Pearson’s Comprehensive Medical Assisting, Chapter 20
Imagine walking into a physician’s office where no one is working the reception area. You walk into the waiting room, and there are no seats to wait in, and you have no idea what’s going on—phones are ringing and people are running around everywhere. Everything is complete chaos! This doesn’t sound like a business anyone would want to work for or visit as a patient or customer, right?
For a healthcare office to run smoothly, many different parts must work together to meet a common goal. For all the interrelated parts to work together smoothly, policies and procedures need to be in place that not only tell employees their roles, but also tell the entire staff how the business works as a whole.
Good office managers are organized leaders who know how to rally a team. This includes eliciting feedback and allowing staff to be part of decision-making processes, delegating tasks, and effectively planning meetings that accomplish goals.
Medical office managers are also often responsible for marketing the services provided by the physician office or other facility. Today, marketing isn’t just about sending postcards with information about the office. With technology playing an increasingly important role in our lives, marketing the business also involves knowledge of websites, social media, and online newsletters and announcements.
Office managers play an important role in the healthcare provider’s office. They’re master multitaskers who
Good office managers require excellent interpersonal, administrative, communication, and time management skills. Office managers will often use resources such as personnel policy manuals, office procedure manuals, and patient information pamphlets to ensure their success. These resources can help to
Office Manager Resources
As you can imagine, it’s impossible to remember all of the information needed to help run an office. Because of this, it’s not uncommon for office managers to have regular documentation to which they refer when questions or issues arise.
A personnel policy manual is a kind of “rule book” that explains what employees can expect when working at the office and what duties are required of them.
Personnel policy manuals should include
The office should also keep on file authentication that the employees have reviewed the manual and understand the contents.
At a minimum, an office procedures manual outlines the
Patient education is important in a healthcare setting because it helps patients understand their rights and also what happens with their health care in a specific office.
The patient information pamphlet should include
Many physician offices will create educational pamphlets or leaflets on the most common diseases or treatments that they handle in their office. For example, a cardiologist may have pamphlets on different types of heart disease, high blood pressure, heart attacks, and more.
A systems approach to office management concentrates on how all of the different sections depend on each other and work together in an office. Although each section, or department, operates independently, all the processes must work together as a whole to create a successful business.
A systems approach isn’t limited to one office. A systems approach can be used between offices, providers, vendors, and more to create one system to treat a patient.
Planning and Meetings
Planning and meetings are an important part of any business, including physician offices. Planning and meeting help keep the office running smoothly and everyone on the same page.
Each month, an office manager should start planning for the next month. This includes schedules, meetings, conferences, seminars, vacation time, and more. By planning one month in advance, the office manager can make sure that any absences by key staff and physicians will be covered.
One of the most important things to remember is that meetings should be planned and organized to ensure that staff time isn’t being wasted. Some offices will have weekly staff meetings, whereas others may prefer to have them monthly.
Important elements to remember for staff meetings include
Leadership styles are how managers and others direct and motivate people to perform a task. Although the terms manager and leader are often used interchangeably, they’re technically very different. Managers help facilitate the staff to perform their roles; leaders motivate based on their strengths. Leaders can be anyone on the team—the manager or an employee who has a particular expertise or the motivation to see a great idea to fruition.
Some people have natural leadership styles, whereas others build and work on leadership styles that they feel work best with their team. As you can imagine, certain leadership styles aren’t always effective.
There are many different leadership styles, but for this course we’re going to focus on four: authoritarian, democratic, permissive, and bureaucratic.
Marketing in Health Care
By now in this lesson, you’re probably thinking of physician offices and healthcare facilities as more of a business than you did before. Remember, patient care is always the top priority. However, if the business side isn’t running as it should, then it will be difficult for the provider to provide quality health care to patients. Part of what makes the business side of health care run is marketing and customer service.
Today, physician offices and other healthcare providers need to implement effective marketing plans. It may be surprising to hear that a physician office needs to market its services. However, it’s important for healthcare providers to reach their target audience to bring in a steady stream of new patients. When people think about marketing, they often think of commercials or billboard advertisements. However, effective marketing also includes
Customer Service in Health Care
Customer service is a huge part of the healthcare industry. Because healthcare workers often deal with patients who are sick or uncomfortable, customer service is even more important than it is in other industries. Customer service is different in health care because these “customers” generally didn’t choose to be there. Unlike other businesses and services, people are using the healthcare services because they must. Therefore, providing superior customer service will help make the patient more at ease.
Great customer service can include