What is a Patient Care Coordinator?
As Jeff mentioned in his post entitled Your Medical Spas Front Desk, it is very important in the cosmetic industry to find a competent and friendly front desk person. It is equally important to find a dynamic and motivated Patient Care Coordinator.
In most Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery Centers, Patient Care Coordinators are few and far between. This is unfortunate because a motivated Patient Care Coordinator can exponentially increase your profits.
A first-rate Patient Care Coordinator usually possesses a business/marketing degree and can not only handle your website marketing, blogs, and Facebook, but can also field inquiry calls in a professional and effective manner.
Oftentimes Patient Care Coordinators will even start the initial consultation if they are “complimentary” in your office. Then when a patient is interested proceeding forward with a surgery, they are ushered in to meet with the Surgeon. This way, the Surgeon is not wasting his/her valuable time speaking to someone who is simply gathering information or price shopping. Also, if your Surgeon is not a “warm and fuzzy” type, the Patient Care Coordinator is a good go-between, and is able to relate to the patient on a more personal and friendly level. Patient Care Coordinator’s usually handle all aspects of patient financing and have the ability to help the patient choose which financing plan works best for them, sometimes calling in for the patient to seek approval.
In addition, if any areas are lacking in your practice, such as your employees taking lousy before and after pictures, A good Patient Care Coordinator does not mind stepping in to take over the picture taking or train the right person to handle this task because high-quality before and after pictures are crucial for marketing during a consultation and your photo gallery on the internet.
If you have an employee that you feel is up for the position of Patient Care Coordinator but is unpolished, don’t worry because there is help out there. The best course I have attended is offered once every few months by Michele Tyler from Dr. Todd Malan’s office in Scottsdale, Arizona. I myself was literally thrown into this course by my husband, who was taking a fat grafting course from Dr. Malan and wanted to make sure I had something to do while in Scottsdale (although I tried explaining to him there is much to do there!).
As I have been a Patient Care Coordinator for 5 years, I came to Michelle’s course with an overconfident attitude that I most likely knew all there was to know about this position and there was nothing I could be taught. Although I knew from both my own training and trial-and-error on the job training, much of the material being presented, there were many excellent tricks and pointers that I learned that were worth their weight in gold and paid off many times over the relatively small price we had to pay for the course. One such topic was “What to do when a potential patient is calling and is asking how much a procedure costs?.” I’m not going to give away any of Michelle’s secrets but, if your Patient Care Coordinator or Receptionist does not know the answer to this question and consistently does not get patients into your office who ask questions such as these, your employee probably needs to take the class!
If you are uncertain if your office employees are answering patient inquiry calls adequately and successfully, drop me an email and be sure to include your office phone number. I will “mystery shop” for you and give you a free of charge brief assessment of whether or not you need a Patient Care Coordinator in your practice.
Wendy Hovorka B.S. M.L.A. Valley Laser Surgical Solutions Vein Center, McAllen, Texas
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