Any debate about the importance of care team receptionists is sure to be a short one. Unfortunately, there is a tendency to diminish or even overlook the receptionist’s role. You won’t find any of that here. Instead of Receptionist, a better job title might be, First Impression Specialist. Simply put, no job is more important than making a good first impression.
A patient’s encounter in the medical office often begins with the receptionist. If your practice desires to improve the patient’s overall experience, a great place to start is where your patients start – with the receptionist. The care team members at the top of their profession are not only essential to the patient experience, they elevate it with several best practices.
Do you want a quick tell-tale sign that your reception team is among the best in the industry? As patients arrive at your practice and enter your check-in area, are receptionists at your practice in the habit of looking up from their computers and greeting the patient as they approach, even before the patient completes the last few steps of their journey to the check-in counter? If so, your industry-leading first impression specialists just set a positive tone for the rest of the patient encounter.
On the other hand, if your receptionists are in the habit of waiting until the patient has arrived at the check-in counter to look up, or even allow the patient stand for any amount of time before acknowledging them, that’s a red flag. This indicates an opportunity for improvement.
Based on a sample size of 918,101 surveyed patients from the M3-Patient Experience system, 85.7% of patients who answered the Receptionist Helpful question below answered ‘Always’.
In the last 6 months, how often were clerks and receptionists at this provider’s office as helpful as you thought they should be?
[ x ] Always
[ ] Usually
[ ] Sometimes
[ ] Never
Considering today’s demanding consumer-driven healthcare environment, it is notably impressive that over 85% of patients of M3-Patient Experience physician practices indicate that they ‘Always’ have a great experience with the receptionist. The credit goes to the hard work of the practice administrators, physician leaders, and the undying dedication of our client’s receptionists. Most of these receptionists effectively utilize MedicalGPS’ Endeavor for Excellence training and data from M3-Patient Experience.
Our experience with these practices and care team members indicates that the following techniques form an essential foundation that highly successful and effective receptionists can build on.
Personal Details Matter
Active Listening is Essential
As the first point of contact, the receptionist has the opportunity to initiate great patient engagement that continues throughout the entire office visit. In the coming weeks, we will be exploring nine techniques that first impression specialists in your office can hone in order to reach the highest levels of their profession and the highest levels of patient satisfaction.