The physical therapy industry continues to grow, and clinic owners know that the patient experience (and the growth of your business) has a lot to do with having a talented, efficient front desk team. Nevertheless, from greeting and processing new patients to managing calendars and scheduling appointments, navigating priorities and efficiencies can be challenging.
Here are some things to consider to optimize the front desk efficiency at your physical therapy practice and bring out the best productivity in your front desk coordinator.
Stick to the Basics
Typically, an employee can only handle so many core tasks associated with their position before things start getting lost in the process. Since the front desk is critical to keeping private practice operations in check, it’s best to set them up for success and keep errors at a minimum. To that end, we find that front desk efficiency is a result of keeping their roles and responsibilities within the front desk “wheelhouse” – meaning, the work expected of front desk staff in most physical therapy offices.
This should include scheduling appointments, greeting visitors, managing traffic, handling the phone, performing minimal security tasks, requesting reviews upon exit and handling mail. Strong front desk teams also handle authorizations and reauthorizations of insurance and even help with social media from time to time.
We recommend starting simple and adding to the role as your staff show they can handle it, because throwing more than expected at your front desk coordinator can result in reduced efficiency.
Keep Your Skills Up to Date
As physical therapy technology and front desk software evolve, you must evolve with it and account for time to train your front desk coordinators on these changes. That means staying in front of the latest innovations and scheduling time to prepare your coordinators as you transition into new software or programs.
Plus, there are a variety of different personnel management certifications available for the physical therapy industry that can help unleash the most productive, efficient version of your staff. Staggering schedules so your staff can have time to train on new and upcoming policies, software, and procedures in an excellent way to increase front desk efficiency.
Work With Your Strengths
When you reach a specific size and pool of patients, your physical therapy practice can benefit from having more than one front desk coordinator. At that point, front desk efficiency will increase by assigning your coordinators to prioritize specific tasks.
Do you have a master insurance whisperer among your employees? What about someone who can put together schedules quickly? Keep them on that task. Do you have someone who everyone loves to talk to? Get them on the phones. Your front desk coordinators should help wherever needed, but priorities can help increase front desk efficiency.
Tailor the Work
If your front desk coordinators have proven they can handle the workload, it’s time to tailor tasks to their interests, skills and strengths. Do you have an artistic coordinator? Perhaps assign them to special design projects such as advertisements or website work. In the same way, if your front desk team are strong orators or just love the spotlight, create more videos introducing the clinic and your services, starring them and add to your website and social media!
Your team will love that you’ve created avenues for earning extra compensation that align with their interests, though it must be said that these side projects are always the lesser priority to the basics to maintain front desk efficiency. However, if the current workload allows, consider diversifying your coordinators’ tasks based on their strengths.
Automation Can Help
One final method worth mentioning is to increase front desk efficiency by automating the busy work where possible. Tasks like paperwork and data entry can slow the office’s workflow and prove overly distracting at the expense of functions such as greeting visitors and guiding them through one-to-one processes.
Consider automating these workflows to reduce roadblocks in the front desk experience. From there, empower your front desk coordinator to not only utilize the systems but also find ways to improve them.
The right personnel management can make you the most efficient physical therapy practice in your area. Check out the different MEG Academy virtual courses that can take your business to the next level and request a demo when you’re ready!