Presentation on theme: "Telephone Techniques Chapter 11 Medical Assisting"— Presentation transcript:
1 Telephone Techniques Chapter 11 Medical Assisting PowerPoint® presentation to accompany:Medical AssistingThird EditionBooth, Whicker, Wyman, Pugh, Thompson
2 Learning Outcomes 11.1 Explain the importance of communication skills. 11.2 Explain how to manage incoming telephone calls.11.3 Describe how the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) applies to telephone communications.11.4 Describe the procedure for calling a new prescription or prescription renewal into a pharmacy.
3 Learning Outcomes (cont.) 11.5 Compare the types of calls the medical assistant handles with those the physician or other staff members handle.11.6 Describe how to handle various types of incoming calls from patients and from others.11.7 Discuss the importance of proper telephone etiquette.11.8 Describe the procedures for taking telephone messages.
4 Learning Outcomes (cont.) Explain how to retrieve calls from an answering service.11.10 Describe the procedures for placing outgoing calls.11.11 Explain the function of telephone triage in the medical office.11.12 Explain the uses of a facsimile machine in a medical office.
5 IntroductionTelephone calls must be professionally and effectively handledTelephone etiquetteCommon courtesyProper pronunciation, tone, and enunciationHow to handle difficult situations and complaintsHow to document messages
6 Using the Telephone Effectively The medical assistant may be the first contact a patient hasEnsure that you leave a positive impressionShow concernSound professional and knowledgeableProper telephone managementKeeps patients informedEnsures patient satisfaction
7 Using the Telephone Effectively (cont.) Good telephone techniques leave the patient with a positive impression ofYouThe physicianThe practiceGood telephone management shows that the staff isPoor telephone management results inCaringAttentiveHelpfulBad feelingsMisunderstandingUnfavorable impressions
8 Apply Your Knowledge Good Job! What two things does proper telephone management do?ANSWER: Proper telephone management keeps patients informed and ensures patient satisfaction.Good Job!
9 Communication Skills Using tact and sensitivity Showing empathy Giving respectBeing genuine
10 Communication Skills (cont.) Displaying openness and friendlinessRefraining from passing judgment or stereotypingBeing supportiveAsking for clarification and feedback
11 Communication Skills (cont.) Paraphrasing to ensure understandingBeing receptive to the patient’s needsKnowing when to speak and when to listenBeing willing to consider other viewpoints
12 Communication Skills (cont.) CompleteConciseClearThe 5 CsofCommunicationCohesiveCourteous
13 Certainly! Apply Your Knowledge What are the 5 Cs of communication and what does each mean?ANSWER: The 5 Cs of communication are:Completeness – the message must contain all needed informationClarity – it should be legible and free from ambiguityConciseness – it should be brief and directCourtesy – it should be respectful and considerateCohesiveness – it should be organized and logicalCertainly!
14 Managing Incoming Calls: Guidelines Answer calls promptlyBe able to take a messageGreet the caller with the medical office name and your nameIdentify the caller and demonstrate a willingness to assist him or herIf the caller does not give his or her name, ask for it
15 Managing Incoming Calls: Guidelines (cont.) Be courteous, calm, and pleasantIdentify the nature of the callUse the caller’s name when saying goodbye at the end of the callComply with HIPAA guidelines for confidentiality of patient information
16 Managing Incoming Calls: Screening Calls TipsFind out who is callingAsk what the call is in reference toHelps to determine who can handle the callDecide whether to put the call throughDo not put through callers who refuse to identify themselvesDetermine what to do if the call is personal
17 Managing Incoming Calls: Routing Calls Follow the office policy to determine calls that should bePut through immediatelyReturned returned laterHandled by another staff member other than the physicianGenerally, three types of calls are received in the office:1) Administrative Issues2) Emergency Calls3) Clinical Issues
18 Managing Incoming Calls: Routing Calls (cont.) Calls handled by the medical assistantAppointmentsBilling inquiriesInsurance questionsDiagnostic reports (lab and x-ray)General administrative questionsReports from hospitals and patientsReferral requestsPrescription renewals (if previously approved by the physician)Patient complaints regarding administrative issues
19 Managing Incoming Calls: Routing Calls (cont.) Calls requiring the doctor’s attentionEmergency callsCalls from other physiciansPatient requests regarding test resultsPatient requests to discuss their symptomsRequests for prescription renewalsPersonal callsA routing list specifies who is responsible for handling certain types of calls.
