If you are a dental professional or work in the medical or dental industry, you understand the importance of having a reliable and trusted medical answering service team. The people that are hired to answer your patient lines are entrusted with the well being of your dental practice or facility. In this article, we want to help you find qualified medical answering services that will help streamline your internal policies and procedures.
Is the Medical Answering Service HIPAA Compliant?
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) requires all doctors’ offices, hospitals, hospices, dental facilities and various other healthcare organizations to obey certain rules concerning their patient care. As you also know, any third parties or vendors working on behalf of your facility and handling patient health information (PHI) or the patients’ personal health records are also required to be HIPAA compliant.
You have a responsibility finding a medical telephone answering service that is HIPAA compliant and understands certain health insurance confidentiality laws. We suggest asking all of the medical answering services you are interviewing, these straight-forward questions.
- Is your answering service current in its compliance with all HIPAA requirements?
- Are your agents trained specifically to answer, dispatch and field medical industry calls?
- How long have you been answering medical calls and assisting with patient care services?
- What are your message delivery service encryption and password protection options?
- Can you explain the details of how medical industry calls, messages and data are stored and destroyed?
- Will your medical answering service sign a separate non-disclosure or confidentiality agreement?
- Has your answering service won any customer service awards or accolades in the telecommunications industry?
Advised, Available and Alert 24/7 Medical Answering Service
When researching various websites to find the very best answering service for your dental office, make sure they are available 24 hours a day. Make sure your potential medical answering service providers has the three A’s.
- Advised. You need an answering service that has the access, technology and training capabilities to customize the specifics of how your dental facility lines are to be answered. You need a professional and experienced team that can make changes to your accounts often and accurately.
- Availability. It is very important that your patients have 24-hour access to your dental facility through medical telephone messaging and dispatching options. Your medical telephone answering service must, more importantly, be available to your dentists, hygienists and on-site dental staff 24 hours a day as well. When you call and say, “Jump” your answering service should answer and ask, “How high?”
- Alert. Handling, dispatching and prioritizing medical calls can be a life and death situation and you need a support team that is not only alert 24 hours a day, but is also trained on how to handle certain situations that may arise. Being alert also translates into being accurate. A medical receptionist must confirm all information and pay very close attention to detail to avoid any miscommunication.
Compassion, Empathy and Patience Tips the Scale
When it comes to hiring the best answering service for your dental office or facility, you really need to look into the overall customer service culture of the companies being considered. If you have found several virtual medical receptionist teams that will provide the three A’s above, the clear winner will be the answering service that places patient service and satisfaction as a top priority. This answering service will act as an extension of your office, so you want them to treat your customers in the same way you do. To be a good receptionist, you have to be a great listener. And to be a good person for the job, you have to be a great empathizer. You want a call service that trains their staff to do just this, be empathetic, professional and compassionate.
One of these answering services that we highly recommend is A Courteous Communications. They have been answering medical phone lines for over 30 years and are truly the best is the business. They train their medical receptionists based on the specific needs of your practice and a huge portion of this training is based on compassion and empathy for callers. By hiring a medical answering service like A Courteous Communications you can rest assured knowing that they will provide your practice with the three A’s 24/7.
Being in the dental industry you know all to well that customer service is critical. For some patients, a trip to the dentist can be a dreadful experience. Rely on a trusted medical answering service to treat your patients with a personalized and pleasant experience from their very first call. Did you know that 67% of callers will hang up the phone if they are directed to voicemail or can’t speak to a live receptionist? Why risk becoming part of this statistic and losing out on potential clients for something as little as not having adequate phone help. By choosing the right medical answering service for your practice you are already one step ahead of the competition. Use our questions and guidelines to help find the right call center for your office and we promise you will never have to worry about phone support or customer service again.