Maybe your practice is growing and you’ve realized that the incessant phone ringing is too much for your current staff. Or, maybe you’re on the cusp of adding a new location and want to do it the right way. Well, what are you waiting for? Call centers offer big benefits to growing practices, including improved patient experience, efficiency and communication. Whether your practice has two locations or 20, a centralized call center may prove beneficial to both you and your patients. Still not convinced? Read on…
Benefit #1 – Improved Communication and Messaging
With staff members dedicated to answering patient calls, your practice has the opportunity to create one consistent message. Call center staff will be trained on what to say and how to say it. They will be aware of any initiatives or new services you are looking to promote and be specifically selected for their strong telephone skills. Their main focus is bringing in new patients, scheduling office visits and answering patient questions. With a provider data management solution like TriageTrak, your scheduling staff will always have the latest information on the providers within your practice, including scheduling preferences, bio information and the services they provide. TriageTrak even has a specialized call center interface so that your staff can easily find the right doctor for the patient both quickly and accurately. On the flip side, when you do not have a dedicated call center staff, messaging or new policies can fall through the cracks because you’ve got your entire front office picking up the phone rather than a select group of trained personnel.
Benefit #2 – Improved Patient Experience
When you take away ringing phones, your front-end staff members are able to be present with patients that are physically in the office. With their attention no longer divided, your staff has an opportunity to provide a top notch experience during patient appointments. From paperwork assistance in the waiting room to going that extra mile during checkout, there are multiple instances where you can make an impact with your patients.
Patient experience will improve during calls, as well. Instead of hearing “Hold, please,” your prospective patients will have a great first impression of your practice from the call center staff. They will have the time to be empathetic and the patience needed to make the person on the other end feel comfortable and welcome.
Benefit #3 – Improved Efficiency
Without the constant interruption of ringing phones, your office staff will be able to focus on the tasks at hand. This means that proper billing coding, prescription refills, diagnostic authorizations and chart preparation all become job number one.
Scheduling efficiency also improves. When you have a dedicated call center staff, fewer scheduling mistakes will be made – resulting in fewer rescheduled or missed appointments. Centralized call center staff members also know which doctors are at what locations on any given day. This means you eliminate the possibility of a patient calling the Middletown office looking for Dr. Smith (who only works in Somerset) and hearing the words, “We don’t have a Dr. Smith”.
Benefit #4 – Cost Savings
A typical call center employee earns $12 to $16 an hour where a medical assistant is somewhere between $18 to $23 an hour. Billing staff and practice management can be much higher. A call center allows you to hire the right people for the right job at the right time by supporting an organizational structure that is modeled for growth. You may even need a smaller staff than originally projected thanks to improved job performance and efficiencies.
To learn more about how a centralized call center could benefit your practice, contact us today.