20 Apply Your Knowledge Very Good! The medical assistant is just returning from lunch, and the office telephone is ringing. When the medical assistant answers, the caller interrupts her greeting and says, “No, do not put me on hold again, I have been on hold for 10 minutes!” How should the medical assistant respond to this caller?ANSWER: The medical assistant should remain calm, allow the caller to express his or her concerns, apologize for any inconvenience, and inform the caller that you would like to help. The MA should not attempt to shift the blame by telling the caller that he or she was just returning from lunch and instead should put effort into assisting the caller.Very Good!
21 Types of Incoming Calls Calls from PatientsMedical Assistant RoleAppointmentsMake or change appointmentsBilling InquiriesClarify bill or chargesHelp set up payment arrangements if possibleDiagnostic ReportsDocument what information is given to the patientQuestions about MedicationsGet approval for renewalsAnswer questions about medications
22 Types of Incoming Calls (cont.) Calls from PatientsMedical Assistant RoleReports of SymptomsListen carefully and documentSchedule appointment as neededProgress ReportsRoute follow-up calls to the physicianDocument call in patient recordRequests for AdviceDo not give any medical adviceComplaintsRemain calm and listen carefullyApologize for any inconveniencesFollow through to resolve issue
23 Types of Incoming Calls: EmergencyCallsMust be routed to the physician immediatelyIncludes serious or life-threatening conditions such asSevere bleedingDrug reactionInjuriesPoisoningSuicide attemptsSevere burnsLoss of consciousness911
24 Types of Incoming Calls (cont.) Never use office phone for personal callsLimit cell phone use to essential calls onlyHIPAA and confidentiality apply to telephone callsAttorneysFollow office guidelines carefullyNever release any patient information unless the physician authorizes you to do so
25 Types of Incoming Calls (cont.) Other physiciansRoute calls to the physicianDo not disclose any patient informationSalespeopleRequest that information be mailed to you about new productsPharmaceutical representatives may be seen by the physician
26 Excellent! Apply Your Knowledge A medical assistant working in a large medical/surgical practice answers the telephone. The caller states “Hi, I’m Dr. X., did Dr. C. perform Mrs. A. W.’s surgery yesterday?” How should the medical assistant respond?ANSWER: The medical assistant should request that Dr. X hold to speak with the physician. You may not disclose any information concerning a patient, including whether or not patient A.W had surgery, even to a physician. In addition, this may not really be Dr. X.Excellent!
27 Using Proper Telephone Etiquette Customer service is criticalUse your telephone voiceSpeak directly into the receiverBe friendly; convey interest and respectUse non-technical language, but never use slangUse a normal tone, but attempt to vary your pitchPitch is the high and low level of your speechMake the caller feel important!
28 Using Proper Telephone Etiquette (cont.) Saying words correctlyIf the name is difficult to pronounce, ask the patient how it is pronouncedPronunciationTonePositiveRespectfulSaying words in a clear and understandable mannerEating, chewing gum, and incorrect placement of the phone interfere with enunciationEnunciation
29 Telephone Etiquette: Making a Good Impression Project an attitude of helpfulnessAlways refer to the caller by nameThank the caller before hanging upExhibiting courtesyGive the caller the same level of attention as if he or she were right in front of youListen attentively to get accurate informationGiving undividedattentionPutting a call on holdAlways allow the caller to state the purpose of the call prior to placing the caller on holdIf the wait will be lengthy, offer to call back instead of placing the caller on holdReturn to the caller at 2-minute intervals
30 Telephone Etiquette: Making a Good Impression Handling difficult situationsIf the call is not an emergency, and you are in the middle of an urgent situation, offer to return the callRemembering patient namesUsing the caller’s name during a conversation makes the caller feel importantChecking for understandingAsk questions to ensure that the caller understands what you have discussed and that you understood the caller.
31 Telephone Etiquette: Making a Good Impression Communicating feelingsTry to communicate an understanding of the caller’s feelings (empathy)Callers tend to have a better perception of the office if empathy is communicatedEnding the conversationSummarize important pointsThank the caller for calling (use the caller’s name)Allow the caller to hang up first
32 Apply Your Knowledge Super Answer! What should you do when you have to place a caller on hold?ANSWER: When a caller has to be placed on hold, first ask the purpose of the call. Then tell the caller why you need to place him or her on hold and how long the wait will be. Check with the caller at frequent (2-minute) intervals. Offer to call back if the wait will be lengthy.Super Answer!
