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1 Elsevier items and derived items © 2009 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. Chapter 39 Telephone Techniques.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Elsevier items and derived items © 2009 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. Chapter 39 Telephone Techniques."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Elsevier items and derived items © 2009 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. Chapter 39 Telephone Techniques

2 Elsevier items and derived items © 2009 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. 2 Pretest 1.The medical assistant should obtain a callers name before placing the caller on hold. 2.A caller will not be able to pick up nonverbal cues during a telephone call with the medical office. 3.Call forwarding sends telephone calls to a different extension or telephone number. 4.Most medical offices rely only on voic during the night and weekends. 5.Patient insurance information may be sent electronically using telephone lines. True or False

3 Elsevier items and derived items © 2009 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. 3 Pretest, cont. 6.Physicians should not be contacted when out of the office using cell phones or pagers. 7.A telephone electronic routing system avoids placing incoming calls on hold. 8.A physician will accept a call from another physician, even if it interrupts a patient examination. 9.The medical assistant may not take a message from a laboratory that includes the results of diagnostic tests. 10.If a patient requests a prescription refill, the medical assistant should ask for the pharmacy name and telephone number. True or False

4 Elsevier items and derived items © 2009 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. 4 1.The telephone may be the first contact with the medical office 2.Managing the telephone is one of the most important jobs in the medical office Introduction to Telephone Techniques

5 Elsevier items and derived items © 2009 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. 5 Telephone Courtesy 1.The telephone should be answered promptly, within three rings 2.The medical assistant (MA) identifies the office and himself or herself

6 Elsevier items and derived items © 2009 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. 6 3.Important to ask politely who is calling 4.Always speak before putting someone on hold 5.Avoid putting a physician on hold 6.Check back at least every 30 seconds with a caller on hold 7.Avoid doing something else while on the phone a.Other work b.Chewing gum or eating Telephone Courtesy, cont.

7 Elsevier items and derived items © 2009 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. 7 Telephone Personality 1.Telephone voice gives nonverbal cues a.Interest, friendliness, concern, and understanding are communicated b.Boredom, anxiety, and lack of concern are also communicated 2.MA should stay focused on the call and smile

8 Elsevier items and derived items © 2009 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. 8 Telephone Personality, cont. 3.Use the same volume as when speaking in person 4.Avoid developing an artificial telephone voice, which often comes across as cold and unreal 5.Enunciate clearly (speak clearly)

9 Elsevier items and derived items © 2009 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. 9 Effective Telephone Communications 1.The caller needs to have the MAs complete attention 2.Try to complete call without interruption 3.Being organized facilitates handling calls

10 Elsevier items and derived items © 2009 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. 10 Effective Telephone Communications, cont. 4.Have information and materials available to handle the majority of phone calls a.Message slips b.Pens c.Appointment book or computer appointment screen d.List of frequently called numbers e.Desk clock, computer clock or wrist watch to note time of messages

11 Elsevier items and derived items © 2009 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. 11 Effective Telephone Communications, cont. 5.Begin by identifying the practice and giving own name 6.Ask for callers name if caller fails to identify self 7.Use complete sentences and avoid being abrupt 8.Important to use good posture when talking on the telephone a.Back supported b.Neck in neutral position c.Feet flat on the floor or supported on a footstool

12 Elsevier items and derived items © 2009 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. 12 Effective Telephone Communications, cont. 9.Use headset if answering telephone is a frequent duty a.Tucking receiver between head and shoulder places strain on shoulder muscles b.Headset allows for good body posture and leaves hands free

13 Elsevier items and derived items © 2009 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. 13 Effective Telephone Communications, cont. 10.Be clear with callers about when they can expect their calls to be returned 11.Avoid cutting into a persons replieseven if he or she rambles 12.Let the caller know what the MA can and will do for follow-up

14 Elsevier items and derived items © 2009 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. 14 Effective Telephone Communications, cont. Telephone Headset Leaves Hands Free

15 Elsevier items and derived items © 2009 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. 15 Telephone Technology 1.Multiline telephone with several extensions is commonly used 2.Flashing light usually identifies line that is ringing Multiline Telephones

16 Elsevier items and derived items © 2009 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. 16 Telephone Technology, cont. From Young AP, Proctor DB: Kinns the medical assistant, ed 10, St. Louis, 2007, Saunders

17 Elsevier items and derived items © 2009 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. 17 Telephone Technology, cont. 3.Should handle second call and return to first as soon as possible a.Tell first caller he or she will be placed on hold b.Handle calls in order 4.Calls are transferred if caller asks for another person or extension a.Caller is identified before transferring the call b.Helpful to keep names of callers on hold written down c.If hold light continues to flash, should check with caller every 30 seconds to be sure call goes through

