VConnectMD Answering Service

We provide a web-enabled application integrated with an automated answering service and live operator service. Our live operator and automated answering service receives phone calls from entities and people such as hospital and pharmacy personnel and patients made to a physicians’ office along with call details such as call type, call reason, call location, caller type, patient name, and hospital name. The message is routed as a voice mail or a text message (manually transcribed in near real time) to the right person at the right time to the right device based on these call details, and user preferences and call schedules using our patent-pending automated call-routing algorithm. If you are using our automated answering service, We also provide a live operator back-up, so that the caller will have the option of a live operator to relay the message or to patch a call. Individual users can also send or receive messages or make calls with our application, using any web-enabled device (e.g. a smart phone, tablet or desktop computer). The cost will be same or lower than your current answering service, but efficiency and accuracy will be much higher. The messages sent are secure, encrypted and HIPAA compliant.

Cost Savings: Because calls from hospitals, physicians’ offices, patients and pharmacies are automatically routed to the intended person, whether they are a physician, physician extender, or office personnel, the cost of the front desk person can decrease by about 30 percent. With our services, the cost of your answering service may be up to 30 percent lower than what you pay your current after-hours answering service.

Issues with Conventional Answering Services

Conventional answering services with live operators are unreliable, inefficient, prone to human errors and relatively expensive. Messaging is not private, secure and for health care customers it is not HIPAA compliant. The operator may be too busy to answer the call during busy hours, the caller may be put on hold, and errors can happen while taking the message during the live call or the message could be routed to the wrong person. The message log provided by a traditional answering service is not structured, auditable or has enough search filters to allow a meaningful query. For example, in a health-care setting, a delay in message delivery, incorrect message delivery or misrouting of urgent calls by a poorly trained operator can result in delay in the care of a critically ill patient, which would create an unnecessary liability risk for physicians and hospitals.

Conventional automated answering services using interactive voice response address some of these issues by eliminating live operators, who are the source of the abovementioned issues. Every call is answered on the first ring and the voice message is directly routed to the in-box of the ‘on call’ person, along with a message alert to the receiver. The receiver has the option to receive message alerts by SMS, text, pager or voice alert to the phone. However, a conventional automated answering service has the following limitations:

  • The voice message has no information about caller type (e.g. patient, physician, pharmacy, hospital caller, etc.), call type (e.g. stat, urgent, routine, etc.), call location (e.g. emergency room, intensive care unit, etc.), and call reason (e.g. new consultation, new admission, need an order, need test results, etc.).
  • The message log is nonexistent or is rudimentary. A user cannot search and retrieve messages based on date, time, call type, call reason, call location, caller type or status (read, unread, archived).
  • The call routing algorithm used by a conventional automated answering service is not sophisticated enough to handle routing of messages or calls to different on-call people based on call type, call reason, call location, caller type, patient name, or hospital name. It cannot handle varied call routing protocols and the customization needed for different physician groups and different specialties.
  • The receiver has to retrieve the voice message manually and make a mental note or manually write down information from the voice message in order to act on it, since it is not transcribed. Every time the receiver has to access any part of the information, they have to retrieve and listen to the whole message instead of simply glancing at a transcribed message.
  • There is no dashboard for office users to access and process calls and document any action taken in response to them. Examples of calls made to a physician’s office include the following: a) a message left by a patient to a medical assistant regarding a request for a prescription refill, b) a message left by a patient to the front desk regarding an appointment request, c) a message left by a hospital nurse to medical records requesting the release of patient medical records, etc.

Solution

Our VConnectMD Live Operator Service and Automated Answering Service with Live Operator Back-Up module provides a complete functionality and security of a HIPAA Compliant medical answering service.

