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Your Front Desk Is You

Posted on January 30, 2018 I Written By

Is your front desk welcoming, or repelling your patients, your customers?  Yes, patients are your customers, they are the ones that create your income by coming to your practice.  And whom do your customers first encounter” Your front desk staff. Are they a reflection of what you want your practice to be, representing you, or are they something you really don’t want to think about, low paid, marginal help that you have to have? High turnover, “you can’t get good help”, not worth paying more than minimum wage, staff?

That glass window that you installed for HIPAA privacy in the patient’s view is a device that allows them to hide from their view, to avoid eye contact, avoid dealing with them, the patient. Behind the glass window, are the people that greet your patients, expected to make them feel “welcome”, instruct them on the necessary registration materials to be signed, and most importantly, set the tone, and culture of the office for your patients?  This is critical to your practice’s success.

Such people should be a positive contact point for your practice, yet a study published in the Journal of Medical Practice management reported that 96% of patient complaints about a practice have to do with customer service. It’s not the clinical care, the physicians care, but how they are treated in the experience of visiting your practice.  And the first point of contact in the office is your front desk staff.

Is Your Practice Perfect or Does It Need Improvement?

Now you need to look at your scheduling process as well to see if that is a point of friction, online or by phone, but the human aspect once in the office is your front desk staff.

How is the reception configured, and how are the staff trained?

If that glass window is a barrier that hides the staff, that allows them to ignore the patients, then your message is that they, your customers are secondary to everything else.  If the patient has to ring a bell or tap on the window, or even read a hand-written sign that says sign in and take a seat, this is for the benefit of your staff, not your patients.  Now if you have an alert on the door when it opens and that signals staff to open the window and welcome the patient, inviting them to start the registration process, you have a very different tone to kick off the patient visit.

And that welcoming staff person has to be hired for personality, a welcoming personality, and then trained to do the job, the tasks that need to be performed at the time of registration.  Even if it requires more than minimum wage to fill the slot, the right person sets the cultural tone for the office and set you as the physician up for a better encounter with the patient. The glass window when opened, should not be to simply thrust a clipboard into the hands of the patient saying “fill these out”.  The exchange between your staff and the patient would be welcoming and appreciative.  In other words, make the exchange about the patient.

Take a look at your waiting room as well, is it inviting, clean, up-to-date, and comfortable? If not, take some time to make sure your waiting room reflects the kind of quality care you provide your patients.

About Alex Tate
Alex Tate is a Healthcare IT Researcher and writer at CureMD who focus various engaging and informative topics related to the health IT industry. He loves to research and write about topics such as Affordable Care Act, Electronic Medical Records, revenue cycle management, privacy, and security of patient health data.

How Doctors Can Make Use of Social Media?

Posted on June 17, 2014 I Written By

The following is a guest blog post by Alex Tate.
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By using the right strategy doctors can gain a lot by making a proper use of social media to market themselves, share their rich experience and knowledge and carry out discussions with the colleagues in the industry.

Many of the doctors are afraid of the unknown and thus decide to remain silent over the social media due to privacy concerns. It is possible to create a good balance between having a transparent communication and matching to the necessary limitations of the industry.  Around 24% of physicians use social media at least once a day to post, share and seek medical information. The use of social media is still in its early years and it is a great opportunity to take advantage of these digital platforms and build credibility for your career as a doctor or a physician. The medical industry is very less saturated online as compared to other industries mainly due to the fear and apprehensions of health care organizations and professions as they would want to avoid liability issues related to social media related platforms.

As a doctor it is possible to make an effective and profitable social media strategy to market your practice and career. It will require a lot of time and effort but the results can have a far reaching effect for the long term success. If you are a physician or a doctor there are many ways you can make yourself stand out among others and effectively reach the right people in your social media.

  1. Set up personal account in Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn

Having social media accounts is one of the ways to increase your social footprint and expand it. Make a personal profile in all these three networks and optimize them to the fullest.

