Acupuncture Today
March, 2002, Vol. 03, Issue 03
 
Share |

Communication Problems in Practice

By Kevin McNamee

As your practice grows, you will reach the mid-growth phase in which in some months, your total monthly patient visits are mediocre; in other months, they are great. During this phase, you will be in a difficult position where you may be unable to devote your full attention to the patient sitting in front of you while still being able to answer the telephone; greet patients; collect payments; and make patient appointments.

Intuitively, you know that your practice will grow and that your stress and exhaustion could be reduced if you had a receptionist, yet your current practice profit does not allow the $2,000-plus monthly salary for a receptionist. What do you do?

One solution is to open your practice in an office in which a receptionist is part of the services offered. This frees you from locating, training and maintaining the employee. This is the easiest solution, assuming the receptionist performs satisfactorily.

If you currently do not have a receptionist, consider the following: The goal is to provide quality service with undivided attention to your patient while also answering the telephone for new and established patients. Remember, both new and established patients do not want to speak with an answering machine during business hours. Patients want a human on the other end.

Some practitioners may hire a telephone answering service to handle incoming calls while with a patient. However, the difficulty lies in locating a service that answers the phone in the manner you desire. There is often poor quality control in this situation.

I recommend that new practitioners in this situation purchase both a traditional land-line office phone and a flat-rate cellular phone. There are some cellular phone packages that charge a flat fee for unlimited monthly use. Keep the cell phone on your belt when treating a patient. When the patient is changing into a gown, call forward the office phone to the cellular phone so that is someone calls while you are treating the patient, you'll be able to answer the call. Triage the call as described in the "Telephone Answering Procedures" article, which appeared in the April 2001 issue of Acupuncture Today, then get back to treating the patient as quickly as possible.

There is one warning I wish to share. This method takes away from the patient, but hopefully this telephone method is a short stopgap until you can afford to hire someone full-time as a receptionist.

Another benefit to this method is that it allows you to take calls when you are away from office networking in the community. This will give the caller the illusion that you are in the office when in fact you are outside marketing yourself.


Click here for more information about Kevin McNamee.

 

Join the conversation
Comments are encouraged, but you must follow our User Agreement
Keep it civil and stay on topic. No profanity, vulgar, racist or hateful comments or personal attacks. Anyone who chooses to exercise poor judgement will be blocked. By posting your comment, you agree to allow MPA Media the right to republish your name and comment in additional MPA Media publications without any notification or payment.
comments powered by Disqus

AT News Update
e-mail newsletter Subscribe Today

AT Deals & Events
e-mail newsletter Subscribe Today

 

Generic Cialis Pills Mexico Drug Cialis Tadalafil Levitra Slovenia By Money Order Viagra Cialis Generic Pills For Sale Cialis Dosage Splitting Pills Viagra Chicago Cialis With Next Day Delivery Cialis No Online Pharmacy Prescription Flagyl Suppository For Sale No Prescription Cialis Free Consultation Levitra Order Cheap Free Viagra Get Viagra Without Prescription Viagra Gel Sachets In Australia Cialis 20mg Shopping Find Viagra Free Edinburgh Search Sildenafil Health Canada Levitra Round Brown Pill Viagra Order Online Viagra 100mg Information Viagra Cheap Generic Pharmacy Search Cialis Plizer 100mg Viagra Viagra Find Sites Free Cialis Online Safety London Viagra Without Prescription Cialis Cheap Online Non Prescription Cialis Cialis Online Purchase Rx Levitra