Once you hear the words “your hired” the excitement sets in. You are ready to learn and get started with training. At most, you learn about your employer through their website, information from the interview, or someone you know who may work there. But how much information are you actually getting? Is it enough?
Once you have trained and learned the requirements of your position you are able to provide support to your patients and coworkers. That is the goal, knowing what to do and how to do it. Great, but how can you further connect with your patient population? There are many ways that people connect with others through their healthcare journey.
Let’s discuss what you should know about your practice to better serve your patients. You must understand the span of services that are offered to understand the population you will encounter daily. Understading the services and what they require of the patient will aide in areas including scheduling, addressing call volume, and at check out. Understanding the age groups you serve will also help determine some of your most common challenges and best solutions. It is also important to understand if there is a high volume of outside referrals coming in or if your patients are often referred out. You will then be able to address requests confidently because it is an expected need of your patients. Depending on the area you are in you can also determine how people most travel to appointments at your location, major highways, public transportation, or walk. All these things just improve how you interact with people as a member of the front desk. Can you give general directions or the closest bus stop? Do you know the top insurances your office accepts? You should eventually know the majority payors for your facility without looking them up. The more knowledgeable and comfortable you are in the space of your practice the better you will be able to support your patient population and build a trusting relationship between them and your office.
You also need to know the information that will help you better communicate with your providers on a daily basis. Understanding what they have to accomplish between each patient is a start. This way you can gauge the best times to ask questions or have provider requests addressed. You need to know when an interuption is warranted and what can wait. Do they have office hours for consults or returning patient calls that differ from there general schedule? This will also help you better guide your patients who have physician specific questions. You want to have as much knowledge of the inner workings of your office so you can work within them to produce the best outcomes and be efficient. Depending on the type of medical office you are a part of you may also apply this to your nursing and management team. Know the best time to communicate and which issue are a priority and what can be addressed later or at the end of the day.
Lastly, you want your process to be respected as well. If you are working directly with a patient in the office or on the phone and recieve constatnt interuptions that are not a high priority. Make sure you share the best way for other members of the office to communicate with you when you are with a patient or working on a project. Perhaps you create a front desk resource for the other people in your practice to allow more cohesive interactions. There are several ways to communicate in an office setting. Dont be afraid to use them.
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