Lessen Healthcare Frustrations
By Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD
Talk to just about anyone today about healthcare and they’ll voice frustrations.
Providers are frustrated that they’re hampered from giving the best care to patients. Patients are frustrated with the complexities of navigating the healthcare system and receiving the care they want.
They especially balk at automation that seeks to save costs but does so at the expense a personal interaction and what patients want.
All, however, is not lost. The venerable medical answering service can help alleviate this frustration and increase patient satisfaction in ways that have been proven over time.
Medical answering services operate 24/7. They never close. This means they provide a round-the-clock telephone coverage. This includes daytime and evenings; weekdays and weekends; and even holidays.
Given this, when patients have a healthcare concern, they can talk to a real person anytime of the day or night. This produces patient satisfaction.
People listen. Technology can’t—not really.
People can ease frustrations. Technology causes angst more often than not.
Another thing people can do that technology can’t is to offer empathy. When we’re hurting, we want to be heard. A little bit of empathy goes a long way when we’re not feeling well or have a healthcare concern.
Though technology has the potential to mimic empathy, it usually comes across as disingenuous. But this is where people shine. The medical answering service—staffed by real people—excels at offering empathy and being sympathetic to the plight of patients when they call.
Medical answering services can do more than process phone calls. They can also help address certain patient requests.
Consider, for example, appointments. When the medical answering service is connected to a doctor’s appointment system, they can set appointments, change appointments, and reschedule appointments.
This serves patients better and saves the practice’s office from dealing with scheduling issues.
Don’t dismiss the respected medical answering service in a misguided effort to save money. Embrace them as a tool to help your practice shine and help increase patient satisfaction and reduced their frustrations.
Read more in Peter Lyle DeHaan’s Healthcare Call Center Essentials, available in hardcover, paperback, and e-book.
Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is the publisher and editor-in-chief of AnswerStat and Medical Call Center News covering the healthcare call center industry. Read his latest book, Sticky Customer Service.