Demand in any period that is outside the limits established by management policy. This demand may come from a new customer or from existing customers whose own demand is increasing or decreasing.
For example, calls to patients should be separated from those to nonpatients. Calls requiring back-up information eg, lab reports should be separated from those that do not.
Calls requiring immediate attention should be separated from those that are not urgent. Patient Progress and Inquiry Calls You may request patients with acute or rapidly progressing conditions to report their daily progress.
In addition, patients of their own volition may call the office to ask a question regarding their condition or care. The majority of practitioners feel that legitimate progress reports and inquiries should be encouraged.
Handling several progress reports or inquiries by telephone may dominate lines needed to receive and schedule appointments. When a specific telephone hour is established, it is usually placed at the beginning of the day.
If placed at the end, conflict may arise because of an extended schedule to accommodate emergency cases or walk-in patients requesting an immediate appointment.
When a telephone hour is formally specified, office policy usually requires that telephone appointments not be scheduled during that time nor are progress reports or inquiries accepted at times other than that specified.
This, naturally, takes considerable tact by the assistant in handling calls made at different times.
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Patients should never feel that they are being "victimized" by an office policy. Referral Calls Primary physicians frequently refer patients to specialists. This will require knowledge of times most convenient to the patient and passing on the same data your office requires in scheduling an appointment.
Personal Calls Office staff should be trained to keep personal calls most brief during office hours. Visualize the plight of the mother with a sick child who cannot make contact with your office because the line is busy. Personal calls of staff should be limited to emergencies and made as brief as possible.
Telephone Services and Equipment Telephone services and equipment have evolved rapidly during recent years. Services are available today for the small office that were unheard of even for large offices only a few years ago.
There are single-line telephones that come in a wide variety of types, colors, and sizes, with either dials or pushbuttons.
There are multi-button telephones, hands-free telephones, cordless telephones, remote speaker telephones, automatic dialers, repeat dialers for busy numbers, telephones with privacy buttons, mobile callers and radio pagers.
Your local telephone company will be happy to discuss with you all options that are available. Answering Services and Equipment Most chiropractic offices use some type of answering service or device when the office is not attended.
Available answering services will be listed in the yellow pages of your telephone directory, and most can be contracted on a month-to-month basis. The services offered vary considerably, from simply relaying messages to electronic paging or two-way radio dispatching. Many local chiropractic organizations also provide answering services as well as referral services for their members.
It is an error if your assistant feels she is too busy to respond to all calls, thinking that the service has already told the caller when office hours begin and that the patient will call back.
When callers receive an answering service, they have already suffered a let-down in reaching the coolness of the service when they were in need of help.
It creates a warm impression when your assistant replies to the call, rather than waiting for the caller to make a second effort to reach your office. Return calls can then be made by the appropriate person. Be alert to the fact that many people become quickly irritated when their call is answered by a machine.
Telecommunication Economics A number of methods can be employed to keep telephone costs to a minimum. There are several companies that provided long-distance rates at a lower rate than that of the telephone company if more than 25 long-distance calls are made each month.
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Stock control, otherwise known as inventory control, is used to show how much stock you have at any one time, and how you keep track of it..
It applies to every item you use to produce a product or service, from raw materials to finished goods. It covers stock at every stage of the production process, from purchase and delivery to using and re .
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