Tips for the front desk team – handling clinical conversations

I love working with the front desk teams, I love to share grass roots knowledge and help the team becomes masters of communication.

Often the team who are non-clinical feel inadequate at handling new patient phone calls as they do not have a clinical background. They long to be like the ex-nurse who can talk at length clinically to new patients.

Talking clinically on the phone to patients is a huge problem in practice. The front desk is a non-clinical area and the team should not be talking to patients clinically.

I have completed many mystery calls to practices in the last 9 years and the ones that worry me the most are the ones where clinical questions are answered with a huge amount of clinical detail, often it is off putting and scary.

What I will say is that if you have a clinical background it is very hard to change the way that you communicate. After all you have spent years listening to clinical  language!

My tips for practices are:

“Mr/ Mrs X that is a good question but it is a clinical one, I would recommend that book an assessment with a dentist as they are the only ones who can really answer the clinical questions that you have, would you like to know more about that appointment?”

Finally here is a tip for handling treatment plans and clinical questions at the desk with a patient in front of you:


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