Utilize Instant Messaging

Article

When we think of instant messaging, we think of people who are chatting about their personal lives. We often think of it as a time-waster. But can instant messaging (IM) work in your office? Are there scenarios under which it makes sense to use it?

Let’s look at the following situation: a patient walks into your office. He is in a terrible mood after having a bad morning. In addition, he is in a tremendous rush and wonders if he can be seen quickly.

The receptionist greets the patient and realizes that perhaps the clinical staff might want to be aware of the encounter with the patient. Also, perhaps the patient can be seen sooner.

The receptionist can leave her station, walk to the clinical area, look for the nurse or medical assistant and share the information and condition of the patient. Or, she can IM the clinical staff, describing the encounter. The clinical person can read the message when she is at her computer and make any necessary adjustments.

Which scenario is faster and easier? Simply stated, when the receptionist is able to conduct her business from her work station, she is not only easily available to the other patients, but also more efficient in her job.

Instant messaging has a purpose in an office. It may not work for everyone, and it might not be right for your staff. But if used properly and with strict guidelines, it can be used to increase a practice’s efficiency.

Do you use IM in your office? Please let me know at donna@officemanagementsolution.com.

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