Your time as a medical practice manager is precious. You want - and need - to be spending your effort making life better for your staff, your providers, and your patients. Your daily goal is to smooth the way towards better medical care and increasing the profitability of your practice. So if your goal is to move forward, why live in the technological past?
Medical answering services are outdated. Are we here at BeckonCall biased to think that? Sure. But that doesn’t make us wrong. The old model of answering services is for medical practice managers to fill out on-call schedules by hand, then fax them over to the service provider. That’s awkward enough, but any last-minute changes must be made the same way. The answering service then reviews the calendar and sets up the schedule in their system, adding steps where mistakes can be introduced. Mistakes such as paging the wrong physician when a nurse calls in, something that happens once every seven calls. It can also take up to 30 minutes for the call center to route the message to the on-call physician, delaying care. Then, when a message is relayed, it has been interpreted and consolidated by the call center agent. As a result, mistakes in the actual message content - vital medical information - may occur. Finally, there are often limits and pricing tiers imposed by answering services when it comes to monthly call volume, 24/7 service, languages, and support.
It is likely that nothing in the above two paragraphs are anything new to you or your fellow practice managers. It’s common knowledge that traditional answering services have numerous drawbacks, although some of those can be mitigated (often through higher fees). Now, however, you don’t need to mitigate problems or patch together sub-optimal services. Mobile technology has led to a significant shift in the way medical practices can handle their call systems, representing a shift from fax machines to smartphones, from answering services to on-call management platforms.
We have compiled seven numbers* to pay attention to as you review your existing medical answering service. If you find your current account numbers looking more like those on the left, but wishing they were closer to those on the right, it might be time to consider switching from an outdated medical answering service to a streamlined, non-outsourced on-call management platform.
*These numbers represent averages collected by BeckonCall through industry research and non-scientific surveys
Topics: Practice Profitability