A front desk manager or a receptionist is the first point of contact for anyone walking into your clinic or contacting you through phone/ website. Hence, the nature of the interaction between the patients and the front office staff plays an important role in shaping the overall service experience.
However, the healthcare industry is notorious for its high attrition rates. According to an IJCA study, for professionals with 2+ years of experience, the retention rate of administrative employees engaged by the healthcare industry is only 40%.
As medical practitioners, you know that hiring the right front office manager and grooming them to learn your methods and operations is a long and time-consuming task. That is why you must have a professional approach towards attracting, on-boarding and retaining your employees.
Here are some tips to hire the most competent and reliable office staff for your clinic:
1. Detailed and specific job description and KPIs
The first step in talent acquisition is writing a specific and detailed job description. This information enables you to provide an overview of the nature of the job, pay-scale, job duties, etc. The idea is to attract qualified and interested candidates instead of just any candidate. Clearly communicate the key performance indicators (KPIs) you will track and measure.
2. Educational background and experience
A front office staff's desired aptitude and qualifications vary from clinic to clinic; however, the basic requirements remain the same. You can look for diploma holders with relevant experience or hire graduate freshers for the post. You can also look for additional skills like knowledge of spreadsheets and HIMS (Hospital Information Management System), along with professional telephone etiquette.
3. Communication skills
As the front office team will be dealing with external stakeholders, you must look for excellent communication skills. Test how they perform under pressure as they might encounter anxious and stressed patients daily. Check for their ability to become a great waiting room manager and their efficiency in handling tense situations.
4. Technical skills
Medical caregivers are now more open to adopting technology to establish a better connection with remote patients and keep track of patients' past medical records. Check whether they have experience in operating HMS and telemedicine kits. The hospital management system is now widely available for Rs. 15,000-20,000/user. You can avail of one on a monthly payment basis with Flexi business loans for doctors enabling you to borrow when you need and repay when you can.
5. Arrange mock drills
One of the ways to test a candidate for soft skills is to arrange mock drills. Create real-life situations to test how he or she empathises with the patient without coming across as being too involved or chatty. Include questions like, “An unhappy patient is expressing his discontent about the clinic. How will you handle the situation?”
Look for people who are genuinely interested and capable of helping the patient. Try to forgo candidates who are incompetent or are just looking for a steady income source.
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