A Day in the Life of an Effective Business Assistant – Part 1
A day in the life of a Business Coordinator requires multi-tasking, keeping priorities in check, making decisions (sometimes quickly), and keeping customer service on the forefront - in addition to getting the job done. Let’s take a big picture snapshot of what that might be like.
Step 1. Open the office, turn on the computer and check phone messages and emails that have come in for any changes in the day’s schedule.
Step 2. Follow the guidelines for the morning meeting with the doctor and team.
Step 3. Greet arriving patients by their name and review any changes in their demographics if they have not been seen recently (including insurance). Notify the clinical team of the patients’ arrivals.
This completes the initial opening and check-in process. Until the next patient arrives or the phone rings, now is a good time to start following up with insurance company requests for additional information such as x-rays, digital photos or narratives that may have not been responded to from the previous day.
Tip: Want to train all your patients to send you emails opposed to calling when they have questions? Have your own personal business card from the office with your direct business email address and request that your patients email you with any questions they may have. It is much easier for you to multitask if you can respond via email, as opposed to answering their phone calls while you are busy with patients. What a great way to reduce the number of incoming phone calls! It is important, however, to check your email frequently throughout the day and “copy and paste” any applicable correspondence into the patient’s digital notes.
Step 4. Now it’s time to follow-up manually with patients who have not responded to their digital confirmation requests. Patients should receive automated confirmations for upcoming appointments two working days prior to their appointment, allowing time for them to respond and for you to contact them manually the day before.
Let’s not forget that during these 4 steps, patients are being presented to your Business Coordinator for check-out. If the patient being dismissed by the Hygienist has new treatment needs, it is helpful for your Business Coordinator to know this in advance either by wireless headsets, messaging or sending a printed treatment plan from the clinical team to the front desk’s printer. This allows her/him to review and prepare for the treatment presentation.
During the check-out process, the day’s treatment is reviewed, any payment due is collected, and the new treatment is presented and scheduled. The patient’s portion is written on the back of their appointment card as a “friendly reminder” or they are given a blank appointment card with the amount written on the back, as well as the Business Coordinator’s business card with the email address.
How should you follow up if the patient does not schedule immediately? Whatever software system you use, the Appointment Tracking Form, the Unscheduled Detailed Treatment Plan and/or the Task List are imperative in order to follow up with your patients should they not contact you within 1-2 weeks.
Step 5. Hopefully by now the mail has arrived. In-between answering phones, reviewing emails, checking patients in and out and performing other tasks given to the Business Coordinator by the doctor or clinical team, it is now time to open the mail and post all the payments. Posting payments involves not only posting the personal payments received from the patients, but also posting the insurance payments and generating statements for those patients with remaining balances.
This is a typical morning at the business area of your office. Next month we’ll complete the day with the afternoon tasks. If you feel your Business Coordinator is not busy and you find that when you walk up to the front desk she/he is “waiting” for something to do, it is not their fault - they may not have to tools in their toolbox to know what needs to be done. Let McKenzie Management give your team the tools necessary to improve performance and increase your bottom line!
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