The Potential Dangers of Using Offshore Answering Services

There are many potential risks to hiring offshore answering services for your medical answering service. In order to be able to closely manage your patients’ care and the overall quality of your practice, you need an answering service that is more reliable than an offshore answering service.

The risks of using offshore call centers include communication barriers, questionable provider reliability, and patient information protection.

Communication Barriers

There are many communication barriers when communicating with people of different cultures, regardless of the context of the communication. But it is especially important to take into account when you are deciding to send your patients’ to speak to people offshore. You are setting them up for those potential communication complications. These complications include:

Cultural misunderstandings

Cultural misunderstandings, again, happen in all contexts. But to subject your patients’ to operators who apply their cultural habits on a call with your patients’ can be confusing and frustrating for them, especially when they are busy being concerned about their health. It is an unnecessary and unavoidable barrier because call center training cannot teach out of the operators. You do not need to send your practices’ calls offshore. Their interactions with your customers can seem insulting, confusing, or simply too complicated.

Language Barriers

Your patients will be talking to call operators who know English as a second language. The operators, in many cases, will not be able to understand your patients with ease, and your patients will not be able to understand them easily either because of the operators’ accent and dialect of English. This language barrier can cause the misconstrual of important information and result in both parties to need to repeat themselves. This can lead to frustrated patients, wasting of time, and potentially cost you more if the call center provider charges by the hour.

Time Zone Confusion

Because these offshore call centers are on the other side of the world, the most likely time they will be calling will be in the daytime here and in the middle of the night there. Third shift workers could potentially make mistakes or be distracted because of fatigue. Additionally, hearing a tired, evening greeting in the morning could plant distrust in your patients.

Questionable Provider Reliability

You undoubtedly want the best for your patients. It is difficult, almost impossible, to guarantee that when the company you are sending them to is overseas. Is that uncertainty of service what you want for your patients? You do not know their level of training, the quality of the operators, or dedication to the job of the employees.

Lack of Training

When you hire another company to answer your patient calls, you do not know what kind of expertise they have or what information they have available to them. They may say they are medical answering service, but you cannot be sure. Thousands of people work in call centers, how do you know the person your patient will get on the phone with has the expertise to answer their query and send them to the correct number?

Uncertainty of Quality

As mentioned before, no one is able to check on the quality of the answering service or the working conditions for the offshore company you are hiring. They are all the way across the world. Good references and recommendations for a company are usually only shown, and you may never know the truth about how the operators treat their callers or how the managers treat their employees. It is a pretty well-known fact that call center operators are paid little more than minimum wage. This can be a good amount overseas, but it still is not the most well paying job. It may not be worth the money when they consider the emotional stress and labor, the inconvenient hours, and restrictive work environments. It is a risky game hiring an offshore call center.  

Lack of Focus

In addition to the lack of training and unknown management of the company, there is the additional obstacle of the operators needing to answer hundreds of calls. They need to focus on many different tasks, including outbound calls and the thirty or more calls on their line for the other companies that have hired. These operators are only human, which means they are going to be focused on other matters, unable to give your patients the attention they deserve and you want to give them.

Patient Information Protection

Finally, with an offshore answering service with little training, divided focus, and unknown management quality, there is no way to know if your patients’ private information is protected. There is little known about how they treat the information they are given because it is offshore and you cannot check. There is no documentation of your patients’ calls to the call center. For all you know, it is just floating around overseas, no one knows where. That is hardly a reassuring thing to tell your patients.

Conclusion

In conclusion, outsourcing to an offshore answering company comes with many risks. The almost guaranteed communication barriers, questionable provider reliability, and lack of patient information security create risks for your practice’s health and your patients’ health and satisfaction.

On Call Central, however, eliminates these risks and more. The leading automated answering service will be easy to understand because it is customized by you, knowing everything about your practice and being medically trained. It will forward to the correct number every time because the patient knows the message they want to leave their practice. You will know the quality of the product because you can customize and examine it all yourself, on the web or app interface. 100% HIPAA certified, On Call Central picks up on the first ring every time. It is a program made for you.

Learn how to achieve the best outcomes and earn the highest patient satisfaction and the many ways On Call Central can help your practice. Get a free demonstration led by one of our helpful On Call Central team members and/or a free quote to see how the leading fully automated medical answering service can work for your practice.

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