  1. Make Use of Visuals

Visuals are more effective in engaging people than text therefore include more pictures in your social media profiles on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. This is one of the important things to implement on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. When you are sharing content make sure you use original and non copyrighted photography in order to boost your engaging posts. Another way is to make use of photos in the blog posts, videos and articles when you are posting things on these networks.

  1. Share the knowledge

It doesn’t matter that which platform you are sharing your content on but make sure you whatever you are saying is helping you to make connections, followers and friends. Make use of your unique expertise and share the relevant information about what you know best.

Apart from joining the existing twitter chats, LinkedIn groups and relevant online discussion related to your area of expertise and industry, plan and start your own sharing hub on social media in order to bring the depth of knowledge to your professional interests.

Whether your knowledge hub is a LinkedIn Group, Twitter chats, Google plus profile or other relevant discussions online related to your industry, it is an important way of sharing what you know and build your credibility as you educate others.

As doctors it is important that you follow the rule of thumb to make sure you are providing the value to others and making use of your time spent on the social media networks. Doctor’s job is to make sure they share their expertise and execute their advice.

  1. Frequency of posting on LinkedIn

As one of the largest network of professionals online LinkedIn allow doctors to highlight each aspect of their career path using text and visuals. LinkedIn can offer lots of benefits to doctors because of its professional nature and a large network of likeminded people sharing and connecting with others. Begin by sharing the content from your profile that reflects your expertise and knowledge as a healthcare professional.

On LinkedIn content needs to be of a professional nature and little more reserved than the one shared on Facebook or Twitter. Share the links to those articles and other information that can be of some value to your connections and at the same time adding your own perspectives through commenting on posts.

  1. Follow other Healthcare Professionals on Social Media

Using Facebook and Twitter you can reach out to existing network of your contacts that you already know and you can find them by searching for colleagues, peers and friends working in the healthcare field. Follow and make connection with these individuals. After that you can use each networks search feature for to look for individuals in the similar role or industry. By connecting with a large number of people on these platforms you will have the like- minded people to interact with and share your views and experiences.

  1. Participate in conversations on twitter

Twitter is the best social media platform for having a public one to one conversation at the basic level. Start your conversation with doctors and medical professionals and discuss current trends in healthcare industry or new findings.

You can also find the conversations from other you have followed by searching through hashtags or keywords related to your interests a physician

  1. Join Useful Twitter Chats

In twitter chats, on particular topics and hash tags occurs weekly, monthly or quarterly. Search and discover what chats Twitter chats are available for medical professionals and join these conversations with other participants and learn new things. When participating in the twitter chat answer some of the questions asked by participants or posted by moderators by adding your views and opinions. Follow other participants and moderators in the chat and include proper hash tags in all of your tweets.

  1. Go For Accuracy

There is a large amount of misinformation online when it comes to medical field that confuses consumers and dilutes the effectiveness of accurate medial insights. As a doctor it is important that you act as the voice of reason when sharing important information about healthcare online. Go for accurate coverage of information on social media that could affect your credibility for the long term.

Spend a limited time on social media at a certain part of the day or few times a week to help you make your efforts to be more accurate. Again it needs to be quality over quantity when it comes to content sharing and the discussions that you are having online.

  1. Ask Questions

One of the benefits of having social media is the ability to have actual conversations online with your friends, family, peers and other connections in your network. As a doctor you should ask questions from your audience in order to get their feedback on some decision or a perspective on industry news.

As you will ask questions you will be able to learn the insights of your network. No one knows everything but still someone has something to share with others. Make use of your network on social media to get more insights and establish your credibility as respected and reputed doctor.

About Alex Tate

I am a health IT consultant with experience in management and training consultants across private and public sectors. I frequently write on Health IT for various blogs and websites. I am currently managing ehrsoftware.info website that helps practices and physicians select the right EHR. If you wish to connect with me follow me at https://twitter.com/alextate07