Training Top 125 Best Practice: Norton Healthcare’s NMG Receptionist Training Program
Receptionists play a crucial role in the success of primary care and specialty physician offices. In many ways, receptionists represent the “first impression” of Norton Healthcare to the communities it serves, and ensure that the patient experience is a remarkable one. The receptionist role is not always an easy one to play, but doing it well ensures that Norton Healthcare continues to provide the highest quality of service and care throughout the community.
In the last 18 months, Norton Healthcare launched a Norton Medical Group (NMG) Receptionist Training Program to further develop the individuals in these roles. This learning experience provides receptionists with essential skills and knowledge needed to be successful in their role so they are more ready to help their office meet the needs of existing and potential patients.
The interactive program includes content and learning experiences that meet six specific objectives:
- Participants will define the receptionist role and its value to practice success.
- Participants will identify the essential functions of the receptionist role.
- Participants will outline key processes, including service scripts, to ensure a common foundation for effective and efficient accomplishment of essential functions.
- Participants will define key personal attributes that contribute to success for receptionists.
- Participants will identify effective strategies for accomplishing several tasks simultaneously (multi-tasking).
- Participants will get to know other receptionists and develop a support network of peers.
Level Three outcome data shows significant improvement among participants 90 days after completing training. Both participants and their supervisors were asked to report the level of performance improvement of the receptionists on six key behavioral metrics:
- 77 percent of participants report a significant improvement in providing a “safe and positive experience for patients and families.” Supervisors back up this finding: 72 percent of supervisors report seeing a significant improvement in this area.
- 77 percent of participants report a significant improvement in providing a “safe and positive experience for their co-workers.” Supervisors agree: 78 percent of supervisors report seeing a significant improvement in co-worker relations.
- 73 percent of participants report they are better stewards of organizational finances. 78 percent of their supervisors report seeing an improvement in stewardship.
- 77 percent of participants say they are better role models for desired behaviors. 72 percent of supervisors back up that claim.
- 73 percent of participants say they have improved their multi-tasking skills. 76 percent of their supervisors have seen significant improvement.
- 73 percent of participants say they are better at networking with peers after the training. 65 percent of supervisors report seeing an improvement.
Receptionists troubleshoot appointments, take insurance information, and generally serve as the “face” of Norton Healthcare. Improvements in their efficiency and service skills have helped Norton Medical Group improve key organizational measures such as office visits (up 10 percent) and new patient wait times (a new patient now can get an appointment with a primary care provider 21 percent faster than previously). This increase in access to care carries over to Norton Healthcare’s acute care facilities, as well, where hospital cases across all specialties (with the exception of general surgery) have increased over the previous year.