The role of the Receptionist has changed in today’s increasingly demanding General Practice environments. They are no longer ‘appointment clerks’ when dealing with calls at the front desk.
Many non-clinical staff are now asked to help manage some of the demands for appointments with clinicians by ensuring only those patients that need to be seen are given the appointments, and by the correct clinician, at the correct time from a clinical safety point.
The ability and skills needed to communicate effectively on the phone are often underestimated.
To find out the right information when initially handling the call by probing, will then provide the receptionist with the ability to sign post and prioritise.
However, many non-clinical staff will be reluctant to take on what they see as ‘triage’ – even when they may have been doing it for decades already!