Physician On-Call Communication System for Free! Thanks Google!
Since 2008, many patients in our practice are quite surprised when they actually reach a physician directly when they call our after-hours number.
What the patients don't realize is that our practice is also quite happy with this set-up!
Why? Well, that after-hours number is actually a Google Voice number and it provides amazing functionality that is FREE that would have costed us thousands of dollars otherwise.
Using Google Voice, the after-hours number can be forwarded to any physician who may be on-call easily and immediately. When the physician answers a call, an automated Google message is heard alerting the physician that the incoming call is from a patient. Should the call get missed, the patient can leave an answering machine message. Google Voice TRANSCRIBES the voice mail message and emails it to the physician's cell phone. This last bit is great as often calls come in while we may be in surgery or on another call.
SO, Google Voice provides options for the physician:
1) Answer an incoming call immediately and be alerted that it is a patient calling
2) Read the transcribed voice mail (imitates an answering service and pager all-in-one) before returning a call
How cool is that... and all for free!
Check out the Google Voice service here.