Many answering services claim to specialize in serving the medical and healthcare field, but all too often this is a weak assertion at best if not downright false, which can become a real liability. Part of the problem is that those working in the medical field—like practice managers or doctors—don’t know how to fully assess an answering service that claims to specialize in medical issues.
Many people assume that a medical answering service just answers the phone for doctors after hours in case of an emergency. However, both the responsibilities and benefits of a truly specialized medical answering service are far more complex and important.
Here are two essential components that any healthcare business or medical practice should confirm when considering hiring a medical answering service:
Exactly How Are They HIPAA Trained And Compliant?
Yes, any answering service claiming to specialize in working with doctors will claim they are HIPAA compliant, but get to the bottom of what this means because HIPAA compliance is not something to take lightly. Any violation puts your patient's information and your practice at risk, so it’s essential that a medical answering service is diligent about being HIPAA trained and compliant. This means that each receptionist and the staff managers must be properly trained and tested every six months.
Ask which tools a medical answering service uses to test their employees. JoAnn Fussell,
Exactly How Are Messages Handled To Ensure Security?
Are the messages the answering service receives and transmits truly secure? There are still medical answering services out there that are texting messages with patients’ information to doctors and staff members. Text messaging is not considered secure under the HIPAA/HITECH compliance requirements.
Messages taken by a medical answering service should be dispatched to the doctors or medical staff using some type of dedicated secure messaging system, that’s encrypted on both the sending and receiving ends. For example, Voice Link uses state-of-the-art technology with the YourVoiceLink MiSecure Mobile App. This HIPAA and HITECH-compliant app
By encrypting information on both sending and receiving ends, the MiSecure mobile app ensures that every bit of data remains confidential, while still allowing access to receiving and responding to important or time-sensitive messages. Physicians can even send secure messages to colleagues from this app and document notes on a message for their staff to put in a patient’s chart. This feature is truly a time saver benefit for the physician and their staff members.
These are just two of
Voice Link of Columbus, Inc.
Voice Link of Columbus, Inc., offers state-of-the-art technology solutions and personalized customer service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. We offer month-to-month service agreements to meet the needs of any practice or business regardless of size. With an 84% referral rate, our excellent reputation, expert staff, and customized technology will exceed your expectations. Request information online or call us at (800) 262-2799 for a free consultation.