The Benefits of a HIPAA-Compliant Medical Answering Service

Doctors and Physicians have a heavy workload. With millions of visits to a physicians’ office every year, they need to be as efficient as possible with patient communication and all aspects of their practice. A doctor’s answering service not only can streamline patient communication and improve patient satisfaction, but it can also provide key medical answering services to maximize your healthcare organization’s efficiencies.

Medical professionals need to be as efficient as possible from simple patient checkups and routine exams to complex health situations, especially when communicating with patients and vendors.

One of the best things that doctors and physicians can do to improve patient care is to enlist the support of a doctor answering service. By doing so, they can have a team of HIPAA-certified call agents answering their calls and assisting them with streamlining appointment scheduling and improving overall patient satisfaction.

Doctor Answering Service Solutions

There are so many ways a doctor answering service can assist medical practitioners and hospital facilities. At a macro level, a doctor answering service is a hybrid of a traditional medical answering service.

Each practice and medical service is different and usually highly specialized. Through customized scripting solutions, a doctor answering services can support a wide variety of medical disciplines and support patients’ and doctors’ specific needs.

Some of the key benefits of hiring a doctor answering service include:

  1. Reduction in labor costs
  2. Ensures HIPAA and HITECH compliance
  3. Increased patient satisfaction
  4. Reduced hold times
  5. Live call agents available for every call
  6. 24/7 availability
  7. Appointment scheduling and reminders

Below, we list some of the most common features found in a doctor answering service and the details involved in each.

24/7 HIPAA Compliant Answering Services

As we said above, a HIPAA compliant answering service is essential for every medical professional. With a HIPAA-compliant answering service, hospitals and doctor offices can ensure that callers receive the care they need while also protecting Patient Health Information (PHI).

Adhering to HIPAA regulations is a significant priority for the medical industry, both legally and ethically. Therefore, a HIPAA compliant answering service is a “need to have vs. a nice to have” service for medical clients.

At AnswerPro, we have taken extra measures to go above and beyond to secure Protected Health Information (PHI). Our team of call agents is HIPAA certified by our industry’s governing entity, the Association of TeleServices International, and recertified annually. This certification process assists us with being a compliant business associate and an extension of your medical practice.

It’s important to mention that AnswerPro is fully compliant with HIPAA Standards for Privacy, Electronic Transactions, and Security (including the HITECH Act and the Omnibus Rule of 2013). We have implemented policies, processes, and procedures designed to ensure compliance with Federal and State information security laws. We monitor ongoing compliance efforts to maintain accurate and secure reporting that is required by law.

Besides being HIPAA compliant, our doctor answering services are available 24/7 and can answer all calls, whether simple questions from patients, appointment inquiries, or emergencies.

Appointment Scheduling

Appointment scheduling is one of the main areas where doctors need a tremendous amount of support. As a medical practitioner or healthcare organization, scheduling appointments is a big part of daily operations. With a doctor’s answering service, you can rely on our appointment scheduling’s efficiency and accuracy — covered by a team that understands how schedules continuously change.

Administrative support staff often has multiple tasks to manage at once, and they aren’t always readily available to promptly answer the phone. This leads to significant call hold times and is certainly not a good thing for patient satisfaction. A professional doctor answering service can support your staff by answering all of your calls and scheduling appointments at any time of day or night.

We can work with your existing appointment scheduling system or personalize our web-based system to ensure that all of your appointments are organized for maximum efficiency on your end.

First Responder Medical Messaging

As you know, a first responder is an individual whose primary role is to be the first contact person whenever a patient needs assistance, particularly in an emergency. In the answering service industry, we focus on supporting our medical clients with first responder medical messaging solutions. This is a vital service that can provide an urgent response to those in need of immediate medical care.

Our doctor answering services gives you the option to notify first responders for both routine and emergencies. At AnswerPro, we have a team of agents that are highly skilled and able to communicate quickly. Gathering pertinent information and urgently dispatching positions us to support first responders with potentially saving lives.

Our secure text messaging is one of the best options when seconds count and whenever critical information needs to be shared. With security features and encryption that supports HIPAA compliance, first responder medical messaging is among the most sought-after services for urgent care notification.

Nurse Triage

A Triage Nurse is a registered nurse working in an emergency room or medical facility and is responsible for assessing patients and determining priority needs for medical assistance. With our nurse triage answering services, we can essentially perform the same duties as an in-house nurse does but over the phone.

Nurse triage answering services are set up to help doctors prioritize their patients and appointments based on the type of injury or illness, severity, symptoms, patient explanation, and vital signs. 

With a licensed Triage Nurse on the phone, a service like this efficiently performs patient assessment. They can reassess patients who are waiting, facilitate emergency treatment if necessary, and communicate with patients. In the long run, this service can help doctors improve patient care and efficiency.

On-Call Employee Reporting

Having an on-call employee reporting system makes it easy to manage on-call employees and sub-contractors. On-call employee reporting services assist with maintaining a cohesive schedule across multiple departments.

An on-call employee reporting service gives you a solution where employees can call in to report call-offs or report schedule changes. With a dedicated telephone number that your staff can call, you can be informed of any updates and changes in real-time. This is another excellent feature that supports doctor answering services.

Overflow Support

Most doctor’s offices have peak periods, especially during flu season. During busy times, your phones are probably ringing off the hook with patients who need immediate support. The challenge comes when your medical staff is busy with multiple tasks and cannot quickly answer the phone.

This is where an overflow support answering service can provide tremendous support. Say goodbye to long hold times and improve patient satisfaction by ensuring rapid response to all calls with this type of doctor answering service.

Benefits of Working with an Answering Service for Doctors 

Outsourcing your phone lines to a doctor’s answering service is beneficial and cost-effective. You will also increase patient satisfaction without sacrificing your service, and you can focus on improving your practice.

We have decades of experience providing answering services for doctors, physicians, and healthcare organizations. Our staff here at AnswerPro includes registered nurses in all 50 states that offer triage answering services. They are highly skilled and understand that missed and mishandled calls could be the difference between life and death.

AnswerPro has all of the critical services a professional medical answering service should provide, and all of the tools that your organization needs to increase your patient’s happiness and satisfaction.

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