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Health Careers Blog

What Does A Medical Receptionist Do?

Cristina Anzellotti - Monday, July 29, 2013

What does a medical receptionist do?

Before going into what a medical receptionist actually does let’s have a look at just how important a job being a receptionist in the health industry is. Most people underestimate the difference that having a great receptionist in a doctor, dentist or other medical institute can make, why?

People don’t go see a doctor because they are feeling great, they go because they are sick and the first person that they will meet is the receptionist. The last person that they will see when leaving is the receptionist. Having a medical receptionist that can empathize and make the patient feel more comfortable and relaxed will go a long way towards helping the doctor when the patient is in the consultation room with them.

medical receptionist job role

Apart from having to greet patience as mentioned above what else would be expected from a medical receptionist, quite a lot actually. The role of the medical receptionist can be quite demanding at times due to the variety of tasks that need to be done. There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes between the time a patient arrives for an appointment to the time they leave. Which brings us to a good place to start explaining the duties of a medical receptionist.

The first contact that a patient has with a doctor’s office is when they phone to book and appointment. This is handled by the receptionist and they will schedule an appointment for the patient. When the patient arrives for the appointment a medical receptionist will be responsible for making sure all details are up to date including medical insurance details if relevant. This is very important as the wrong information can lead to delays and may create other issues for the doctor when they are handed a client’s records.

Apart from actual patients a receptionist will have to deal with other people that come into the office like medical suppliers, other specialists as well as family members of patients. Being able to deal easily with people is very important especially when it comes to family members of existing patients as sometimes they would be trying to get information that is not allowed to be disclosed but just presume that because they are either a wife, husband, mother, brother etc that are entitled to know what is going on.

Before the surgery opens in the morning a receptionist has to check and organize all the patients’ charts in order of the appointments. This is a very important part of the receptionist’s duties as they will have to make sure all relevant forms the patient needs to fill out, existing records transferred from another doctor and blank sheets for the doctor to fill out are included so when the doctor arrives they can just pick up the pile and work through them during the day without any delays.

So when it comes to the duties of a medical receptionist it is clear that they play a very important role in making sure that the whole process from start to finish runs smoothly and have a lot of responsibilities not only towards the actual patients but are there to help make the doctors job a lot easier.