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Patient engagement knowledge hub

See how the right patient engagement tools and techniques can help improve both clinical and financial results.

Live answering services

Practices and health systems that utilize live answering services, including live operators or after hours answering services, offer an expanded level of communication to patients that can improve schedule density, office efficiency, and patient payment collections

Handling your phone calls

Today, patients expect immediate access to their medical practice, including the convenience of after-hours contact with a live operator rather than an answering machine. During standard practices hours, live answering services can handle overflow calls during peak times—when patients may normally be on-hold for long periods of time—and can re-route specific types of calls that may immediately require a practice staff member.

When the practice is closed, live after hours answering services provide additional convenience to patients (who may simply need to reschedule an appointment, for instance) and a greater opportunity for practices to keep patients satisfied and schedules filled.

Overall, with live answering services patients get convenient, intelligent operator phone access to their practice and an improved speed-of-response, while staff members are relieved of a phone burden that can require handling hundreds, or even thousands, of calls a day.

Choosing the right services

What’s the best way to select the right live answering services for your organization? One recommendation is to choose services that share the same practice management and medical billing program that its practices use, with all participants accessing the same, updated, single instance of online records and scheduling.

By using this cloud-based model, both live answering services operators and practice staff have immediate, live, and secure online access to the same patient information. When patient information is updated or confirmed, operators and staff can see it in real time.

Contributing to practice performance

Using live answering services and after hours answering services can benefit a practice’s bottom line, as well, helping to reduce a practice’s no-show rate and fill appointment slots ahead of time. Operators use practice-defined call protocols when answering patient calls any time of day, to set appointments and reschedule, if necessary.

And live answering services can also support self-pay collection campaigns, with operators accepting patient payment by phone, and helping any patients who would like to pay their bill, but may have “bounced out” of an automated pay-by-phone service.

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