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A medical answering service is the bread and butter of a healthcare facility. The ideal answering service is HIPAA compliant to handle all calls securely, accurately, and professionally. Your medical office needs an answering team with appropriate training to handle an emergency, routine, and critical calls customized to your preferences. Basic features of a professional answering service include multilingual capabilities, precise message taking, and call screening.

What is HIPAA?

Before digging deep into the features that make your answering service HIPAA complaint, it is necessary to understand what HIPAA is all about. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 sets guidelines for data privacy and security to safeguard medical records. Every medical office has an obligation to protect the personal information of patients in the best way possible. Non-compliance to HIPAA standards makes your medical office prone to lawsuits and fines.

Features to tell your doctor answering service is HIPAA compliant

Online support

The answering service should have a website with live chat to enhance customer care experience. This encourages patient interaction in real-time to give your medical office a competitive advantage. Additionally, online customer support allows prompt response to customer questions. The service should also offer appropriate order processing, technical support, and email response. You need an answering service with a fully customized online support offering a user-centric web presence.

Confidential messaging

For the best physician answering services, confidential messaging is a must-have feature. The basics of HIPAA compliance for your answering service include confidential communication and collaboration regarding email, text, and messaging.

This involves offering text dispatch options to relevant staff to get the right message and in the right place appropriately. The service should also have email management supporting groups, individuals, and medical personnel teams regardless of location. This allows everyone to stay on the same page while focusing on core duties.

Online appointment scheduling

The ideal answering service offers online appointment scheduling. Patients need this tool to schedule appointments with the physician quickly and conveniently. The answering service should offer this tool with features including managing cancellations and rescheduling conveniently. Your staff and patients will appreciate a reliable and secure online scheduling tool. Before working with a medical answering service, ensure that it has this feature to make things in your medical office easier.

Appointment reminders

Making reminders to customers about their scheduled appointments saves time and money in your medical practice. The ideal answering service should offer this customized to meet your preferences. You can give the live agents a script for use when reminding patients about their appointments. Give the person at the other end of the call an option to connect directly to your office. A professional answering service follows appointments complying with HIPAA standards. This avoids appointment no-shows in your practice and boosts revenue.

Disaster recovery

Disaster can strike when you least expect. It is necessary to work with an answering service that enhances your disaster recovery strategy. Power outages and natural disasters can affect operations disastrously. Having a disaster recovery plan ensures that your operations remain running regardless of how bad things get.

A reliable medical answering service is an integral aspect of a contingency plan. Trusting an answering service compliant to HIPAA standards eliminates continuity concerns. The service will keep in contact with alternative but secure routes. Additionally, the service develops scenarios and tests them to fit your continuity plans. This is essential to ensure that your medical office survives all situations for continuity.

Call back

Offering exceptional customer care and medical care is the best way to impress your customers. Equally important is offering a call back program. This allows visitors on your site to request phone calls for more information. The answering service should offer a form for patients to fill in contact details requesting clarification. After a few minutes, the live agent will get on the phone to call the customer and respond to their query. This is only possible when you team up with a HIPAA compliant service that acknowledges building patient support for enhanced relationships.

Satisfaction survey tools

Finally, it is important to assess the level of satisfaction customers get from your customer service. This allows determining where the answering service is doing a great job and where improvement is required. The answering service should work with you to personalize a satisfaction survey tool to collect information regarding the quality of service in your medical office. This tool collects feedback from customers leading to enhanced patient satisfaction and a stellar reputation.

In conclusion

Compliance with HIPAA standards is an essential aspect of managing a medical office. Teaming up with a complaint answering service makes operations more manageable. You have to look for features including online support, confidential messaging, call back, and online appointment scheduling. Equally important is for the service to have a satisfaction survey tool to ensure that you are getting good value for money.

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