Home Forums Team Development Front Office Greeting Patients

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  • Sandy Pardue

    Don't assume that your staff are greeting patients the way they would a guest in their own home. Many times they are not properly acknowledging them and they don't know what to do if they don't know the patient or recall their name. The receptionist is the first person to see the patient as they enter the practice and sets the tone for the visit.

    Take pictures of your patients and put in your software so when you pull up their account you see their picture. This is helpful to the dentist and all team members.

    Let her know that she is the receptionist and one of her main duties is to “receive” patients.

    I train teams to think of the patients like they would guests that they have invited into their home. They know who is coming and they are expecting them. They should be looking for them. One of the main duties of the receptionist or anyone working that positing even temporarily is to properly receive them, be expecting them and know who is due next. This is the problem, they are not looking to see who is due, who is late etc. They need to do that so they can call late patients.

    If she is not familiar with your patients, that may be part of her hold back. She may have two or three female/male patients with the same appointment time. Show her how she can look at the date of birth and that may help her determine who it is. Having the patients picture in the software is a great help with this.

    I've had to actually print a schedule and put it on the desk in front of them and have them highlight the patients as they arrive until they are used to looking for the next patient due on the computer. Ideally, they are using your computer software and checking each patient in on their computer as they arrive. The software will highlight the name.

    As the patient walks in the front desk receptionist should always stand up and smile! A smile and a friendly tone are important.

    “Hello Mrs. Jones, have a seat and I will let Maria know you are here!”

    “Hello Mrs, Jones, it is great to see you today! Have a seat in our reception room and Maria will be with you shortly!”

    If she is not sure who it is, she should have a big smile on her face while saying, “Good morning!” and maintaining the smile and eye contact. The patient will usually state their name.

    NEVER ask someone to have a seat in your WAITING ROOM, I hope you don't have a waiting room. I hope you have a reception room.


    Such excellent advice. It is some of the simple things that make the greatest impact in a dental office.

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