How to Leverage Your Front Desk and Reduce Provider Burnout
Providers are the stars of your practice. Your practice’s success relies on how well they perform in treating and engaging with your patients. As you’ve most likely seen time and again, non-clinical responsibilities add undue stress. If left unchecked, your providers can feel tremendous burnout which leads to performance issues and eventually resignations.
However, your own medical receptionists have untapped potential to reduce provider burnout. Here are four ways they can help your providers.
Warm welcome to reduce patient stress
Patients often feel tense before an appointment. They are anxious about their health, unsure if treatment will help, and usually need to interrupt their day to attend the appointment.
As a result, your providers often have to take time away from diagnosis and treatment, and put in the extra effort to reassure patients. However, this is an unnecessary burden that weighs on them over time.
It’s far less stressful if the patients meet with the provider focused on the appointment and not their anxiety. This is where your medical receptionists come in. They can establish a strong foundation of trust and warmth with your patients, leading to less stressed patients and a smoother appointment.
A receptionist’s job is to greet patients with a smile, talk to them in a friendly and welcoming manner, and answer their questions calmly.
This will take away a lot of stress from your patient, and as a result, take the burden away from your providers.
Collect information prior to the appointment
Providers need to prepare for each appointment. This includes pulling up the patient’s medical history, allergies, treatment plans, insurance, and other documents. However, this can stress them out over time, when they can better spend their energy on the appointments themselves.
Fortunately, you can take these off their plate and give them to your front desk. They’re capable of pulling up these documents for them, as they often know the patients almost as much as the providers do.
Set up a workflow process between your providers and your front desk so that your front desk can prepare the necessary documents for your providers, so they can come to the appointment with the paperwork already in hand.
Take scheduling and phone calls tasks off their plate
Studies have shown that administrative work takes up 1/6 of a physicians’ working hours and leads to a lower job satisfaction rate. This is because these tasks tend to be unrelated to their passion and skill set.
Rather than making them spend more time and energy than they have to, you can turn these tasks into front desk jobs for your medical receptionists. Assign them administrative tasks such as:
- Scheduling appointments
- Managing payments
- Responding to emails
- Answering phone calls
- Insurance verification and follow-ups
When you do this, you can actually take a lot of things off your providers’ workload, allowing them to spend their energy on tasks that they do best.
Create a manageable schedule
During busy days, your providers can get stressed out if their workload is far more than what they can handle. This is especially the case when they have a series of scheduled appointments one after the other.
Your medical receptionists can help decongest their workload by scheduling their appointments in a way they can handle. They can coordinate with your providers about the preferences of their workload to ensure that they have a break at times when they need it.
Here are some questions that can guide your front desk when scheduling providers:
- Do they want to start early?
- Do they prefer to stay late?
- When will they have their lunch break?
- Are they willing to do back-to-back appointments, or prefer to have a break between each appointment?
An excellent front desk is always capable of reducing your provider’s burnout. If you have more than one clinic, consider relying on a virtual receptionist service like WelcomeWare to enable your current front desk team to do what they do best while providing support to all your providers across multiple locations at one time.
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