18 Elsevier items and derived items © 2009 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. 18 Telephone Technology, cont. Other Features of Multiline Phones 1.Speed dialing: storage of frequently called numbers 2.Call forwarding: send calls to another extension or telephone number 3.Call park: place call on hold and retrieve from another number 4.Caller ID: identifies callers telephone number

19 Elsevier items and derived items © 2009 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. 19 Telephone Technology, cont. 1.Answering service a.Used by most physicians offices when office is closed b.Independent company answers telephones for a number of clients 2.Some offices use an answering machine with message and instructions Answering Machines and Answering Service

20 Elsevier items and derived items © 2009 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. 20 Telephone Technology, cont. 3.Voice mail also common a.Built into the telephone system b.Messages can be left in a number of mailboxes for different people c.May have mailboxes for each staff member d.Each voice mailbox has a separate extension e.In some systems can enter last name of person being called if extension is not known f.Offices with voice mail also rely on answering services for after hours calls Voice Mail

21 Elsevier items and derived items © 2009 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. 21 Electronic Information Transfer Fax Machine 1.Fax machine uses telephone lines to send images (text and pictures) over the phone 2.Office should have dedicated telephone line for fax machines

22 Elsevier items and derived items © 2009 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. 22 Electronic Information Transfer, cont. 3.Fax phone number should be listed next to every phone for convenience 4.If confidential information must be sent via fax, be sure to designate as Confidential on the cover sheet and obtain patient consent (unless emergency)

23 Elsevier items and derived items © 2009 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. 23 Electronic Information Transfer, cont. From Young AP, Proctor DB: Kinns the medical assistant, ed 10, St. Louis, 2007, Saunders

24 Elsevier items and derived items © 2009 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. 24 Electronic Information Transfer, cont. Electronic Data Transmission 1. , billing, and insurance information can be transmitted using telephone system 2.There are various technologies for electronic transmission using telephone lines a.Modem requires dedicated telephone line b.DSL (digital subscriber line) is faster and can use same telephone line for voice transmission c.Fiberoptic cable provided by telephone company 3.Cable modem uses cable television cable

25 Elsevier items and derived items © 2009 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. 25 Electronic Information Transfer, cont. 1.Method of sending, receiving, and storing messages and files using the Internet 2.Should be assumed that messages are not secure 3.MA should not use office for private messages

26 Elsevier items and derived items © 2009 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. 26 Electronic Information Transfer, cont. Electronic Transmission of Billing and Insurance Information 1.Information is transmitted via telephone lines to billing departments, billing affiliates, and/or insurance companies 2.HIPAA Security Rule requires measures to keep patient health information secure a.Secure networks b.Encryption system, such as SSL (Secure Sockets Layer)

27 Elsevier items and derived items © 2009 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. 27 Electronic Information Transfer, cont. 1.Cell phone uses radio signals for telephone contact 2.Smartphone has additional features Cellular Telephones and Smartphones

28 Elsevier items and derived items © 2009 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. 28 Electronic Information Transfer, cont. a.PDA (personal digital assistant) with various software tools b.Internet connection c.Ability to send and receive s d.In some cases, access to patient electronic medical records 3.Physician cell phone numbers should not be given to patients

29 Elsevier items and derived items © 2009 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. 29 Electronic Information Transfer, cont. 1.Direct dial to pagers (beepers) a.Digital pagers: leave a number to return call b.Alphanumeric pagers: display a message in addition to telephone number 2.Used when area has unreliable cell phone service or in larger institutions 3.Simple pager can be used so that patients can leave the waiting room Pagers

30 Elsevier items and derived items © 2009 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. 30 Incoming Calls 1.Electronic (voice mail) routing system directs call to appropriate part of office 2.Saves expense of a staff person who would otherwise be answering the phone 3.Electronic routing keeps patients from being put on hold Electronic Routing System

31 Elsevier items and derived items © 2009 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. 31 Incoming Calls, cont. 4.Some patients find electronic routing confusing and frustrating a.Must listen to a number of options b.Person they need to speak to may not be available c.Person they need to speak to may not return call promptly

32 Elsevier items and derived items © 2009 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. 32 Incoming Calls, cont. 5.Calls answered by the MA offer the human touch a.One person is responsible for routing calls b.Person gives a little more attention to individuals who might be confused by voice mail

33 Elsevier items and derived items © 2009 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. 33 Managing Incoming Calls Performing Telephone Screening 1.MA decides how important the call is a.Routine calls are handled in the order they come in b.Calls from physicians are put through at once c.Emergency calls are treated as urgent and receive top priority d.Calls from the physicians relatives may be put through

