Ten Questions to Ask a Patient before Scheduling

Patients generally judge their medical care by how quickly they can get in and out of a doctor’s office, the bedside manor of the staff and the level and accuracy of care. According to the American Medical Association, it is the office receptionist’s duty to ask patients a series of questions to help doctor’s and nurses give their patient proper care.

  1. What is your full name and how is it spelled? In order to verify insurance coverage, providers require the patient’s full legal name, spelled correctly.
  2. What is the purpose of the appointment? You will need to know about how much time an appointment will take. If lab work and x-rays will be required, a sufficient block of time should be reserved for that patient.
  3. Do you have insurance? If so, what is the name of your provider? This information is necessary to verify that the patient has current coverage and to determine their co-pay and deductible due at the time of the visit. Check with the accounting staff to what additional information, such as the patient’s date of birth and current address, is required.
  4. When did you last have a doctor’s appointment? Always verify that a patient has accurate contact and insurance information.
  5. What is your age? If the patient is a minor, which parent’s insurance plan covers them and what is their contact information? How is their name spelled? Who is responsible for decisions about the child’s care and which parent will bring the child in?
  6. What is your work and home phone number and what is the preferred method of contact? If your office gives confirmation calls, this information is very important. It is also useful for getting more information from the patient, such as billing information, treatment information, etc.
  7. Where you referred by another doctor? If so, what is the doctor’s name and contact information? It is important to know the name and contact information of the referring physician in order to obtain the patients medical records and other information from their office.
  8. Should specific results and records be brought to the office with the patient? It is very important for patients who have been referred by other doctors or who have gotten test results from other physicians to coordinate those records with your office’s records. If your offices use electronic medical records or EMR software, this is much easier.
  9. Are you familiar with our office’s policies? Your physician my have special instructions for their patients, especially if your offices is that of a specialist. For example, does the patient need to fast after midnight or take or cease to take any medications?
  10. Do you have any questions? It’s very helpful to both you and the patient to get any other questions out of the way before their visit. This can save time on both your parts, as well as save trouble for the physician and other medical staff.

To get information about EMR and scheduling software that makes scheduling easy go to http://www.healthtec-software.com/Fusion.htm



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