How a podiatry clinic used Clinic Answer to improve time management


With issues such as missed calls, spending time calling back new clients who had left messages earlier in the day or, even worse, the day before as well as being interrupted by the phone ringing during treatments, this case study shows how Clinic Answer needed to find a solution to change how the clinic worked. Their new client, the practitioner, wanted to stop having to deal with calls when he was on home visits, treating patients in the clinic and also to save time constantly trying to catch new patients by calling them back every spare minute he had. He knew by doing this he would have more treatment time, less admin time and ultimately a better managed work life balance.
Clinic Answer were contacted to find out what services were available and they went through a process of listening and understanding the issues the clinic had which it needed to resolve…
Understanding exactly what each clinic needs is key to implementing the best solution. It’s that simple. Clinic Answer know that every clinic is different even when they offer the same therapies. A complete consultation is given by Clinic Answer for every new client before starting a trial. This is carried out to ensure the clinic’s details, practitioners, treatments and all processes and information are understood. How else can they provide an award-winning service?
Chris Munro, Clinic Answer MD confirms, “We become part of our client’s team. By doing this properly we know who they are, what they do, how they do it and how we must work efficiently as part of their team. As well as giving the best impression to callers each time we answer a call, a huge part is obviously ensuring patients are booked in for their appointments at a time that suits them and also at the same time maximising available appointment slots.”
The trial took 4 days to set up. Technically calls can be diverted and answered the same day, but without properly setting up the clinic’s details so that the PAs at Clinic Answer can be trained to deal with their calls properly, there is no point rushing this important part of the process.
A date is set for the divert number to be activated. Calls can be diverted when engaged, unanswered or for all calls. The clinic decides when the diverts are active. It is easy to do and Clinic Answer can help with this.
Calls started to come through to Clinic Answer and appointments were made, changed and cancelled on the clinic’s online diary (in this case the diary was CLINIKO). This information was relayed immediately to the clinic so that they could see what was happening. Messages that were not appointment related were sent to the practice with full details of who called, why they called and their contact details. When the clinic needed help to pass a message/response back to the patients (such as to confirm the exercise they had to do: “yes, exercise both feet.”) as they did not have the time to call, they simply responded to the message with what they needed relayed to the patient and the PA who had taken the call, called the patient back to advise. This gives continuity for the patient as they had spoken to the same person.
By understanding the clinic processes such as booking procedures, cancellation policy, parking availability and payment methods for treatments, the clinic has total confidence in their PAs being able to deal with practically all calls. Clinic Answer also requests feedback through the month in order to tweak the service so that it constantly improves. No matter how well prepared Clinic Answer are there are always changes they can make to improve.
See also: What information Clinic Answer requests to start a free trial and how they use it.
Improvements are usually things which arise due to the clinic not advising, as for example they normally never have “those types of calls”. Calls such as a patient who gets specific treatment which is slightly different to normal appointments. Learning curve/understanding for the PAs is steep but they still need some room for this. PAs use their experience to deal with unexpected calls. They then update the clinic on the message. Should there be a specific way to deal with similar calls in the future then the process is confirmed by the clinic and implemented.
The outcome of the trial/feedback from Clinic Answer’s new client was:
– Found he had more time to offer treatments as the phone was not interrupting him.
– Could spend his weekly home visit day without having to check messages.
– Diary management improved as the appointments were booked to maximise available space on the days that were open. His habit of not always utilising his spaces properly ended.
– He actually found he was busier with new patients.
– No longer had to make call outs to follow up on voice messages. Even the messages left out of hours were dealt with by his Clinic Answer PAs!
– Saturdays were also covered by his PAs so even on the Saturdays he had no clinic, every new enquiry was dealt with.
The actual stats at the end of the month’s trial were as follows:
Free trial month: 231 messages taken.
Appointment related calls: 195 appointment booked, changed or cancelled.
Non-appointment messages : 32 calls needed a call to be returned by the clinic.
Unwanted sales calls: 4.
The clinic has now started on a PA200 package which is cost effective compared with having staff part-time or full-time covering 08:30 to 18:00 Monday to Friday and 09:00 to 16:00 on Saturdays. Out of hours has a personalised voicemail for the clinic which is managed by Clinic Answer.
The cost of the free trial period if it had been billed would have been: £286.60+VAT. That’s 6 days a week cover by trained PAs who are part of the clinic’s team, which works out to be approx. £1.20+VAT per hour for all this work.
This trial covered:
Live answering: 08:30 to 18:00 Monday to Friday & Sat 09:00 to 16:00 Saturdays
Online diary management using the clinic’s diary.
Outbound calls on behalf of the practitioner when required.
Personalised out of hours voicemail, which can either go to the practice or Clinic Answer to deal with.
By offering a free one month trial, Clinic Answer shows exactly how the clinic will benefit from their support. Call 0333 800 9808 or click here to arrange your free trial today.