34 Elsevier items and derived items © 2009 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. 34 Managing Incoming Calls, cont. 2.It is polite to obtain the callers name and ask to put the call on hold 3.MA decides who should handle the call a.If caller asks for member of the office staff by name, call is transferred b.If caller has a question, MA decides best person to answer call c.Most physicians dont take calls while seeing patients unless they have told staff to put a certain caller through or unless it is another physician

35 Elsevier items and derived items © 2009 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. 35 Managing Incoming Calls, cont. Calls the Medical Assistant Usually Handles 1.Requests to schedule appointments a.May schedule office appointments or outside laboratory or hospital appointments b.May schedule tests for patients 2.Billing inquiries a.Refers to the patient account in the computer b.Gives caller the information requested c.May refer caller to billing specialist or office manager

36 Elsevier items and derived items © 2009 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. 36 Managing Incoming Calls, cont. 3.Receiving diagnostic test and laboratory results a.Results may be sent by fax or computer b.If telephoned, MA takes information on blank laboratory slip c.Records patients name and date when tests were taken d.Pulls patient medical record after taking results and clips results to front e.Records all data accurately

37 Elsevier items and derived items © 2009 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. 37 Managing Incoming Calls, cont. 4.Requests for information a.Gives directions to the office b.Explains office hours and offices medical specialty

38 Elsevier items and derived items © 2009 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. 38 Managing Incoming Calls, cont. Taking Messages 1.Best to use message pad that makes a copy 2.If message form does not make a copy, MA keeps a telephone log

39 Elsevier items and derived items © 2009 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. 39 Managing Incoming Calls, cont. 3.Do not write in a space intended for physician follow-up 4.Include all information a.Date and time b.Name of physician or staff member being called c.Patients full name and date of birth d.Clear message that indicates what the caller wants

40 Elsevier items and derived items © 2009 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. 40 Managing Incoming Calls, cont. e.Additional information to clarify the message f.Medication allergies if patient is ill or requests medication g.Telephone number to return call and pharmacy telephone number if appropriate h.Initials of MA taking the message 5.Use message form when transcribing messages from answering machine or voice mail

41 Elsevier items and derived items © 2009 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. 41 Managing Incoming Calls, cont.

42 Elsevier items and derived items © 2009 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. 42 Managing Incoming Calls, cont. Patient Requests for Test Results 1.Find out when and where the test was done 2.Locate the medical record and be sure laboratory report and results are in the record 3.Leave the message and the medical record for the physician 4.Follow up as instructed by physician a.Call patient with results b.Schedule follow-up test or appointment

43 Elsevier items and derived items © 2009 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. 43 Managing Incoming Calls, cont. Patients Reporting Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory Progress 1.If patient reports satisfactory progress, take brief message 2.If patient reports unsatisfactory progress, take a more complete message 3.Place medical record with message for physician to review

44 Elsevier items and derived items © 2009 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. 44 Managing Incoming Calls, cont. Requests for Medication or Prescription Refills 1.MA gets patients name and date of birth 2.Identifies medication, dosage, and number prescribed before

45 Elsevier items and derived items © 2009 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. 45 Managing Incoming Calls, cont. 3.If patient calls, gets the pharmacy phone number and how often the patient takes the medication 4.If the medication is an antibiotic or controlled substance, asks about symptoms that require a refill

46 Elsevier items and derived items © 2009 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. 46 Managing Incoming Calls, cont. 5.Instruct the patient to check with the pharmacy the next day 6.Physician follows up directly with the pharmacy or writes a message for the MA to call in 7.If MA calls the pharmacy, should always document in the medical record

47 Elsevier items and derived items © 2009 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. 47 Managing Incoming Calls, cont. Sample Message for Prescription Refill

48 Elsevier items and derived items © 2009 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. 48 Managing Incoming Calls, cont. Calls for Referrals 1.Patient may call to say he or she needs a referral to see a specialist or to have laboratory work a.MA records the necessary information b.Checks with the physician to make sure referral is necessary c.Completes referral forms as completely as possible and obtains signature

49 Elsevier items and derived items © 2009 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. 49 Managing Incoming Calls, cont. Calls Requesting Laboratory or Diagnostic Tests 1.Patient may request a laboratory or diagnostic test a.MA obtains authorization from the physician b.Completes necessary laboratory slip for patient to pick up or enters information into computer

50 Elsevier items and derived items © 2009 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. 50 Managing Incoming Calls, cont. Patients with Medical Questions 1.Take a message for a physician or refer call to other staff member 2.Office should have written guidelines to screen medical questions

51 Elsevier items and derived items © 2009 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. 51 Managing Incoming Calls, cont. Calls from Other Physicians 1.Put calls from physicians right through to the physician 2.Give the name of the calling physician 3.May need to transfer the call to another extension for privacy

