Medical Office Receptionist Job Duties

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A medical office receptionist is responsible for basic clerical tasks such as answering phones, greeting patients and visitors, and scheduling appointments in a professional and timely manner. Most medical receptionists work in a physician's office, dentist's office, hospital or another medical facility.

In smaller offices, medical receptionists may be responsible for both administrative and clinical duties. In larger offices, they may only be responsible for administrative or clerical duties. The position may also be referred to as a medical office assistant, medical assistant, receptionist, or healthcare administrative professional.

Job Duties

  • Welcomes and greets all patients and visitors, in person or over the phone
  • Answers the phone while maintaining a polite, consistent phone manner using proper telephone etiquette
  • Responsible for keeping the reception area clean and organized
  • Registers new patients and updates existing patient demographics by collecting detailed patient information including personal and financial information
  • Facilitates patient flow by notifying the provider of patients' arrival, being aware of delays, and communicating with patients and clinical staff
  • Responds to inquiries by patients, prospective patients, and visitors in a courteous manner
  • Keeps medical office supplies adequately stocked by anticipating inventory needs, placing orders, and monitoring office equipment
  • Protects patient confidentiality, making sure protected health information is secured by not leaving PHI in plain sight and logging off the computer before leaving it unattended.

Education Requirements

Education: High school diploma or graduation equivalency degree (GED).

Knowledge of clinical procedures usually obtained from a certificate or Associates degree in a clinical program including anatomy, physiology, phlebotomy, first aid, and medical terminology.

Knowledge of office procedures usually obtained from a certificate or Associates degree in a business program including administrative processes and procedures, claims processing, preparing patient charts, and basic computer skills.

Experience and Skills

Experience: For entry-level, previous office administration or receptionist experience or a minimum of one year work experience in a medical office setting.

Skills: Telephone etiquette, customer service, basic word, and excel programs, time management, multi-tasking, organization, scheduling

The most critical skills include:

  • Telephone Etiquette: When a patient calls in, the way in which the front desk personnel handle the telephone call determines how the facility is perceived. The medical office receptionist must be a good listener and maintain confidentiality in addition to having good phone manners.
  • Customer Service: Giving patients personal attention can go a long way in establishing their positive experience with the facility. The receptionist should give the patients a warm welcome when they enter the office. Even if you can't verbally greet the patient, getting eye contact with them lets them know you are aware of their presence and will get to them as soon as possible. If the patient brings a problem to the receptionist, it should be addressed by immediately bringing it to the attention of the nurse, clinician, or administrator as appropriate.

The medical receptionist is often the first contact a patient has with the medical facility. How you greet and serve the patient will have a strong influence on how they perceive the facility.

Average Salary

The median salary for a clinic receptionist was $32,932 in 2016. Salary amounts vary based on years of experience, education, and job location. Use the Salary Wizard at to evaluate the average salary for this and other medical office jobs.

Current Job Openings

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