Productivity is vital for a doctor’s office to thrive. It enables both the patients and the office team to benefit from less stress and smoother workdays.
One common source of stress for doctor’s office staff members is overly-complex technology. Thankfully, modern technology is simpler and more affordable than ever before, so doctors’ offices can step up their technology game without damaging their budget.
So, if you’re at a medical practice where technology is impeding your productivity, read these five tips for improving productivity in doctors’ offices and enabling a less stressful work environment.
Simplify your phone system
Doctor’s office staff members typically agree that having a simpler and easier-to-use phone system would provide a nice boost in productivity. With everything there is to do on a daily basis within a doctor’s office, there isn’t time to waste on complicated technology. Having lots of features and capabilities with your office phone is great, but not when it’s so complicated it ends up causing more frustration than it’s worth.
Many modern VoIP phone systems help alleviate this problem by offering advanced technology and features, but without the complexity. In fact, some VoIP phone systems, like Switchvox, built their system with simplicity in mind, so things like a web-based phone interface and simplified phone settings really help staff members focus more on what’s important and less on trying to figure out how to work an outdated phone.
Make voicemail management easier
Doctors tend to be very busy, and as a result, they don’t usually have time to talk on the phone. At the very least, they aren’t always able to get their phone when a call comes in for them. Because of this, they usually rely on their voicemail fairly heavily.
The problem with doing so is that voicemail can be kind of clunky at times. Because voice messages are not as easy to access as more modern electronic communication, like email, voicemails can be very easily overlooked.
VoIP phone systems can come with a really useful capability that allows office managers, assistants, and receptionists to transfer and move voicemails from one mailbox to another with a simple click of the mouse. This is all part of web-based portals found on newer phone systems that make using the phones’ more “complex” features essentially as simple as browsing a website.
Not only are voicemails easy to move around, but they’re also easier for doctors to check and keep track of with a VoIP phone system.
For example, let’s say you set an after-hours greeting on your phone. Whenever you get back in the office the next workday, you click and drag the voicemails from the previous evening into the doctor’s voicemail.
Another useful feature of VoIP phone systems is voicemail-to-email. Instead of the doctor having to go to his/her desk phone to check the voicemail, that voicemail can also be routed to the doctor’s email, making it much simpler and easier to check.
Not only that, but many VoIP systems allow doctors to also connect to their office phone system and voicemails through a mobile app on their personal device. Many doctors enjoy this, not only because of the time and frustration it saves them, but also because of the improved and more efficient communication between them, their staff, and their patients.
After all, fewer voicemail hassles mean less stress for everyone involved, and that definitely improves productivity.
In today’s age of mobile technology, doctors’ offices can also benefit from being able to communicate on-the-go.
For example, modern phone systems will often give you access to a softphone app that allows everyone in the office to make and receive calls (and check voicemail, of course) directly from the app on their personal mobile device. And, each individual person can decide when he/she wants to be available for work communication outside of the office, so it’s not invasive into their personal life. This is especially helpful when there’s inclement weather, someone’s out of town, or if your office is just closed for a holiday.
Whatever the case may be, you can use a softphone mobile app that’s connected to your office phone system to do simple things like make or receive calls as if it’s coming from the office phone, or they can do practical things like change greetings and call routing without having to physically be in the office to do so.
Being able to communicate on-the-go and access the office phone system from a mobile device also helps employees who may not have a desk or dedicated phone to have their own extension and stay better connected.
Being able to connect and communicate instantly and seamlessly from a mobile device makes communication easier and more productive.
Simplify billing and insurance
Doctor’s office staff typically have to call insurance companies over and over again to verify insurance coverage, and this repeated process can get tedious over time.
VoIP phone systems help alleviate this issue by allowing you to save frequently-called phone numbers as contacts in the system, allowing you to simply click to dial those numbers instantly when needed. This saves time and frustration for the office staff, and it makes things around the office run smoother in general.
Make transferring calls easier
Another productivity-killer in many doctors’ offices is the inability to find an available person to transfer a call to or the inability to transfer a call to the appropriate department. With VoIP, you can easily see who’s available, who’s on the phone, who’s out to lunch, etc. Being able to see who’s available to take calls and who’s not at first glance can be a game-changer for busy offices with lots of moving parts on a daily basis. This saves everyone time by keeping people from having to leave their desk or stop what they’re doing to track someone down to take a call, and that makes the staff and patients happier and it enables the team to be more productive.
Not only can you see when people within the office are available, but VoIP phone systems also allow you to see how many calls each person or each department has taken so you can ensure that the workload is being spread evenly across the available staff.
VoIP helps doctor’s office staff increase productivity by simplifying the phone system they’re using every day, making voicemail management easier, enabling staff and doctors to communicate on-the-go much easier, simplifying frequent calls to places like insurance companies, and by making transferring calls much easier.
To learn more about how VoIP can benefit your office, and to get a better idea as to whether or not VoIP makes sense for your office financially, take a look at our article VoIP for the Doctor’s Office.
To learn about Digium’s award-winning VoIP phone system Switchvox, download our eBook Improve Your Medical Practice with Switchvox.