Using Spruce with a Virtual Assistant
Spruce works well with both in-person and virtual assistants. In this article we will share some of the ways in which Spruce may be used as a collaboration tool, along with how to get an assistant set up on Spruce. Spruce enables you to work seamlessly with your entire care team even if they are not located within your physical location. With all internal communication living inside secure, cloud-based software, you are able to discuss patient information (including PHI) together with your team, quickly and efficiently.
Anyone using Spruce, regardless of where they are, can make and receive calls from your Spruce number. In order to use Spruce as a teammate you must have a 10-digit phone number and be able to receive SMS text to that number. When you invite a teammate to your Spruce account they will create their login with that 10-digit number. Additionally, for the assistant to make calls, they will either have to test using an alternative web-based calling solution like Google Voice or Skype, or you can ship a physical phone to them.
Inviting your virtual assistant to Spruce as a teammate
Invite your domestic or international teammate to join you on Spruce (note: every user must have a US-based, 10-digit phone number. A service such as Google Voice, Skype, or other web-based number may be created if one is unavailable.) If a Google Voice number is needed for set up, this article explains how to get that up and running. You will invite your teammate under Settings -> Teammates. If you have more questions, you may read more here about inviting teammates.
In a nutshell:
- If needed, have your assistant set up a US-based Google Voice number and confirm they can receive SMS text verification codes through that number.
- Invite them to your Spruce account under Settings > Teammates (learn more here).
- Your teammate will receive an email invitation with a link they will click to join your practice (on web) and create their login with their new virtual number that's been created.
- Continue with the account creation process by entering their first and last name as well as their email address and desired password and select ’Complete’.
- Once completed you will see a notification in the Team Spruce Support thread and they will be listed under Teammates in Settings.
Note: Your teammate will be able to use Spruce on their browser, iPhone, or Android device but they will not be able to make calls out if on mobile unless the mobile cell phone is the same number as their login number. Read more about this in the next section below.
Making and Receiving calls using the Spruce number
For your virtual assistant to make calls to patients using your same Spruce number, you will have two options to choose from. If you don't want to specify what number your patients see when they receive a call from your virtual assistant, then the assistant can just call out using their own phone system.
To make calls with your Spruce number you must use a phone line with established service as we do not enable calls over the internet through the Spruce app on your computer at this time (coming 2023). Today you can make calls from the Spruce app via Android or iOS, using a Spruce desk phone, or as we describe below, using another phone system (VoIP or virtual phone system) that has an active phone line.
Making a call from any phone (not connected to Spruce)
With this setup, your assistant will call using any US-based phone number and still show your Spruce number (your business number) as their caller ID to the patient, regardless of what phone you or your staff call from.
How to make a call from any US-based phone number with Spruce caller ID:
- Open the web version of Spruce and then open the patient conversation for whom you'd like to call (or create a new conversation).
- Click on the phone icon in the upper right.
- If the phone number in the box in section two is not the phone number you will be making the call from (e.g. a US-based web phone number or a US-based landline phone number) then tap on the number and enter the number of the phone you will be calling from.
- Next you will open up your other phone system and dial the number that is bolded in section three. The patients will see the caller ID of the Spruce number in section one.
Using a Spruce desk phone
Spruce is compatible with a Spruce purchased VoIP desk phone (learn more here). This is a great option for virtual assistants not working at your location or even abroad. You can purchase a desk phone through Spruce (they must be on the Communicator plan) and then you can ship it to your virtual assistant. If your assistant lives within the US, you may ship the phone directly to them. If your assistant is based internationally, you must ship the phone to your office, then mail it on your own to the assistant. We do not ship out of the country at this time.
Using Spruce as virtual assistant in multiple practices
If you or your virtual assistant work in more than one office that uses Spruce, please see this article on Using Spruce in Multiple Spruce Organizations.