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Medical Practice 101 - What To Do When Your Medical Receptionist Becomes Overwhelmed?

Mar 12, 2008
The role of a medical receptionist is an important one; one that requires a clear mind, split-second decision making and most important of all, the ability to handle multiple tasks simultaneously. To reiterate the importance of your office's medial receptionist, often times, the overall "mood" of a medical practice's office will be set by your front desk receptionist; if he or she is on top of things and has a pleasant demeanor, you will likely notice that the overall atmosphere of your practice is warm, friendly and efficient. On the other hand, having a cranky, tired or "scatterbrained" medical receptionist is an invitation for a stressful working environment.

If you have an overloaded medical practice where the number of patient requests regularly overwhelms your office staff, the demands placed on your front desk medical receptionist is intensive, and often times, it can be almost unrealistic. No matter how well organized and professional your medical receptionist is, no human being can literally perform more than one task at a time.

A medical receptionists job is much like that of a link cook in a busy restaurant; they may have 8 different orders cooking on the grill, in the deep fryer and the burner, but no cook can scramble eggs, pull the catfish out of the deep fryer, sauté mushrooms and put together a BLT at the exact same time, much like your front desk medical receptionist is unable to cater to 3 on-hold customers, the new incoming phone call, customers standing in line and checking out patients who have just finished their visit effectively. Simply put, no matter how efficient your front-desk receptionist is, they cannot perform more tasks than their human body allows them.

Now, this is only taking into consideration the workload on a "good day" when you are sufficiently staffed, but overwhelmed by your patients' demands. You already know the extremely stressful situations that can come about due to understaffed office conditions.

Because of the undeniable fact that people are only able to physically handle one task at a time, no matter how efficient a person is at multi-tasking, technology has afforded medical practices everywhere a new idea that has become more dependable, and affordable, than it was even 2 years ago.

Automated Medical Receptionists

Automated Medical Receptionists can be the god-send in an understaffed or exorbitantly busy medical practice. These "digital-age" medical receptionists can greet your incoming patients with a friendly voice, and help to alleviate some of the mundane, yet time consuming tasks that your front-desk receptionist performs on a daily basis; from handling appointment scheduling for existing patients to sending appointment reminder notifications for already established appointments.

These "digital secretaries", if you will, can help reduce the workload and the demand placed on your medical receptionist, which will allow them to be more efficient to meet your needs and the needs of your patients who are at your practices location.

Affordable and cost-effective

Not only can acquiring the services of a virtual office assistant be beneficial in reducing the demands on your current office staff, these services can be affordable. Thinking only in terms of the time and monetary investment to hire and train a new front-desk receptionist, the yearly investment for your own 24/7 medical secretary may very well be less than what it would cost you to in one month to acquire new personnel for your medical office.

No matter how talented your medical receptionist is, he or she is subject to the limitations of every other human being on the face of the planet; namely, they can only perform one task at a time. Checking out the options available for obtaining your own virtual office receptionist may very well be the key to increased profits tomorrow and a less stressful work environment today.
About the Author
This article is number eight in a series By Andy Press about Medical Receptionist, Answing Service and Online Scheduling. Additional resources and articles written by Andy Press related to Medical Practices Efficiency are accessible on line.
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