Well, some may say clinic administrators have a nice cozy office job. They go on to think, anyone can do that job – just answer some calls and be on a computer all day, how can that be hard work!?! Well let me give you an insight as to a day in the life of a clinic administrator.
There is never a dull moment to be had and a typical work day does not exist for an administrator. There is no rigid job description to be followed and sure there may be some typical tasks but there is not necessarily a typical day. In other words, tomorrow won’t be a predictable repeat of today. Unexpected calls can throw a wrench in to what may have been on the agenda for the day. Those items then get added to the already scheduled routine tasks and the ongoing projects. But somewhere along the line, an administrator is able to multi-task, focus, and they need to have a very keen sense of organization to keep a successful clinic running smoothly. We are responsible for ensuring everything is taken care of from the bookings of appointments to the accurate storage of patient records, to making sure all billings are directed to the right account payees and the list of tasks goes on.
From the moment an administrator arrives at work we are expected to get the day rolling. This can start by checking voice mails and e-mails to address any urgent requests relevant for the day. This may mean making some changes to the days scheduling and making sure the charts pulled for the day match the noted changes. Sounds pretty straight forward at this point, some of you are still thinking well that doesn’t seem too complex but wait, that’s within the first 5 minutes of an administrator arriving at work. The daily duties usually include:
• Returning of patient calls
• Answering and directing calls
• Answering and returning e-mails
• Booking appointments
• Re-scheduling appointments
• Preparing paper work and forms for incoming clients
• Preparing therapist charts
• Inputting client data into the computer system
• Setting up payment methods – this can be to MSP, ICBC, WorkSafe BC, Extended Health Providers and then there is a combination of payment types, yes this can get complex
• Taking payment from clients
• Rebooking follow-up appointments
• Handling therapist requests such as faxing reports, obtaining physician reports and or medical imaging reports
• Preparing WorkSafe BC Reports for Therapists to complete
• Calls to claim adjusters to obtain coverage information
So those are just some of the daily tasks encountered, all of which can be interrupted at a split second, hence administrators need to be able to effectively multi-task and prioritize.
Everyone knows that no day at any workplace runs exactly as planned and that is also true for an administrative job. At times a wrench is thrown in like I mentioned earlier, but it is nothing an administrator can’t handle. Have it be a complex billing situation or even some computer errors or even at times that very difficult client, these are just a small example on how a typical day can go array. These situations can be mind boggling for hours but an administrator will trek on, maintain their demeanor and keep the clinic operating smoothly and get all tasks done.
Now the list is not complete without administrators being in charge of taking inventory, ordering supplies, prepping beds and carts for therapists, general clinic cleaning, laundry and at times babysitting when a mom is seeking treatment. Sounds tiring by now, I know. It’s a full day but wait, it’s not over just yet cause as the day winds down an administrator needs to file away the days charts, pull the next day’s charts, back up computers, ensure all confirmation e-mails have been sent out and wait until the final client has been seen before locking up for the night and making sure the clinic is ready for the next day.
So next time you walk into a clinic and an administrator smiles and greets you, go ahead and graciously accept the gesture. Knowing yourself that the job she or he holds is the glue to having everything run smoothly. Knowing how hard they work, and sometimes, how little recognition they get, a friendly smile in return when they greet you can help that administrator make their day that much easier. Recognize that the administrators understand that coming into a clinic may not be the most joyous outing for you, but that small initial gesture they made to you is the best way they can help brighten up your day. As human beings we all know these administrators work in an environment that acts as a pathway to help you get back to an active life, and without them a clinic cannot be successful in helping you achieve your personal goals!