Setting goals for your employees is a great way to keep them engaged while improving the productivity of your practice. Check our recommendations for 10 different goals you can set for your front desk in 2021.
1. Reduce Data-Entry Errors by 25% in Q1 and Q2
Did you know 90%+ of denials are caused by data-entry errors made at the front desk? Reducing these denials can have a huge impact on your practice’s cash-flow.
Once you determine how many data-entry denials you are receiving, you can set the goal for your front desk to reduce these types of denials.
Ask your front desk team to spend a few extra minutes double-checking for errors, such as mistaking an “S” for a “5”. These small mistakes cause claims to deny and reimbursement to be delayed, taking the extra time to double-check your work is worth it. We also recommend scanning both sides of the patient’s insurance card into the EMR for future reference.
2. Check Patient Benefits BEFORE First Visit
Checking patient benefits prior to their first visit is a great goal to set. We highly recommend asking patients to also check their own benefits so that both parties will be aware of the patient’s financial responsibility. This decreases the risk of unexpected bills for your patients and will increase the likelihood that you’ll get paid.
3. Collect 100% of Patient Responsibility at Time of Service
Patient money is hardest to collect and becomes harder to collect once a patient is discharged. It is important that your staff is collecting the patient responsibility at time of service. If your front desk staff is not collecting co-pays, co-insurance, etc. 100% of the time, you could be letting money walk out the door.
We recommend your staff ask, “How would you like to make your payment today?” instead of, “Would you like to make a payment today?” Being more direct will ensure payment at time of service.
4. Reduce No-Shows by 50% in Q1 and Q2
Your practice should have a cancel/no-show policy. These policies will help inform patients that their plan of care is important as well as how valuable your staff’s time is. Be sure your front desk knows your policy and collects those fees from your patients.
5. Schedule 100% of Appointments Per Plan of Care
Patient’s completing their plan of care is crucial to getting better. Your front desk should have two goals when a potential patient calls your practice. The first is getting them scheduled within 24-48 hours of their first call to eliminate the risk of them going elsewhere for treatment.
The second goal is scheduling all appointments per their plan of care immediately after the initial evaluation to keep a full schedule of appointments for your therapists and to also set expectations for your patients on the importance of coming in for every visit.
6. Write a Phone Answering Script
When a patient calls your practice, they should be met with a polite greeting that makes them feel confident that they called the right company for treatment. This is easily accomplished when everyone in the practice answers the phone in the exact same way.
For example, “Thank you for calling XYZ Physical Therapy, this is [your name], how can I help you?” sounds a lot warmer than “XYZ Physical Therapy…”
7. Obtain 5 Customer Reviews Per Month
Today’s consumers almost always check online reviews before calling a business, this is especially true for healthcare providers. The higher your online rating, the more likely a potential client is to call your practice to learn more.
Your front desk can encourage clients to write positive reviews upon discharge. Challenge them to get 5 reviews per month on sites such as Yelp, Facebook or Google. If simply asking for reviews hasn’t worked in the past, inspire the front desk to get creative in their approach, such as offering incentives like a discount on any other services you provide or a gift card raffle.
8. Learn Names of Frequent Patients & Resources
If a patient or resource is coming into your practice multiple times a week, your front desk should take the time to learn their name and address them when they come into the practice. This simple gesture shows that you view them as more than just another patient and they are sure to appreciate it.
9. Implement a Monthly Staff Meeting
Communication between managers, therapists, front desk and billing staff is key to the success of your business. Schedule a mandatory 30–60-minute meeting at least once a month for all team members to attend. These meetings allow each department to highlight wins but also bring up any issues they might be having.
For example, if therapist aren’t doing their documentation in a timely manner, the front desk can bring that up during the monthly meeting and follow up on progress during the next. Too often these issues go unaddressed because the staff doesn’t have the opportunity to highlight the problem.
10. Implement a “Wait/Cancellation List”
Be honest with patients about what you can and cannot do. If their preferred appointment times are not available, create a cancellation list so the front desk can call them immediately if another someone cancels. If a new patient wants to be seen on a day that is fully booked, create a wait list so you can notify the patient of the availability.
Setting goals and incentives for accomplishing goals can be the spark of inspiration your front desk needs to do their best work. If you have a story about a goal you set for your front desk, tell us about it in the comments below!