Article provided by: No More Phone Tag, Inc.
A physician’s work is not limited to the usual 9 or 10 office hours, the way that mere mortals are. It lasts the whole day with no exception for holidays. This is a fact that physicians have accepted and prepared for even before they raised their right hand for the Hippocratic Oath.
However, as human beings, even physicians are not supposed to be attached to a mobile phone or a pager. The patients should not expect this. But how can this happen? How can physicians still live their lives but also be available for their patients in case emergencies happen, as they are known to occur?
The answer is the physician answering service.
People of this time are lucky enough to have witnessed and to have been able to take advantage of great leaps in technological advances especially as it has been applied to communication.
Necessary guarantees from a physician answering service
Distance is no longer an insurmountable factor. People can still effectively communicate even when they are far from each other. Still, communicating with your doctor should not be taken lightly.
Accurate information and communication
Precision is pertinent. At the same time, communicating a doctor’s instruction in terms especially regarding dosage of medication should be precise. There is no room for mistakes. The patients’ lives and well-being are at stake. This is the expectation that one should have from a physician answering service.
Moreover, in instances when the doctor cannot directly communicate his instructions, an answering service should guarantee precision.
This demand for information and concerns to be passed on in a precise manner is true even in cases when the patient cannot speak English properly. A physician answering service that is serious in delivering precise communication between doctor and patient should have on hand translators for the most common non-English languages spoken.
Another guarantee that an answering service must make is for recognizing urgency. A balance should be struck between the need to allow the doctor to have downtime or time with family and the need to inform him of urgent medical concerns.
As for the doctors, they expect a physician answering service to guarantee so much more. One of their primary expectations is privacy. The main reason why a doctor would want another party to answer his calls is so that he can still have control over his life.
Speaking of privacy, an answering service should be professional in the sense that it has complied with all of the government's requirements particularly the standards set by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). Herewith is The Privacy Rule establishes the guidelines for who can have access to each individuals’ health information and how it is used.
Great customer service
And finally, for the patient, it’s always best that an answering service can guarantee a personable staff. This assures a better patient experience. It will thus ultimately help in instilling calmness in situations that can sometimes be panic-inducing. This benefits both the patient and the doctor. So there it is. All the expectations doctors and patients have from a physician answering service.
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