The Importance of a Good Receptionist

Some people consider the receptionist to be the most important staff member, or at least the most significant in determining how smoothly, effectively, and successfully an office runs. There’s even a holiday set aside for appreciating and honoring receptionists. But what makes a skilled and personable receptionist so essential? Read on to find out what traits a good receptionist should have, what to look for in a receptionist, and why they are so vital to the success of your office or medical practice.

Your Office’s First Impression

When considering what to look for in a receptionist, one must think about representation. Every member of your staff is a brand representative for your medical practice, whose behavior and appearance reflect on the entire practice. As your receptionist is generally the first face that patients see when they walk into your office and is the first point of contact when patients call, it is of the utmost importance that they make a great first impression. Your receptionist should have a professional appearance that makes him or her seem approachable and friendly. They should greet patients as soon as they walk through the door and interact with them in a polite, helpful, and friendly manner. A good receptionist should also have the knowledge to be able to answer patient’s questions. Most importantly, all of these things should be true at all times. Even during busy times or bad days, it is the receptionist’s job to project an air of helpfulness and positivity to all patients, both in person and over the phone.

Office Coordination

As the primary point of contact for the office, communication makes up a huge portion of a receptionist’s job. Your receptionist will need to facilitate communication between members of your medical practice’s staff, as well as between the office and its patients, payors, and vendors. The information that your receptionist provides will rarely be questioned, so accuracy is essential to prevent complicated and damaging mix ups. Your receptionist should be able to keep their cool under fire, communicating calmly and effectively, even when faced with a difficult patient or a tricky problem with a vendor. They should be able to manage a ringing phone, rapidly filling inbox, and growing line at her desk in a way that handles all inquiries as quickly as possible, while still making sure that every patient feels valued and every issue is resolved smoothly. Patients should never feel rushed by your receptionist, who should instead be a careful and conscientious listener. Your receptionist should also carefully maintain a calendar for the office and send out reminders before any important events, as well as be able to clearly distribute information to office staff and patients.

“Jack-of-All Trades” Capability

Because your receptionist works with everyone in your practice to facilitate communication and coordinate tasks, he or she needs to know everything that’s going on in your office and what everyone’s job is. This makes your receptionist a vital resource for team members who need information or support from another part of the team. This generalized knowledge and wide range of skills also makes your receptionist a valuable extra set of hands when you are short staffed or simply have an office to do list that has gotten a little too lengthy. Your receptionist can help plan upcoming events, manage the creation and distribution of promotional materials, handle mailing, restock storage areas, straighten up untidy spaces, and contact patients, payers, and vendors. A particularly experienced receptionist may even be able to assist more senior employees in their work. This jack-of-all trades mentality is what to look for in a receptionist.

Problem Solving

Your receptionist’s wide range of skills and abilities also makes them resourceful and flexible, ideal traits for problem solving. Your receptionist is often the first person in your office to encounter a tricky problem, whether it’s a problem with a vendor or an irate patient. A good receptionist is able to think quickly and creatively to resolve the issue in a way that keeps your practice running as smoothly as possible and makes both your patients and your staff confident and comfortable. In some situations, you may not even realize that a problem occurred in the first place!

Get More Help for Your Office

What to look for in a receptionist and understanding why they are so important can be very professionally enlightening. An excellent receptionist is key to running a successful and effective office or medical practice, but even the world’s best receptionist can’t help with every possible issue, like moving or expanding your medical office. That’s where Boulevard Medical Properties comes in. Boulevard LA is a Los Angeles based medical property specialist that can help your practice through the entire moving process, from finding a property to moving in. We can even help you develop an eco-friendly medical practice. Whether you are interested in expanding your practice into an additional location or want to move into a new space entirely, Boulevard LA has the experience and skilled staff to help, so contact our office today.

Your Checklist For Moving a Medical Office

You have found a great new space for your medical practice. You’ve even picked out the day or days that you will be moving offices. This can be a very exciting time for a medical practice, but it can also be overwhelming. Even for the most organized and prepared medical practice, it can be very easy to inadvertently let things slip through the cracks during the moving process, leading to excess stress or disaster later. If you’re moving your medical practice, try using this handy moving checklist to help keep your organized throughout the moving process.

Let Employees Know

You may have talked to some of your employees during the moving process, but don’t take for granted that the news has been passed around the office. Hold a meeting or send out a memo to make sure that all staff members are on the same page. Keep everyone updated about the process and send out reminders about upcoming deadlines to do with the moving process.

