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If you work in the medical profession, you’ll know that the job never really stops. People and animals get sick 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and even if it’s a major holiday that doesn’t stop people from falling ill. That’s why an emergency phone number is essential for any company in the medical industry. However, not many organisations have the resources to answer phones at all hours, and it can be expensive to have staff on-call all hours of the night. Therefore, those in the medical industry often look at cover such as answering services to make cover easier.

Office hours

Although some medical establishments are open 24/7, many of them have more standard 9-5 hours, but will then offer emergency appointments if needed.

This businesses can include:

  • GP surgeries
  • Veterinary practices
  • Specialist clinics – i.e. chiropractors and physiotherapists
  • Dentists

Most people will be happy to see these professionals during business hours, but occasionally need the services of someone in the middle of the night or at weekends. By using medical answering services, you can be sure that important calls are passed on, and you can respond to them at a suitable time.

Filtering calls

Some medical professionals simply have their calls diverted to a mobile after hours, but this has several disadvantages. People may call for routine appointments or minor queries out of hours, which could disturb your family time or even your sleep. This can be very inconvenient, and means you can never really switch off from work.

Using an answering service means that calls will be answered in a timely fashion by UK based operators. They’ll quickly be able to establish whether the call is an emergency, or whether it could be dealt with your staff in the morning. If it’s the former, it’ll be quickly escalated to you, and if it’s the latter then it’ll be sent through via e-mail, text, or your chosen medium to be picked up during normal hours.

Easy to schedule

If you’ve ever tried to juggle out of hours staff, you’ll know how difficult it is to get rotas set up, and how reluctant many staff members can be to answer calls out of hours. It means drawing up timetables and making sure you’ve always got someone to divert calls to, which can be awkward when people are off sick or on holiday.

An easier option is to have someone to answer the calls out of hours, and then to prioritise them for you. This kind of medical answering service makes it much easier to get cover when it’s needed, and it’s easy to switch over in seconds when you have staff meetings or don’t want to be disturbed by calls.

Service levels

Every business wants to impress their clients, and it’s the same for those in the medical industry. Customers expect 24 hour service nowadays, and when they call a medical office, they don’t want to be transferred to an answering machine. This instantly makes your company seem uncaring, and could see potential clients going elsewhere. Also, in the medical profession you’ll often have people calling in distress because they’ve got an emergency or need advice on a sick pet. In these situations, a reassuring voice can go a long way, and using an answering service rather than an answering machine instantly makes your business seem more compassionate.

Special training

When it comes to dealing with calls of a medical nature, it’s important that they’re answered by someone with the right training. This will ensure that medical emergencies aren’t ignored, and that the person at the other end of the phone can deal with difficult situations. That’s why it’s worth using a specialist medical office answering service rather than a company who haven’t got any experience in this field. This will ensure that they can:

  • Take down medical information accurately
  • Make a sound judgement call as to whether it’s an emergency
  • Take messages to pass on
  • Call the relevant person in an emergency

This kind of system makes it easy to get 24/7 cover for your phones, so you don’t have patients kept waiting.

Difficult calls

Calls of a medical nature can be distressing and difficult to deal with, which is why it’s important to have someone experienced on hand to answer them. Those who call a medical office will often be in pain, or be dealing with a sick relative, and it’s not always easy to keep them calm. If you’re not used to speaking to people in difficult situations, then this can be awkward, so it’s important to get people with experience to answer calls and follow the right procedure.


Many medical businesses depend on recommendations from satisfied clients, and so offering a high level of service is essential. This can be through offering excellent care and attention to detail, but being able to get in touch at all hours is also very important. If you help a patient out in a difficult situation, they’re more likely to recommend you to others, and this can help you build your business in a difficult marketplace.

If you’re sick or in pain, and need urgent advice, then it’s often the case that you want to pick up the phone and speak to someone. This could be at any time of the day or night, and doesn’t necessarily always happen within normal office hours. That’s why those who work in the medical industry will often use a specialist answering service for out of hours calls. By having someone at the end of the line to discuss the problem, patients can talk through their issue, and decisions can be made as to whether it’s an emergency. Having someone to deal with these sorts of calls means that you’re not stuck taking unnecessary phone calls during your time off, and won’t have to rush to the phone whenever it rings. You can then enjoy time away from the office, knowing that in an emergency you’ll get the message quickly.

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