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Copyright © 2008, 2005, by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Written Communications and Mail Processing Chapter 13.

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Presentation on theme: "Copyright © 2008, 2005, by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Written Communications and Mail Processing Chapter 13."— Presentation transcript:

1 Copyright © 2008, 2005, by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Written Communications and Mail Processing Chapter 13

2 Copyright © 2008, 2005, by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Slide 2 Introduction Written communications are a reflection of the physician and his or her office staff. All written communications should be professional, accurate, complete, and effective in getting across the intended message.

3 Copyright © 2008, 2005, by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Slide 3 This chapter will examine: Responsibilities of the medical assistant with regard to equipment and supplies Common sizes of letterhead stationery Parts of speech References for the medical assistant’s library Answering business correspondence Value of communications portfolios Letter styles and parts of a business letter

4 Copyright © 2008, 2005, by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Slide 4 Importance of Written Communications Promotes a good impression of the physician and the office staff Enhances the art of effective communication Promotes better healthcare by providing accurate information about and to the patient

5 Copyright © 2008, 2005, by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Slide 5 Types of Written Communications Letters Memorandums Orders for supplies Facsimiles Medical records Instructions for patients

6 Copyright © 2008, 2005, by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Slide 6 Writing Skills and Composing Tips for Business Letters Keep the length to about one page. Carefully organize the letter. Read the letter several times to determine what needs to be addressed in the answer. Highlight questions asked or materials requested. Decide on answers to questions. Verify information.

7 Copyright © 2008, 2005, by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Slide 7 More Writing Tips Keep sentences short. Put only one idea in each sentence. Eliminate superfluous wording. Use layman’s terms. Match the physician’s degree of formality.

8 Copyright © 2008, 2005, by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Slide 8 Sentence Errors Three main errors in sentences: Sentence fragment Run-on sentence Comma splice

9 Copyright © 2008, 2005, by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Slide 9 Letter Styles Four basic styles Block Modified block or standard Modified block indented Simplified

10 Copyright © 2008, 2005, by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Slide 10 Block Letter Style All lines flush to the left margin Very efficient Less attractive

11 Copyright © 2008, 2005, by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Slide 11 Block Letter Style (cont’d)

12 Copyright © 2008, 2005, by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Slide 12 Modified Block Letter Style Dateline, complimentary closing, and typewritten signature all begin at the center. All other lines begin flush with the left margin.

13 Copyright © 2008, 2005, by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Slide 13 Modified Block Letter Style (cont’d)

14 Copyright © 2008, 2005, by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Slide 14 Modified Block with Indented Paragraphs Identical to block except that the first line of each paragraph is indented five spaces.

15 Copyright © 2008, 2005, by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Slide 15 Modified Block with Indented Paragraphs (cont’d)

16 Copyright © 2008, 2005, by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Slide 16 Simplified All lines flush with the left margin. Salutation replaced with all-capital subject line on the third line below the subject line. Omit the complimentary closing. Enter an all-capital typewritten signature below the body of the letter.

17 Copyright © 2008, 2005, by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Slide 17 Simplified (cont’d)

18 Copyright © 2008, 2005, by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Slide 18 Spacing and Margins Business letters are usually single-spaced. First typed entry goes on the third line below the letterhead. Typing on continuation pages begins 1 inch from the top. Side margins 1 to 1½ inches on each side. Minimum of 1-inch margin on the bottom.

19 Copyright © 2008, 2005, by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Slide 19 Parts of Letters Heading Opening Body Closing

20 Copyright © 2008, 2005, by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Slide 20 Heading Includes letterhead and dateline. Usually centered at the top of the page. Includes the name of the physician or group and the address. Usually includes the telephone number and medical specialties. Dateline consists of the name of the month written in full, the day, and the year.

21 Copyright © 2008, 2005, by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Slide 21 Opening Consists of inside address, salutation, and the optional attention line. Inside address Starts flush with left margin Contains name and address of the person to whom the letter is addressed

22 Copyright © 2008, 2005, by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Slide 22 Opening Use courtesy titles. Follow names with academic degrees. Do not use both a courtesy title and a degree that means the same thing. Incorrect: Dr. Rick Tips, M.D. Correct: Dr. Rick Tips Rick Tips, M.D.

23 Copyright © 2008, 2005, by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Slide 23 Opening Salutation Introductory greeting Flush with left margin Second line below last line of address Usually followed by a colon

24 Copyright © 2008, 2005, by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Slide 24 Opening Attention line Optional Flush with left margin Second line below inside address

25 Copyright © 2008, 2005, by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Slide 25 Body If used, subject line is placed on the second line below the salutation. Includes message of the letter.

26 Copyright © 2008, 2005, by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Slide 26 Closing Includes: Complimentary closing Typed signature Reference initials Special notations

27 Copyright © 2008, 2005, by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Slide 27 Postscripts Place emphasis on an idea or statement. May express an afterthought. Follow letter style when using postscripts.

28 Copyright © 2008, 2005, by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Slide 28 Continuation Pages Heading for continuation pages includes: Name of the addressee Page number Date Headings begin on the seventh line from the top of the page.