Let Payers Know

To ensure that revenue continues to flow in smoothly, let payers, such as Medicare and insurance companies, know about the move as soon as you have your new address. Different payers will have different requirements for what needs to be done to keep up with credentials, so be sure to communicate with payers to find out exactly what you need to do to make the process as smooth as possible.

Let Patients Know

Finally, let all your patients know that you’ll be moving offices. There are a number of form letters available that can be used, or make the message personal by composing your own. To make sure that every patient finds out, communicate to every single patient, even those in the same family or household, using all methods of communication that you can. Remember to include the new address, directions or a basic idea of the practice’s new location, and any new contact information that goes with the office, such as a new telephone number.

Establish an Inventory

It’s easy enough to misplace things in a residential move, but with medical offices the stakes are high. You’ll be moving expensive equipment, sensitive documents, and controlled substances. It’s important to have a complete, detailed record of all items you’ll be moving, including who’s responsible for transporting them between locations to avoid mix ups. You can also take this opportunity to get rid of any outdated technology or equipment or things you simply don’t use.

Have Utilities Transferred

Well ahead of the move, let utility companies know about your move, including the date and new address. Don’t forget to check utilities the day you move in to make sure everything is working before you start receiving patients in your practice’s new location.

Update Marketing Materials

Next, you’ll want to make sure that all of your information is correct to allow new patients to find and contact you. Change your practice’s website and update any business cards, fliers, and stationary. Inform the phone book publisher of your new address and contact information so that it can be updated in future copies, and let any directory websites know about the change to your address and any contact information.

Remind Patients with Upcoming Appointments

The last thing you need while adjusting to your new office space is for patients to not show up in the right place. Send out postcards or make phone calls (or, even better, do both) to remind patients with upcoming appointments of the location and provide them with directions to help make sure they show up to the right location on time for their appointment.

Order Signage

This is an easy step to forget, but it can make a big difference in how smoothly starting at your medical practice’s new location will be. Make sure you have clear signage for the exterior, clearly indicating the name of your practice, and making it obvious which building or unit you can be found in. You also want to have signage for the inside of your practice, clearly marking waiting rooms, exam rooms, and other spaces in your practice. You will also want to provide clear signage guiding patients to the exit, both for emergencies and for easily walking out of the practice. Mark where patients should check in, especially if there are multiple front desks for different purposes or patients, and check out.

Know Who to Ask for Help

Even with resources like this, moving offices isn’t easy, and neither is running a medical practice. Whether you’re looking to move medical practices, want to open a new location, need new medical equipment, or have any other issue or concern with your practice, contact Boulevard LA today. With our years of experience in assisting medical offices, both specialty and general, we can help your practice be all it can be.

10 Best Office Etiquette Tips for Your Medical Practice

Working in a medical office can be stressful, so it can be easy to let etiquette fall through the cracks. However, practicing proper etiquette is essential to ensuring that patients have an excellent experience in your office, helping you to retain and attract more patients. Here are some of the most effective office etiquette tips to help you and the staff of your medical office remember to stay at the top of your game.

1. Maintain a Professional Appearance

The way you look makes your first impression, so each member of your staff should keep a professional looking appearance at all times. Create and enforce a dress code among staff. This can be as casual or formal as you’d like. What’s most important is that all staff members are clean, tidy, and approachable-looking.

2. Use a Welcoming Greeting

Desk staff should greet patients as soon as they walk in the door. Other staff members should greet patients by name, introduce themselves by name and position, and inform the patient as to what steps and procedures they’ll be going through. Staff should do this even if they are wearing a name tag, which they should be doing at all times.

3. Remember Body Language

Office etiquette is all about impressions. Smile and make eye contact when first greeting a patient, and continue to make eye contact throughout the appointment to assure the patient that they have your full attention. Try not to slouch or fidget, and don’t move suddenly. Make it clear to patients with body words and body cues before you touch them.

4. Keep Patients in the Loop

Your patients want to know what’s going on during their appointment, especially if they’re one of the many people who are made anxious by medical appointments. If patients have to wait for a while, check in with them to ensure that they’re doing well and update them on when they’ll be seen. During the visit, let patients know what you’re doing before you do it, whether it’s taking vital signs, administering an injection, or taking a sample for a test.

5. Build a Rapport

Help put your patient at ease by opening your interaction with some small talk, such as about the weather, a recent holiday, or a major event in your community. This may seem like a waste of time, but helping patients relax into the interaction encourages them to open up to you about the medical problems that they are dealing with, which for some patients can be potentially awkward or embarrassing.

