Rude Patient Calls Can Hurt Staff Morale

Working as a medical receptionist is a tough job. Receptionists can feel squeezed between physician needs and patient demands. When patients call their doctor’s office, it is often difficult for them to understand why the receptionist cannot immediately get them in for an appointment or connect them to their doctor or his nurse or reveal the results of their lab test.

Patients are typically unaware of office scheduling limitations, HIPAA regulations that govern the privacy of patient records or necessary office protocols designed to keep the practice operating efficiently. When their requests cannot be immediately met, some patients, particularly if they are ill or in pain, can become rude and demanding; and it is the practice receptionist who bears the brunt of their bad behavior.

Medical practice receptionists are only human. When patients behave badly, it can be difficult not to take patient comments personally and occasionally even allow your exasperation to show in your response to a rude patient. Answering a phone call from a testy patient can affect the morale of the entire practice staff and abruptly turn a good day bad. This is one reason so many physician and dental practices rely on professional live-operator medical answering services.

Our professional operators are trained in the art of tactfully handling angry callers and defusing rude behavior so that your patients feel that their needs are being met when the call ends and walk away with a positive view of your medical practice.

Next time: Tips for handling angry callers