HIPAA-compliant phone answering services make it easier for medical providers to handle phone traffic and streamline communication while also ensuring compliance with federal regulations.
Keener’s HIPAA-Compliant Services
At Keener, we provide HIPAA-compliant services that you can count on. Here’s a rundown of what’s included and considered with our phone answering services for healthcare providers:
Aspects of HIPAA Compliance
As you know, one of the main purposes of HIPAA is to protect patient information while also making sure it’s available to patients when they need it. Records should be carefully maintained in order to ensure both privacy as well as access to those who may need it.
Because of this, phone answering services used in the medical sector need to be handled in a certain way. Messages that contain private healthcare information are encrypted and accessed only through a secure web portal with proper authorization or via encrypted SMS/texting.
This ensures the information is accessed only by those legally permitted to do so, thereby protecting patient health data from unauthorized access.
Our medical answering services are fully compliant with these regulations, and we make sure everything is carefully documented. If there’s ever an issue or a question, we can trace it and resolve the issue.
Importance of HIPAA-Compliant Services
Obviously, compliance with HIPAA regulations is highly important. Massive fines are in store for those who violate these regulations, even if it’s done unknowingly. It’s in a healthcare provider’s best interest to make sure they handle patient information as securely as possible.
In addition, more serious violations can result in prison sentences and even larger fines, making compliance vital to continued operation.
Even setting aside the monetary penalties imposed by law, a violation of these regulations can mean lost trust from patients and a permanently tarnished reputation. In cases where the issue is corrected, patients will often still seek out other providers to meet their healthcare needs, which means lost business that may not be recoverable.
These types of disasters can both be prevented when you make sure your phone answering services are fully compliant with HIPAA regulations.
Impact of HIPAA-Compliant Answering Services
Phone answering services provide numerous advantages for healthcare providers, and compliance with HIPAA regulations means you’re better able to keep patient records and information secure.
The end result of all of this is to improve the trust your patients have in you, thereby leading to greater success. Individual practices can benefit in specific ways. We’ll examine those below.
Family Doctor Practices
Family doctors provide all-encompassing treatment for entire families, so they often get calls regarding “this or that” ailment. Many of these doctors receive a great deal of phone traffic, so it’s important to make sure someone is available to answer the phone at all times.
HIPAA-compliant answering services can take on excess or after-hours calls and make sure needed information gets to the doctor securely. Since they are always answered by a live individual and their information is handled safely, callers are more likely to entrust the health of their families to that office.
Parents will want to be sure they can rely on their doctor when their children are ill or are facing a health concern. The trust engendered through phone answering services can build loyalty by delivering great services in a time of need.
Full medical centers offer a wide variety of services from numerous physicians, and as such, they often have a high volume of phone traffic. When someone is not able to reach your in-house staff, they still need to talk to a live person, which is where answering services come in.
Once a call is answered, the message needs to get to the right person. HIPAA-compliant message dispatching ensures the right staff member at the medical center is reached and that patient information is protected.
Dental practices provide an array of services from routine cleanings to oral and cosmetic surgery. Patients generally call either to make an appointment or because they have a critical need, all of which leads to heavy call volume. Ensuring secure communication between the patients and the practice is critical which is why HIPAA-compliant answering services are a must.
Medical specialists tend to have limited business hours and are often on-call rather than in-office. Secure on-call dispatching through HIPAA-compliant services allows specialists to receive messages in a timely manner, ensuring patients are helped as soon as possible.
The best surgeons are very busy individuals, and they aren’t always able to take on every call, even if it comes from one of their patients or the family of an in-patient under their care. Secure answering services provide a safe way to provide for the needs of their patients while also keeping vital health information secure.
The core purpose of a phone answering service is to make sure those who try to contact you have a consistently positive experience.
People have better experiences when they talk to a live person rather than an answering machine and secure message dispatching allows you to be more efficient when it comes to meeting their needs. And since our services are compliant with federal law, it means less worry for your office.
Types of HIPAA-Compliant Medical Answering Services
In addition to handling excess phone traffic and reducing liability, our medical phone answering services include:
- Appointment setting and scheduling
- Appointment reminders
- Emergency message dispatching
- Virtual Receptionist
- Clinical trial pre-qualification
- Daytime overflow
- EHR integration
- PLan of care coordination
These services all allow a medical practice to run more efficiently, reducing costs from lost time preparing for no-shows, answering spam calls, or inefficient communication protocols. These services can also be scaled as your practice grows, making it a truly customizable solution for your office.
For more information, call 804-200-5696 today for a free consultation.