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The responsibility of medical professionals for patients does not cease when the office visit or hospital stay ends. Instead, ongoing medical customer service is critical to ensure that outcomes are met. Patients receiving therapeutic treatment or using medical products will require follow-up, and this can be provided by assistants in physicians' offices, pharmacists, hospital social workers, and medical equipment service representatives, among others.
Medical customer service is limited neither to reiterating the healthcare provider's directives for the patient, nor to providing instructions about how to use a specific piece of medical equipment. Although these support measures for patient compliance are important, they are only half of the story. Instead, this type of customer service ideally addresses the needs of the whole patient by showing care and compassion, as well as exemplary support.
After patients have completed a doctor's visit, they may require the assistance of a medical customer service representative to help with filing insurance claims, obtaining prescription medications, arranging tests, and scheduling procedures. Completing insurance forms for reimbursement can often be complicated and stressful for patients, and individuals without medical insurance may need referrals to agencies that can help them to obtain assistance. Further, patients may not know how to obtain these services, so the expertise of a customer service representative can be invaluable.
Medical customer service also provides support to patients suffering from chronic disorders like diabetes. For example, diabetes patients may often contact representatives in the pharmaceutical company that supplies their prescription medication or testing devices. These trained representatives assist patients with questions about the proper use of their devices and give basic product information about pharmaceuticals. Sometimes, those suffering from chronic illnesses benefit from a review of procedures in the proper use of equipment. In addition, caregivers may need a clarification about how to best help the patient comply with medication orders.
Patients who are being discharged from the hospital may require follow-up care. This is even more common in recent years, due to a decrease in the length of hospital stays, and depending on the scope and seriousness of the hospitalization. As such, medical customer service can help with arranging for home healthcare, transportation, physical therapy, and insurance claims.
Medical professionals often recognize the importance of providing these services as well as a caring and supportive approach. Patients have the ability to research the availability of other medical service providers and can choose to go elsewhere if they believe that their needs are not being met. Quality medical customer service should be expected and considered an integral part of patient care.