So much paperwork... So little time!
Think for a moment of how you have felt the first time in a strange doctor's office. You have come there on someone else's word that you are doing the right thing for yourself. Or maybe you picked this guy from a phone book or coupon.
Your patients' first concerns are:
What kind of doctor will it be?
Will the doctor be able to help me?
What is a chiropractor, anyway?
Should I be seeing a chiropractor at all?
All the horror stories that the human mind can conjure up are going through your head. At this point anything reassuring would be a great help! The CA's task at this point is just to be there, in as genuinely friendly a way as possible, and to give reassurance to the patient.
The following is a sample script for the first visit:
CA: Hi, Mrs. Jones, we've been expecting you! (CA comes around from behind the desk and offers a firm, friendly handshake) I'm Pat, and I've been looking forward to meeting you. I see that you were referred by Alice Smith, is that right? Alice is a very good patient of ours, Mrs. Jones, and it's nice to know that you can help someone enough that they will feel confident in referring their friends and family to us. Please hang up your coat and sign in please.
The CA hands the patient a confidential questionnaire and a pen or pencil and clipboard and guides the person to the new patient chair. This can be any chair in the reception room, as long as the CA exerts some control over the patient.
The patient fills out questionnaire and when finished, returns it to the front desk, where the CA thanks the patient, asks him or her to return to his seat and reassures them that someone will be with them shortly.
As soon as possible, a CA steps up to the patient and introduces herself:
CA: Hi, Mrs. Jones, I'm Nancy (offers firm handshake).
*Remember: this is a warm, friendly, chiropractic office, and you must get the patient used to touch as soon as possible. The CA escorts the patient back to the exam room, trying to establish a common bond and reassure the patient at the same time:
CA: I see that you were referred by . . . etc. To which doctor were you referred?
Oh, Doctor__________, You'll like him (or some positive about the doctor.)
Always walk with the patient, not ahead or behind.
The patient is led into exam room, asked to sit (or lie down if more comfortable).
CA: The doctor will be with you in just a minute. CA offers the patient some literature on chiropractic, or the major complaint of the patient, and exits.
*Note: by this time the patient should be feeling a little more comfortable, and should have a pretty good idea that this is a referral practice, and that people who refer others are considered special. Since everyone likes to consider himself special, the patient should be aware of this referral concept.
If pip or worker's compensation, all accident reports are to be filled out, making sure that forms are complete. Once pip or wc is determined, patient is given forms to be filled out and returned by next visit. Patients are responsible for their bill until their eligibility is verified.
The back office CA reviews new patient forms to make sure that they are complete and makes the determination of the type of insurance involved. The payment plan and appropriate insurance symbols are circled on the top of the back of the travel card.
Introduction to Office Procedure |
The Consultation |
New Patient Procedure - First Visit |
Sample Telephone Script