Medical practices are facing more and more challenges as the capabilities of healthcare grow and patient expectations become higher and higher. While this provides the promise of greater care for patients, it also has a massive impact on the working day of not just doctors, but any other staff working in a medical practice or office. Thankfully, help is at hand in the form of virtual receptionists who can ease the strain of bureaucracy in modern healthcare and allow the staff at your practice to concentrate on those crucial areas which need the most attention. And, once a virtual medical receptionist is in place, you will discover that your practice can begin to exceed patients’ expectations and deliver a world class service that benefits everyone involved.
What exactly, though, is a virtual receptionist?
The Lowdown on Virtual Receptionists
Cost-effective and easy to implement into your practice, a virtual medical receptionist is a remote worker who is able to operate as your practice’s first point of contact. Undertaking all the tasks associated with an in-house receptionist, a virtual medical receptionist will handle incoming calls, arrange and confirm appointments, carry out verifications of medical insurance, deal with prescription refills and make plans for patient referrals.
As we’ve already established, virtual medical receptionists are remote workers, but their connection with your practice can be absolutely seamless. By utilizing Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) software, such as 8x8. Virtual medical receptionists can make and receive phone calls from local area codes (such as the practice’s location) through their PC. Patients will be instantly connected with the virtual receptionist and receive the same level of care as if they were dealing with a receptionist who was physically in your practice.
Virtual medical receptionists, therefore, are a highly effective method of communication both internally and externally, but what are the benefits of bringing in a virtual receptionist?
The Benefits of a Virtual Medical Receptionist
The basic concept of a virtual receptionist is a highly alluring prospect for any medical practice which wants to push its capabilities that little bit further. The main benefits that your practice could expect to reap from such a setup are:
Free Up Time to Spend with Patients
One of the main problems that doctors face is not being able to spend enough time with their patients. Medical problems can be highly complex affairs, but when a doctor is struggling with a poor backup provided by an inefficient phone system, every single appointment in their schedule needs to be reduced in length to ensure every patient gets seen.
Not only does the patient get the short end of the stick in this scenario, but the doctor is also left frustrated as they’re unable to work to their full ability. However, with a virtual receptionist in place, you’ll discover that the phone system becomes more efficient and there’s less need for the administration workload to be spread round the practice. As a result, doctors are less rushed and can give their full attention to patients.
High Levels of Customer Care and Service
If your patients suffer bad experiences at your practice then you will soon find that they stop coming back. Instead, they will look into visiting practices that are praised for prizing their patients’ needs highly and above anything else. And, sometimes, this can be caused by something as simple as a lack of care demonstrated when arranging appointments or, other times, it could be down to the general sense of chaos at a badly run practice.
Virtual receptionists, however, are closely monitored and their performance regularly evaluated and scored. This helps to provide practices with the ability to understand the level of quality being brought into their workplace and has the added bonus of giving virtual receptionists a quantitative objective to work towards. And this can only help to improve your practice’s reputation for fantastic service as well as developing the customer service skills of your virtual medical receptionist.
No Need for an Answering Service
Many practices rely on an answering service to deal with customer queries in lieu of an actual receptionist on the front desk. Whilst this ensures patients are able to, at the very least, report issues, the reality is that many patients are prone to hanging up when they hear the cold, emotionless answering service message kick in.
This certainly doesn’t do your practice or the patient any favors, but with a virtual receptionist in place you can provide a more engaging form of communication to keep your patients satisfied. And it’s also important to remember that you’re not limited to having just one virtual receptionist, you can have as many as you like.
For practices that want to be cost-effective, staffing can be a major area of concern. Naturally, there’s the issue of salaries, but it’s also important to remember there are equipment costs and unseen costs such as wear and tear.
Virtual receptionists, however, help practices to neatly sidestep these unproductive costs due to their remote abilities. By taking up absolutely no physical presence in your practice, virtual receptionists are a highly cost effective solution when it comes to dealing with your patients’ needs as well as the needs of your practice as a whole.
Reduce the Admin Workload
Running a medical practice is not a simple business and with the rapid increase of new statutes and new procedures, the paperwork involved is becoming a real nightmare; in-house admin staff are finding that more and more of their time is being taken up with menial tasks that provide little value for the practice and its patients.
The presence of a fully trained virtual receptionist, though, means that your admin staff have the opportunity to pass less time crucial admin tasks over whilst they concentrate on more pressing tasks. This ever present backup solution for admin allows a better service to be provided by your practice and also reduces the stress on your in-house staff which can easily lead to frustration and mistakes.
A Virtual Medical Receptionist is a No Brainer
It’s not really a question of why does your practice need a virtual medical receptionist, it’s a more a case of why doesn’t your practice have one already? With a huge number of benefits that can benefit your doctors, patients and clerical staff, a virtual medical receptionist can make a wonderful addition to your practice by bringing freedom and flexibility to a workplace that can be highly stressful and busy at the best of times. Find your perfect virtual medical receptionist at Hello Rache.
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