By Mike Haynes, medical advisor and freelance writer.
Doctors answering service may seem like an outdated service, yet they are just as important today as they were years back when they had just begun. The feel of a personal caregiver anytime, cannot be easily replaced by chat-bots or virtual robotic voices. Consider the following benefits and the answer will be clear.
Round the clock attention
All have different schedules and would feel comfortable calling at different times. This service offers the flexibility that fits into the patient’s schedule. This way, the doctor is always there for them, when the patients really need.
Better patient communication
Patients may think of a question after the visit to the doctor and the answering service gives them the opportunity to have it answered quickly; for example, if they forget the dosage for a particular drug.
When a patient knows they can get some kind of attention even without an appointment, they are more satisfied with the service being offered. Patients will feel and realize they are a priority and can speak to a real person who understands their concerns and gives more than generic responses.
Many patients tend to forget date or time for their next appointment or even when to take medication. With the physician answering service, patients can receive reminders about scheduled appointments or any other medical reminder that needs to be passed on. The reminders could be in the form of a phone call, an email or a text message, depending on what is convenient for the patient.
Closer relationship with the practice
Being able to call whenever you need help is a good way to improve the doctor-patient relationship. The more times a patient interacts with the medical practice, the closer they will feel and they are more likely to trust the doctors as well as provide real information about how they feel. In the long run, this is good for the patients well being and for the doctor.
If patients can call at any time, there is always the likelihood that they can get an appointment outside of the usual scheduled time. If for example, a patient calls just when someone has canceled their appointment, it is easier to fix them in at that time if they may have a pressing issue to be attended to.
Patients can make mental ratings of services
Although most patients do not take the time to write reviews about medical services, they do form a perception of the service. When you have a doctor answering service, the patient is more likely to make a mental 5-star rating of your service based on the attention they receive. This makes them more comfortable with the service and improves your public opinion, one patient at a time.
More time spent on patients
Sometimes the scheduled appointment may be rushed as there are other patients waiting to be attended to. With the answering service, however, the patient can call a number of times and receive as much attention as needed to address a particular problem. The patient may even feel more comfortable speaking from home as opposed to being in the clinic or hospital.
Better service provision
Doctor answering services also help to provide feedback from the patients and this feedback can lead to better service provision. Patients can also give feedback on side effects of medication which will help other patients receiving the same medication.
Help is a phone call away
Patients do not have to travel all the way to the medical center whenever they have a concern. A phone call can be enough to determine if the tingling feeling in the feet is a cause to worry or something they can walk off. This service can actually save a life. Having a doctor answering service is a benefit to both the patient and the medical facility. It is advisable that every doctor considers having one.