No, its not your next door competitor. It’s the first person your patients connect with to see you. It’s the person your patients go through to get to you. It’s the last person they go to after you have seen them. Its that one person involved in the whole visit. Whatever he or she does can help or destroy you.
What? Break my practice? How is that possible? Doctor A began to notice that patients coming in for vaccination are getting fewer and fewer. Doctor A finds out from a friend that a patient commented that her vaccine prices were onerous. Doctor A almost fainted to find out her patients were being charged double what she was actually charging!
Who could possibly do these things to you? Its your secretary! Don’t get me wrong, NOT ALL secretaries do these. There are more good ones than bad eggs.
If they can make or break your practice, then it is worth choosing a good one! How did you ? Is she trained to do the job? Does she understand her role in the entire patient experience? Does she have the adequate communication skills and people skills ? Does she have the capability to assess your patient’s sense of urgency? Is she honest and trustworthy?
I base my choice mainly on people skills and willingness to learn.
I am very particular about telephone courtesy and in greeting patients once they enter the clinic. I prepare a set of instructions on scheduling, patient’s access to me, documentation of visits, clinic maintenance and cleanliness etc. My secretary knew she had to replenish the sticker “rewards” for my patients every clinic time. She connects patient to me when they call her. She furnishes me a copy of all my appointments a day before.
Patients can go away because of our front liners. Patients can think that we are inaccessible because our secretaries failed to do their job well.
On the other hand, patients can stick to us because our secretaries are helpful and efficient.
Got tips for others in choosing a very good secretary? How did you choose yours? Please write in the comments below.