When hiring a front desk employee you must take into consideration the following factors:
1. Customer Service Skills:
Remember this is the first impression your patients (and potential patients) will have of your practice. If the employee lacks in customer service skills your patients will not only look elsewhere, but share their experience with others.
2. Knowledge of the Practice Management System:
This is important in that you will spend less time and money on training. In addition, the transition will be smoother for this person and the existing office staff. Give them a verbal or written test in the interview to establish the extent of their knowledge on your system.
3. Competitive Pay:
With the appropriate skill set, customer service experience and medical background, paying this employee a competitive rate will ensure the longevity of his or her employment. Not duplicating your efforts in six months’ time and having an established team is far more valuable than the small percentage of savings you would otherwise “achieve”.
4. Ability to Multitask:
A vital quality, this is the core skill set of the front desk office staff. Anyone can look good on paper. If your applicant can check in forty patients, answer three lines and register patients with accuracy and poise, then he or she is a keeper!
5. Ability to Collect:
Your front desk staff should not be afraid to collect copays or self-pay payments. Copays and the self-pay population are on the rise. It is the patient’s responsibility to pay and it’s the front desk staff’s responsibility to enforce this.
This is a must, and not only a formality. You can learn a considerable amount about your new hires by reaching out to those willing to vouch for their reputation and professionalism. This information has been volunteered, take advantage of it. A negative character reference could save you thousands in the future..
7. Hire from a Reputable Medical Staffing Company:
Typically these people have front desk experience and knowledge of various practice management systems. You may also request a temp, allowing you three to six months to determine if you would like to permanently employ this person. Medical Health Fairs are also an excellent place to begin your recruiting efforts.
By following these guidelines throughout the hiring process you should be well on your way to increasing your patient volume and revenue, all while saving your most important asset, time. Remember…your practice is your business. Hire wisely!