6. Be Present with Your Patients

Simply being in the room with your patients isn’t enough, medical professionals also need to be truly mentally present as well. With all the stresses of working in a medical office, it can also be easy to get distracted while spending time with patients. However, truly listening to the patient makes your patient feel more comfortable about the quality of their care and can also make the difference between a correct and incorrect diagnosis, so keep your focus on the patient, not on the screen of a device or your mental to do list.

7. Don’t Rush Patients

Take the time to allow patients to fully explain the reason for their visit, as well as ask any questions or voice any concerns they have about their treatment. This may extend your appointments a bit longer than you’d like, but it can also save time and improve the quality of the medical care you give by preventing follow ups or problems due to misunderstandings about how the patient should be taking a medication or caring for a health issue.

8. Keep Disagreements between Staff Under Wraps

No one gets along with all of their coworkers, so having disagreements between staff is totally normal and, assuming everyone handles the disagreement in a mature and respectful way, understandable. However, patients should never be able to detect strained relationships between staff members. This can create the appearance that your staff isn’t on the same page and make patients feel uncomfortable at your practice.

9. Make Arrangements for Follow Up

If your patient will need a follow up appointment or consultation at your practice, make sure someone in your office helps them to book that appointment before they leave the office. If patients have to schedule these appointments on their own, they often won’t. Patients that have more significant problems but don’t need a follow up appointment will still appreciate a follow up call. Put this on your calendar and have a staff member call to ensure that the patient is feeling better and getting the care they need.

10. Get Help When You Need It

While office etiquette is important, it’s not the only thing a medical practice needs to meet its potential and thrive while doing so. Whether you’re looking to move medical practices, want to open a new location, need new medical equipment, or have any other issue or concern with your practice, contact Boulevard LA today. With our years of experience in assisting medical offices, both specialty and general, we can help your practice be all it can be.

Best Office Easter Party Ideas

Easter is quickly approaching, and for many of us that means time spent with family, hunting eggs, and maybe going to church. For many of us spending time in the office before the holiday, the idea of an Easter celebration at work sounds good, but how can we celebrate in a way that’s inclusive and appropriate for the workplace?

Well, fortunately there are a number of office Easter party ideas that are fun and inclusive of people of all faiths and beliefs.

Celebrating in An Inclusive Way

One of the most important things about any office event is for everyone involved to feel included and accepted. For this reason, it’s best to avoid any of the religious significance of the holiday, and to instead focus on the more secular aspects of the day, such as Easter Eggs, the Easter Bunny, and the general celebration of spring. You can also plan a company picnic or barbeque, because let’s face it, everyone loves a free lunch.

It’s important from both a legal and social perspective to include everyone in the fun, no matter their personal belief system. Towards that end, here are some things you can do that are fun for everyone.

Organizing an Office Egg Hunt

When you get right down to it, the most important aspect of typical Easter celebrations is the act of coming together with family and friends.

One of the best office Easter party ideas is to organize an office egg hunt for the children of your employees, or for local kids, or even for your patient’s families. If this sounds like something that would work in your office, try asking around and gauging interest. You don’t want to have an egg hunt and no kids to go hunting…unless you want to do an Easter egg hunt for adults, which is totally fine too.

You can do this indoors or out, just make sure you use candy instead of real eggs (you don’t want an unfound egg going bad in your waiting room), and be sensitive to any potential allergens such as gluten, or nuts.

Bringing Out the Easter Bunny

You may also want to schedule a visit from the Easter Bunny, either instead of or in conjunction with an egg hunt. There are a number of places that will rent or sell an Easter Bunny costume, and some will even provide performers. You can let the little ones take pictures with the Easter Bunny, or have Easter Baskets ready for everyone. Of course, you may want to do the baskets anyway, because everyone loves getting treats.

Spring is In the Air

If you want to do something as a general celebration of spring, it’s hard to go wrong with an office picnic or barbeque. Reserve a place at a local park, or just outside your office and get out and enjoy the beautiful spring weather.

Catering is fine for a small office, but if you have a bigger office you may want to do things potluck style to keep costs down.

You may also want to plan some games, or have a few things like lawn darts (the updated kind that uses beanbags, not the banned version with metal spikes). This makes for not only great fun, but also a lovely bonding experience for everyone present.

Renting Medical Space with Boulevard LA

After you are done cleaning up after any one of these unique office Easter party ideas, you’ll be back to business. If your practice needs a home, or you are just looking to expand, contact Boulevard LA today. We offer a number of locations that are suitable for medical practices of all kinds. We have years of experience finding suitable spaces for specialty offices and general practices, so schedule a meeting today to see what we can do to get you into the perfect medical office space for you and your practice.