There are many different components that go into providing an exceptional patient experience at your…
Many private medical practices never reach their full potential because the doctors who own their private practice think of his or her work more as a job than a professional business. It is understood that traditionally, doctors are supposed to be more interested in caring for their patients, than running their practice as a business. However, the noble cause often fails to translate into satisfying results due to un-organized approach.
The failure or the lack of success in the doctor’s office is usually a result of outside forces that include the increased cost in providing health care (high premiums on malpractice insurance), defiant insurers (that think of creative ways of not paying the bill) and the negative effects of managed care. Because the doctor is unprepared to handle these pitfalls, their business often lacks success.
A Doctor’s Perspective
A successful day in the office, from a doctor’s perspective, is typically:
- Full of appointments.
- Where every member of the staff showed up on time for their shift.
- Running smoothly because every patient did not have to be reminded about the time of their scheduled appointment.
- No patient provided false information on their check-in sheet.
- Where patients arrived for their appointment on time, while holding their insurance card with cash in hand for their co-pay.
Once the patient is taken back to the examination room:
- They would be holding their x-rays or test results from other healthcare providers, along with a bag full of their current medications.
- Every procedure needed to ensure the patient’s health would have been previously authorized by the patient’s insurance carrier
- Any other outside arrangement for payment would have already been completed and taken care of.
The Real World
However, the real world works much differently:
- The phone lines are swamped with patients attempting to have the doctor order refills.
- Patients are upset because the phone line rings busy every time they call.
- The staff is mishandling medical records
- Patients sit for hours in the waiting room hoping to see the doctor anywhere close to their scheduled appointment.
- The doctor continues to fall further and further behind attempting to see each of the patients thoroughly. (This means none of the staff will be leaving at five o’clock.)
- When the patients return home, they are all confused because they cannot remember what the doctor told them to do, or which medications to take when.
Obviously, organizing strategies within the organization simply don’t work the way you want it. The staff is often overburdened, the phones are mismanaged and everything is in a state of confusion. This is not only during business hours. After everyone finally goes home, the phones continue to ring with nobody answering or returning the calls.
The Solution – Outsource
The doctor can simply outsource the inbound calls to a medical call-center to handle a variety of issues including scheduling, and follow-up calls reminding patients of upcoming appointment times that takes hours for the medical staff to complete everyday. A medical call answering service company also provides nurse telephone triage to handle serious situations during business hours, on weekends and after hours.
Hiring a professional medical answering service frees up your staff to handle the patients more effectively. It gives them time to give detailed instructions to the patients to ensure they understand which medications to take and when, and any other treatments or requirements from the doctor.
In addition, a physician answering service frees up the staff enough to keep things running smoothly in the office, so the doctor can stay on schedule, and keep the patients happier.
In the real world, doctors can take real steps using available solutions in medical outsourcing services to improve the efficiency of their healthcare businesses while providing quality care to the patients.
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