There are a number of duties that should be completed before the patients arrive to the office. Preparing ahead of time will help with the flow of the day. If employees get everything completely prepared for that day more than likely the day will be less stressful and the office will run smoothly. Employees should always arrive earlier than the patients to get the office ready for the patients.
Some duties that should be completed before the arrival of patients include: turning on all equipment, calling the answering service to collect messages, making copies of appointments and pulling medical records, replenishing the examination rooms and restrooms, and making sure prescription pads are available for the physician. When the employees arrive to the office they should make sure all equipment is turned on that is being used for the day. This may include but not limited to, computers, laboratory equipment, copy machines, and faxes (Kinn’s, 2007).
All light in the office should be cut on. If quality-assurance tests need to be performed on any of the laboratory machines, run the tests and record the results (Kinn’s, 2007). It is important to have the equipment cut on because you never know when you are going to need it. For an example, if an urgent message was being sent through fax and the fax isn’t on then you will not receive the message. Employee need to make sure they call the answering service to collect any messages that were left while out of the office (Kinn’s, 2007).
The employee that is in charge of this duty that morning need to make sure they have the phone message book handy. Each message should be recorded into the message book, and include all information that is necessary to properly respond to the message (Kinn’s, 2007). Recoding the messages in the message book ensures that copies of the messages are available if one gets lost (Kinn’s, 2007). Some patients’ records may need to be pulled so that the medical assistant can take action and follow up on the messages (Kinn’s, 2007).
When my daughter was sick I called the office after hours and left a message for the nurse to call me back. The nurse called me back and gave me some information; she then told me she would leave a message for the office to call me so I could schedule an appointment. The office called me the next morning and scheduled an appointment that day. There should be two copies of the day’s appointments; one copy should be placed on the physician’s desk (Kinn’s, 2007). The other copy is used to pull the patients’ records that will be seen that day.
If there is more than one physician in the office, a copy of the day’s appointment should be given to each physician (Kinn’s, 2007). The medical records should be kept in a convenient area so the staff can find them easily when the patients arrive (Kinn’s, 2007). A new sheet of progress notes may need to be added if there isn’t enough room on the one already in the medical record. Glance over the notes in the medical record and verify that laboratory work or treatments were ordered, and then verify that the results are available to the physician.
An example of this would be that a patient’s biopsy results are in. Employees should make sure the examination rooms and restrooms are replenished with the regular supplies used there. Items that should be restocked in the examination room include: cotton balls, bandages, gauze pads, patient gowns, and drapes (Kinn’s, 2007). These items should be replenished every day. The medical assistant should never force the physician and patient to wait in the examination room while he or she searches for supplies (Kinn’s, 2007). This can put the physician behind schedule.
Items that should be restocked daily in the restrooms include: toilet paper, soap, and hand towels. Prescription pads should always be available for the physician (Kinn’s, 2007). The office staff should never place prescription pads where patients can possess them. If they are left in open areas and on counters a patient can get them and forge a prescription (Kinn’s, 2007). So, office staff should always keep them out the sight of the patients but where the physician can access them. There are many duties that the office staff has to perform to prepare the office for patients before they arrive.
Getting the office ready ahead of time will take the stress of the doctor as well as the staff. The office can run more smoothly and efficiently when everything is already ready. From turning the equipment on to having prescription pads ready for the physician not only plays a major role in making sure the patients are please but it makes your day and job easy.
Young, A. P. (2007). Kinn’s The Administrative Medical Assistant, An Applied Learning Approach (6 ed. ). St. Louis, Missouri: Saunders Elsevier.