Free Essay

Handling Incoming Calls

In: Business and Management

Submitted By kemedooo
Words 800
Pages 4
HANDLING INCOMING CALLS The main channel of communication between the doctor and the public is the telephone. Practically every patient makes his first contact with the doctor by telephone; further appointments are usually arranged over the telephone. Urgent cases or emergencies may be telephoned, and other doctors may call up to discuss professional matters. The medical secretary must know how to represent the doctor over the telephone and how to deal with each type of caller.
Emergency Calls. In a doctor’s office an emergency call may come in at any time, and the secretary must be equal to coping with any eventuality. There may have been an accident; a patient may have had a stroke, a heart attack, or even died. The person who telephones most likely will be upset, and people who are excited often forget to give the most important information. The doctor’s secretary must know at all times where she can reach her employer when he is not in the office. She must telephone to him at once when he is wanted at a patient’s home or somewhere else outside the office. If he is out of reach, he will telephone to his office at intervals, and all important information should be kept next to the telephone so that it can be given to him without delay.
Calls for Home Visits. Not all doctors visit patients in their homes. Some specialists never have any occasion to do so, others only in rare instances. The majority of physicians, however, are called to their patients, and such calls must be handled specifically. The most important thing to do, when there is a request by telephone for the doctor to visit a sick person, is to ascertain the correct name and address of the patient. If possible, the secretary should inquire about the condition for which the doctor is called. If he knows beforehand something about the case, he will be able to take along the proper instruments or medication.
Professionalism in Answering 1. Always have something to write on the telephone (preferably detailed message book) and a pen to write with. Not only is this good office practice, but if there is any query or complaint, you have a written reminder of the subject matter, and in the event of legal repercussions, you will have documentation. 2. Answer promptly (maximum three rings), speak clearly and with a smile. Do not leave the telephone ringing more than three rings, and if you have to keep the caller waiting, always apologize. 3. Pitch voice at a low level; don’t speak too loudly. Use a pleasant tone of voice and try to speak slowly. Quite literally, a person who is smiling will sound more pleasant, more relaxed, to the caller at the other end of the telephone. 4. Announce your identity. You should tell the caller your name for him to know who is on the line. 5. Listen to what the caller has to say. Be sympathetic and keep calm. Concentrate on what is being said to you. Try not to be distracted. You may miss important facts if you are not careful. 6. Take the caller’s name, address, and telephone number and extract medical record. As a rule it is advisable not to give any information or enter into any discussion until the person calling has given his full name. Do not repeat this information if you can be overheard. 7. Tell callers what you are going to do – don’t leave the in the dark. Most doctors make it a rule not to answer a telephone call unless they know who is calling and for what purpose. In the latter case, the secretary’s function will be simply to call the doctor to the telephone if he is in, or, if he is not, to tell the caller when the doctor is expected back at the office. 8. Avoid using medical jargon and slang. 9. Take detailed messages. In message taking, messages should never be entrusted to memory. Ensure the message is given to the correct person, as soon as possible, and if appropriate, attach medical records. 10. Check back details with caller, particularly telephone number and appointment details. It is always a good idea to repeat the message to the caller before you finish as in that way a check is made on its accuracy. 11. Always say ‘Goodbye’. 12. Put the telephone down after the caller. Since the caller was the one who made the call, normally, he is also the one to put the telephone down first. 13. If the caller does not wish to leave a message, ask; would they like to call later; would they like to be called back. If so, make sure they are asked for their name, address, telephone number, extension number.

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