Every medical practice receives a large volume of phone calls each day. There are ways to reduce the call volume, better manage them, and ensure that calls are being answered and returned in a timely fashion which also leads to lowered incoming calls.
Phone calls are received from patients and pharmacists about prescriptions, patients call wanting to speak to their doctor, other physicians and practices call about a mutual patient, the hospital calls, vendors call soliciting business, etc. Phone calls from pharmacists can be greatly reduced with the use of e-prescribing.
This can eliminate calls that come in because the physician’s handwriting couldn’t be understood, saves issues at the pharmacy when patients don’t want generic because the physician can discuss options with the patient right in the office, and if there is a drug-drug interaction the physician can catch it prior to prescribing instead of the pharmacy.
Ensure that calls are being returned in a timely fashion so that fewer callers are calling back. In order for this to happen, a detailed message should be taken and the call taker should be sure that no one at that time can help the caller. For example,
- If there is an assigned person to handle patient bill calls, can someone be cross trained?
- Can someone in the office be trained enough to provide an educated answer to the patient?
Details like this can help to streamline phone calls.