Answering the Call: 4 Essential Points to Consider Before Hiring a Medical Answering Service

When you own medical practice, you want your patients and potential new clients to be able to reach you 24/7.  Even if you have a full staff and several other medical professionals within your practice, you can’t be available to answer the phone every hour of every day.


To be available to your valued patients, consider hiring a medical call service. A qualified service allows you to be a reliable resource for your patients when they have medical questions outside of normal business hours.

Here are 4 essential points to consider before hiring a medical answering service.


  1. HIPAA Compliant

Whichever company you hire to take medical calls for you, they must be HIPAA compliant. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is the standard for the protection of sensitive patient information and data.

The medical answering service you choose needs to be HIPAA compliant which means they have had training and certification in all the ways to keep a patient’s information private and secure.

Because people want to know that no “third-party” will solicit them to purchase a certain type of medication or sell them anything else associated with their medical issue. You want to be able to assure your patients that no one other than the medical answering service will have their information. Your assurance that their personal information will remain private is worth the most to people who value their privacy.


  1. Highly Trained Staff

You want to make sure the staff at the medical answering service is highly trained in medical terminology as well as personal customer service. Your reputation is on the line when this company answers the phone on your behalf. You want them to treat your patients as if it were one of your staff members.

Ask about the qualifications of the individuals that will be taking calls during certain times of the day or night. Are they medical students in their final year or former medical professionals? These are about the only acceptable group of people that you could trust with your patients.


  1. Personable Staff

You do not want to hire an answering service that is more like a recording that simply takes down the caller’s information. You want someone personable to answer the calls, to be helpful and not robotic.

Most of the time, the callers are in pain or crisis and are looking for comfort as well as advice and solid information. They don’t want to talk to a machine or a person that is acting like an uncaring robot.


  1. Around the Clock

You want a service that can answer the call in a prompt and professional manner. They should have two or more individuals on duty in case one is on the phone or needs to take a break. You don’t want your calls to go unanswered.

Remember, when hiring a medical answering service, it is your reputation on the line. You want the company to answer the calls the way you and your staff would.


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