29 Copyright © 2008, 2005, by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Slide 29 Signing the Letter Physician usually signs: Letters with medical advice Letters to medical societies Referral and consultation reports Medical reports to insurance companies Personal letters Medical Assistant signs: Routine letters Orders for office supplies Notifications to patients about surgery or hospital arrangements Collection letters Letters of solicitation

30 Copyright © 2008, 2005, by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Slide 30 More Types of Written Communications Telephone messages Name of the person being called Name of person calling Caller’s contact telephone numbers Reason for the call Action to be taken Date and time of call Initials of person taking the call

31 Copyright © 2008, 2005, by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Slide 31 More Types of Written Communications messages Faxes Memorandums

32 Copyright © 2008, 2005, by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Slide 32 Developing a Portfolio Consists of sample letters that are used in various situations. Letters can be added to the portfolio when created. Store letters on the computer and make changes as necessary. Saves time when composing correspondence.

33 Copyright © 2008, 2005, by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Slide 33 U.S. Postal Service Independent establishment of the executive branch of the U.S. government Operates independently of the government Second oldest federally established department or agency in the United States

34 Copyright © 2008, 2005, by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Slide 34 Mail Processing Incoming mail usually includes: General correspondence Payments for services Bills for office purchases Insurance claim forms to be completed Laboratory reports Hospital reports Medical society mailings Professional journals Promotional literature and advertising

35 Copyright © 2008, 2005, by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Slide 35 Opening the Mail Follow office policy. Do not open mail that is marked “personal.” Use a methodic system to open and process mail efficiently.

36 Copyright © 2008, 2005, by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Slide 36 Annotating Read each item of mail. Underline significant words or phrases. Note in the margin what action needs to be taken. Code for filing if the letter needs no reply.

37 Copyright © 2008, 2005, by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Slide 37 Responding to Mail Read through the annotations. Draft a reply. Review the original letter, and make certain that all issues have been addressed. Allow the physician to review the reply, if necessary. Make a copy for the appropriate file. Send the correspondence.

38 Copyright © 2008, 2005, by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Slide 38 Mail Requiring Special Handling Payment receipts Insurance information Drug samples Vacation mail

39 Copyright © 2008, 2005, by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Slide 39 Handling Vacation Mail Determine: Is this important enough that the physician should be contacted? Should it be forwarded for immediate attention? Should it be answered now, explaining the delay because the physician is out of the office? Can the mail wait for attention until the physician returns?

40 Copyright © 2008, 2005, by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Slide 40 Outgoing Mail Fold and insert letters correctly. Address the envelopes accurately. Follow OCR guidelines on envelopes. Always use a return address.

41 Copyright © 2008, 2005, by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Slide 41 Cost-Saving Mailing Procedures Use ZIP codes. Presort mail. Use correct postage. Take advantage of bulk mail if possible. Bulk mail is a form of mailing large volumes of information which is presorted by zip code.

42 Copyright © 2008, 2005, by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Slide 42 Postage Meters Most efficient way of stamping mail. Can print postage on adhesive strips or directly on the envelope. Metered mail does not have to be canceled or postmarked, so it moves faster to its destination.

43 Copyright © 2008, 2005, by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Slide 43 Classifications of Mail Express Mail Available 7 days a week, 365 days a year Sunday and holiday delivery between major markets For items up to 70 lb and 108 inches in combined length and girth Fastest mail service offered by the USPS

44 Copyright © 2008, 2005, by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Slide 44 Classifications of Mail First-class mail Letters, postal cards, postcards, and business reply mail. 13 oz or less. Current first-class mail rate is $0.41.

45 Copyright © 2008, 2005, by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Slide 45 Classifications of Mail Priority Mail First-class mail over 13 oz. Maximum weight 70 lb. Always mark packages as priority mail if not placed in a box purchased from USPS.

46 Copyright © 2008, 2005, by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Slide 46 Classifications of Mail Bound printed matter Advertising, promotional, directory, or editorial material Must be securely bound Cannot have the nature of personal correspondence Cannot be over 15 lb

47 Copyright © 2008, 2005, by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Slide 47 Classifications of Mail Media mail Books Film Manuscripts Printed music Printed test materials Sound recordings Play scripts Printed educational charts Binders and loose-leaf papers Includes computer recorded media, such as CDs and diskettes. Media mail cannot contain advertising or weight over 70 lb.

48 Copyright © 2008, 2005, by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Slide 48 Special Services Insured mail Insurance for coverage against loss or damages Available for priority mail, first-class mail, parcel post

49 Copyright © 2008, 2005, by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Slide 49 Special Services Registered/Certified mail Additional protection for all classes of mail. Sender can request evidence/proof of delivery. Registered mail can be traced. Accounted for by number from time of mailing to time of delivery.

50 Copyright © 2008, 2005, by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Slide 50 Special Services Postal money orders Convenient way of mailing money Amounts up to $700

51 Copyright © 2008, 2005, by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Slide 51 Special Services Special delivery Mail of any class can be sent special delivery. Does not speed delivery to designated post office. Does ensure immediate delivery once it arrives at the designated post office.

52 Copyright © 2008, 2005, by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Slide 52 Special Services Special handling Fees in addition to required postage Increases speed of delivery for third- and fourth-class mail Used for unusual items that need special handling, including live animals

53 Copyright © 2008, 2005, by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Slide 53 Special Services Certified mail For mail without intrinsic value Items such as contracts, deeds, mortgages, bank books, checkbooks, etc. Can receive return receipt Does not provide insurance coverage unless purchased separately

54 Copyright © 2008, 2005, by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Slide 54 Special Services Certificate of mailing Provides proof of mailing. Obtain form at the post office. Clerk postmarks the receipt, initials it, and returns it to the mailer. Serves as acknowledgement of mail arriving at the post office and being mailed.

55 Copyright © 2008, 2005, by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Slide 55 Private Delivery Services Federal Express United Parcel Service Emery Airborne Express DHL


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