Buyer’s Guide Part 1 – What to Consider?
A medical alert company can be the link to life-saving measures for you or a loved one. Since this is the case, it is so important that you make sure you are working with a company (view all medical alert companies) that has a solid reputation and equipment that will meet your needs. There are a number of questions that you will need to ask before choosing a company and device (compare medical alert systems), and you should also do research on the features that each medical alert company’s hardware can offer. For more information on these systems, as well as an in-depth look at the features, check out the information, below:
Understanding the Features of Medical Alert Systems
Though most of these systems will have similar basic features, others may have features that you do not understand or even want. Since this is the case, as you go through the process of finding the right system for you, you should understand what all of these features do and how they may or may not benefit your personal situation. Keep in mind that not all medical alert systems will have all of these features.
Part 1 – The Company and Its Monitoring Systems:
The Company’s Reputation
Years of Experience, Value and Press
One of the things you should look for when choosing a medical alert company is ensuring they have a reputation that indicates they know what they are doing, and that they have several years of experience in this field. It is also well worth your time to look at the press the company has received, as well as any awards concerning the value they offer to their customers.
Of course, no company will have a 100 percent satisfaction rate, so you should also research any complaints the company has received. The Internet is a great place to do this as many people will post reviews about certain companies online. Keep in mind that not all complaints about a company are valid, so make sure you have enough information about the business and situation before you write off a company based on a negative review or two.
Looking into the call center operation a company has is also something you should do when considering a monitoring system.
Type of Monitoring
There are two main types of monitoring that these companies will offer to their customers:
1. In-house monitoring – When it comes to in-house monitoring, the call center will be managed and operated by the medical alert company. The means you can count on the same level of service that the brand is known for.
2. Outsourced monitoring – An outsourced company, however, is managed by an outside company. Customers of a medical alert company that has an outside service monitoring their calls may not even be aware of who are actually answering their calls. This doesn’t mean a company who works with an outsourced monitoring center is a bad choice, it simply means that you may need to ask about this company and do some research on them as well.
Number of Call Centers
You may find that a company has a lot of call centers, or you may find they only have a couple, or even just one. The goal is that you want to make sure that a call to the call center will be answered quickly and efficiently. If a company doesn’t have enough call centers, they may not be able to do this. You also may be interested to find out the location and size of the call centers and how many employees are at each center.
It is imperative to most people looking for a medical alert company to choose one that offers 24/7 monitoring. Accidents can happen at any time, and medical assistance should be available at any time.
Monitoring Center Standards
Each monitoring center should be complying with certain standards to ensure proper care is given to each customer. Keep in mind that not all monitoring centers work under the same standards. Some of the standards you may come across include:
• UL Certification – This means the monitoring center has met or exceeded the standards put into place by Underwriters Laboratories, a third party company that looks to ensure a business is meeting certain regulations.
• ETL Mark – This standard ensures that the business is meeting or exceeding certain safety standards and complying with regulations.
• CSAA Five Diamond – You may also come across monitoring companies that claim the CSAA Five Diamond certification. This is for monitoring centers only and measures five different standards including commitment to random inspections, customer service, on-going education, raising standards and reducing false dispatches.
• 911 Trained – This indicates the company is trained in the standards and procedures of 911, including stress management.
• Security Industry Association – It is also important for consumers to look for membership in the Security Industry Association. This organization is responsible for educating and information those businesses in the security industry on the latest and most important information and standards.
• No Information Available – You may also find that the information on training and standards is not clear when researching a medical alert company. In this case, you should contact the company directly, and ask questions about their standards and training practices. This is not a situation where you want to take a chance on poor training and no regulation.
Though all monitoring centers should answer calls in English, not all people who have use for a monitoring center speak English as a second language or even speak English at all. If your loved one is not proficient in English, you should look for a medical alert company that offers bi-lingual operators or language lines.
Look into the availability of the medical alert companies you are interested in. Some are nationwide, and some are simply local.
Customer Service, Help and Support
You also may want to look into the type of customer service a company is known for, as well as the help and support they offer to their customers.
Brochures, User Guides and Information
All hardware for a medical alert system should come with some sort of information or user guide. This makes it easy to learn how to use the system correctly. These guides should also be in the native language of the user, if possible.
Many companies also offer an online FAQ that may be a quick and easy way to have questions answered about their products and services. These, too, should be in a language the user understands, if possible.
Easy to Follow Contact Information
Knowing how to contact a company is imperative, in addition to reaching them via the medical alert system. You should ensure the business you choose has an email address, phone number, live chat feature and social media account. This ensures their credibility and gives their customers more ways to contact them.
- Buyer’s Guide Part 1 – The Company and Its Monitoring Systems – You are here!
- Buyer’s Guide Part 2 – Company Service Equipment – Click to Enter!
- Buyer’s Guide Part 3 – Contracts and Fees – Click to Enter!
- Buyer’s Guide Part 4 – Protection Services and Premium Features – Click to Enter!
- Buyer’s Guide Part 5 – Additional Features of Medical Alert Systems – Click to Enter!