As an independent physician, you have been trained and educated to treat patients. You probably did not prepare yourself to run an office. That’s why you hire office staff, to help you with the daily tasks that have to be done – and done well – to keep your practice running smoothly. The office staff at independent practices play a key role in ensuring that patients are happy and that you are able to give your attention to their medical care.
Some of the tasks performed by office staff at independent practices include:
- Greeting and checking in patients
- Managing co-pays
- Accompanying patients to the exam room
- Answering phone calls
- Helping patients navigate their portal login
- Scheduling appointments
- Billing and other administrative tasks
The role of the office staff is important for independent practices especially. With a capable team in your office, you can spend less time worrying about administrative details and more time focusing on patient care.
When determining the number of office staff at independent practices, it is helpful to check industry benchmarks. It is also important to know how you work – and how you prefer to work. For example, if you are well organized, tend to stay on schedule, and are generally able to complete your paperwork in a timely fashion, you will need less help in the office. If your independent practice uses an EHR system that virtually eliminates the abundance of paperwork found in a typical medical office, you will also need fewer staff members in your office.
Hiring staff members will add to your expenses, of course, but when you think of all the tasks they perform each day, allowing you to focus on what you do best, the expense is certainly justified. Gauge carefully the number of staff members you will need, be sure they know their specific responsibilities, and train them in medical office and customer service skills. Your patients will appreciate the treatment they receive from your dedicated staff, before and after they receive treatment from you as their primary care physician.