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?
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Prepare for the Holidays with Medical Answering Services
With the holidays fast approaching, medical offices and healthcare providers may find themselves in need of a medical answering service. Doctors answering services provide invaluable help for medical staffs who are already overworked and stretched thin due to an influx of patients during the holiday season. An answering service for medical offices can help take some of the load off by providing 24/7 customer service, patient appointment scheduling, medical after-hours answering services and more. With the help of a HIPAA-compliant call center service provider, medical staff can rest assured that they are providing excellent patient care while also taking some of the stress off of their own shoulders over the holidays.
The 2022 holiday season presents unique challenges for health care providers.
Excessive Demand on Physicians & Pediatricians
Now more than ever, patients rely on their doctors for guidance and treatment throughout this winter. We all know that pediatricians and physicians are getting slammed with calls and appointments because of an extremely active flu and RSV season, plus regional COVID surges. Yet, 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.
During the holiday season, medical offices often experience an increase in demand from patients. Plus, parties and get-togethers leading up to the holidays are only expected to make things worse for physicians and pediatricians, as they speed the spread of influenza, RSV, and COVID. All of this means more calls to handle.
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.
To make matters worse, medical office staff often experience shortages due to vacation plans and illnesses.
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.
An answering service for medical offices can relieve stress from medical staff by taking some of the load off their shoulders. This will give medical staff the chance to take care of more important tasks, such as patient care, instead of having to worry about answer calls and scheduling appointments.
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 and appointment scheduling is accessible whenever patients need it. Knowing that their calls will be answered 24/7 provides a great deal of comfort for them. With a medical answering service in place, patients can rest assured that they will always be able to get the help they need, even during off-hours.
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. Combining telehealth with a dedicated answering service for medical offices helps medical staff quickly relay information and provide timely care to patients.
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. Call center agents are able to quickly and easily adjust patient’s appointments or make changes when needed, helping medical offices maintain a steady flow of patients during the holiday season.
5. Renewed Focus on What Matters the Most
The real value of outsourcing call management comes from the time freed up. With the help of medical answering services, medical staff can focus on providing excellent patient care without having to worry about answering phones or scheduling appointments. 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
Medical offices will be able to provide seamless, round-the-clock customer service with the help of medical answering services over the holidays. Overall, medical answering services are an invaluable resource for healthcare providers looking to provide excellent patient care over the holiday season.
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.