Select the appropriate staff to answer your phones

Clearly, you can’t have just anyone answering the phone. First determine whether your receptionist can effectively field telephone inquiries or whether you need a special patient coordinator to handle callers with extensive questions. Deciding factors include the type and size of your practice, call volume, and the need for privacy.

For example, larger practices or those specializing in multiple services may do better with a patient coordinator simply because the receptionist won’t have the time or the expertise to field all types of inquiries. Similarly, if your phone rings constantly, the receptionist won’t be able to handle all of the calls effectively without putting inquirers on hold—a big no-no when dealing with first-time callers.

Finally, consider a patient coordinator to field phone inquiries when privacy is an issue. For example, if your practice treats patients with potentially embarrassing conditions, such as impotence or incontinence, your staff will be better able to converse discreetly with the caller behind closed doors. Moreover, patients in the waiting room don’t want to overhear the receptionist covering personal details with callers.

This nugget was adapted from The Profitable Front Desk, from Advisory Publications, a division of HCPro, Inc. To order click here or call their Customer Service Department at 800/650-6787 for more information.

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