Home Health Answering Service

May 1, 2017

Centratel Medical Answering Service provides the foundation for operation of our home health answering service. Call processing must be handled quickly, accurately and with the utmost sensitivity to the caller, as well as to the on-call physician or nurse. With a 33 year history of handling hospice answering service calls, the demands of medical emergency message processing have shaped and honed every facet of our operation. Our largest and most specialized area of expertise are medical answering service, hospice answering service, and home health answering service.

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(Note: This web site is different from other answering service sites. Our prime objective is to provide you information, not to simply “sell” you. Of course we want to provide you service, but our first aim is to inform. Within this site you will find nearly 200,000 words of answering service-related content accessible via a search feature. The information is constantly updated and is as objective as it can be, considering we are a for-profit entity. For information about the answering service industry itself, go here.)

We’re poles apart from the traditional telephone home health answering service: We consider ourselves the highest quality telephone answering service in the United States. Our services are about people dealing with people and not simply about our customers employing an answering service.

Have you come to this website because your current answering service is not performing? If so, you are not alone. Nearly 100% of our newest accounts came to us because they were dissatisfied with their former answering service provider. Note: Our most recent Customer Reported Error Rate (October through December, 2018) was 1 customer-reported error for every 11,034 message transactions processed. For a comprehensive over-view of how Centratel is able to maintain such a high level of quality, see company president and majority owner Sam Carpenter’s letter, “Why Centratel.”

We invite you to review testimonials from our current clients.

All calls are digitally recorded (where allowed by law), providing a solid record of any conversation between our Telephone Service Representative (TSR) and your caller. This is a critical element in determining liability: Experience has shown that over 90% of client complaints are based upon caller misunderstandings or errors, not TSR error.

We understand that “after-hours” is every bit as critical as what happens between 8 and 5. Your business is about critical situations, compassion and common sense.

Your after-hours calls must be handled efficiently, immediately and with great care. Our various call center relay protocols, built on years of emergency dispatch for the medical professions, have a major commonality: it is critical that your incoming calls be handled exactly as described in the 1-2-3 step answering service relay method that has been specially designed for your company. The essential element in message relay protocol is that the urgent message is delivered quickly and efficiently.

The new client is carefully interviewed by Centratel’s new-account specialist to determine what exactly constitutes an emergency and how to relay the information to on-call personnel. The challenge is to eliminate grey areas; to be sure that we know exactly what you deem urgent.

Centratel generates hard-copy backups of all call center transactions. For routine answered messages, there are a variety of delivery options available including voice mail, fax and Email. If you use our daytime answering service messages can be delivered one at a time as they are taken, or in batches. All elements of every after-hours on-call contact are batched hard-copy to the office each morning. We provide full archiving of answered messages for a period of three years.

There is an almost endless array of message delivery and message retrieval options including picking up your messages from your Smartphone, with our free on-line message pick-up service .

Absolutely dependable, it’s the job of the Centratel TSR to carefully follow call center relay instructions to find a balance between needlessly disturbing your on-call staff and efficiently connecting him or her to people who truly need immediate assistance. Once the unique relay protocol has been established for your account, it is followed tenaciously by the TSR unless we have been given real-time instructions otherwise. In feedback from hundreds of physicians (as illustrated in a case study) we’ve developed 1-2-3 step answering service relay procedures to provide nearly zero-defect call screening/dispatch processes.

Centratel Quality: Quality of answering and message delivery service is, of course, subjective. What can be said is this: Centratel’s systematic call center protocols have developed directly as a result of handling emergencies for our many medical clients. What is true for medical urgencies is also true for any non-medical urgency. The transaction with the caller must be professional, accuracy must be zero-defect, and the process of taking the information and delivering it must be concise, fast and efficient. All this must be accomplished by TSR’s who perform in exactly the way you expect your front office personnel to perform: they are personable, informed, positive and un-rushed.

We understand that your home health care operation is a business, too. We understand the need for complete confidentiality, absolute efficiency, and compassion, combined with the realities of establishing a profitable bottom line.

We have a zero-tolerance policy regarding substance abuse: drug testing is part of the interview process, and frequent random testing occurs with all permanent answering service staff.

Training is incessant and rigorous; our expectations are high. In turn, our TSR staff enjoys wages and benefits in the top 2% of all answering services nationally as they perform in a work environment that is both calm and invigorating. We don’t hire part-time answering service staff; all TSR’s earn a living wage and consider their positions as careers. Job descriptions are thorough yet concise: our people know exactly what is expected of them. We break the stereotype in the answering service industry in which staff members are underpaid and overworked. At Centratel, we work in the opposite direction, fully acknowledging that the key element in superb message relay lies with the people who handle the calls. Unlike the majority of telephone answering services that discourage client contact with answering service operations personnel, we invite you to personally inspect our physical operation in Bend, Oregon and meet the people who actually handle your calls.

Your office personnel have a direct connection to a specific Customer Service Representative at Centratel. Our customer service department is organized so that you will have one person assigned to your answering service account who handles all client issues directly with the TSR staff. Your Customer Service Representative (CSR) will know your people personally and understand your answering service account intimately. Indirectly becoming a part of your front office staff, your CSR is friendly, professional and dependable. After-hours, and in the absence of your assigned CSR, a skilled on-site Operations Supervisor will be immediately available to answer questions or handle unusual medical answering service situations.

Our TSRs use the absolute latest and most dependable 100% digital call processing equipment available. Ours is a complex business: All primary systems are redundant and backup systems are readily available. Centratel’s two certified IT engineers are available 24/7/365 in the remote chance of a systems malfunction. Mechanical support includes robust UPS/battery backup with heavy duty generators and redundant servers. Located in the Pacific Northwest, the most stable environmental location in the lower 48 states, we are not susceptible to hurricanes, tornadoes, floods or earthquakes.

And, we do it all at a reasonable price! Our home health answering service rate structure is in the middle of the range of rates charged by other medical-related telephone answering services In the call center business, just like your own business, it really is a matter of “getting what you pay for.” At Centratel, you can be assured that your monthly answering service investment is solid and worthwhile.

To apply for service, go to our Price Quote page.