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1 Copyright © 2011, 2007, 2003, 1999 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Telephone Techniques Chapter 9.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Copyright © 2011, 2007, 2003, 1999 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Telephone Techniques Chapter 9."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Copyright © 2011, 2007, 2003, 1999 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Telephone Techniques Chapter 9

2 2 Copyright © 2011, 2007, 2003, 1999 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Introduction The telephone is the lifeline of the medical practice. The telephone is the lifeline of the medical practice. The telephone is one of the most valuable tools used in the physicians office. The telephone is one of the most valuable tools used in the physicians office. Telephone technique can either build or destroy a physicians office. Telephone technique can either build or destroy a physicians office. The patient is never an interruption of the work day; instead, the patient is the reason the practice exists. The patient is never an interruption of the work day; instead, the patient is the reason the practice exists. Medical assistants must project a caring attitude when speaking to those who call the facility. Medical assistants must project a caring attitude when speaking to those who call the facility.

3 3 Copyright © 2011, 2007, 2003, 1999 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. We will review: How to develop a pleasing telephone voice How to develop a pleasing telephone voice Correct use of the handset Correct use of the handset How to handle callers who wish to speak to the physician How to handle callers who wish to speak to the physician The items needed to take an accurate telephone message The items needed to take an accurate telephone message How to handle difficult callers How to handle difficult callers Questions to ask during an emergency call Questions to ask during an emergency call

4 4 Copyright © 2011, 2007, 2003, 1999 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Who Calls the Physicians Office? Patients calling for appointments or to ask questions Patients calling for appointments or to ask questions New patients making a first contact with the office New patients making a first contact with the office Patients or medical workers reporting treatment results or emergencies Patients or medical workers reporting treatment results or emergencies Other physicians making referrals or discussing a patient Other physicians making referrals or discussing a patient Laboratories reporting vital patient results Laboratories reporting vital patient results

5 5 Copyright © 2011, 2007, 2003, 1999 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Active Listening Focus attention on the call at hand. Focus attention on the call at hand. Give the caller the same attention as would be given to a face-to-face visitor. Give the caller the same attention as would be given to a face-to-face visitor. Listen for clues about the patient. Is he or she distressed? Agitated? Fearful? Listen for clues about the patient. Is he or she distressed? Agitated? Fearful?

6 6 Copyright © 2011, 2007, 2003, 1999 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. How should you sound? Callers should hear a smile. Callers should hear a smile. Provide excellent customer service. Provide excellent customer service. Enunciate clearly. Enunciate clearly. Use inflections. Use inflections. Every caller should feel that the medical assistant has time to address his or her concerns. Every caller should feel that the medical assistant has time to address his or her concerns. Talk naturally. Talk naturally. Avoid using professional jargon. Avoid using professional jargon. The mouthpiece should be about 1 inch from the lips and directly in front of the teeth. The mouthpiece should be about 1 inch from the lips and directly in front of the teeth. Do not eat, drink, or chew gum while on the phone Do not eat, drink, or chew gum while on the phone

7 7 Copyright © 2011, 2007, 2003, 1999 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Maintaining Confidentiality All communications in the healthcare facility are confidential. All communications in the healthcare facility are confidential. Use discretion when using the name of the Use discretion when using the name of thecaller. Be careful about being overheard. Be careful about being overheard. Never use a speakerphone to retrieve messages. Never use a speakerphone to retrieve messages.

8 8 Copyright © 2011, 2007, 2003, 1999 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. When making a call-Think Ahead! Have the patients chart or bill at hand before dialing the phone. Have the patients chart or bill at hand before dialing the phone. Write down a list of questions or goals for the conversation. Write down a list of questions or goals for the conversation. Keep the call short to free phone lines. Keep the call short to free phone lines. Keep a list of frequently called numbers for staff use and to offer to patients. Keep a list of frequently called numbers for staff use and to offer to patients.

9 9 Copyright © 2011, 2007, 2003, 1999 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Techniques for Incoming Calls Answer promptly. Always answer by the third ring. Always answer by the third ring. Place subsequent calls on hold and take care of calls in order. Place subsequent calls on hold and take care of calls in order. Make certain the call is not an emergency. Make certain the call is not an emergency. Never answer by stating please hold without verifying that the patient is able to hold. Never answer by stating please hold without verifying that the patient is able to hold.

