Cultivating an Exceptional Front Staff at your Rheumatology Practice

Your front office staff is your first impression for new and existing patients, so it’s important that the first impression be positive. Taking the time to ensure that your front office is made up of the right mix of talent, skill and personality is one of the most important components in practice management. Here are three tips for doing just that.

Practice patience.

When you work at the front desk of a busy rheumatology practice, losing your patience can be easy. From patients who are missing vital paperwork, to physicians who are running behind, to others who choose to take their anger and frustration out on the first person they see – front office work can push the limits. However, not exercising patience can cause you to lose patients and contribute to a negative vibe at your practice. Instead, it’s better to cultivate healthy habits and useful strategies that help your front office staff step back, breathe deep, and deal with whatever comes their way. Help your staff understand the signs of impatience, recognize their triggers and learn to control their reactions in a positive and constructive manner.

Personality and positivity.

It is imperative that your front desk staff be friendly and personable. Most people who come into your office spend a lot time at appointments, they are tired and don’t always feel well. Needless to say, a smiling face and positive attitude can go a long way. Your front office represents the personality of your office, so welcoming and warm personalities are a must. But for good practice management, front desk employees also need to be self-motivated and work with little or no direction, have self-control and be able to multitask.

Able to manage chaos.

Juggling skills at the front office of a rheumatology practice is a must. Front desk employees play a huge role in your practice management. They check patients in, answer phones, input new patient information, handle insurance questions, check patients out and answer billing questions. Not only do you need staff who can handle these various tasks, you need to ensure you that they are practicing patience while keeping that winning personality.

Providing an atmosphere that is both friendly and professional is a key element of managing a successful rheumatology practice. Employees who feel they are valued are more likely to stay. This reduces the cost of hiring and training staff, builds stronger team bonds and helps to build patient loyalty. When you focus on your front desk staff as the face of your practice, the overall experience for your staff and patients improves. For more tips about how to get the best out of the employees at your practice, make sure to follow NORM on Facebook.

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  • As a speaker at the first ad hoc meeting of rheumatology practice managers gathered in a single small room at its infancy a decade ago, I’m amazed to see how NORM has blossomed into a high energy organization of depth and professional meetings with parallel break-out symposia between plenary sessions. NORM has truly come of age. This is where the “business” of rheumatology gets learned. The ”guildmanship” for rheumatology practice management is now strong.- Paul H. Caldron, DO, FACP, FACR, MBA, Arizona Arthritis and Rheumatology Associates
  • In a time of demanding changes in the management of medical practices in the US, NORM has been a lifesaver to the community of Rheumatology practices.  NORM has allowed our practice to stay ahead of the many demands of CMS and others payors and has ensured that our practice remains cognizant of new issues that arise in HIPPA compliance, human resources and medical billing to name a few. Sending our Practice Manager to NORM's conferences has been cost-effective and beneficial to our practice because she returns to our office with an abundance of information that otherwise would have taken months to compile. Every Rheumatology practice that wishes to stay on top of emerging issues in practice management should consider sending a member of their staff to NORM's conference.- Michael S. Rosen M.D., Chester County Rheumatology PC
  • Thanks to all those wonderful people in the NORM Network who respond to emails, offering their advice, experience, time, and support ... I haven't even been a member a full year yet and I am amazed at the dedication of everyone who responds to helping via emails and the NORM Organization itself! I have barely had a chance to explore the resources and I have yet to really dive into requests for help still I am silently learning so much and do occasionally offer what I can! Thank you all!- Cheryl Piambino, Kenneth E. Bresky, DO

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