Archive for the tag 'Medical Receptionist'

Virtual Receptionist and Appointment Reminder Software: How It Has Helped Medical Practices Through This Recession

January 29th, 2009


After the inauguration of Barrack Obama as the 44th president of the USA, Americans and indeed the whole world has shown renewed optimism and many believe that the new administration will bring some tangible change. The economy is still struggling and massive layoffs continue to hit our headlines. Businesses are looking for ways of remaining afloat. 

One method businesses are using to enhance their survival is through cutting costs by reducing the number of staff requiring insurance cover and other benefits. Apart from downsizing, automation is the other way of cutting costs. Since the deleterious effects of the global economic downturn have affected all manner of businesses medical practices also have had to find ways of surviving. An example is investing in a virtual receptionist.

A medical receptionist has come in handy to help the practices retain and attract new clients. With the services of a medical office front office receptionist patients can call any time of day or night and book an appointment. In addition, they do not have to wait for long for their call to go through. In case of an emergency they can reach the right person without any delays. This endears them to the practice and thus increasing referrals. The number of patient no-shows has declined as the appointment reminder sends reminders to patients with appointments well before the appointment day.

Customer satisfaction more than ever before has become a major ingredient for the success of any business. Use of the virtual answering service has freed the hands of the staff working at medical practices enabling them to dedicate more time to more important tasks like medical billing and ensuring that clients are well served. This has been possible because the mundane tasks can now be done very effectively by the medical office receptionist. This is a sure way of beating the competition that is being witnessed currently in the business world as every body tries to prevent their businesses from going under. It is a sure way of ‘killing’ the proverbial two birds with one stone. Ensuring customer satisfaction while not necessarily hiring more staff and hence spending less in the long run.

As we look forward to a better economy (hoping it happens soon) in the coming days especially with the new economic rescue package by the Obama administration it pays to ensure that your business does not ‘die out’ completely. Use all means possible to ‘hibernate’ your medical practice until when better days come. Automation wherever possible is a sure way of doing that. It will help you cut operating costs to their bare minimum and hence increasing your bottom line. This could be the reason why the neighboring medical practice seems not to be suffering from the effects of the financial slump.

Give your practice all that important new lease of life and see it pull through the recession. It could make the difference between life and death. This cost effective solution will bring you the turn around you have been looking for all along.  Invest in appointment reminder software today and enjoy the benefits!

A Simple Way of Running a Successful Medical Practice during This Recession

January 10th, 2009


‘Money is the root cause of all evil.’ Being flat broke should then be better, right? Well, don’t answer because I already have the answer to that. As the world painstakingly goes through the paces with a pulse whose strings gets tighter every day the outcry is almost everywhere. The number of people being laid off has reached some of its highest levels in recent times. Talk about foreclosures and that sends a shiver down the spines of many. It is not only here in the US but even on the sandy beaches of Seychelles, Mauritius and the Kenyan coast; people know there is something wrong with the economy.

Unfortunately almost all the sectors are affected; from the ones offering basic commodities to the luxurious services sectors. The medical profession also has had a fair share of its woes. People making appointments are on the decline as more people try to postpone or put off completely that appointment with the doctor that does not seem so necessary. For others the appointment is very necessary but the worries that characterize many lives today make them forget this important meeting with their doctor.

Sounds strange? Well, it should not as it has been shown through research that when you are worrying about something a lot you may forget some other important matters. People need a reminder service especially when many pressing matters are going through their minds.

As a doctor you may have noted that you are losing a lot of revenue from patient no-shows. Don’t watch as you business goes under especially when you know that your patient could be missing appointments out of forgetfulness. Invest in a reminder software or telephone reminder service. With this you can help both your practice and your patients.

You can even get a multilingual appointment reminder to cater for all your patients. Less will miss their appointments out of forgetfulness as they worry about other pressing matters.

Online appointment reminder software does not requires installation on your computer and it sends reminders automatically to all the patients that have an appointment with you at a certain date. The reminder software works in such away that the patient is well informed in good time that there is an upcoming appointment with the doctor. It helps the patient schedule things well in advance to avoid last minute rush. As the day nears the patient will still be reminded of the nearing appointment.

Your live receptionist can (although it is not necessary) physically call the patient to remind him of an appointment when it is due in a few hours, say under 24 hours. By doing this your staff will be freed from repetitive and sometimes boring duties. The phone reminder will do that as your staff engages in other more important matters that the soft ware can not carry out. Thus ensuring a more efficient practice and more satisfied patients!

Take advantage of this excellent reminder software today. See your practice maneuver through these difficult times but ensuring you reduce on the number of patients who don’t show up. Let the patient appointment reminder remind your clients to do business with you! Who would not want such kind of staff?

