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Keep your Practice Open After Hours with On-Call Services

Standard services offered by after-hours answering services. 

Childcare is a 24/7 job. Parents can never predict when their kid catches a cold from daycare or gets an injury from jumping out of a tree. Young kids may have a difficult time expressing their symptoms, and new parents may not know what requires an emergency visit or what can wait till morning. For after-hours concerns, there is an abundance of answering services that keep your office running after your last employee has clocked out. Each answering company provides its unique packages, however, most of them cover these basic services to keep your office open around the clock, at night, and while you’re on vacation.

Appointment Scheduling

Whether you are a pediatrician in Chesapeake or a pediatrician in Grayslake, your front-office likely receives dozens of scheduling calls per day. Luckily, many pediatricians offer online scheduling to reduce the amount of day-to-day phone calls. Still, many parents prefer to schedule by phone due to its expediency. If a child starts running a fever in the middle of the night, for example, a parent can discuss availability with a live operator who will hear their concerns and fit them in as soon as possible. An answering service can maintain simple scheduling and free up time for in-house operators so they can attend to more important calls during their workday. 

Professional, Bilingual Live Agents

Most answering services provide live agents who speak multiple languages. Bilingual agents facilitate smooth communication for non-native English speakers. Bilingual operators on hand can discuss questions and concerns with patients and then pass the message on to doctors, ensuring nothing is lost in translation. This way, bilingual agents help both the patient and the pediatrician.

The other perk of using an answering service is that live agents are hired professionals. These expert communicators meet the level of service your practice expects and your office doesn’t have to commit time or money to train an in-office employee.

Tailored Hotlines

Each office creates their individual criteria with detailed triage questions for the agents to follow.  This is a standard service most after-hours agencies offer. Depending on the severity of the emergency, operators will forward messages to the on-call staff. Pediatricians can also determine the message format—call, text, page, or email. High-level emergencies will be passed on immediately without lag time. 

Affordability 

After-hours services are often more affordable than hiring a graveyard shift staff member. As mentioned above, pediatricians do not have to invest in training a new hire as the live agents are already trained. Additional employee expenses, such as vacation time or benefits do not apply to contractors, saving pediatricians a substantial amount.  

HIPPA Compliant

Medical answering services must be HIPAA compliant to meet regulation standards. Live operators know the ins-and-outs of HIPAA laws to keep patient information safe. Encrypted messages and medical records are sent through secure systems, so pediatricians do not have to worry about compromising their patients’ private information. 

Web Scheduling 

No matter if you are a pediatrician in Aurora or a pediatrician in Warrington, answering services will only contact on-call staff members. This is because most answering services offer web scheduling. How it typically works is staff members can access their online schedule through their desktop or mobile device. In real-time, they can change their status from on-call to off-the-clock, so they won’t be bothered during their off-hours. 

Services Based in the U.S. by Real People

When patients are calling a pediatrician in the off-hours, it’s usually because of an emergency. Concerned parents will feel more at ease knowing that they are talking to a real person rather than being sent through the labyrinth of an automated machine. In addition to the human touch, 

most answering services agents are closer to home. The majority medical after-hours answering services are staffed with live operators based in the United States. 

When looking for after-hours answering service, it is valuable for pediatricians to do their homework. There are many options to choose from at various price points. It would be wise to get multiple quotes. It’s important to remember that outsourced answering services are customer service professionals, not medical professionals, so their support can only extend so far. After-hours call services cannot give medical advice or answer questions. They can, however, send messages through the correct channels to streamline your office operations and help organize communication. 

An after-hours answering service may be worth it for many doctors. If you don’t have time to hire a team, your office is growing too fast, your customer service needs improvement, or you need to offer more flexibility to your staff, chances are you need an after-hours call service. It often reported that answering services increase overall patient satisfaction because their concerns are answered in a timely fashion, which can lead to more patients for you in the future. 

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