Tuesday, July 8, 2008

How Much Training Should Front Desk Staff Receive?

Here is an old clip from ASQ magazine via a Healthcare management workgroup;

“Pal's Sudden Service Hot Dog stand uses Baldrige process to gain edge over its
competition. It's results: customer satisfaction 96% vs 84% of competitors,
handout speed is 20 sec vs competitors 76 sec, turnover dropped from 200% to
98% vs competitor of 300%.

Someone asked its president, "Since you spend 120 hours in new employee training,
what if you spend all that money and they leave?" The president replied, "What if we
don't and they stay?"”

That’s roughly 3 weeks of training for a hot dog vendor. How much formal training do you provide for front desk staff? In our clinic it is 2 weeks of 1-on-1 with the administrative supervisor, then a 3 month on the job program with pre-defined goals. Even with that I believe there is a 3 year learning curve until an administrator is expert in their role.

Does your clinic formalize training of staff? If not, the costliest result is bad scheduling for front desk. The most dangerous result good be lost or forgotten patients. Our office tries to minimize any impact of poor performance through scheduling templates and monitoring by an administrative coordinator. For a small clinic a more formalized training may be a better solution and a better cost.

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