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Answering Service Case Study: Optometrist Uses Answering Service to Improve Patient Care

Good optometry management affects the quality of life for many people, particularly the elderly. This is an even bigger concern in rural areas where residents have to travel many miles to visit their eye care professional. Usually this means the loss of a day’s work for the patient’s driver, which has to be coordinated with the doctor’s schedule. As a result, patients often put off making appointments for routine care and checkups.

However, Dr. Alison Chaussee of the Prairie Hills Vision Clinic provides a valuable service to her patients by bringing the clinic to them. Each week, Dr. Chaussee travels to one of two satellite clinics that she established in strategic rural communities. Her patients, young and old alike, are able to schedule convenient eye care appointments in or near their hometowns without sacrificing most of the day.

The doctor’s patients call a toll-free number to schedule their appointments for any one of the satellite clinics or the main office. These calls go to her answering service where customer care professionals answer her patients’ calls and prioritize appointments according to the doctor’s instructions. The patients are treated to friendly, professional service 24-hours a day, seven days a week.

Although optometrists don’t often have emergency calls they do occasionally occur, particularly in rural areas. Occasionally, Dr. Chaussee’s toll-free number gets calls after hours from concerned farmers and ranchers about an eye injury.

In accordance with the doctor’s instructions, her answering service’s staff can triage the call and connect callers directly to Dr. Chaussee who provides basic eye care instruction over the phone and refers them to the nearest hospital if needed. This 24/7 service helps distinguish Prairie Hills Vision Clinic from all others, giving rural patients better access to care.

When she is on the road, Dr. Chaussee knows her patients who call her main office will be treated with care. Plus she knows her business calls will be handled professionally and messages will be available when she is ready for them. According to Dr. Chaussee, outsourcing her clinic’s calls to an answering service has helped her grow her practice without adding unnecessary overhead costs. Most importantly, her patients enjoy a higher quality of care closer to home. – By Peter DeHaan