What does full reception mean?

In this episode of PodMD, Rooms With Style Practice Management Specialist Peter Chaplin will be discussing the topic of full reception, which is something usually offered to doctors when they are first starting out in an associateship. This discussion includes what full reception actually means, what is normally included in full reception, any extra services that are or aren’t included and more.

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  • Transcript
    Please note this is a machine generated transcription and may contain some errors.
    *As always, all in this PODMD podcast is intended for health professionals and the comments are of a general nature. Information given is not intended as specific medical advice pertaining to any given patient. If you have a clinical issue with one of your patients please seek appropriate advice from a colleague with expertise in the area.

    Today in the podMD studio, I’m talking to Peter Chaplin, who is the practice management specialist for RWS.

    Peter is going to talk to us today about associateships. And we’re particularly talking about new doctors and we’re not new doctors start in private practice. Often, they’re offered full reception, but what does full reception actually mean? So we’re going to break that down for you today.

    *We do hope you enjoy this podcast but please remember that the advice here is of a general nature and is not intended as specific advice about private practices.*

    Welcome to the studio, Peter.

    Peter: Thanks Caroline

    Question 1
    So Peter, in talking about new doctors and their reception in relation to, um, being part of an associate group, what does full reception mean and what do you believe should be included?

    Peter: Yeah. Great question, Caroline. Everyone’s got a different perception as to what full reception might be. , obviously you know meet and greet service, you know, making appointments for their patients updating referrals and receiving referrals, obviously billing the consultations and and managing the consultation as it’s in progress. typically that then leads on to, surgery and booking surgery coordinating informed financial consent then leading into obviously surgical billing and then finally typing.

    Question 2
    Okay. So let’s break that down for the listeners and give them a little bit of information around each area. So when we talk about the phones, what would you consider should be included in relation to having their phones answered?

    Peter: Yeah, I think it’s important to distinguish that you don’t need the phones answered just when you consulting, but you actually needed you know, nine to five, you know, Monday to Friday.

    Question 3
    So in relation to how the phone should be answered, have you got any tips in relation to that?.

    Peter: It does depend a little bit on the size of the practice, obviously the, the bigger, the, the, the practice that you, that you’re a part of um, the more likely that the there’s going to be a standard, why that the phone will be answered at smaller practices, there’s the ability to perhaps be a little bit more, bespoke.

    Question 4
    Okay. Thank you. So we talked about the consultation process. What’s actually involved there. You mentioned the term meet and greet. We hear that that’s bandied around quite a lot. What should it include for the doctor?.

    Peter: Well, obviously the the patients are coming into the practice you know, then bringing paperwork, you know, referrals you know, test results, that sort of thing. , so obviously the, there needs to be somebody to greet the patient received that information from them and have whatever information or documentation that the patient’s handing over that that gets scanned into the the medical software for, for the doctor to then reference.

    Question 5
    Okay. So what about the back end? And so we’ve talked about the consultative process. What about the backend when billing and so forth, anaesthetists need to be organised, informed financial consent, what has to happen there?

    Peter: Basically it will be a, a coordination between the surgeon and the the reception staff or medical staff. , certain cases that the surgeon will be the best person to coordinate and book the actual surgery dates and times other times you know, might be fairly straightforward and, and that responsibility gets handed over to the reception staff, but essentially, the, the reception staff will need to you know, provide the documentation to the patient about the surgery where it is when it is as well as any other information about you know, ceasing medications et cetera, the and then of course, any informed financial consent, is there any out of pocket uh, costs in relation to the, to the surgery? , so that, that needs to be communicated often, often there’ll be, you know, tests that are, that are required prior to surgery to ensure the patient is healthy and fit enough to for the surgery.

    So there’ll be referrals to, you know to pathology or imaging that needs to get sort of coordinated and followed up. , in addition with some surgery, there’ll be uh, medical reps to, to follow up and have them attend the the surgery that may involve you know, ordering of prostheses or you know, equipment specific for the for the surgery. So coordination with the hospitals the creation of theatre lists and, and the issuing of theatre lists to anaesthetists assistants. And the in the hospital, all of those sort of things will need to be coordinated. And in addition, you know, there might be some documentation that needs to be given to the the surgeon to take in for surgery, but that’s, you know, can be, you know, surgeon specific, you know, some like paperwork, some like, you know, just email. So it’s essentially coordinating everything that’s needed for the surgery.

    Question 6
    So I guess the last area of providing a reception service would be dictation. What are your thoughts there?

    Peter: I’m still a big believer that, the dictation and the, and the typing is, is best done by, by people in house. , you know, they’re most familiar with it, familiar with the terminology. , it helps them understand the, the, what the surgeon is treating. , and even though that may mean, you know, that you’ve got another person you know, working for you casually or part-time you know, that’s another person that’s able to you know, answer the phone cover for annual leave and that sort of thing. So you know, so certainly I’m a big believer in that. , and also too, you know, when it’s under your wing under your banner it’s an excellent way to control the message through, to your referrals who are obviously important to you to your business.

    Question 7
    In most associates ship agreements, when reception is offered, is dictation offered as part of it?

    Peter: , it would depend on the practice and, and their view of it. , you know, some may consider that look, typing’s not included. And again, that gets back to you know, the, the understanding of what does a, you know, a full reception service mean you know, for the practice who, who outsources their typing obviously full reception, doesn’t include typing at another practice where they do the typing in house, more likely that it will be included.

    So thanks Peter, for that comprehensive view of what a full reception service actually means. So I guess the take home message for our listeners today is to really understand the definition of what full reception means and get it documented and so forth in your agreement so that you know, what you’re entering into when you sign on the dotted line. Thanks very much Peter for joining us today.

    Peter: Thank you

*As always, all in this PODMD podcast is intended for health professionals and the comments are of a general nature. Information given is not intended as specific medical advice pertaining to any given patient. If you have a clinical issue with one of your patients please seek appropriate advice from a colleague with expertise in the area.