The most common reason a doctor leaves their answering service is because too many mistakes are being made after hours. Two questions need to be answered that will help avoid mistakes. First, What do you want your answering service to provide? And second, What kind of service does the doctor require? The best place to start answering these questions is by putting your doctors needs in writing. The first benefit of this step is that it clearly defines your expectations of your after hour service. This will give them a chance to review if they have the staff and tools needed to perform to your expectations. Secondly, this will verify that there are no contradictions in the instructions. It is not uncommon for each doctor to have different rules for handling calls after hours. Additionally, with multiple ways of communicating messages, it is easily understood why a receptionist at the answering service could make a mistake. The more clear these instructions are, the fewer the errors that will be made.
Certainly cost is always a concern with all the changes going on in the medical community today. Good answering services will work within your budget and help you find a solution that works without sacrificing quality. Pricing answering services is like shopping for cars: You would never consider blindly calling a auto dealership saying, “I need a price for a new car.” You would get many different prices depending on the features you were looking for and the dealership you were shopping.
A doctor’s answering service is representing the medical practice after hours. If it is done right, the doctor will build a relationship with the service, much like they do with other employees. When that happens you will know you found the right answering service for the job.