receptionist taking vs?

  1. we are attempting to implement a "team" approach in our family practice clinic. this is to be a patient centered "pod" model (?). apparently there is more and more paperwork for our receptionist to do and management has decided that it would be most efficient if the receptionist would take care of the load of paperwork in the exam room. so, the receptionist calls the pt from the waiting area, and because the scale is on the way down the hall, the receptionist will be responsible for getting the ht and wt for each pt. then in the exam room she will do the necessary paperwork, and when she is finished she will alert the nurse so the nurse can go in and finish the vs and pt history. what is your take on this?
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    About ms_orion

    Joined: Apr '06; Posts: 100; Likes: 56


  3. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Something about that just doesn't sit right with me. The nurse should be obtaining 100% of the pt. info. And it doesn't make sense, since the nurse will probably be "back track" asking some of the questions.
  4. by   ms_orion
    yep, it's already happening (back tracking). My issue is pt privacy. Not only is the receptionist not DIRECT HEALTHCARE PERSONNEL (reception is a supportive healthcare role, isn't it?), but she will also go into the room to schedule the pt follow up appointment. Not only does this tie up the exam room, but she goes in there just after a physical exam and I haven't had the opportunity to clean the room. Usually, when we finish with an exam the pt gets dressed and leaves and then I clean the room up. The way they do it now is the physician puts out the flag for the receptionist and SHE goes in and schedules the pt follow up. ??speculums, rectal probes, whatever lying out in plain site?? The receptionist response "It doesn't bother me". I AM CONCERNED FOR THE PTS WELFARE!!!! Isn't this a violation of privacy?
  5. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    It would be a privacy violation if she ran out and told people about it. Besides, she probably see SOME info since she's dealing with their payments and bills. If she's not keeping any of that confidential, then she would be violating.

    The doctors' offices in this area make all of their employees sign confidentiality agreements.
  6. by   ms_orion
    We had a brief meeting today with the nurses and one receptionist. In an attempt to explain why we should nnot be foing this I used the example: "It's like going to confession and having the church secretary enter the room"....that did not go over well. What I was trying to explain was that when a pt is placed in the exam room--then it should be the pt, the nurse and the doctor until the pt is dressed and checking out. Do you agree?
  7. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    In that exam room, yes, i agree.

    I'd also wonder what jobs the receptionist would get the responsibility of next.
  8. by   ms_orion
    Thank You. Exactly my thought.
  9. by   Orion50
    How about a patients perspective on this? I'm glad you asked! As a patient the only people I want to see in that room are the nurse or doctor. When I am in that room that becomes my private space that is "safe" for me to discuss my personal problems in. Some things I don't even discuss with the nurse. When I call for an appointment (let's say for a VD check) I don't tell the receptionist what I am there for or the person who makes my appointment. I tell them I have the flu or something. I know that other people will see what I am there for, But at least I have the "fantasy" of some privacy. No, I am not a nurse or physician. I am a patient Who has very big concerns about my privacy!!!!!
  10. by   April, RN
    I agree with all the PP about patient privacy. Im wondering though, if the receptionist is spending so much time in patient's rooms, then who is at the desk checking patients in, answering phones, and being available for patients in the waiting room?
  11. by   ms_orion
    At this time we have three receptionists, in addition to the one that is escorting pts to the exam room. They greet pts "Hello, sign in "...answer phones..eventually they will all be doing this escorting. We have a 7 provider facility. If any of you have experienced this "Pod team" concept ("They" say it is widespread(?) on the East Coast), I would love to hear how it works out there.
  12. by   cleo
    Is the receptionist a CMA? In our department we have CMA's that are AD level and have been trained to do both office work and patient care.
  13. by   ms_orion
    NO. The receptionist is not a CMA. I would have no problem with that at all. In fact, we have three employees (one phone operator, one receptionist and one medical records clerk) that on their own took a CNA class and became certified. Two of these people are bi-lingual as well, which would make them very valuable to the medical staff as far as assisting the physicians and nurses with direct pt care. They were not hired to fill a CNA position, but I would prefer they utilize them and their skills but NOPE....they use the receptionist. What can be done? Who do you talk to if management is the one that came up with this idea?
  14. by   simplyvia
    It's true receptionists nowadays are given too much responsibility and even recent UK studies say so. For example, our hospital receptionists book appointments for walk-in patients, so the receptionists have to choose which subspecialty (Cardio, Gastro, etc.) the patient goes to. So they have to link a chief complaint to the appropriate doctor. Isn't that a nurse's job? Or is it how things go in hospitals?