Purpose of the App Review
- How does Ringadoc work?
- Is there any cost to me?
- How does the app work with the service?
There’s no doubt that physicians in private practice have been getting the squeeze, with recent across the board reimbursement cuts and increasing overhead costs. As the savvy private practice doctor tries to cut costs, expensive answering services may be some low hanging fruit.
Ringadoc is an online service that will allow your patients to leave a message at the doctor’s office and send the message directly to the person on call’s smartphone.
The Ringadoc service is free for one month then $49/month for up to 4 providers.The app is free on iOS and Google Play.
To understand the app, one must understand the service first. First, a patient will call their doctor’s office after hours. The line will be routed to the Ringadoc messaging system which will give the patient a few options. They can press 1 for hours or directions, etc or they can press 3 if they have an urgent message for the doctor on call. All of this is preceded by a disclaimer reminding the caller to call 911 if they are dealing with an emergency.
When a caller leaves an urgent message, it will be routed to the on-call provider’s Ringadoc app. When the app opens, it requires the user to confirm their phone number and enter their PIN. Once the user enters the app, the homepage will list all of the urgent calls, saved voicemails and completed calls.
When the user does get a message, they can push notifications using their smartphone.
The app will push notifications as reminders if the message is not addressed. Ringadoc understands that sometimes the user may not have a data connection sufficient to download a message. As a result, if a user does not respond, a text asking the provider to call a phone number to hear the urgent message is then sent.
When a user gets a chance to check the messages, they can use the app directly to listen to the voicemails. The user only has to call the 800 number when they cannot download the messages.
The user has the options to call back, send a voicemail to the caller, forward the message to the office, or dismiss the call. In the Settings tab of the app, the user can designate another provider to receive messages if the user does not respond to a call in a certain amount of time.
- Free (app). Service is free for the first month then costs $49.99/month for up to 4 providers.
- Very convenient way to manage after hour calls at a low expense
- Push notifications on the phone with reminders so users don’t forget to address their patient calls
- Ringadoc keeps a log of calls, allows users to mark as urgent or dismiss the voicemail
- Cuts out costly third party or in-house calling services
- App will automatically forward unanswered messages to another provider (based on app settings)
- App requires PIN login to open the app as an additional patient privacy measure
- Ringadoc still requires a provider to listen to all messages–answering service would be able to filter out spam calls
- Currently Ringadoc does not use speech recognition software in their message system. Incorporating a system like Dragon Dictation that would send a text message directly to the user’s smartphone would be a very convenient addition
- Currently, patients cannot use SMS to message a doctor on call through Ringadoc
Healthcare providers that would benefit from the app
- Mid-level providers
- Psychologists, PTs, OTs, veterinarians, optometrists, dentists
- Ringadoc is a service that helps doctors replace their answering service and allows patients to contact their providers after hours. The patient calls the regular office phone number after hours and the message will be forwarded to the doctor’s smartphone or tablet. From there, the doctor can either call the patient back directly, dismiss the message or send the patient a voicemail.
- The app is a conduit for the service, pushing notifications through to the provider on call. The app is designed so that users can assign another provider to receive the message if the provider on call has not addressed a call within 30 minutes.
- Currently, there is no speech to text service available for the app. The app is free but the service costs 49.99 per month for up to 4 providers (the first month is free). This app is available on iOS and Android platforms.
Overall: 4.75/5 Stars
User Interface: 4/5 Stars Easy to use. Push notifications and reminders are very helpful. One day, I hope they add speech to text so the user can get a message preview via text.
Multimedia Coverage: 5/5 Stars. The app does not have any multimedia usage but the scope of the app does not call for any.
Price: 5/5 Stars. The app is free. The service is free for the first month and $49.99/mo after that.
Real World Applicability: 5/5 Stars. This app can easily be used on a daily basis for a doctor’s office.
Compatibility: iPhone, iPad (compatible), iPod Touch (3rd generation and later), Android devices
Requires: iOS 5.1 or later/ Android 4.0 and up
Current Version: 1.2 (Google Play and iOS)
Tested on: iPhone 4S