Many software and services are available these days to serve the physician entrepreneur. One issue doctors face is how to afford a virtual receptionist.
You want to be available to your patients at all times, but there is no need for you to handle all of the inbound requests.
Do You Need to Hire a Receptionist?
I don’t need a receptionist for my practice. The way I’m running it is mostly hands-off. However, you might have a higher volume of patients or a physical practice that requires someone to handle incoming calls.
My patients can check themselves in automatically with the web link I send them through my Akute EMR platform. They can also reach me on Whatsapp.
I have a Whatsapp Business account so I can provide them with automated messages and links if necessary and even have canned messages I can send.
The Cost of a Virtual Receptionist
You can hire virtual receptionists at $5-10 per hour from countries like Vietnam, India, and the Phillippines.
Most of us running our own practices probably won’t need a dedicated virtual receptionist. Once your practice gets large enough, it makes sense to pay for that one person.
Instead, we need a customer communication team who can text chat and take patient/client phone calls.
On-Demand Virtual Receptionist
A popular service is called ruby.com, and for $230 per month, you get 50 receptionist minutes which is more than enough for a growing practice.
These virtual receptionists are US based and will represent your business professionally.
They are available 24/7 and can perform warm handoffs. They are HIPAA compliant and can handle appointment bookings.
Pitfalls of Hiring a Virtual Receptionist
For a medical practice, there are only a few pitfalls. The main one is HIPAA compliance. Your on-demand virtual receptionist should be trained on PHI.
Some patients will leave you a bad review because they couldn’t get through to your phone number or the receptionist was rude. Professionalism matters, obviously.