10 10 Copyright © 2011, 2007, 2003, 1999 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Techniques for Incoming Calls Identify the caller. Ask who is calling. Ask who is calling. Repeat the callers name often. Repeat the callers name often. If the caller refuses to identify himself or herself, politely refuse to forward the call to the physician. If the caller refuses to identify himself or herself, politely refuse to forward the call to the physician. Refer the call to the office manager. Refer the call to the office manager.

11 11 Copyright © 2011, 2007, 2003, 1999 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Techniques for Incoming Calls Screen incoming calls. Put calls from other physicians through at once, unless the policy manual requires other action. Put calls from other physicians through at once, unless the policy manual requires other action. Identify the caller. Identify the caller. Determine who should receive the call. Determine who should receive the call. Take an accurate phone message. Take an accurate phone message. Cultivate a reputation for being helpful and reliable. Cultivate a reputation for being helpful and reliable.

12 12 Copyright © 2011, 2007, 2003, 1999 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Techniques for Incoming Calls Transferring a call Ask permission to place the patient on hold. Ask permission to place the patient on hold. Call the person the patient wishes to speak to, and state that the call is being transferred. Call the person the patient wishes to speak to, and state that the call is being transferred. Transfer the call. Transfer the call. Always send the call to the person who knows the most about the situation. Always send the call to the person who knows the most about the situation.

13 13 Copyright © 2011, 2007, 2003, 1999 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Techniques for Incoming Calls Taking a phone message Name of person calling Name of person calling Name of person the call is for Name of person the call is for Callers phone numbers Callers phone numbers Reason for the call Reason for the call Action to be taken Action to be taken Date and time of the call Date and time of the call Initials of person taking the message Initials of person taking the message Make certain that phone messages receive follow-up and document the number of attempts to return calls. Make certain that phone messages receive follow-up and document the number of attempts to return calls.

14 14 Copyright © 2011, 2007, 2003, 1999 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Ending a Call Stick to business during the call. Stick to business during the call. Do not encourage chit-chat, but maintain a friendly attitude. Do not encourage chit-chat, but maintain a friendly attitude. Ask if the patient has any further questions or if you can assist him or her in other ways. Ask if the patient has any further questions or if you can assist him or her in other ways. Replace the handset on the cradle gently. Replace the handset on the cradle gently.

15 15 Copyright © 2011, 2007, 2003, 1999 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. A normal day in the office calls: Patients needing directions Patients needing directions Inquiries about bills and fees Inquiries about bills and fees Insurance provider questions Insurance provider questions Requests for assistance with insurance Requests for assistance with insurance Routine reports from hospitals and other sources Routine reports from hospitals and other sources Requests for referrals Requests for referrals Prescription refills Prescription refills Requests for test results Requests for test results

16 16 Copyright © 2011, 2007, 2003, 1999 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Questions to Ask during an Emergency Call At what telephone number can you be reached? At what telephone number can you be reached? Where are you located? Where are you located? What are the chief symptoms? What are the chief symptoms? When did they start? When did they start? Has this happened before? Has this happened before? Are you alone? Are you alone? Do you have transportation? Do you have transportation?

17 17 Copyright © 2011, 2007, 2003, 1999 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Getting Information the Physician Needs Listen carefully to the physician when he or she is questioning patients about their symptoms. Listen carefully to the physician when he or she is questioning patients about their symptoms. The medical assistant will learn to anticipate the physicians needs. The medical assistant will learn to anticipate the physicians needs.

18 18 Copyright © 2011, 2007, 2003, 1999 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Closing Comments Make certain that the patient hears caring and compassion in your voice. Make certain that the patient hears caring and compassion in your voice. Always try to help the patient accomplish what he or she set out to do when making the call to the office. Always try to help the patient accomplish what he or she set out to do when making the call to the office. Make certain that follow-up on every call is completed in a timely manner. Make certain that follow-up on every call is completed in a timely manner.

19 19 Copyright © 2011, 2007, 2003, 1999 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. THE END


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