52 Elsevier items and derived items © 2009 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. 52 Managing Incoming Calls, cont. Calls from Salespeople 1.Salespeople are often seen by the office manager, who gives information to the physician 2.Drug representative must call for an appointment with the physician 3.These appointments usually made during lunch a.Physician must agree before such an appointment is made

53 Elsevier items and derived items © 2009 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. 53 Managing Incoming Calls, cont. Urgent or Emergency Calls 1.MA should remain calm and get the following information a.Callers name b.Callers phone number c.Identity of person who has the problem and relationship to caller d.Patients symptoms and current condition e.Brief history of symptoms or accident f.Any treatment that has already been given

54 Elsevier items and derived items © 2009 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. 54 Managing Incoming Calls, cont. 2.Follow office procedure after determining nature of urgent call using procedure manual 3.If no licensed professional in the office, the MA must advise the caller a.If emergency is serious or life threatening, tell caller to call an ambulance (911) b.MA may make the call for the caller c.If a case of poisoning, instruct caller to call poison control center for your area d.If patient can walk, caller can be instructed to take the patient to the emergency department or call an ambulance

55 Elsevier items and derived items © 2009 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. 55 Managing Incoming Calls, cont. 4.If problem can be treated in office, gives patient an appointment 5.If MA is unsure how urgent the problem is, contacts physician for instructions 6.If in doubt, it is always safer for the MA to instruct the patient to call an ambulance

56 Elsevier items and derived items © 2009 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. 56 Problem Calls The Caller Who Refuses to Give Information 1.Usually an individual who wants to speak to the physician 2.Explain that the callers name and telephone number is necessary to take a message 3.Caller can write a letter to the physician and to mark it personal

57 Elsevier items and derived items © 2009 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. 57 Problem Calls, cont. Complaints 1.Listen carefully 2.Avoid getting angry 3.Act professional and be patient 4.Get as much information from the caller as possible

58 Elsevier items and derived items © 2009 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. 58 Problem Calls, cont. 5.Avoid hanging up on an angry caller 6.Keep voice at normal speaking tone 7.Instruct patient what follow-up to expect and when to expect it

59 Elsevier items and derived items © 2009 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. 59 Problem Calls, cont. Patients with Special Problems 1.Listen carefully and try as much as possible to understand 2.Always obtain callers name and telephone number 3.Speak slowly and clearly without shouting 4.Use simple language

60 Elsevier items and derived items © 2009 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. 60 Problem Calls, cont. 5.Ask if caller understands what you are saying 6.Get translator if necessary 7.If patient seems confused, ask if there is another person who can help

61 Elsevier items and derived items © 2009 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. 61 Outgoing Calls 1.Privacy should be provided when making calls to patients 2.Leave only office name and telephone call with request for patient to call back on answering machine 3.If calling about bill, discuss only with patient 4.Organize all information before placing calls Local Calls

62 Elsevier items and derived items © 2009 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. 62 Outgoing Calls, cont. 5.If placing a call for a physician, make sure physician is ready to talk first 6.Staff should not make or receive personal calls except for emergencies a.Personal calls tie up phone lines and take time away from work b.Outgoing personal calls should occur at lunch time or break on a personal cell phone

63 Elsevier items and derived items © 2009 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. 63 Outgoing Calls, cont. 1.Can usually be dialed directly 2.To obtain phone number, can use long distance directory at area code Should be aware of different time zones when making long distance calls 4.Office may have a code to prevent unauthorized long distance calls Long Distance Calls

64 Elsevier items and derived items © 2009 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. 64 Outgoing Calls, cont. 1.Some phone systems allow conference calls among three parties 2.MA may set up conference calls among more than three parties with a telephone carrier 3.May need to notify all parties of call number and participant code in writing a.Can notify via b.Can notify by telephone with follow-up fax Conference Calls

65 Elsevier items and derived items © 2009 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. 65 Posttest 1.If a call is on hold, the medical assistant should check back with the caller at least every 30 seconds. 2.When answering the telephone, the medical assistant should first identify the practice and himself or herself. 3.Call park places a call on hold so that it can be retrieved from a different telephone. 4.Voice mail mailboxes each have a separate extension. 5.Confidential information should never be transmitted via a fax machine. True or False

66 Elsevier items and derived items © 2009 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. 66 Posttest, cont. 6.Physicians may have access to using their smartphones. 7.A telephone electronic routing system saves the expense of designating one person to answer incoming telephone calls. 8.Most physicians take calls from patients while they are seeing other patients. 9.Medical assistants routinely give patients the results of normal diagnostic tests over the telephone. 10.The medical assistant may take a message if a patient wants a referral or a diagnostic test. True or False


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