Coordinating a dental office is not for the faint of heart. A successful dental front office patient coordinator needs to have excellent attention to detail, the ability to handle a fast pace, and the foresight to properly delegate work and manage multiple tasks all at once. These qualities require more than just a knack – they require the formation of good work habits. Here are five habits that the most effective front office patient coordinators tend to develop.
1: Create a Time Budget
A front office patient coordinator has to deal with a variety of different tasks, many of which require immediate resolution. At the same time, this individual needs to be comfortable with handling the reception area and with helping patients. The only way to do this effectively is to budget time appropriately. A good patient coordinator knows how much time needs to be spent on individual tasks and adjusts daily schedules to make sure everything gets done. The coordinator is not shackled by the time budget, but having a plan laid out every day provides much-needed flexibility.
2: Fast Turnaround Time on Communications
Whether you are a patient or a professional, slow communication is one of the most frustrating things you can experience with a dental practice. The front office patient coordinator serves as the main contact point for both dental staff and incoming patients. As a result, this individual cannot ever make somebody feel like they are not being heard. A good coordinator is in the habit of returning calls and emails quickly, even if only to let the other person know they have been heard and that a full response is pending.
3: Brushing Up on Financing Options
Having a good set of dental payment plans is essential to attracting new patients. Because the coordinator often serves a customer service role, this individual should know about all dental financing available in an office and be able to provide suggestions to enhance patient financing. This includes regularly reviewing patient payment plans and the medical financing companies that provide them. Developing this habit helps improve office efficiency and gives the coordinator the skills needed to direct patients to the dental financing plans they need.
4: Finding the Right Place to Communicate
While communication between the front office patient coordinator and the patients is essential, there is also a time and a place to share personal and confidential information. A good coordinator develops habits that keeps private conversations private. The best place for this is often a designated consultation room that allows for clear sight lines and has plenty of windows so the patient doesn’t feel confined.
5: Finding Optimism Every Day
A dental office is often a fast-paced, challenging environment that doesn’t fit everybody. Even when things get challenging, a coordinator needs to be able to look on the bright side. That is why successful individuals in this position make a habit of finding optimism even in stressful times. Oftentimes, an upbeat attitude can make the difference between success and failure.
A good dental front office patient coordinator needs to have many traits, but forming the habits listed above can make a major impact. Once these habits are in place, success often follows.