effective physical therapy front desk

How to Run an Effective Physical Therapy Front Desk

(Updated March, 2024)

The number one position in a physical therapy practice is your front desk person. Whether that’s a front desk coordinator, front desk receptionist, office manager, etc. – everything goes through the front desk! 

So, are you getting the most out of your physical therapy front desk role?

Properly training the physical therapy front desk can solve many underlying practice issues, including high cancellation rates, patient drop-offs before their plan of care is complete and even struggling with having your front desk collect over-the-counter money for co-pays, coinsurance, deductibles, etc. By improving the physical therapy front desk role, you improve your overall business.

Brian Gallagher, Founder of MEG Business and host of the “Physical Therapy Practice: Secrets of the Top 10%” podcast encourages his audience to consider outsourcing their front desk operations: 

Three Ways to Improve Your Physical Therapy Front Desk

1. It starts with customer service – obviously. 

But proper customer service is more than just greeting them when they walk in and offering them water. Your front desk staff need to transform into Patient Advocates as soon as someone walks through that door or calls on the phone. 

For example, if a patient needs to reschedule, the front desk coordinator (or Patient Advocate) is empathetically working with them on rescheduling to later that day or week to ensure they stay within their prescribed plan of care. It’s never – “Okay, we’ll see next time.” We don’t want them to miss this important visit and part of their plan of care. When you coach your front desk staff to be a patient advocate, they will be ready to turn a cancellation into a new appointment.

2. Secondly, it’s all about knowing your patients. 

We coach the front desk coordinators to know at least five things about every patient that comes in. Be the “Cheers” of healthcare, where everyone knows your name. 

For example, this could include knowing the patient’s head therapist and knowing their specific plan of care (or at least how to easily locate it!). The more you can personalize the patient’s relationship with your clinic, the more they will commit to you.

3. Finally – the phone is your lifeline! 

You could miss a lot of business by not answering the phone so don’t let it go to voicemail if you can help it. This is done by identifying the sequence of actions that the front desk needs to take everyday and putting processes in place to support that system and leave the front desk coordinator free to care for patients. 

Learn more about why you should go virtual with your front desk.

Ready to Improve Your Physical Therapy Front Desk Performance?

In order to have an effective front desk system, it can’t just be a one-person job. This requires a well-educated, well-trained staff who can work together for the betterment of the patient experience.

To learn more about our recommendations for the roles within your practice, their responsibilities, duties, products and statistics that they should be measured by, contact MEG and schedule a practice assessment to see how your physical therapy front desk can run more effectively and efficiently. A coach from our team will not only help identify challenges or issues you’re facing, but also provide a plan of action for resolving them.

Did you know that you can outsource your front desk? Check out our NEW Virtual Front Desk service today!

MEG Virtual Front Desk Solution

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