4 Phone Tips Doctors’ Offices Can Use to Improve Patient Experience

By Mike Taylor

Patient experience is perhaps one of the most important aspects for doctors’ offices. Not only is it important to make sure patients actually want to return after a visit with your office, but a good patient experience also ensures future growth of your medical office through referrals and reviews.

Considering the world of technology we now live in, where patients have the ability to publicize every experience they have with your office (good or bad), and where recommendations and reviews are often the deciding factor as to whether or not someone will visit your office, patient experience has never been more important.

One of the most effective ways to improve your patients’ experiences is to make communication with your patients as easy and stress-free as possible.

An easy way to improve communication both inside the office and outside is by utilizing a VoIP phone system.

Make pulling up patient information easier

For example, let’s say you have some sort of patient management software that stores all the information and history of your patients. Wouldn’t it be nice to have access to that information immediately? What if data, such as previous appointment details, account information, insurance, demographics, etc., instantly pops up on your computer at the time a patient call ins, instead of having to search through several different screens of a patient management system or having to actually dig through physical files to find their information?

VoIP phone systems can have that capability built into them, and having the ability to instantly access patient information as soon as they call in means your days of running back and forth to pull patient info are over. It also means the amount of time your patients and callers are waiting on the phone will decrease, making everyone happier.

See how Cullman Primary Care Group improved their patient experience while also driving productivity and saving money in the process. View the case study now.

Simplify call routing across multiple locations

If you have a doctor’s office with multiple locations, you know the struggle of trying to field, transfer, and route calls across locations when each office is using a separate phone system. But what if every phone across every location were connected in such a way that you could seamlessly transfer, forward, block, and reroute calls all from within the same system?

That would mean no more handing out numbers to different locations. No more blindly transferring calls and being unsure if anyone at the other location is available. This is the type of connectivity VoIP phone systems offer multi-location offices. And having that ability helps decrease stress and frustration when calls need to go to different locations for various reasons.

Not only can VoIP phone systems keep multiple locations connected, but they can also be set up to actually route patient calls to the appropriate location based on caller ID. This keeps your customers from having to go through unnecessary automated answering menus and prevents them from speaking to multiple people (or leaving multiple voicemails) before reaching their doctor, nurse, or doctor’s office.

Make answering the phone easier

Doctors’ offices can sometimes be overwhelmed with both patients and callers. As a result, they might find themselves understaffed to handle all the traffic. In cases like these, having an automated answering service with your phone system that automatically answers and routes call for you can be a huge benefit to both the staff and the patients. The staff doesn’t have to worry about fielding and transferring incoming calls, and callers don’t have to spend as much time on hold or waiting to get to the place they need to be.

VoIP phone systems come with what’s called an IVR (Interactive Voice Response), which is a system that automatically answers and routes calls. They have a professional sound while also taking the stress of answering the phones off your staff members when things get busy.

Of course, because doctors’ offices are often very community-oriented, it can be beneficial for real human beings to answer the phone manually when possible. With VoIP, you can have the option of switching the automated answering service off or on as needed. So you’re not locked into one or the other, and you get to choose when you utilize the technology.

Not only can you choose to automatically answer calls, but you can also set up VoIP phones to where if, say, your receptionist steps away from the front desk for a moment and a call comes in, that call won’t ring a bunch of times or simply go unanswered. Instead, the receptionist can set his/her status to “away” and calls can then be automatically routed to the next available phone before going to voicemail.

These are just a few ways to help improve the experience of patients when they call into your office using a VoIP phone system, but utilizing just these features of a modern phone system can go a long way towards improving the overall level of service your office provides.

Make waiting ‘on-hold’ better

No matter how good your office is at answering calls, there will be moments when callers are placed on hold. So why not make the most of their time on hold?

With VoIP phone systems, you can have on-hold music that makes waiting on hold less aggravating, and you can also play messages you want callers and patients to hear. For example, if you’re running a special of some kind, or if you need your callers to have certain information ready when someone comes to the phone, playing that information while they’re on hold can save everyone time and improve your patient’s experience.

VoIP Equals a Better Patient Experience

A modern VoIP phone system can help your office enhance patient experience by improving communication, simplifying and streamlining day-to-day processes, ensuring calls get answered and routed efficiently, even across multiple locations, making waiting on hold more pleasant, and more. Having these capabilities built into your phone system makes it much easier for your team to leave callers and patients with a great impression of your practice.

Next Steps

To learn more about 3 other ways VoIP can benefit your office, check out our article VoIP for the Doctor’s Office. You’ll get a more in-depth look at how VoIP can help your office, and you’ll also get an idea as to whether or not a new VoIP phone system would be cost-effective for you.

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About the Author

Mike Taylor

Mike Taylor is a Content Marketing Specialist at Digium. He’s a small business and entrepreneurial enthusiast, and before joining Digium he spent years helping startups and businesses of all sizes grow using content and digital marketing strategies. He covers business and communication topics on Digium’s blog and on other business publications as well.

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