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Physicians Answering Service or In-House Staff for Handling Calls?

By John Austin Subscribe to RSS | February 18th 2012 | Views:

Medical profession is quite demanding. You have to do a variety of tasks right from examining patients to meeting medical representatives, attending conferences, and reviewing case studies. And not to mention, you get a huge number of calls everyday from patients for fixing appointments, discussing issues regarding prescriptions and diets, and during medical emergencies. To reduce your workload so that you can concentrate better on your practice and give more time to your family, it is best that you hand over the call handling function either to an in-house staff or to a physicians answering service.

Medical practitioners often ask: which is a better choice – hiring a medical call center or an in-house staff? Let us compare both of them to reach a conclusion.

1. Cost: Cost is one of the major factors to consider. Depending upon the scale of your medical practice, either you will need a single receptionist or around three to four people for handling your incoming calls. You will also need appropriate space for the staff and equipment to aid them in carrying their function properly and efficiently. Cost of employees is very high. Not only you will have to incur expenses on salaries and bonuses, but also on employee benefits like insurance, transportation, social security, and other allowances. On the other hand, if you employ a physicians answering service, you will have to pay them fixed monthly fee or periodic charges depending upon the number of your calls. Such a service could cost you anything above $100 per month. Considering the cost of both these options, it is clear that until and unless you have a big nursing home or hospital, hiring a medical answering service is cost-effective.

2. Customer Service: As far as customer service is concerned, a professional answering service scores over an in-house staff. As such call centers have qualified and trained staffs for answering medical calls, they are able to handle your incoming calls in a better manner. They have proper systems to ensure that all calls are picked up within the agreed lead time. A team of friendly, polite, patient, and compassionate professionals answers your incoming calls and ensures that all messages reach you in the shortest possible time. The call-handling staff is aware of the common medical terms and therefore is able to communicate properly with your patients. Another point where a physicians answering service scores over an in-house staff is that the call center can attend your calls 24×7, but your staff may not be able to do so. They may not be available during lunch and tea breaks and during after-hours.

It is obvious that hiring a physicians answering service is more beneficial than setting up an in-house call center. Medical call centers offer customized packages according to your requirements. You can avail of their services 24×7, during after-hours and holidays, or when nobody is available in the clinic to attend calls. They offer per minute and per call packages to suit the requirements of different clients. If your patients are located in different countries, you can also select a multi-lingual service.

John Austin - About Author:
If you find it difficult to attend all your medical calls properly, it is time that you hire a reputable physicians answering service. For more information on professional answering service, please visit

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