5 Must-Have Phone Tips for Medical Receptionists

5 Must-Have Phone Tips for Medical Receptionists

These must-have phone tips for medical receptionists are sure to make work easier, more efficient, and support patients better. A medical receptionist is usually the first person that a patient will speak to when seeking care. Therefore, it is worth practicing these skills and ensuring that patients feel supported and comfortable from the start.

Top tips for medical receptionists include:

1. Speak Clearly

Although this skill may seem simple, being able to speak clearly takes time and effort to perfect. These tips for medical receptionists are essential to speaking clearly:

Talk slowly. Talking slowly allows the other person on the receiving end the best chance to fully understand what you’re saying, even if they are in a distracting environment. Taking a deep breath before talking can help with slowing down.

Articulate your words. It is important for medical receptionists to articulate their words over the phone because there are no other cues for the other person to rely upon. During in-person conversations, people will use cues, such as reading people’s lips in order to fully grasp what is being said. In addition, since many words sound similar, it wouldn’t hurt to pronounce each syllable to make sure you’re being understood.

Allow for pauses. Conversations between a medical receptionist and a new or familiar patient can be jammed packed with information. It can be helpful to pause after telling the patient information to allow them to fully process what you just said and to think of any questions.

2. Clarify

Patients tend to have a lot of questions when visiting a medical office or facility. These questions can be about their health, insurance, lab reports, etc. Medical receptionists are usually the first person that a patient speaks to, and therefore they are either equipped with answers or have to find out the information from someone else. Clarifying what the patient is asking or inquiring about is a great skill that shows that you’re listening, but also makes it easier to determine how to go about responding.

3. Take Detailed Notes

Not only should a medical receptionist take detailed noted, their notes should be organized. With answering phones all day and talking to people in-person, it is nearly impossible to remember important details of every conversation. The notes you take will depend on information that is being shared, however every note should include:

  • The name of the person (with accurate spelling!) that is relaying information
  • The time and date that the information is being written down
  • What the message is
  • If there is any time sensitive information
  • What YOU as the medical receptionist need to do with this information
  • Whether or not

One of the best tips for the medical receptionists that is often neglected is figuring out an efficient way to remember that a note was looked into or taken care of. Quite often medical receptionists are bombarded with so many responsibilities that it can be difficult to keep track on what notes need you to follow-up on and which do not. Whatever system you use to mark that a note was looked into should be clear and neat to prevent confusion.

4. Provide Information

Patients forget their appointment day, time, and may not know the location or hours of the office/facility. An efficient medical receptionist will ask the patient on the phone if they need this information before ending the call. This is an effective phone skill because receptionists who do not ask this, often find that patients will call again inquiring. This can back up phone calls and be frustrating for the patient and the medical receptionist as well.

5. Keep Contact Info and Records Up to Date

Medical receptionists usually have the responsibility of maintaining information on all of the patients. Asking patients to clarify their updated contact info over the phone at the end of each call is an efficient way to prevent future problems or delays. Some other helpful tips for medical receptionists regarding this include reminding patients to bring their insurance card and to keep their emergency contact information up to date.

Every company that works with customers or patients needs someone who has great phone skills. By practicing these phone skills every day, you’re strengthening your customer service skills that are highly sought after and will allow you to transition to other careers if that is something you’re interested in.

What do you think of these phone tips for medical receptionists? What tips do you think should be added to this list? Comment below!

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About the author

Kristie Cabrera

Kristie is an occupational therapist, mental health advocate, and amateur urban farmer. Her experience with taking care of others in the healthcare setting and taking care of the land are both important pieces that make up who she is. As a life-long learner and creative, she hopes to create content that is centered around wellness and healing.

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