by phone. Whether it is someone calling in to say they won’t be making an appointment because of a festive duty, or the opposite, someone calling to make an appointment because of some winter-related injury, this time of year is often the busiest.

So rather than take on new staff, or risk your current reception desk becoming over-run, why not put your patients in the safe hands of a virtual receptionist.

In the same way that you can now order a pizza or check your bank balance by telephone, you can now offer your patients a 24/7 medical answering service and online appointment scheduling by employing a virtual receptionist.

A virtual receptionist can answer and log calls, make appointments, direct calls to the correct recipient and even telephone patients to remind them of their appointment.

Human error is known to be one of the biggest problems in improving productivity, efficiency and quality of service. You only need to look at the improvements we now enjoy thanks to inventions like cash machines, vending machines and self-service supermarket checkouts.

The same principle can now be applied to your medical reception desk.

Your current receptionist is only human, so can only handle one call at a time. That means that if you have an exceptionally busy day, some patients may not be able to get through to you.

These problems are a thing of the past with a virtual receptionist, which is able to handle any number of simultaneous calls, regardless of the call length or reason. No longer need you worry about missing out on calls due to telephone congestion, as all calls are handled simultaneously, with exceptional service and dependability.

Also gone from your practice will be the constant sound of ringing, unanswered phones from your medical front desk. Your staff, rather than being always glued to the receiver making appointments and attending to callers, the virtual receptionist will handle your patients’ every need, leaving your medical reception staff free to concentrate on patients who are actually in the building.

In addition to answering your calls, a virtual receptionist can contact your patients to remind them of appointments, in their own language and in a clear and informative manner. The automated receptionist also detects the difference between human voices and answering machines.

While a human receptionist is limited by the hours they work, the virtual receptionist will retry unanswered calls at different times of the day until they get through to your patient, and logs all calls, attempts and results with efficiency and accuracy.

A virtual receptionist also eliminates other potential pitfalls your patients may encounter, such as regional dialects and accents which can confuse both caller and operator, or human factors such as the receptionist having a cold, or a sore throat that may make them less intelligible.

IS THIS YOUR MEDICAL OFFICE RECEPTIONIST WANT AD?

December 7th, 2008

Wanted: Experienced medical office receptionist for busy local practice. The qualified candidate must be available 24 hours of the day, seven days a week. Vacation days are not offered. Sleep will not be tolerated. Requirements include perfect coordination of all medical appointment scheduling without error. All individually tailored patient information must be memorized and accessed at will. The successful candidate must be multi-lingual. Pay is less than competitive.

How many responses do you think you will get with a help wanted ad like this? Even in a down economy you will not be interviewing many medical receptionists. Of course, all clinics would love to have a medical front desk receptionist with all of these fantastic qualities, but it’s just not realistic, right? Wrong. A Virtual Medical Office Receptionist is all of these things and more.

Modern web-based doctor appointment scheduling services perform most of the mundane tasks needed to run a medical practice. Your new “medical receptionist” can be a virtual answering service that your patients will love since they are never left on hold again. Plus the natural dialogue is pleasant. When your clinic has a staffing crunch due to illness, vacations or turnover, your new Virtual Medical Office Receptionist is the back up answering system that covers the gap.

Acting as 24/7 medical reception, your automated answering service will field all calls assign them to emergency or non-emergency status. Patients calling urgently in the middle of the night are already stressed out. They either need access to you or someone that can help. They need to know that their physician will return their call or make sure they are helped. Remember that calls do not just come at 2 AM; they also come at 5:01 PM, just as your current medical receptionist is pulling out of the parking lot. You need to have an inviting, fail-proof answering service that can triage all of your calls.

Has your office calculated how much revenue is lost due to missed appointments? When appointments are missed, there tends to be a gap between making a new one. How many patients would have made their appointments if they had a reminder? Now, your patients can receive fully automated appointment reminder calls or emails. Reducing no-show appointments not only helps your bottom line, but also ensures patient continuity of care.

A virtual receptionist service organizes each patient’s information to identify preferences. With secure privacy restrictions in place, your patients’ preference for email or phone appointment reminders is stored. Whether they would rather call the office or use self-service patient appointment scheduling by phone or internet is noted. Plus, the best programs are multi-lingual and interact with patients in the language of their choice.

The perfect doctor office receptionist is available for immediate hire. You do not need to place an ad to find such an exceptional medical receptionist. Web-based medical scheduling programs can greatly improve your office’s efficiency. Place a want ad for a new medical technician instead. Sit back and witness the morale of your office staff soar as they are freed from redundant, monotonous tasks. Your patients will appreciate the smooth appointment scheduling, the friendly staff and the overall quality of care.

The ideal healthcare receptionist

December 2nd, 2008


The voices coming from your office front desk area are growing louder. A patient of yours is very upset about his appointment scheduling. The front desk girl is again failed her task that seems so simple – ANSWERING TELEPHONE.

To be fair, most front office receptionist are doing their best. Yet answering telephone involves more human factors than expected by all of us and can be a major source of patient discontent about your practice. Mistakes made when staff answering telephone are always seen as being unprofessional and could reflect poorly on your practice.

You can avoid this scene by finding the ideal health care receptionist. Easier said than done, right? Where will you find the ideal medical receptionist? Give a virtual medical office receptionist a try in your office. These services provide 24/7 medical reception that have an efficiency that can exceed the best live answering service.

You want nothing but positive testimonials from your patients; not only about your stellar diagnostic skills and bedside manner but also about your well run office. A virtual medical office receptionist provides self-service patient appointment scheduling that completely avoids the same-name fiasco. An automated telephone reminder feature helps your patients (the right patient!) keep their appointments. The best reminder services even offer multilingual appointment reminder capability.

An emergency after-hours doctor answering service is a must for any well run medical practice. Some virtual answering services can triage emergent calls from urgent from a plain old appointment request, and route the call directly to the appropriate contact number. Your patients get the immediate attention they need and will never have to listen to call-waiting music again. Plus the service that I use has a very natural voice dialog.

A recent survey discovered that a majority of online users look to for physicians that have integrated the internet into their practices. Your patients are expecting follow up emails after appointments and many more appreciate preventative care reminders.

One of the unfortunate consequences of managed care is the amount of time that patients are afforded during an appointment. Many patients forget to ask all the questions they have about their health care while with their physician. Medical answering service with email support can help bridge this informational gap.

As a dedicated physician who values personal relationships with your patients, you may feel apprehensive at the thought of virtual services. Keep in mind, your patients can actually experience a better automated answering service than your live answering service. Also, rest assured, web-based doctor appointment scheduling and other online services still protect patient privacy and security. Search for a HIPAA compliant virtual receptionist. Choose one that allows you or recognized office staff to set and reset access for each patient.

Medical office assistant online programs can complete many of the office tasks that are currently bogging down your medical staff. Many web-based doctor appointment services do not even require hardware installation and can be administered offsite. In fact, some simply require a subscription. That means that the ideal health care receptionist could be just a few clicks away.

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