How Does a Doctor’s Answering Service Work?

In one year, there were 860.4 million physician visits in the United States. With each office getting so many appointment requests and calls, you might be wondering how to keep up with all of the requests.

That’s where a doctors answering service comes in to help. But what is it and how does it work?

Keep reading to discover all you need to know about a medical answering service and why it can help your business.

What Is a Doctor Answering Service?

A doctor answering service is the perfect addition to any medical office and handles all of the telecommunication.

It can accept messages from patients and callers even if it’s outside of office hours. They’ll even take calls if the staff or doctors are unavailable. 

If you want to learn more, click here.

How Does It Work?

While these types of answering services are used all over different industries, it works perfectly in the medical industry. 

In the medical field, these services will receive and process any calls that the office gets. The calls will then be forwarded to a call center, and the caller will hear pre-recorded messages. 

They could also talk to a live operator, but normally it’s a combination of a live operator with a pre-recorded message. Then, once the operator or system hears what the patient wants, they’ll route that call to the right place. 

Sometimes they’ll even take messages and relay them to the physicians. If there is an emergency, they will connect the patient with an on-call physician. 

The call center will be in charge of filtering the urgency of the situation. A medical emergency would take precedence over needing to make an appointment.

If it’s not an emergency, the call center will direct the patient to resources that can help treat their condition. 


There are many benefits to using this type of service, including the fact that it’s easily accessible to all of your patients. 

They’ll always have access to someone on the phone, even outside of business hours. 

Because of that, it can also help reduce your overhead costs, bring in more satisfied customers, increase productivity, and improve patient care.

It’ll also make sure that you never miss a call even if the staff is busy. There are also services that are available in different languages so that you can reach even more customers. 

Schedule And Send Reminders

If you get a lot of calls from patients that want to schedule appointments, you can outbound those calls to make sure that you’re focused on answering calls that have more priority. 

The service can also send out reminders to all your patients of their appointments. This will help to remind people of their appointment so that they don’t forget and do not show up. 

Each time you have an appointment that a patient missed, you lose out on billable services, and you can’t schedule another patient for that last minute. 

Plus, if a patient gets reminded of an appointment and needs to cancel, they’ll be able to call back and let the answering service know about it sooner rather than just not showing up.

The answering service doesn’t have to just be over the phone, either. You can reach them through email or text as well. Sometimes it’s best to use a combination of all of those methods. 

Have Good Balance

It can be difficult to have a good work-life balance between your personal and professional life when you’re running a medical office.

You can make sure that you enjoy your time off by having this answering service handle calls even when you’re out of the office.

That way, you know that your patients and practice are still being handled while you enjoy some time off. 

You can establish protocols of when to forward calls to the staff as well.

Nurse Triage Service

Your front staff is also likely receiving a lot of calls asking for nurses. The calls will normally be patients asking questions about their condition, and sometimes it can clog up your phone lines.

That’s where the answering service comes in. If they find that a patient needs to speak to a nurse, they can forward them to a nurse triage service. These are normal questions that aren’t emergencies but still need to be addressed. 

Offer More Coverage

If you can’t keep up with all of the calls, your customer experience will decline, and people will start coming back. If you find that’s happening, you might need some extra help. 

You can have the medical answering service offer calls during the night when your office is closed and have your in-house staff answer calls during the day.

Or if the staff is bombarded during the day, you can have them work parallel with the answering service.

Pre-Screen Calls

Your office will probably get a lot of calls, and it can be difficult to keep up with. An answering service will make sure that they pre-screen every call so that you don’t have to deal with unimportant ones. 

You can make sure that you always have a professional, seamless, and transparent experience for your patients when they have an emergency and you are able to connect with them.

Learn More About How A Doctors Answering Service Works

These are only a few things to know about how doctors answering service works, but there are many more things to consider. 

We know that installing an answering service for medical practice can be confusing at first, but we’re here to help you out. 

If you’re interested in more medical and business-related articles, explore our website to find even more great content!