VConnectMD Answering Service with Live Operators

Benefits

  • Our platform can accept detailed information about a call and using our patent-pending call routing algorithm, it routes the call to the right person at the right time to the right device based on call type, call reason, call location, caller type, patient name, hospital name, user preferences and call schedules.
  • The users can access the messages securely from any web-enabled device (like a smart phone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer) at any time from any place.
  • Our platform provides a detailed, auditable message log. Users can search and retrieve messages by date, time, call type, call reason, call location, caller type and status (read, unread, archived) using any web-enabled device using a secure login, password and PIN .
  • Our platform provides a detail message dashboard for office personnel to access and process calls and document the action taken in response to received calls. Examples of calls made to a physician’s office includes the following:
    • A message left by a patient to a medical assistant regarding a request for a prescription refills.
    • A message left by a patient to the front desk regarding an appointment request.
    • A message left by a hospital nurse to medical records requesting the release of patient medical records, etc.

How it Works

  • Our application is completely web-based, secure and HIPAA-compliant.
  • Participating physicians’ offices should subscribe to our applications and then load and update their on-call schedules for communicating with various types of caregiver. We can also load and update your on-call schedules for a nominal fee.
  • The designated scheduler of each physician’s office can manage and update the on-call schedules using any web-enabled devices.
  • The cost will be the same or lower than your current answering service, but efficiency and accuracy will be much higher.
  • If participating hospitals subscribe, then their nurses, case managers and physicians can contact the physician directly using our application, bypassing the front desk or the answering service at the physicians’ office.
  • Calls from non-participating hospitals, physician’s offices, pharmacies, patients and others are handled by answering service with live operators.
  • Most of the required information is fed into our application during on-boarding. The only information that needs periodical updating is the on-call schedule.
  • Individual users can check their on-call schedule and messages, they can their change on-call schedule, preferences and call back number, they can forward calls and messages and they can access their contact list, help list or phone directory using any web-enabled device (e.g. a smart phone, tablet or desktop computer). We provide an iPhone, Android app and device-agnostic mobile application.

Bottom Line: The cost of your answering service cost may be reduced by up to 30 percent and inbound calls from participating hospitals are nearly eliminated while improving the overall process efficiency by shortening the contact cycle. The accuracy of messaging is improved by eliminating human errors and delays caused by the message relay person.

VConnectMD Automated Answering Service

Benefits

  • Our clients can create a customizable interactive voice response menu for each of their locations, which takes into account their working hours, and routes different messages to different callers using call information like caller name, call back number, call reason, call location and call reason.
  • Our platform can accept detailed information about a call and using our patent-pending call routing algorithm, it routes the call to the right person at the right time to the right device based on call type, call reason, call location, caller type, patient name, hospital name, user preferences and call schedules.
  • Our platform can send a voice file along with the information pertaining to the call along with the date and a time stamp. The user does not have to call a central access number to retrieve a voice message from their personal voice mail inbox, instead they can access the information securely from any web-enabled device (like a smart phone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer) at any time from any place.
  • If you subscribe to our message transcription service, a transcribed message will be sent along with the voice file.
  • Our platform provides a detailed, auditable message log. Users can search and retrieve messages by date, time, call type, call reason, call location, caller type and status (read, unread, archived) using any web-enabled device using a secure login, password and PIN .
  • Our platform provides a detail IVR message dashboard for office personnel to access and process calls and document the action taken in response to received calls. Examples of calls made to a physician’s office includes the following:
    • A message left by a patient to a medical assistant regarding a request for a prescription refills.
    • A message left by a patient to the front desk regarding an appointment request.
    • A message left by a hospital nurse to medical records requesting the release of patient medical records, etc.
  • In an emergency situation, the caller has an option to talk to a person instead of leaving a voice message. Our auto-attendant automatically patches the call to the on-call person or the correct office personnel as per the call routing logic.
  • We also provide a live answering service back-up, so that the caller will have the option to choose a live operator to relay a message or to patch a call.

