Patient satisfaction should always be your priority. You may be one of the best doctors in the area. You may even offer your services at the best competitive rate. But if you can’t continuously satisfy your patients, then your practice will be just another clinic that can’t retain their patients. If you want things to change, check which areas you ought to improve.
According to a study, up to 96% of the patient complaint is not the quality of care. Most of the time, it is faulty customer service. Think of excessive delays, poor communications, disorganization.
Patients are already in pain, discomfort, and distress. The last thing they need is a slow receptionist, lots of paperwork, and the long waiting lines. If you focus on improving your front office, your patients will be happier.
Patients will be more than willing to leave you positive reviews. You can even easily collect more copays and boost your practice revenue. But the question is, how can you improve your practice’ front office?
Hire and Train the Right Staff
It is no secret that a warm and friendly face on the front desk is always a wonderful view. Your patients are here for a reason, and that is to see you. But this is not enough reason for your staff to greet them with a cold “Good morning” or the usual “Please sign in.”
Such an attitude can make anyone feel like they are an inconvenience. If you want happier patients, hire staffs that are naturally friendly but professional. Train them how to greet patients with a warm smile, a friendly tone, and a welcoming attitude.
The goes when answering phone calls. Your receptionist should use the sale friendliness and professionalism on the phone. They must actively listen to the patient on the line, ask and answer questions politely and ensure they get the message right and clear before dropping the call.
Streamline Front Office Processes
It is also your duty to provide your staff with better and more reliable medical practice management software. This can boost your service, improve processes and avoid wait-times. This can also help your staff know about patient’s information.
With a faster process, your staff can focus more on the patient than their records. Your patients no longer have to bother themselves with lots of paperwork. They can enjoy a faster check-in and spend their precious time waiting for shorter lines.
With the right software, you can even boost your practice revenue. This is since this can come with built-in charge posting tools and card processing features. This means you get to encourage patients to settle copays and increase your daily income.
Eradicate Office Gossip
Sometimes, staff would be too comfortable talking around patients. They could be gossiping about each other, or even the last patient who recently came in. This can hurt a patient’s morale and even stir up problems within your business.
As much as possible, tell your staff to remain professional while they are inside your practice. They should keep such discussions in private. You don’t want your practice to be surrounded by unnecessary negativity, especially when patients are around.
Fight HIPAA Violation
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 or HIPAA is a law that requires healthcare professionals to protect patient’s sensitive health information. Your staff may know very well how important it is to abide by the HIPAA rules. But since you will be the one held responsible if they break such a rule, you want to make sure they know the consequences.
So, make sure all of your staff knows about their obligation to keep patients’ information confidential. They should not talk about a patient’s case. They are also not allowed to disclose any sensitive information to anyone other than the patient.
Reduce Billing Errors
Most patients can barely afford their medical checkups. What they don’t need is getting charged for the wrong amount. For best results, train your front desk on how to avoid billing errors at all costs.
For one, at least one staff should know how insurance plans from different companies work. He will then need to train other staff on how to verify insurance policies and avoid billing errors. They should be able to explain to the patients well what is covered in their insurance or not.
Patients should understand their copay for an exam. They ought to know how much and what are things are covered under their insurance. If you can have your staff explain these things cleanly and professionally, then your patients will have more confidence in your staff.
It is clear what your patients want and expect. They want a more convenient check-in, friendlier and professional staff at your front desks, and better payment options. The sooner you can eradicate front desk issues, the easier your patients’ and staffs’ lives will be. This can lead to better employee morale and customer satisfaction. The happier your staffs and patients are, the more success you can expect your practice to enjoy.