Your front desk is the first and last impression a patient has on your practice. Your receptionist can make a huge difference in patient retention and new patient referrals.
The following tips will help to manage your front desk to be as effective and efficient as possible.
Educate your staff
Make sure your staff are trained and educated to do their job correctly. Train them to know what information to collect and why it is important. Obtaining the correct information and ensuring accuracy initially will increase the entire business efficiency and prevent issues later. Incorrect entry of any demographic or insurance information will delay payment, many employees do not understand the “domino effect” of a small error. Provide support- even after training, make sure your team knows they have support when needed and be willing to step in and help when they need it.
Prioritize customer service
It may seem like common sense, but it is important to make sure your staff understands what your expectations for customer service are. Everyone has a little different idea of what “good” customer service is.
- Greet patients warmly and sincerely
- Listen to patients
- Use names- staff introduce themselves and call the patient by name
- Always show respect to everyone, patients and coworkers
- Set policies on what time frame calls are to be returned and if calls should be going to voicemail or always answered by live person, set clear expectations
Build positive office culture
A happy office is an efficient office. If you set the culture of the working environment to be one that promotes team work, excellence and respect, this will reflect in the work. Hiring people that fit the culture, will make it so your employees always put the patient first and are focused on providing the best customer experience possible. Providing praise and appreciation for all your employees do is not just about being a nice boss, it is about getting employees to give their best, which most will do when they feel appreciated.
Establish or revamp office policies and protocols
The current way to do things may not be the best way. Don’t let old habits dictate the way the office runs. Work with your team to determine if there is a faster, more efficient way to run the front desk. After reviewing current policies and determining if there is a better way, get everyone on the same page.
Policies/protocols to review:
- Check in/out processes, collecting demographic data (make sure this is done at every visit to eliminate delayed payments)
- Patient copay and balance collection policy
- Patient scheduling policies
- Employee breaks and lunches- overworked and stressed out staff promotes chaos
- Phone etiquette policies