How An Answering Service Helps Avoid Costly Medical Malpractice Claims

An answering service helps you to prevent expensive medical malpractice claims and also helps you deliver high quality care. Here's how

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April 5, 2019
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Medical malpractice is a costly burden to your practice. These might include failure to ensure the security of patients’ information leading to lawsuits. Additionally, failure to give patients timely care results in negative health outcomes and costly malpractice cases. It’s essential that you have a strategy to lessen these malpractices from your practice. A good option to avoid this costly burden is to entrust the services of a reputable doctor’s answering service.

There’s a catch

Today, patients expect quality medical care from medical service providers. Therefore, practitioners must ensure that patients are guaranteed to receive seamless care and assistance including:

  • Respect
  • Kindness
  • Compassion
  • Affordable care
  • 24/7 customer service

This might be a bit overwhelming for medical practitioners with a large number of patients to attend to. It might not be so easy to handle other tasks such as answering all phone calls. You’re likely not to pick all the calls with other callers left on hold for some time. Those who don’t have patience are likely to hang up and switch to other providers.

Quality patient care creates a strong bond with patients. However, those ties are likely to get broken quickly if you don’t make effort to be available to answer their phone calls. Letting callers stay on hold and not picking some calls is a disrespectful gesture. Retaining and attracting new clients becomes harder since all patients need assurance that their concerns will be attended to always. This is why it’s a smart idea to hire professionals to handle all your calls. You will have peace of mind that all your callers will be attended to.

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Why it pays to hire an answering service

A professional medical answering service focuses on responding to patients’ needs in a timely manner. The goal of medical practice is to respond to patients’ concerns quickly in the most professional manner. Ignoring them patients’ care requests, putting off care, and offering inappropriate instructions are significant health care malpractices. These are likely to make the patient serve you with a lawsuit.

Luckily, if you hire a professional and experienced answering service, your practice will be safe from all that. An answering agency has highly trained and experienced call operators who will ensure that all calls to your practice are answered quickly. This also allows patients to schedule appointments with the physician. The skilled call operators seamlessly answer patient request for basic information regarding your service and services offered. Additionally, these operators will respond swiftly to all callers’ help requests to allow seamless emergency dispatch service.

There’s more

Some of the medical malpractice claims aren’t true. Medical answering services can use call logs as a defense for such frivolous cases. This is helpful in case a patient claims that they called your office multiple times without getting necessary assistance. The call logs are proof of how many times the patient called your practice, the call duration, and where they spoke to a live operator. Additionally, the operator might have taken notes regarding the nature of the call.

In court, the call logs can be matched against your phone records to prove that actually, an operator responded to the patient. An answering service that focuses on documentation will help your practice offer the highest standard of care to exceed patients’ expectations. Additionally, the documentation comes in handy to avoid damages from frivolous medical malpractice cases.

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Patient follow-up

It’s very important to follow-up all patients after an examination to get valuable feedback regarding your service. Whether the patient suffered something more minor, like a first degree burn, or something major requiring a hip brace, you should perform a follow-up. This allows detecting any patient issues and the responsible party. Ensure to follow up on the parties involved to ensure that the patient gets the attention they deserve. This requires having a protocol for all employees to service patients efficiently and effectively. These should be backed by appropriate documentation to allow follow up on each patient to detect any malpractice. You’ll be in a better position to fix the issue before the patient decides to sue for negligence.

Overall

Medical practice is a major issue for most medical providers. Fortunately, there are preventative options to help avoid such claims. Be sure to chose a quality answering service that complies with HIPAA to help ensure that your practice provides excellent care and avoids these issues.