How cost effective is a virtual medical receptionist for medical practitioners?
Marcus Goodyear | Jun 02, 2023
There are many costs involved with running a medical practice, some you might be fully prepared for and others that can creep up on you. Everything from onboarding new patients to water and energy usage has an associated cost. With so many outgoings to manage, medical practitioners have found themselves looking to cut costs whilst maintaining what’s important: safe and well rounded patient care.
In trying to cut back on staffing costs, some professionals have opted for using an answering machine, especially out of office hours. Unfortunately this can actually cost a practice more money. How? Many patients, especially new patients, are likely to feel frustrated when they hear the robotic voice of an answering machine. It’s a well known fact that customer experience has a significant impact on business. When you hear a recorded voice, how do you feel?
If you’re looking for a cost effective solution to manage your medical office’s front desk and incoming phone calls, consider a virtual answering service.
Virtual medical receptionists are game changing for primary care providers, group practices, and medical offices looking to save money on administrative costs. With virtual receptionists, your patients will hear a friendly and professional voice from the very first point of contact.
A virtual medical receptionist is a remote worker who is able to operate as your practice’s first point of contact. They provide a full patient experience solution, handling every aspect of the patient experience (apart from the actual in house appointment). You can find out all the ins and outs of what a virtual receptionist does in our insights article, but here are some of the tasks they will take on:
With all those tasks being outsourced, you’re probably starting to see how useful a virtual medical receptionist can be. But let’s get into exactly how they can lower your costs.
Virtual medical assistants can handle everything from answering phone calls and scheduling appointments to providing patients with essential information about your practice. These tasks are usually carried out by a full time medical receptionist or a whole team of them. Cutting back here can save your practice thousands of dollars in salary, benefits, and other associated costs.
With traditional full-time receptionists, your patients can only speak to someone during office hours. Often the phones are very busy in the morning, at lunch time, and at the end of the day. These ‘peak call times’ can create more frustration for patients who may struggle to get through or reach someone just as they are going off shift.
Being available 24/7 means patients can call when it suits them. This allows them the flexibility to have sensitive conversations at the right time for them, or submit urgent prescription refill requests when they crop up. Most importantly, your practice will always be available to answer a new patient’s call, making a good impression from day one.
Since virtual medical receptionists work remotely, you don’t need to allocate any physical office space for them. This can save your practice money on rent, utilities, and other overhead costs associated with maintaining a physical office. With a traditional reception, you would need to increase front desk capacity as you scaled your practice. With virtual assistants, you don’t.
Virtual assistants come with a whole range of extras that provide much needed support to your doctors, medical assistants and other staff members. They can help streamline administrative tasks such as appointment scheduling and patient communication, as well as referrals to other practices. They don’t just handle the phone lines but can also send texts, emails and answer questions on live chat. By automating these administrative tasks, they can free up your staff’s time, allowing them to focus on improved efficiency in other areas as well as patient care.
Virtual medical receptionists can hugely improve patient communication in a number of ways. They can send appointment reminders, answer frequently asked questions, and even help patients navigate virtual care platforms. By sending appointment reminders and follow-up messages, they can ensure that patients show up on time for their appointments, reducing wait times and no-show appointments, which are costly for any practice.
Many patients base their overall satisfaction on the quality of communication within a practice. That includes the communication with medical practitioners themselves as well as the reception staff. In fact, good communication with reception staff provides the all important first impression, laying the groundwork for a positive ongoing relationship.
By providing a friendly and timely response to incoming calls, virtual receptionists greatly improve patient satisfaction. This invariably leads to increased patient loyalty and retention, which will of course, earn your practice more money in the long run.
What’s more, happy, well cared for patients are more likely to recommend your practice to others. Surveys have found that customers tell an average of nine people about a positive experience with a company, but they tell 16 people about a negative experience. You can’t argue with those numbers.
Whether you’re a solo practitioner looking to expand or a group practice overrun with new enquiries, virtual medical receptionists offer an excellent solution for managing your ever growing admin. With 24/7 availability and a toolkit of customer experience systems, they can provide a seamless experience for your patients and improve the overall efficiency of your practice.
By cutting back on time consuming processes, reducing full time staff and improving patient care and loyalty, virtual medical receptionists can really help your practice save money.
WellReceived is your trusted source for virtual medical receptionist services. We understand every practice has its own set of unique needs. That’s why we offer a range of tailored services. As a full customer experience solution, we do much more than just answer phone calls. Potential new patients can speak to a friendly human voice from the very first point of contact. They can then transfer medical details, get insurance checked and follow up with any paperwork. Existing patients can schedule appointments, use the fast and friendly live chat, and even stay connected via our mobile app.
Our team of virtual assistants is highly trained, professional, and committed to providing the best possible patient care. Contact us today for detailed plans and prices and to hear how our virtual medical receptionists can help your practice thrive.