10 Tips for Training Your Medical Receptionists
Medical receptionists serve as the frontline of your practice. Thus, it’s vital to train them properly to maintain productivity and achieve high ROI for your front desk.
Here are 10 tips for training your medical front desk:
1. Encourage a healthy lifestyle
Providing a positive customer experience with your business is the main responsibility of your medical receptionist. The primary challenge, however, is maintaining consistent performance. Front desk work tends to be exhausting over time. Thus, it’s vital for your medical receptionists to preserve a healthy lifestyle.
Here are some healthy habits that you can encourage them to have:
- Having at least 8 hours of sleep
- Eating enough food before, during, and after work
- Drinking water regularly
2. Give regular refreshers
Your medical receptionists would have already acknowledged and practiced the internal workflow and policies of your practice since the beginning of their employment. However, some important policies can be forgotten or neglected, which may lead to issues in the future.
Re-orienting them through regular refreshers can effectively remind them about vital internal policies. Some ways you can do this are:
- Holding regular review sessions with your medical receptionists
- Sending instructional videos for them to watch at their own time
- Giving them a short quiz on the policies
3. Provide specific feedback
Medical front desk receptionist training is an opportunity for you to focus on the specific strengths and weaknesses of your medical receptionists. While giving general advice can be helpful, detailed feedback may allow each medical receptionist to improve on a more substantial level.
You can do this by regularly observing your medical receptionists as they work. Looking at performance metrics may also be helpful, though it’s much better to see how your receptionists perform in action to identify any areas of improvement.
4. Offer an open forum
In a training session, both you and your front desk get the opportunity to learn from each other:
- For your front desk team, they are taught and refreshed on internal policies and workplace guidelines.
- For you, it’s an opportunity to identify new ways to improve front desk operations from your medical receptionists’ feedback.
Since your medical receptionists are the ones who implement the workflow policies, they have firsthand experience of how well these policies work. Thus, giving them an open forum on what they think can be done better may be an effective way to determine the best ways to enhance your front desk operations.
An open forum can also allow your receptionists to air out any grievances or concerns in the workplace. Sometimes, their performance can be affected by internal conflict or differences, which you must settle to maintain a transformative workplace.
5. Train them on administrative work
Flexibility is one of the key characteristics of an effective medical receptionist. Over time, your practice may require the extra hands of your front desk to help your providers through busy days. One of the most effective ways they can help is by doing the administrative tasks that providers usually carry out, such as:
- Answering phone calls
- Responding to emails
- Scheduling appointments
- Doing data entry
If you train your medical front desk to engage in administrative work, they can be much more flexible and helpful to your practice.
6. Do roleplaying activities
Preparedness and adaptability are other key characteristics that your medical receptionists must have. These are essential when facing certain situations like:
- Difficult patients
- Scheduling issues
- Upselling opportunities
Conducting roleplaying exercises can be a productive way to teach medical receptionists the best way to act in specific scenarios. It also gives them ideas of how patients feel or think, allowing them to have a deeper understanding of how to interact with them.
7. Strengthen relationship with healthcare providers
Medical receptionists and healthcare providers may rarely see each other during work. However, nurturing a healthy, positive relationship with each other may be helpful in maintaining a strong team dynamic. For instance, medical receptionists can schedule future appointments for times that are most preferred by healthcare providers.
During your training sessions or refreshers, encourage your medical receptionists and healthcare providers to get to know each other. While this may only have a small impact on front desk performance, it can promote teamwork and communication among your entire team.
8. Focus on keeping patient relationships
Maintaining current patient relationships is vital to the success of your practice. While getting new clients may indicate growth, your patient retention rate is what keeps your practice afloat. According to Harvard Business Review, gaining new clients can be five to twenty-five times more expensive than keeping new ones due to the time and resources spent to find new clients.
Thus, training your medical receptionists should also involve leaving a lasting positive impression on patients to keep them returning.
Here are some ways you can train them:
- Ensuring consistent front desk performance while servicing patients
- Practicing what to say when talking to returning patients
- Remembering appointment schedule preferences
9. Maintain a strong front desk dynamic
To achieve seamless front desk operations, you must maintain a strong dynamic among your medical receptionists. This prevents bottlenecks in productivity and ensures that your business runs smoothly.
Establish and practice an internal workflow that ensures constant front desk coverage even when certain receptionists are:
- Busy with other tasks
- Taking a break
- On leave
More importantly, having a strong front desk dynamic allows you to keep the same staff members for a long period of time. In a 2017 poll involving 1,133 healthcare leaders, 32% of respondents report that their highest turnover rate is among their front office staff.
Thus, you must conduct activities that promote camaraderie and teamwork amongst your front desk staff. Some examples include team-building exercises, event celebrations in the workplace, or encouraging discussions among your medical receptionists.
10. Consider a remote work setup
When you first hire medical receptionists, you’re often limited by receptionists available around your geographic area. Sometimes, the best medical receptionists for your practice are located far away. Most likely, it’s more efficient to refresh already skilled medical receptionists than to take time to train newer ones.
The solution: transitioning to a remote work setup for your front desk. “Virtual medical receptionists” can provide multiple benefits for your practice, including:
- 100% front desk utilization. You can use the same front desk team across multiple clinics and avoid underutilization.
- Reduce receptionist stress. Eliminate the need to travel and provide your receptionists with a convenient work-from-home option.
- Lower turnover rate. Avoid the hassle of hiring new receptionists and keep the same receptionist team for the long term.
However, you need the right platform to enable your front desk to work remotely. WelcomeWare, for example, is a software and hardware virtual receptionist solution that gives you what you need to leverage virtual medical receptionists for your practice.
With the right equipment and protocols in place, you can properly train your medical receptionists so that your front desk has a significant impact in keeping your practice afloat.
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