Managing a practice efficiently is a lot of work and can detract from customer service. Hiring a virtual medical assistant can streamline your practice, save you valuable time and money, and significantly improve customer service, allowing your team to focus on core services and enhance productivity. 

Keep reading to learn more about how to use virtual medical assistants to elevate customer service.

How Can Virtual Medical Assistants Improve Customer Service?

Here are ways to use virtual medical assistants to take your customer service to the next level. 

Define Roles and Expectations

Be clear about the tasks your virtual medical assistants will handle. It can include scheduling appointments, answering the phone, handling emails, managing refills, insurance verification, or responding to patients’ queries.

Provide detailed instructions and be specific about the desired outcomes and the deadlines for each assignment. Clearly defining roles and expectations allows your virtual assistant to work with minimal supervision and optimizes productivity.

In addition to quality care, patients value time savings. They don’t want to spend hours at the doctor’s office if they can help it.

By boosting productivity, your practice can increase workflow efficiencies, streamline processes, and minimize wait times, enhancing patient experiences. 

Invest in Training

While virtual medical assistants have the necessary skills needed to thrive in their role, they’ll require training in your workflow to meet your specific needs. They won’t have to rely on guesswork.

Training gives your virtual medical assistants the tools needed to excel at their positions even more, allowing them to be a valuable addition to your team. Whether it’s learning how to communicate with patients or your EHR system, training gives you and your virtual medical assistants the best chance of successfully working together.

Training your virtual medical assistants isn’t something you can do quickly. It should be an ongoing process. You want to ensure they have the latest knowledge and skills to excel in their roles. Patients expect a personalized experience and outstanding customer service, which maximizes patient retention. 

To empower your virtual medical assistants and ensure they become champions of excellent customer service, consider these tips:

Managing Patient Appointments

Efficiently managing appointments is one of the best ways a practice can stand out and provide patients with excellent customer service. Your virtual medical assistants can handle patient appointments so other members of your staff can focus on caring for your patients. Train them to:

Schedule appointments based on patient preferences and when providers are available

  • Reduce no-shows at your practice by sending out periodic appointment reminders to patients
  • Reschedule or cancel appointments to provide ease of availability
  • Answer patient questions about appointments
  • Ensure patients can easily access information about your practice and there’s a flow of information between providers and patients

By managing patient appointments effectively, your virtual medical assistants can help streamline your practice’s operations, reduce wait times, and increase patient satisfaction. Patients will appreciate the convenience of having a virtual medical assistant to handle their appointment needs with flexibility and clarity. 

Remain Professional

Train your virtual medical assistants to maintain professionalism and ensure patients feel valued and respected. They should use polite, clear, courteous, and positive language at all times.

Show Genuine Care 

Train your virtual medical assistants to care about patients and engage in meaningful conversations. They should be trained to listen to patients’ concerns, show empathy, and respond appropriately.

A virtual medical assistant who cares about patients and shows they care can create long-term connections and brand ambassadors for your practice.

Respond Swiftly

Time is of the essence in patient satisfaction. Responding to patients’ queries should be done promptly. 

Therefore, your virtual medical assistants’ knowledge must extend beyond the services and products you offer. Their training should also include using your system to retrieve information and escalate issues as required. 

If patients must wait, they must not wait too long. They must do this as fast as possible to ensure quality customer experiences.

Handle All Possible Situations

Navigating complex patients can be challenging but inevitable. The key to handling agitated patients is training your virtual medical assistants on conflict resolution strategies. 

Teach them to notice signs of stress and de-escalate anxious or upset patients. Sometimes, this may be as easy as clear communication. With training, your virtual medical assistant can learn how to control their tone of voice, remain calm, and find solutions that satisfy agitated patients.

Communicate Frequently 

Regular communication is essential in maintaining a solid working relationship and building trust with your virtual medical assistants. It keeps operations running smoothly, reduces delays, minimizes misunderstandings, and promptly addresses challenges.

Frequent communication enables you to understand your virtual medical assistants’ progress. It’s also vital to encourage two-way communication where your virtual medical assistants can ask questions and share concerns, suggestions, and insights.

Two-way communication fosters trust and encourages collaboration and teamwork, even when working remotely. For instance, if your virtual medical assistant encounters challenges while working on a project, they should feel comfortable contacting you for direction. 

Regular, efficient communication facilitates swift recognition and solving of issues. It allows your virtual medical assistants to make the necessary adjustments and fine-tune their work, ensuring alignment towards common objectives. Your virtual medical assistants’ productivity can improve by maintaining regular contact and providing clear guidance and feedback. 

When productivity increases, it enhances customer service. An engaged virtual medical assistant is likely to deliver excellent customer service, positively influencing patient satisfaction.

Utilize the Right Communication Tools

Efficient communication is the heart of a successful relationship with your virtual medical assistant. Implementing collaboration tools like Trello, Slack, Asana, or Zoom enhances communication, enables real-time updates, encourages transparent workflows, and boosts productivity.

The choice of tool will depend on collaboration needs, task requirements, and preferences. These tools can help you assign tasks, set deadlines, and track progress.

Using them for frequent check-ins can allow information to flow seamlessly, ensure your virtual medical assistant is aligned with ongoing tasks, and create a sense of belonging.

Establish Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Developing actionable KPIs ensures your virtual medical assistant achieves set benchmarks and maximizes their potential. By conducting frequent performance evaluations, you can identify areas for improvement, their strength, and overall progress. 

Choose KPIs to gauge your virtual medical assistant’s performance. These can include metrics like response times, task completion rates, overall productivity, and patient satisfaction scores.

Then, frequently review performance against set KPIs and give constructive feedback to determine areas of improvement and discuss concerns or challenges. When they’ve hit KPI milestones, reward and recognize your virtual medical assistants for their achievements. This will motivate them and promote a culture of high performance.

Supercharge Your Customer Service with DocVA 

Let DocVA’s virtual medical assistants handle your administrative tasks so you can focus more on treating your patients. Our virtual medical assistants are experienced in various healthcare tasks and are dedicated to meeting your needs.

Are you looking for the best virtual medical assistant? Contact DocVA today to learn more!

About Nathan Barz, CEO, DocVA

Nathan Barz is dedicated to integrating virtual assistants into healthcare practices across the United States, Canada, and beyond. With firsthand experience in healthcare, he has successfully implemented virtual medical assistant services in numerous practices, improving profitability and service quality and reducing staff burnout. Nathan firmly believes virtual assistants are the solution to addressing staffing shortages and economic challenges in the healthcare industry.