Interview Us (FAQ)

You may have a list of questions you would like answered before selecting your answering service. Rather than simply list our services, we thought you might prefer that we answer your questions about Physicians Answering Service. Put yourself in position to make the most informed decision possible. You can also visit the Getting Started section of the site for additional information.

Who uses Physicians Answering Service?
Physicians Answering Services is dedicated to answering calls for medical professionals. Existing customers range from sole practitioners to hospital departments. A sampling of the specialties served include allergy, cardiology, dermatology, dentistry, family medicine, fertility, gastroenterology, internal medicine, nephrology, neurology, ob/gyn, oncology, ophthalmology, orthopedics, otolaryngology, pediatrics, plastic surgery, podiatry, psychiatry, pulmonary, radiology, rheumatology, surgery and urology.

Which hospitals do you work with?
Physicians Answering works with numerous medical and dental facilities; (Clark County Public Health, Multnomah County, Willamette Dental, Brightnow Dental, The Portland Clinic, The Vancouver Clinic and Legacy Hospitals, to name a few). We also work with regional and neighborhood health centers.

What�s the advantage of a dedicated medical service?
Our dedicated medical answering service combines a level of experience and focus that cannot be matched by traditional competitors. Because of this focus, operators become well-versed in medical terminology, triaging incoming calls, working with on-call schedules, and understanding the different nuances associated with each specialty. This combined knowledge and experience allows our operators to interact more effectively with patients and medical professionals, thereby ensuring you the highest possible level of service.

Is your service available 24/7/365?
Yes!Physicians Answering has operated 24 hours-a-day, 7 days-a-week for the last 18 years. Physicians answers calls day or night, on weekdays, and on weekends, and during all holidays. Managers are always available to our customers 24/7.

Customers have the option of turning over their phones to us on short notice. Physicians Answering Service prides itself on its flexibility and ability to exceed customer expectations.

What is your staff turnover?
This is one of the most important questions to ask, since experience makes a big difference with regard to quality. Physicians Answering is committed to attracting and retaining qualified staff. We are careful in the selection of new hires, and provide vacation and health benefits. Unlike most other services, Physicians can offer employees a management career path through our national call center network. As the result of these factors, turnover at Physicians Answering is very low compared to the industry average.

And how are your operators trained?
Operator training is a lengthy process at Physicians Answering Service. In addition to a structured introduction with written exams, there is personal, private instruction before working under a buddy system. Prior to handling calls, each operator undergoes 120 hours of training. As a reflection our commitment to quality, periodic training takes place on future dates, even for experienced staff members.

What sets Physicians Answering Service�s training program apart from others is our emphasis on problem-solving and common sense. This combination of up-front training combined with direct experience ensures that your calls will be handled accurately and professionally.

How is operator performance evaluated?
Accuracy and professionalism are fostered through the following:

How would my line be answered?
All calls are answered using a personalized answer phrase. The exact wording of this answer phrase is based on instructions from you, the customer. Depending on your preference, the incoming caller may or may not know that they are even speaking with someone outside of your practice. You can use a custom, recorded greeting to screen routine calls or can direct all calls to a live operator.

What about the technical side of things?
Physicians Answering uses a paperless automatic call distribution system running on the latest software release. It is front-end loaded with an interactive voice messaging system. The call routing equipment is integrated for the seamless transfer of calls between the live operator and voice mail functions. What all this �technical talk� means is that you will be able to take advantage of our advanced and powerful telecommunications equipment. We have thought through the full range of technical questions and issues so you won't have to.

Do you have an emergency backup?
The system uses redundant disk drives and nightly backups are done on a third drive. Client messages are archived weekly on diskettes.

All systems are covered by service contracts with 24 hour on-call maintenance staff with critical spare parts on-site. Not only does Physicians Answering have a battery back-up, but a hardwired on-site generator constantly supports the system to provide continuous service.

What types of billing plans are offered?
Price is a function of call volume. We can design a package to fit your needs. Purchase orders are not a problem and we accept credit cards. We will be happy to provide you a price quote once we learn more about your anticipated monthly call volume. In many cases, we can even help you lower your costs.