How it Works

  • Our application is completely web-based, secure and HIPAA-compliant.
  • Participating physicians’ offices should subscribe to our applications, and then load and update their on-call schedules for communicating with various types of caregiver. We can also load and update your on-call schedules for a nominal fee.
  • The designated scheduler of each physicians’ office can manage and update the on-call schedules using any web-enabled devices.
  • Our automated answering service with live operator back-up will completely replace the existing answering service of participating physician offices. We can also provide near live transcription of messages if the physician would prefer to have a transcribed message as well as a voice message. The cost will be the same or lower than your current answering service, but efficiency and accuracy will be much higher.
  • Calls from non-participating hospitals, physician’s offices, pharmacies, patients and others are handled by our automated answering service.
  • If participating hospitals subscribe, then their nurses, case managers and physicians can contact the physician directly using our application, bypassing the front desk or the answering service at the physicians’ office.
  • Most of the required information is fed into our application during on-boarding. The only information that needs periodical updating is the on-call schedule.
  • Individual users can check their on-call schedule and messages, they can their change on-call schedule, preferences and call back number, they can forward calls and messages and they can access their contact list, help list or phone directory using any web-enabled device (e.g. a smart phone, tablet or desktop computer). We provide an iPhone, Android app and device-agnostic mobile application.

Bottom Line: The cost of your answering service cost may be reduced by up to 50 percent and inbound calls from participating hospitals are nearly eliminated while improving the overall process efficiency by shortening the contact cycle. The accuracy of messaging is improved by eliminating human errors and delays caused by the message relay person.

How other services compare with the VConnectMD Automated Answering Service

Features Traditional answering service with live operator Conventional automated answering service Our web-enabled application with integrated automated answering service and live operator back-up service
Monthly cost per physician $100 to $350 $50-$100 $60 without message transcription
$100 with message transcription

Additional charges for those rare calls to a live operator (90 cents/minute)
Flat rate per provider No Yes Yes
Except for those rare calls to live operator and VOIP calls made from our application
Security No Yes Yes
252-bit encryption of messages
Privacy No Not Always Yes
Return calls made using our VOIP service will display your office phone as caller ID
HIPAA compliant No Not Always Yes
(User ID and password protected inboxes)
Need to buy extra hardware or software No No No
Efficient No Yes Yes
Reliable Not Always Yes Yes
Error prone Yes Yes No
Live operator back-up Yes No Yes
Answer after first ring Not Always Yes Yes
Caller put on hold Common No No
Customizable voice greeting based on caller type No Not Always Yes
Customizable call Information (e.g. call type, call reason, call location and caller type) Yes No Yes
Customizable message routing yes Not Always Yes
Patching of phone calls Yes Not Always Yes
Automated patching and patching through live operators
Multiple device preferences for notification and ability to control device preferences Not Always Not Always Yes
Programmable messaging alerts to cell or landline phones No Not Always Yes
Multi-level call escalation Not Always No Yes
Maintain voice file of a message Not Always Yes Yes
Easy access to voice messages Not Always Not Always Yes
Message sent with call details, voice file and transcribed message No
Voice file not sent with the message
No
Transcription of voice messages is not provided. Not all systems send a voice file with a message
Yes
Detailed permanent message log with multiple search parameters No
Limited message log provided upon request. No search parameters
No
Limited message log and search parameters
Yes
Own message log accessible to individual users through mobile and desktop application No Not Always Yes
Using any web-enabled device like mobile, tablet, laptop or desktop
Easy to use web-based call scheduler Not Always Not Always Yes
Using any web-enabled device like laptop or desktop
Easy to use web-based change on call and call forwarding Not Always Not Always Yes
Using any web-enabled device like mobile, tablet, laptop or desktop
Integrated web-enabled application for physicians, office personnel and participating hospitals to send and receive messages No No Yes
On any web-enabled device like mobile, tablet, laptop or desktop
Message dashboard for office personnel to manage and respond to calls and to document the actions taken on calls received No No Yes
Using any web-enabled device like laptop or desktop
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