Recently it seems that every type of medical professional is looking for ways to make their practice more efficient and reduce overhead costs. Looking forward to the coming months, this need for healthcare practitioners to trim down and run more efficiently is likely to last longer than we’d like.
Hiring a call answering service can help your optometry practice to save money, now when it matters most, and it provides some other valuable advantages.
Why Invest in an Answering Service for Your Optometrist Office
Outsourcing call answering services for an optometrist office offers more than just patient call handling. There is a full range of services designed to make your office operate at peak efficiency.
- Pre-screening – Agents are trained in teletriage best practices and can save your staff a ton of time by handling the required pre-screening for COVID-19 symptoms before a scheduled eye exam.
- Virtual receptionist – Call agents augment your current staff, working together to handle office tasks in the most efficient way.
- Appointment scheduling – Through EMR integration, our call medical center agents are able to send reminders, as well as cancel, change, and schedule new appointments, updating your existing calendar program in real-time.
- Emergency coverage – Our call center is active all day, every day and agents understand how to triage patients, forward calls to doctors on-call, and send emergency notifications according to your preferences. This is beneficial for an optometrist because he or she can be available even during after-hours, while safeguarding precious free time from unnecessary interruptions.
- Overflow call management – answering services automatically pick up incoming calls whenever your staff is unavailable or busy with other tasks. Whether they’re calling in a referral, performing an eye exam, adjusting lenses and fitting glasses, or just out of the office, incoming calls are always answered professionally and relayed to your office in a timely manner.
Advantages of Medical Answering Service Providers for Optometry
Why is a medical answering service a smart solution for your office? There are a number of reasons to keep in mind.
Unfortunately, optometrists and ophthalmologists are no exception to the current economic challenges that are affecting healthcare providers. During the period when eye doctors could only see patients for emergency appointments, annual checkups were postponed. As a result, many are currently looking for ways to provide the same great quality care as they did pre-COVID, while dealing with more restrictions and less elective procedures.
According to the American Optometric Association (AOA), with the proper safety precautions in place, it is now safe for patients to have regular eye exams and non-emergency procedures. Yet, many patients are concerned about the risk. This is affecting the volume of patients coming into optometrists’ and ophthalmologists’ offices.
Medical answering services are a cost-cutting solution that is gaining popularity during this pandemic. It helps professionals decrease their reliance on in-house staff to handle incoming calls during regular business hours. It also alleviates the need to pay overtime or hire extra receptionists to manage the phones during evenings, weekends, and holidays. Outsourcing these tasks makes it possible to gain 24/7 call answering while only paying for the actual call volume.
Improve Patient Care
Optometrists’ offices like yours are constantly struggling to find a balance between patient care and expenses, often going back and forth. When you try to provide better patient care, you’re spending a lot more on extra staff; but when you try to reduce those costs, you seem to spend a lot of time handling your own calls, which ultimately gives you less time to treat patients.
There is a third option: an answering service for optometrists. It gives your staff the extra help needed so that you can focus more on patient care. Plus, because the service providers offer 24/7 coverage, you can be sure that concerned patients are able to reach your office when they need it most.
Boost Patient Ratings & Reviews
Professional certifications and accreditations are the only things that matter in the field of optometry anymore. Nowadays, specialized doctors must compete with others through online reviews and patient rating platforms. Potential new patients are often relying on the opinions of other patients to decide which office to visit, instead of quantifiable information. So, patient satisfaction is an important business consideration.
Your office can boost reviews by ensuring that their calls are answered promptly and that they are not kept waiting on the line for long periods. Patients appreciate after-hours availability, and not needing to deal with endless digit prompts, hold times, busy signals, or voicemail communications. Then, when calls are being handled, in-office staff also has more time and attention to dedicate to patients in person, decreasing their wait-time as well.
Increase Optometrist Office Efficiency
There’s no extra work on your part since the third-party answering service will simply take the message and then relay it to you. There’s no extra burden by having this calling service in place and it greatly reduces the amount of time that doctors and receptionists spend on the line. And there’s no need to worry about employees’ being late or calling off for the day.
Patient information and appointments are handled seamlessly through EMR integration and in accordance with HIPAA security standards, while admin staff is able to focus on more valuable tasks. Plus, convenient scheduling reminders help decrease the number of costly no-shows and missed appointments.
No Need to Give Patients Your Personal Number
Some optometry practices have an answering service that leaves the doctor’s personal information for emergencies. With a comprehensive third-party answering service, you don’t have to make your personal information and number available to patients. When necessary, the answering service will contact you with details on patients when they call.
Our Call Answering Options for Optometrist Offices
We have been a leader in the medical answering service field for over 20 years. We provide answering services with top-rated quality and expertise. Our services help medical professionals in need of optimizing their organizations’ time and communications.