Role Of Front Office Staff In Keeping Your Practice Reputation And Financial Health Safe
Any medical practice or a healthcare institute is a very busy place. It requires meticulous management, scheduling, communication, and dedication to run effectively. These aspects are handled by the front office staff. The front office is the first place the patients encounter during a hospital or medical facility visit and play a very important role in building its reputation and maintaining financial health.
Here we will look at the characteristics and responsibilities that are executed by front office staff to keep your practice reputation and financial health safe.
Characteristics That Front Office Staff Should Display
The front office staff represents the institute. A professional and neat appearance with a friendly approachable attitude is essential to gain the confidence of the patients.
For any kind of work, it is important to maintain discipline in every aspect like disciplined behavior with patients and physicians, punctuality, and maintaining records. This leads to the efficient and smooth running of a practice.
A front desk staff communicates with patients from their first visit, listens to their problems, answers their queries, and interacts with them during their waiting time. This interaction might seem subtle but is a key way to gain the patient’s confidence and earn a good reputation. They also communicate with employees of different departments and help in the efficient transmission of information.
The front office staff handles schedules, appointments, follow up on patients, updates patient information, billing, and payment collection, identifies administrative issues, relays documents to other clinics, insurance companies, and patients. Their multitasking ability saves time and improves patient rapport.
Handling all the administrative and record section needs proper organizational skills to avoid confusion. A front office person organizes financial as well as administrative documents. This helps you assess your financial growth.
Since the front office staff is the face of your practice, their behavior and attitude create an undismissable reputation among its clients. Prompt attendance and friendly interaction with anyone who comes to the institute in a professional manner are important.
Handling Stressful Situations
People visit a medical institute when they themselves or their near ones are ill and are mostly emotionally overwhelmed. The front office staff while facing the client must approach them with sensitivity. Stressful situations may arise during patient payment collection and with insurance companies or unsatisfied patients during which the staff may need to come up with prompt and courteous solutions while maintaining the institute’s reputation.
A Positive Attitude
The job in a front office can be very demanding when your patient flow is high. You might have to deal with emotional, restless, and agitated patients and visitors. So it is necessary to have a positive and calm attitude to smoothly deal with such stressful situations and show professionalism.
As much as training is essential to work in the front office, work experience is also equally important. Being attentive in daily events and listening to details will help you gain insight into medical referencing and dealing with patients when the doctors and nurses are occupied. Hence, being attentive is an important character for front office staff.
Responsibilities Of A Front Office Staff
Good front office staff is of tremendous value to any institute that allows the doctors and nurses to concentrate solely on patient care.
The important responsibilities of front office staff are listed below:
- The front office staff is responsible for receiving and greeting the patients and visitors. They attend phone calls, answer inquiries, and assist patients in filling up documents.
- Ensure availability of treatment needed for the patient and file and retrieve patient records.
- They make appropriate and timely scheduled appointments of patients with correct doctors. The staff must have time management skills, as patients don’t like to wait unnecessarily for doctor’s consultation.
- Reaching out to patients about their appointments and doing regular follow-up phone calls is also a key role of front office staff. This is a very important gesture that makes an institute stand out in terms of reputation.
- Help distressed and anxious patients and respond to emergencies.
- Screening of patient information and insurance eligibility to avoid claim rejections and denials.
- Maintaining patient records, handling billing/payment records, reviewing insurance policies, confidentiality, and maintaining financial records is one of the key responsibilities.
- Recording and collecting patient charges, controlling credit extended to patients, and filing/ collecting third-party claims.
- Using various accounting and medical record software is essential for a front desk officer as digital record keeping helps maintain confidentiality and save time and capital.
- They also play an important role in coordinating activities and relaying documents with other clinics, hospitals, insurance companies, and collaborators.
- Organizing regular staff meetings to address new information, any existing issues, and finding solutions.
- Monitoring practice expenses, business office inventory, and equipment by checking stock, anticipating needed supplies, placing and receiving orders for supplies, verifying receipt of supplies, and scheduling equipment service and repairs.
- Front office staff must be reliable in terms of flexibility and adaptation according to new situations. Other employees have specified roles and do not necessarily get involved in other areas but the front office staff needs to interact with people of all departments and maintain communication.
With many healthcare centers being established and emerging corporate hospital setups, the need for qualified front office staff is increasing. They are communicators for doctors, nurses, staff, and patients. Good, responsible, and qualified front office staff can help your practice gain an honest reputation by engaging and providing satisfactory service to patients that will lead to internal patient referrals. Handling and collecting payments, securing insurance claims, increasing patient flow, and efficient handling of administrative management by the front office staff will eventually increase the revenue of your practice.
The front desk office staff hence has a diverse responsibility and the job can be quite exhausting, so be sure to provide them with scheduled holidays, timely bonuses, and leaves to appreciate and maximize their performance.