33 Taking Messages Documenting calls Protects the physician against legal actionDocument in the patient recordClinical issuesReferralsMessages must be accurate and legible
34 Taking Messages (cont.) Always keep a pen and paper near the telephone so you are prepared to record the message.TO:____________________________________________Date_________________ Time______________MessageFROM:_________________________________________Telephone ( )__________________extension________Message Details:Your name or initialsContents of a Telephone Message Pad
35 Taking Messages: Telephone Logs ManualSpiral-bound, perforated message bookTop copy or original is given to the message recipient and a copy is kept in the bookElectronicMessage is keyed in as it is receivedCopy can be saved, printed out, or ed
36 Taking Messages: Tips Keep pen/pencil on hand Take notes as information is givenVerify spellingVerify callback numberDo not make a commitment on behalf of someone else
37 Taking Messages (cont.) Ensuring correct informationGet the correct spelling of the caller’s nameIf you have to pull the patient record, ask for date of birthRepeat key points for verificationMaintaining patient confidentialityDo not repeat any confidential information over the telephoneMaintain confidentiality with written messagesMessage
38 Apply Your Knowledge Right! ANSWER: FANSWER:Date of birthAnswer True or False to the following:___ Documenting calls can protect against legal actions.___ Confidentiality is just as important when making telephone calls as in written communication.___ You should ask for the patient’s SSN if you have to pull his/her record.___ You should repeat key points to verify information.
39 Telephone Answering Systems Single telephone or complex multiline systemsCommon equipment and services used in the medical officeAutomated voice mailAnswering machineAnswering service
40 Telephone Answering Systems (cont.) Retrieving messages from answering serviceSet a regular schedule and call at scheduled timesIdentify yourself and the practice nameWrite down all pertinent information on telephone logRepeat the information to verifyRoute messages per office policy
41 CORRECT! Apply Your Knowledge What steps should you take to retrieve messages from an answering service?ANSWER: To retrieve messages from an answering service you shouldSet a regular schedule and call at scheduled timesIdentify yourself and the practice nameWrite down all pertinent information on telephone logRepeat the information to verifyRoute messages per office policyCORRECT!
42 Placing Outgoing Calls Locating telephone numbersPatient recordOffice file of commonly used numbersTelephone directory, directory assistance, or the InternetA fee is charged for directory assistance
43 Placing Outgoing Calls (cont.) Applying your telephone skillsPlan before you callDouble-check the phone numberAllow time for the person to answerIdentify yourselfAsk if the time is convenientBe ready to speak when the person answersBe sure the person has paper and pencil if you are giving information
44 Placing Outgoing Calls (cont.) Arranging conference callsCalls between several people at different locationsRemember the different time zonesSuggest several time slots as options
45 r Apply Your Knowledge PERFECT! The medical assistant has been informed that the office physician and the consulting physician must speak with the daughter of an unresponsive patient recently diagnosed with a terminal condition. The daughter resides out of town. What would you do in this situation?ANSWER: This situation requires that three parties be able to communicate at the same time to each other. Setting up a conference call would be most plausible.PERFECT!r
46 Learning the Triage Process Telephone TriageTelephone triage is used as a process of deciding what action to takeLearning the Triage ProcessTelephone staff are given guidelines to handle common conditionsTelephone staff must determine whether caller requires additional careTelephone staff cannot diagnose or treatSpecific information must be obtained, such as name, age, symptoms, and anxiety
47 Telephone Triage (cont.) Level of SeverityCategorizing the ProblemManage by telephoneManage in officeSend patient to emergency care facilityAdvise the caller that the recommendations are based on the symptoms and are not a diagnosisHave the caller repeat instructions you giveInstruct the patient to call back if symptoms worsenDocument critical elements of the conversation
48 Telephone Triage (cont.) Taking ActionClinical triage – based on office guidelinesDetermine extent of problem (Is this an emergency?)Decide on appropriate actionTelephone situations must be handled correctly to protect the health and safety of the patient.
49 Apply Your Knowledge Great! What is telephone triage and what does it entail?ANSWER: Telephone triage is a process used to decide what action to take when a patient calls the office with a clinical problem. Telephone staff use office guidelines to determine a course of action based on the of the level of severity of the problem.Great!
50 Telecommunications and Faxes Automated telephone systemRecorded voice identifies department or servicesNumbered choicesFacsimile (fax) machinesHIPAA guidelines must be followed for patient confidentialityFax machine should be located in secure location
51 Impressive! Apply Your Knowledge As you escort Mr. James to the exam room, you notice that a repairman is looking at a document on the fax machine. What should you do?ANSWER: You should ask Mr. James to wait where he is and excuse yourself to deal with the repairman. Tactfully tell the repairman that he should not be reading the information on the fax machine. You should also suggest to the office manager that the fax machine be moved to a less accessible location.Impressive!
52 In Summary Communication Reflect Tool Professionalism Documentation TelephoneEtiquetteConfidentialityTelephoneTriage
53 When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen. End of Chapter 11When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.~ Ernest Hemmingway