What about HIPAA?
Physicians Answering Service is HIPAA compliant. Each staff member must go through HIPAA training to be certified to work. For the convenience of our customers, you can download our Business Associate HIPAA Compliance Form. Physicians continually monitors and addresses any issues that arise pertaining to the answering service industry.

How do I transfer my phones to you?
Activating your phone�s call forwarding feature transfers over your phone to us. If you have a night button, you can simply program that to automatically transfer your line. (We advise you to always check by placing a call and verifying that your lines have switched over). We also offer 800# call forwarding numbers.

Can I use my own pagers and cell phones?
Yes! Physicians Answering works with both alphanumeric and digital pagers from all major equipment vendors. We can also place calls to cell/PCS phones.

For your convenience, we offer alphanumeric or digital pager rentals so that our customers can avoid the hassle of dealing with the paging company.

What types of reports can you provide?
The software used at Physicians Answering tracks each incoming and outgoing call. Management reports provide detailed call handling, hold percentages, operator performance and traffic capacity information. Updated performance reports can be generated every 30 minutes to ensure maximum efficiency and high-quality service. Upon your request, Physicians Answering can send you a record tracking the day and time a call was received, when it was dispatched as well as a list of all traffic on your forwarded line. forwarded in its entirety.

Can you handle changing on-call protocols and individual preferences?
Physicians Answering Service currently manages complicated protocols for numerous clients, each with a specific call routing preference and individual guidelines for how to handle emergencies. For all of these calls, Physicians Answering operators combine compassion and understanding with professionalism and strict adherence to assigned protocols.

How do I get my messages?
Choose from a variety of automated delivery options to simplify the delivery of your messages, save time and reduce your costs. Customize the service to fit your specific needs. Your messages can be delivered four possible ways:

- By Fax
- By Voice Mail
- By Pager
- By Email

Please refer to our information kit for additional details on the advantages of each message delivery option.

Can I have copies of my paged messages as well?
Yes! Upon request, Physicians Answering will fax you copies of your paged messages for no charge or your account can be set up to do this automatically.

What if my practice is unique and has unusual requirements?
With our combined medical focus and industry experience, chances are that we will be able to meet any and all of your requirements. We enjoy coming up with creative solutions that meet customer needs. Give us a call to discuss your specific requirements � we stand ready to help. We offer free consultations with absolutely no obligation.

I don�t have any extra time for answering service issues. Can you help?
You have lots to do in your practice and don�t want to get bogged down looking for a new answering service. However, the sooner you get a professional, well-managed answering service, the sooner you will be free to concentrate on your own priorities. To help you in the decision-making process we have set up this website to be a helpful source of information. The Getting Started section of the site is a good place to go next.

Signing up to become a Physicians Answering customer is fast and painless. We will help you fill out the one page Client Account Form over the phone and/or meet with your staff to discuss any answering service issues. That�s all there is to it.

Do you offer bi-lingual and multi-lingual service?
Yes! We offer a variety of ways to accommodate your needs for multi-lingual service including affiliate bi-lingual call centers and partnerships with real-time translation services. We also offer personalized voicemail greetings in a variety of foreign languages.

Are you available to meet with my colleagues at our office?
Our Office Manager is happy to meet with you and your colleagues at your office. This is a great opportunity for you to ask additional questions and become comfortable with the people behind the service.

Can we tour your facilities?
Yes! We invite prospective customers to visit us at our Portland office and see our call center in action. Please call us to schedule a tour. Our address and contact information is found in Contact Us.

What if I have additional questions?
Additional information can be found in the Getting Started portion of the site.

Feel free to call us if you have follow-up questions at 503-228-4080. In addition, you can email us at medicalmessage@aol.com
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Address:
Physicians' Answering Service
Portland Answering Service
5125 SW Macadam Ave, Suite 130
Portland, OR  97239

Phone Number: 503-228-4080

Fax: 503-219-9229

Email: medicalmessage@aol.com

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