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Phone Call Documentation: Why it’s important, What to document and Where to Record it

Phone Call Documentation: Why it’s important, What to document and Where to Record it

In this blog post we’re going to look at: why phone documentation is important; what should be documented and where should the records be kept.

It is important when a patient calls and asks a question to make sure that whether that patient speaks to the first staff member or the second staff member, everyone needs to be on one accord to consistently and seamlessly help for a better patient experience.
By making and sharing notes about phone communication, it will not only help each employee’s memory of their previous conversations, but it will also help to inform other staff members what had previously been discussed.

And so, these records are important so that everyone remembers what was discussed. And also, so there’s good communication between different office staff members which makes for a better patient experience.

The other benefit is that the patient doesn’t have to repeat themselves over again each time they call. It’s much better if whoever answers the phone is already familiar with the patient’s concerns.

Also, having this documentation helps to avoid any later “he said, she said” situations when the patient or the staff member doesn’t have a clear memory of what happened. If it’s documented, there’ll be a more accurate reference to refer to at any point in the
future.

What should be documented?

You should document everything that has significance. It could be:

  •  a billing question.
  •  information related to a missed appointment and the reason why it was missed or why the patient was late to the appointment.
  • any questions the patient had about insurance or procedures.

Any documentation from the phone conversation that can be documented could be helpful.

If a message is left for the patient to move an appointment time and it was left on a voicemail, maybe just documenting that the voice message was left and which number it was left at could help the next person who helps that patient stay informed.

There may be some questions like, what time is my next appointment? This may or may not
need to be documented, but the better the documentation is, the more helpful it can be.

And it would be helpful if the staff member would sign their name or initials to the notes so that if there is any need for clarification in the future, other staff members know which staff member spoke with the patient and can follow up with that staff member if there are questions.

It’s always nice for each staff member to sign the notes that they write.

Where should this information be documented?

Most practice management software will have a place, and that would be an easy place to reference.

Some practice management software like Fuse has a communication center, so this allows you to make an account note and it can be referred to later by anyone in the front desk or clinical staff.

Also, this communication center may show other forms of communication, such as text messages or letters sent, or X-rays emailed.
Any of that type information could be recorded in the communication center of your practice management software, somewhere that’s easily accessible and can be referenced quickly and easily during a phone call.

These are just some of the reasons why it’s important and what should be documented and where it should be documented to hopefully have a better phone experience for the patient.

Special thanks to Misti, Keia, Kim and Charlotte for their help with this information.

2,004 thoughts on “Phone Call Documentation: Why it’s important, What to document and Where to Record it”

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