As the US continues to struggle with worker shortages and hiring challenges, it’s inevitable that medical offices will also see issues as they look for new hires. When it comes to a front desk position, it’s important to look for someone who will be up to the task whether they do or do not have previous experience, depending on your qualification requirements. In general, we recommend offices look for a person who is:
Detail-oriented. They will be dealing with a large number of patients and the documentation that comes with it. The new hire should be someone who pays attention to the little details to make sure they have all of their information recorded correctly. They should also be prepared for a fast-pace environment and not overwhelmed when switching between tasks.
Adaptable to learning a new system. Whether or not they have been a front staff employee before, your office may use software that they have not used before. They should be up to the challenge of learning the new software and also the systems your office has in place to streamline workflow.
Able to ask the right questions. The front desk are often the face of your office because they are the people patients will see and speak to first. They schedule appointments, and ask for updated information, and follow up on potentially unpaid claims. When that happens, your employee should be able to handle confrontation. It’s in your clinic’s best interest to require payment before they can schedule a new appointment, so the front staff will have to be comfortable collecting money.
Trainable. Many offices provide regular training for the front staff so they can always have relevant information ready to go. If a patient gets frustrated with an overdue payment, for example, an office cheat sheet can tell the front staff exactly what they should say and ask as well as how the situation should be handled. Gathering relevant information for billing can be complicated as well, so make sure staff know why they are asking and how it makes the billing process go smoothly.
Once you’ve checked off finding the perfect hire, then it’s time to evaluate your hiring process to see if it’s working for or against you. Preventing high turnover also relies on efficient processes that support your staff. Some clinics see the value in letting another company handle hiring so clinic staff can focus on core competencies.
Outsource Receivables Inc. serves specialty clinics nationwide by helping them improve theri revenue cycle and overall administrative duties through outsourcing and workflow software. Outsourcing your billing office is another way to keep your clinical staff focused on what they do best – caring for patients!