The Unexpected Uses of Call Recordings

We’re often asked by new On Call Central users whether or not they should record live calls.  This question invariably leads to a discussion of the various ways in which call recordings have been used by our clients.  Given the frequency with which we have this discussion, it seemed appropriate to list the most common uses of call recordings that are non-obvious to most individuals.

The majority of clients see call recordings as a means of documenting medical advice that was administered over the phone.  While this is the most obvious benefit, the other ways in which recordings have been used are both important and a little surprising.  They include:

  • Document inappropriate patient behavior.  We know of instances where call recordings have been used to document patient behavior that the practice deems threatening or inappropriate.  In this case the call recording becomes bulletproof documentation that justifies a patient’s dismissal from the practice.
  • Identify chronic drug seekers.  There are instances in which patients have called in on multiple days, essentially doctor shopping within a practice.  Recordings of both messages and live phone calls allow practice administrators to identify patients who attempt to acquire scheduled substances, then either apply a higher level of scrutiny to those patients, or dismiss them from the practice.  Similarly, we have seen pharmacists call into medical practices (reaching their On Call Central account) and notify providers that patients have filled multiple prescriptions for scheduled substances at the same pharmacy.
  • Provider discipline.  Let’s face it….we’re not at our best at 2AM.  Providers sometimes have a tendency to be short with patients in the middle of the night.  On Call Central recordings have been used to document calls in which providers have been rude or inappropriate with patients.  After listening to their own phone calls the following day, providers sometimes feel compelled to call a patient again and repair the relationship with the patient.

There are myriad other ways in which On Call Central recordings have been used, but these are the ones that we have heard of most frequently.