Few (if any) practices can afford a person with all the time in the world to answer each call right away and talk on the phone for as long as the patient wants. Most busy practices have embraced auto-attendant systems, even though I’m not a real big fan of them. But if you’re one of the few practices unwilling to use the technology because of fears about patient reaction, know this: Your patients will adapt. Though you can ensure patient acceptance faster and more easily through patient education, most eventually will accept the change. That goes for older patients, too. As a group, older people are as flexible as anyone about adapting to change.
Better than a busy signal
People dislike, and even resent, busy signals and being put on hold for a long period of time. The auto attendant eliminates those problems. Plus, by routing calls to the appropriate person — such as the billing coordinator or the scheduler — patients talk to a person who can help them sooner.
Be aware that some patients have physical or sensory problems that make using auto attendants difficult. For those cases, expect them to want to speak with your receptionist and make that option available in your auto-recorded message (For example: “To speak with our receptionist, press 0.”)