Good First Impressions

January 2nd, 2009

Shhhhh, the sound of static as you attempt to connect to the number you have just dialed. After a long wait there is the annoying tone of a busy line. You put down the receiver and try again. Shhhhhh, the sound of static once again as you wait for the connection to be made. Ring, ring, ring, finally you have managed to get through. “Hello,” says a pleasant voice on the other side of the line. “Hello, Dr. ……’s office, please hold.” La la la la ding la, the sound of music to keep you entertained as wait to be attended to.

Many patients seeking to arrange appointments with their physicians undergo similar experiences. Medical practices are normally very busy places. As an increased number of people discover the importance of keeping track of their health, the traffic to medical practices continues to grow steadily. Many people in today’s society recognize the importance of regular check ups for themselves as well as their families. This means booming business for your practice. It also means that your staff may be stretched in order to deliver the right services to your patients.

The telephone is usually the first contact a patient has with a medical practice. Many patients judge your medical practice based on how they were handled when they called to make an appointment. People like to feel appreciated and important. If your practice has a constant flow of patients, your staff maybe unable to keep track of patients waiting in the lobby as well as the constantly ringing phone. The pressures of the job may even get to them to the point that they may not attend to the patients and callers as well as they are supposed to.

So what can you do about this? Hire a virtual medical office receptionist.

With the services of a virtual medical receptionist at your disposal, you can be sure that your callers will receive the best service available. Your patients will no longer get a busy tone when they call you. They will also not be put on hold as the receptionist attends to another client. Patients will receive full attention from the pleasant sounding 24/7 back up receptionist as they set appointments for visits at the practice. All the patient has to do is give an appropriate date and time for their visit and have it confirmed by the remote receptionist service.

A doctor office receptionist works 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. Patients can make appointments any time of the day or night and even when your practice is closed or when there is no one available to attend to the phone. Patients can call to make appointments anytime with the confidence of being attended to.

Virtual medical office receptionists not only schedule appointments, they also remind patients of their appointments. The virtual receptionist makes phone calls to patients with upcoming appointments to remind them.

First impressions account for a lot in a medical practice. It is important to make a good impression on your patients when they make their first contact with your practice over the phone as they book their appointments. Medical office assistants can help you increase the traffic to your medical practice as well as repeat visits because your callers will receive the attention they require from your receptionist. With a doctor office receptionist working for you, you will no longer receive complaints from disgruntled callers.

A New Era in Medical practice

December 20th, 2008

Everywhere that I can think of technology has entered every aspect of our lives. The way we watch television has changed with the advent of TIVO, the way we drive is different now that GPS devices are readily available. Our phones are now like pocket computers and the games that our children and grandchildren now play are so far advanced compared to the Atari systems that we clamored for. How do you envision incorporating technology into your medical practice management in the New Year?

We know that technology in a medical practice equals more efficiency and better productivity. Look at how incorporation of electronic medical records can change the way a practice operates, both big and small. Perhaps you are thinking that you do not have enough money to invest in an EMR, or you do have an EMR and don’t see the need to incorporate any other process flow changes into your practice. Let me tell you about some other medical practice management tools that can be a tremendous resource and asset and can easily be incorporated into your practice.

Virtual Receptionist

Initially this concept sounded so out of synch with how I envision a medical receptionist. My first impression of a great medical receptionist is one who remembers patients’ names and shows up on time to open the office and greet each one with a smile. This person would also require little on the job training and orientation. And most importantly, they would be efficient at what they do and be able to multitask and jump in where needed. However, the more I thought though of what my actual experiences are with medical receptionists I realized that I am used to high turnover in this position and lower job satisfaction whether it’s due to being overwhelmed, receiving little pay, or dealing with sick and sometimes difficult patients. A virtual receptionist is a cost effective way to consistently have high standards of care delivered. What it cannot provide in face to face interaction, is certainly made up in its efficiency and ability to be a value add to any practice.

Automated On-Call System

A virtual on-call system really sells itself. Imagine not being bothered at various times of the evening or night because you were incorrectly contacted by your on-call service? Think about the struggles you sometimes face with finding a service that is affordable and has the ability to triage urgent from non-urgent calls and transmit names, numbers and chief complaints accurately. An automated system does all of this for you in addition to scheduling appointments for those complaints that are not urgent. This has tremendous benefits for the front office staff of a practice.

Automated Patient Reminder System

Another concept that I immediately took to was the idea of an automated patient reminder system. This system can call patients and remind them of an upcoming appointment. Incorporating the process of visit reminders into your practice can cut down on no-show rates and frees your front office staff up to do other more importantly things. All of this at a fraction of the cost that you would expect given the return in value.

For some of us including me, getting pulled into this new technologic era has come with some hesitancy and reluctance. But, the more that I explore and find out how these cost effective advances can be combined with medical practice efficiencies that increase a bottom line and also contribute to good patient care then I am more of a believer.

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.

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