The Importance of a HIPAA-Compliant Answering Service

The healthcare industry is in a state of significant changes. From technological advancements to ever-changing legal and regulatory frameworks, every year in the healthcare industry is notably different than the previous one. That being said, there is one aspect that continues to be a constant, the importance, and enforcement, of HIPAA compliance.

HIPAA laws help protect patient privacy and provide a consistent legal framework for medical professionals to operate under. However, it does bring challenges with it as well. One example of this is ensuring that all communications between the patient and medical office fall into HIPAA compliance.

While it is certainly possible (and expected) that members of your front office staff understand the ins and outs of HIPAA compliant communications, it also limits your office’s ability to outsource communication to an outside answering service. This is where a HIPAA-compliant answering service can be particularly useful.

Benefits of a HIPAA-Compliant Answering Service

Answering services already offer a wide range of benefits for medical offices. For example, an answering service can be the “first line” for phone calls, including scheduling appointments, providing general information to patients or potential patients, and filtering urgent calls to the appropriate member of the front office. Medical answering services also provide the ability to extend hours of availability. Instead of receiving a message to “call back tomorrow”, patients and potential patients can speak directly with someone about scheduling an appointment or for any other reason. They can also take messages, ask follow-up questions, and forward those messages to the appropriate member of the office staff during regular business hours. In addition, an answering service can forward appropriately-urgent calls to a doctor or other medical professional, based on the parameters set by the medical office in advance.

A healthcare answering service can take pressure off the front office staff, and allow them to focus on the many other tasks required to keep a medical office running smoothly and efficiently. An answering service also helps keep the office organized, by using standard message formats to keep everything simple and recognizable.

Finally, organizing and tracking calls helps ensure that every patient and every call is accounted for, increasing accountability and the satisfaction of patients and potential patients.

Of course, all these benefits are useless to a medical office if the messages aren’t handled in a way that is HIPAA-compliant. This is why it is so important to choose an answering service that understands and is fully trained in the specifics and nuances of HIPAA-compliant communications.

For those interested in using a HIPAA compliant answering service, MAP Communications provides a world-class service which is fully versed in the ins and outs of HIPAA compliance. For medical offices that want to provide reliable and consistent service to their patients, MAP Communications is an industry leader.

To learn more about how a HIPAA-Compliant Answering Service can benefit your medical office, or to simply learn more about MAP Communications, simply call us at 888-252-6555 or fill out the form for a free 7-day trial!

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