Due to the nature of your cosmetics practice, you are charged with the weighty task of providing safe and immediate care for your patients around the clock. Add to that the need to respond to prospective patients who are contacting your practice after hours and you quickly see the value in having after hours coverage for your practice. Determining the best way to fill in the communication gaps outside of your standard work week is therefore crucial to the success of your practice. Unless you are on call 24/7 or you have a staff member that is, tough decisions will arise pertaining to remaining connected with your patients and making sure you are responsive to marketing leads during those hours when you are not in the office. Here are 3 important factors to consider when building and implementing your after-hours procedures for your practice:
1. Choosing The Best Option For Your Patients:
When patients or family members call outside of normal business hours, they are generally worried or concerned. Having a live person answering the phone as opposed to a voice messaging system can help to quickly reassure them that their needs will be met in a timely manner.
2. Choosing Staffing:
Whomever you choose to partner with to manage your overnight calls should be medically trained. They will better be able to understand HIPAA laws, medical terminology, and also have the crucial skills needed to help them recognize the difference between an emergency and non-emergency call.
3. Choosing And Implementing An Escalation Plan:
Your staff recognizing when an emergency situation is occurring is part one of the resolution equation for your patients, establishing an escalation procedure is part two. This should be a written and practiced set of steps that consist of; who to call based on the nature of the call, how to reach the emergency contact, and what tell the caller while the emergency contact is being reached.
If you begin with your customer in mind, work towards choosing qualified staff to best assist them, and implement a guidebook to be used when you are not there; you can successfully operate around the clock.
The dedicated doctor knows that he must be both scientist and humanitarian; his most agonizing decisions lie in the field of human relations. — David B. Allman