Walk into any type of medical office and the first thing you should see is a smile with a warm and friendly greeting. My motto is 4 little letters that have big meaning “PEPP. " Professionalism- No matter what the situation, always be professional. Patients can spot someone not being professional a mile away and that does not present a good first impression. Efficient- Schedule your time, stay organized, and don't save for tomorrow what you can do today. Always give 110% and strive for excellence each and every day. Positive- No matter what is going on, keep a positive attitude. Patients are coming to us because they are in some type of pain, and letting them see a positive outlook can make them feel better. Last but not least Pleasant- Just be nice. This is a very simple concept. Let the patient know you care about their problem. Listen to them with caring ears. You would be surprise how a pleasant word could make all the difference in their day.
Managing the front desk at a Omaha Nebraska Therapy Office is one of the most rewarding, challenging jobs I have ever had. I am the first impression each and every patient has when they walk through that front door. This is a very easy task for me as I love people and I love to smile! This job needs to go beyond just being polite if you want to form a caring relationship with each one of these patients while they are coming to you for care. This is very important to me to do this. I feel I play a small part in helping each and every one of these patients feel better. The patient comes first, so whatever they need, I am there to help them. Whether they have a question on their insurance or bill; scheduling to their convenience as much as I can; stopping what I am doing and truly listening to them; or just getting them a drink of water. Patients are very easy to take into your heart. The therapists can give them physical therapy, but I give them smile therapy each and every day. The more comfortable and at ease a patient is about the whole experience, the more they will be relaxed when they go have their physical therapy. At all times, maintain your professionalism, and efficient work ethic, but don't forget to carry that positive attitude and be pleasant as you come across to these patients.
Smile therapy is just as important on the phone. A person can sense if you are being all professional and not pleasant on the phone. Show that smile in your voice as you are helping a patient on the phone. They need to feel just as comfortable, if not more, when you are scheduling them. This is kind of a first impression also. I have not gone to a particular doctor if the secretary on the phone or at the front desk was rude. We all have bad days, but the second that phone rings or someone comes through that door, put on a smile if it isn't all ready there and greet your patient with “PEPP. " You cannot have too much “PEPP. " You would be surprised if you are having a bad day and you do these 4 simple words, how much better you will feel. You do not want the patient to leave before they have even had their therapy because they do not like how they are being treated at the front desk. If the patient isn't happy about a situation, such as their insurance copay or coinsurance, explain to them how it works in a very calm, professional, nice manner as best you can. If they are still upset or do not understand after much explaining, get your director, as you DO NOT want to lose this patient if it can be helped.
Verbal and nonverbal skills say a lot about you as a person and patients can pick up on this. In your multi-tasking day, no matter how chaotic it can be, keep your “PEPP" going strong.
Some factors that are very important to remember are: -Never argue with a patient when you are trying to explain something to them. Again, be calm and professional. Once all has been tried on your part, if needed, get your director. -Do not interrupt the front desk person if they are on the phone or talking with a patient. Two people explaining something to the patient can cause for more confusion and frustration. If you have to, take the other person aside or out of the office, if they have something they want to add. DO NOT do this in front of the patient. Patients deserve your undivided attention at all times. -Always get your patient scheduled within a timely manner as best you can with their schedule and the therapists. -Always make that patient feel like you care and want to see them get better. Show them your concern; ask them how they are doing when they come in.
Along with your smile therapy, be sure and remember to be professional, be efficient at your job and work productively, have a positive attitude, and be pleasant throughout the day. Nothing is more rewarding to get a compliment from a patient that you made them feel better, or if they tell you thanks for listening. Your job managing the front desk can be just as beneficial in their healing time as the physical therapy aspect of it. So, PUT ON A SMILE AND WELCOME YOUR PATIENTS TO YOUR CLINIC.
Kelley Reeves is a receptionist for Excel Physical Therapy of Nebraska. You can read more articles like this by visiting their website at http://www.excelpt.com and register for a free newsletter or visit the links page.