Your Medical Practice's Reputation + Your Front Desk: Tips for Managing the Patient Experience

August 31, 2022 by Antonio Arias, MBA, CHBME

Topics: Revenue Cycle Management, Practice Management

It’s pretty tough to make a first impression twice – and in the world of healthcare consumerism, a flimsy impression or repeated lackluster experience can be a deciding factor for a patient going to your practice or another.

That’s why making an intentional and consistent effort to manage your medical practice’s reputation can lead to an increased patient satisfaction score, optimized revenue cycle, and overall streamlined operations! From your practice’s website to the actual appointment and everything in between or beyond, being purposeful in your practice’s approach to the patient experience is essential.

Keep reading to learn more about how your reputation is connected to the patient experience and how one cornerstone component–your practice’s front desk–can play a huge role in your practice’s overall operations!

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What Is Involved in the Patient Experience?

While the duration of the patient experience might vary depending on your practice’s specialty and the patient’s needs, the comprehensive goal is the same: delivering a high-quality experience.

From start to finish, the patient experience pertaining to your practice might include the following:

  • Website and social media accounts
  • Marketing efforts
  • Reviews of your practice
  • Front desk contact
  • Patient education material, such as brochures
  • Appointment reminders
  • Location
  • Parking lot availability and cleanliness
  • Waiting room
  • Insurances accepted
  • Physician’s bedside manner and personability
  • Billing process
  • Follow-up phone calls
  • And more!

There are plenty of ways to shape the patient experience and make a positive impact on your patients and overall community. Plus, some of these factors dovetail with others, so making a concerted effort to address multiple, related areas of the patient experience can make your efforts most effective.

For example, the physical appearance of your waiting room can be correlated with having patient education materials handy, such as pamphlets about your practice’s history, common diseases related to your specialty, how the insurance billing process works, etc. 

When sprucing up your waiting room, consider creating these materials to add an informational touch to the space. Connecting these details together presents an engaging, cohesive patient experience.

Check out these tips for managing your patient experience via the front desk

How Your Front Desk Impacts the Patient Experience + Reputation

Your practice’s front desk is the setting of a patient visiting your office for the first time or reaching out to schedule an appointment or ask a question. Thus, it’s vital to delivering a great, well-rounded patient experience that your practice’s front desk staff are in tip-top shape! Who wants to see a doctor whose receptionist hardly answers the phone, never returns calls, or bungles up some other process? Nobody!

Patients shouldn’t have to chase after your front desk staff; your staff should be the general point of contact and liaison between your patients and your physicians. Hiring staff members who are well-versed in customer satisfaction practices and can multitask is vital for success in this area!

Tips for Managing the Front Desk Patient Experience

Now that we’ve outlined the value of a fantastic front desk experience, let’s dive into some tips for managing the front desk patient experience:

Help Your Receptionists Refine Their Greetings

A monotonous “Hello, how can I help you?” feels impersonal and distant. To stick the landing on a great first impression when a patient makes contact with your practice, try to include some variety in the receptionist greetings.

For example, elevate the greeting by including the following:

  • Your receptionist’s name
  • Your practice’s name
  • Your practice’s slogan
  • Quick-snippet mission statement
  • Asking for the name of the caller to personalize the conversation

These are just some examples of how to make your front desk’s phone opening more engaging and memorable. Figure out what works best for your practice and individual receptionists that feels most aligned.

Ensure Your Front Desk Staff Are as Knowledgeable of Your Practice as Possible

When a patient calls your office or shows up at your practice, the last thing they want to hear from your front desk staff is excuses or that they don’t know how your practice operates. For example, if a patient asks about a cancellation policy and your front desk doesn’t know if there is one, then it doesn’t bode well for anyone involved. After all, your front desk should know as much about your practice’s policies as possible to ensure a seamless, guided patient experience!

Offer Bottled Water for Your Patients

Offering your patients a bottle of water might seem like a small gesture, but it can make a mighty impression. It’s a nice offering on a hot day and demonstrates thoughtfulness for the patient.

Partner with NCG Medical to Streamline Your Operations and Improve Your Reputation!

Do you recognize a need to attend to your medical practice’s clunky workflows or lackluster reputation but feel too overwhelmed with paperwork to make any changes? The medical coding and billing process is complicated, confusing, and subject to change with new legislative efforts or legal regulations, all of which can leave you feeling stressed and drained.

That’s where NCG Medical is the ace up your sleeve; our friendly experts have experience in your specialty and can immediately optimize your healthcare revenue cycle! Let us handle the medical billing burden so you can focus on what matters most: delivering a great patient experience.

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