How Do Patients On Hold Messages Work For My Orthopaedic / Spinal Practice?

By the time a phone call is placed to an Orthopaedic practice, or other practice that deals with spinal injuries, it’s pretty likely a serious injury has occurred…or at least…the caller or someone close to the caller is experiencing some amount of pain due to an injury or accident. Chances are they’ve already dealt with a primary care practice and possibly several layers of bureaucracy related to insurance, referrals, imaging studies and possibly a whole lot more. So when they reach your office, you want to make sure they have the very best possible experience, right from the beginning. That starts when you answer the phone…and continues when you put then On Hold.

Any successful practice is always going to have more patients than providers, more calls than staff to answer them. So calls placed On Hold is a fact of life, not an option. A customized Patients On Hold program of medical on hold messages lets those callers know that you care about them, you appreciate their patience, that they haven’t been forgotten about or hung up on, and gives you the opportunity to share the experience and expertise your practice can bring to their particular situation.

We know how to combine the music and messages to create an effective Patients On Hold program that occupies the caller’s attention and distracts them from thinking about the amount of time they spend holding. They’ll actually think their Hold time is shorter when they’re presented with medical on hold messages that are of use and value to them, and how you can contribute to their recovery from whatever injury or accident has caused them to need orthopaedic or spinal medical services. This is far and away more desirable than silence On Hold, those annoying beep tones, or a radio station that someone in your office might like but your callers don’t.

So What Do I Say?

When a caller hears content On Hold – at a doctor’s office, car dealership, retail store, restaurant or any other business – a little voice goes off in the back of their head that says “Why do I care?” For a period that might range from a few seconds to as long as a few minutes, you have a captive audience that wants to know how you’re going to help them, or the family member they have called on behalf of. So get right to the point: Here’s what we have…here’s what we do that treats injuries, relieves pain, promotes recovery. The content of the messages is the key to engagement and to distracting them from the fact that they’re waiting On Hold. Examples might include:

1.       The number of doctors on your team and their experience. Detailed bios aren’t necessary…                       just enough information to reassure the caller your practice is staffed with seasoned veterans                who’ve been around the block.

2.       Review of any specialty practice areas – injuries of the shoulder, the hand, the ankle, etc.

3.       In-Office services provided such as X-Ray, MRI or other imaging, Physical Therapy services, etc.

4.       General medical advice on how to care for an injury between the time it occurred and the first                     appointment (elevation, ice therapy, heat therapy, etc.)

5.       Alternatives to surgery

6.       Pain management

7.       Follow-up visits

8.       Office hours, insurance information, appointment cancellation policies

9.       Reference to your web site for additional practice details

10.     Office location or locations

The right content shifts the patient’s attention away from the wait time and toward the benefits of your practice…and in every case the focus is on a pain-free experience.

What kind of music will my Patients On Hold program have?

Our production library is rich with a wide variety of musical styles, genres and tempos, and we have a long and excellent track record of matching up the right music to the tone of your script and the professional image of your practice. It’s always important to remember that the medical on hold messages are the stars in your program…the music is just the glue that holds them together. If a caller comes away from your Patients On Hold program humming the tune of your music, but doesn’t remember the content of your messages, we’ve failed. That’s why our music options are decidedly background in nature. We’re not going to lull anyone to sleep, we’re just going to provide them with a calming, professional, assuring background that reinforces your practice as a reliable office to bring the furry members of the caller’s family.

How often will my Patients On Hold program change?

In some parts of the country, orthopaedic practices really do see a noticeable change in kinds of issues they treat as the seasons change from spring to summer to fall to winter. If that’s your practice, then updating quarterly makes sense. Chances are, however, that one update for the warm weather months, say in March, April or May, and other for the cold weather months, say in September, October or November, will suffice. We’ll help you determine that when we talk on the phone. And we’ll keep you updated with the right seasonal information at the right time, regardless of how often you want / need your program to be updated.

How does my Patients On Hold program play into my telephone system?

Telephone system types vary more widely than ever before…and how you play your medical on hold messages to your callers is dependent on the phone system’s capabilities.  Many telephone systems have an audio input jack to accept audio from an external audio source.  VoIP or Hosted telephone systems usually require an audio file.  Yet there are variations to every rule so asking your telephone dealer or your on hold provider is the best way to find out what your telephone system can do.

For more information, just call at 800-342-0098 during business hours and we’ll answer the phone…and your questions or visit our Patients On Hold page: www.patientsonhold.com.

Brian Illes

About Brian

veterinary hold messages and music

Brian Illes – VP/Operations

I’m one of five seasoned professionals here at On Hold Marketing where we all have over 10 years’ experience. Our Patient On Hold service is helping orthopaedic and other medical practices reduce patient hang-ups and frustration, and reminds callers about the many services you offer to help them return to normal functionality after an accident or injury.