Now is the time to get your practice set up with a medical answering service to ensure seamless accessibility for your patients over the holiday. It doesn’t take long to get familiarized call answering agents with your preferred protocol or complete EMR integration, but it’s not something you want to worry about during the pre-holiday rush.
Things are already crazy these days for health care professionals, and before the holidays is always a busy time for offices. And the advantages of outsourcing call handling are especially valuable during this hectic season, that’s just around the corner.
So, why not get your practice set up with a medical answering service to ensure seamless accessibility for your patients over the holiday?
Medical Answering Service Outsourcing for the 2021 Holiday
The 2021 holiday season presents unique challenges for health care providers.
Excessive Demand on Physicians
Now more than ever, patients rely on their doctors for guidance and treatment throughout this winter. Plus, patients still need to make and change appointments, request prescription refills, and ask their physician questions even during this season. It’s understandable your practice wants to be available and able to support patients even while the staff is on vacation.
High Stress for Pediatricians
Pediatric practices were already stretched thin. When daycares and schools reopened this spring, children were suddenly exposed again to all the regular cold and flu viruses that usually circulate. Plus, parents were eager to get back up to date on checkups and vaccines. Then, the Delta variant wave inundated pediatricians with a greater need for testing. And now, pediatricians are being slammed by calls to schedule COVID vaccines for children now that they have been approved.
Not only are we in the midst of an ongoing pandemic, but experts are bracing for expected holiday surges of both COVID-19 and the seasonal flu.
This year presents other special difficulties for continuity at physician practices. Industries, including healthcare, have been struggling with a critical labor shortage for months and we have yet to see signs of it easing. Nurses and medical staff, in particular, have been leaving their jobs due to burnout and fatigue. This has left many staffers juggling more than their fair share of shifts and work. At many practices, answering the phone has become a forgotten priority.
Need for a Break
Everyone in healthcare these days really needs a break to relax and recharge. From admin staff to doctors, stress and fatigue are at an all-time high and many are looking forward to vacation time over the holidays. This will also be the first opportunity in two years for many to travel and reunite with their families. This much-deserved break is going to be difficult to manage without help this season.
The Solution to Common Challenges During the Holidays
What kind of issues can a reliable medical answering service help your practice avoid?
- Inconsistent accessibility for patients because of special holiday hours or the office closing early.
- Handling overflow calls during busy business hours on the days before and after the holidays.
- Triaging calls, call forwarding, and taking messages while staff is reduced or the clinic is closed.
- Expensive staffing costs over the holidays.
- Missing important messages.
- Letting messages pile up and returning calls becomes overwhelming.
- Mishandling emergency calls.
- Doctors and staff missing out on special time with their families and loved ones.
- Staffing difficulty because of illness, shortages, burnout, and vacation time.
Seasonal Medical Answering Service Benefits
Answering services for medical offices is designed to support practices and help them to guarantee continuity during this busy holiday season. Even while the office is closed, patients will be able to get the help they need.
1. Relief for Office Staff
By working with a medical answering service, receptionists and administrative workers are supported in the busy days before and after holiday closures. Plus, your practice can provide full-time staff with much-needed paid time off for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s festivities. Phone answering agents follow each practices’ protocol for emergency calls and call forwarding in order to respect the time of on-call doctors while they celebrate with family. These perks are crucial when it comes to employee retention.
2. Round-the-Clock Support for Patients
The holidays are always a difficult time for patients. Medical issues don’t take a break just because their doctor’s office is closed. And a doctor’s responsibility isn’t put on pause for the season either. On-call, after-hours answering services for medical offices make sure that support is accessible whenever patients need it. Knowing that their calls will be answered 24/7 provides a great deal of comfort for them.
3. Quick Relay for Telehealth
Many offices have been virtually visiting patients via telemedicine since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, and this trend is likely to continue through the holiday season. Medical answering services have proved to be an agile way to connect patients to physicians for scheduled telehealth appointments or for urgent care. Even if patients and doctors are traveling over the holidays, call agents can quickly connect them through your practice’s preferred telemedicine platform.
4. Seamless Scheduling and Appointment Changes
With frequent scheduling changes, for staff and patients, this can be a chaotic time for keeping track of appointments. That’s why medical answering services use EMR integration. It ensures that schedules stay clear and are synched whether an appointment is made, canceled, or changed by in-office staff or call agents.
5. Renewed Focus on What Matters the Most
The real value of outsourcing call management comes from the time freed up. When relieved from the need to handle high call volume, answering routine patient questions, and scheduling appointments, you and your staff have more time to dedicate to more important things. Whether that’s developing strategies for running your practice more efficiently or spending more time with patients, you will benefit from a greater focus on what matters.
Getting Started with Seasonal Doctor’s Answering Service
Don’t wait for the holiday rush to arrive. Get set up now with a dedicated 24-hour call center that can support your patients 365 days a year. Contact PatientCalls today.