Is your reception building a bridge or a barrier between your GPs and their patients?
Reception is the first point of contact for new and existing patients within your clinic but it can also be the first barrier between the patient and the GP. Reception staff can be a good source of support fo GPs, they make bookings and even small administration tasks such as calling a specialist, patient recall, or faxing reports. GPs usually need reception to help them build the bridge.
Of course, we all know that reception is a stressful and fast paced environment. Receptionists need to deal with multiple calls for their immediate attention. But patients don’t understand this and all they want to see when they arrive is a smiling face to greet them and to be listened to when they have an enquiry.
If patients must wait long periods of time to have a call answered or are having mix ups with appointment times, they may leave your clinic even though they love you GPs. Your reception is vital to maintaining a great patient-clinic relationship.
In our observation, it is important to have:
- A list of each of your GP’s preferences
- Solid management structures
- Sufficient staff
- Clear processes
- User-friendly booking systems
- Ongoing training and support
For larger teams, it is important to appoint a senior receptionist to manage newer staff and always make sure there is some supervision throughout the clinics opening hours.
A great way to check that the reception area is running efficiently is to sit down with reception staff and GPs every 3-6 months to discuss any issues and areas of improvement. Remember to keep the GPs in the feedback loop to ensure there are no miscommunications!
Create a reception that creates a bridge between patients and GPs!