Doctor, I can’t get through on the telephone!

Doctor, I can’t get through on the telephone!

 

How many times have your patients said that to you? Does it make you grind your teeth in frustration? We share your pain.

Please leave a message

We have regularly heard of patients being answered by voicemail saying that the practice is very busy. Please leave a message and we will call you back by the end of the day.

Managing your incoming calls is a painful but critical aspect of the service your private practice provides but how can you ensure every call is answered in a cost-effective way?

Strategy for communication

We suggest you develop a strategy for communicating with your patients. Let’s start by considering all the ways in which a patient can communicate with you. These include the following:

  • Telephone
  • Text message
  • Email
  • Online booking systems
  • Patient portal

Recent research shows that younger patients would prefer the option to book their appointments online or via email. We should all embrace this, as managing email is far easier and more cost effective than managing telephone calls.

Let’s also review the reasons patients are calling you. How many patients call to check your address as they travel to their appointment? You could take actions to reduce this in several ways. The day before, send text messages confirming the appointment and include the full practice address. Also, make sure your address is clearly listed on the home page of your website and not hidden away at the bottom of a contact sheet.

A patient guide, given to all new patients and perhaps even all existing patients, could set out the ways in which patients can contact you. Questions about their treatment plan and medication might be better handled via email so that you can reply in your own time rather than by telephone call.

If patients regularly call about medication and treatments, then perhaps you could prepare a “Frequently Asked Questions” leaflet that can be given to your patients with their prescription.

If you would like some assistance to manage your calls, or any other aspect of your practice, then please get in touch with the team at Designated Medical who would be happy to help.

info@designatedmedical.com

+44 (0)20 7952 1008