General Data Protection Regulations
You can now test your GDPR knowledge with a fantastic new quiz from our friends at Practice Index. There’s also a short video which tells you all you need to know about GDPR.
General Data Protection Regulations
You can now test your GDPR knowledge with a fantastic new quiz from our friends at Practice Index. There’s also a short video which tells you all you need to know about GDPR.
Today starts a week celebrating all volunteers across the country.
This week is also aimed at raising awareness about the benefits of becoming a volunteer. As well as helping others, Volunteering as been shown to have a positive impact on the lives of those who are volunteering. I know how volunteering helped me in way that I would never have imagined. It made me feel good that I was helping someone out. It gave me back my confidence and I went on to learn new skills that I never knew I had.
We had moved due to my husband’s job. I went from working full-time and having a very active social life to living in the country with no job. It wasn’t for me, I felt isolated and extremely lonely.
I looked into volunteering and found a local Resource Centre that were looking for volunteers to help at their older people’s club once a month. I would help make tea, help with the bingo and arrange the monthly raffle. We would encourage the group to participate in some country dancing. The people who came to the group were all elderly and some very isolated. For some it was the only time they got out. We would also go on a year’s trip away which consisted of 2 nights away in a lovely hotel with lots of activities organised by the group. If it were not for volunteers this group would not have survived.
From that group I then started volunteering with a disability group. The people in this group were amazing, to be part of such a happy and proactive group was a privilege. We also had many trips out and had some great laughs. Being part of this group, I got to know the people, discovering their personalities and looking right past their disability. If it were not for volunteers this group would not have survived.
I then was asked to be a member of the Board of Directors, something that I would never have thought I would have done. How honoured I was to be asked. Every single member on the board was a volunteer and gave up their time for the monthly meetings.
I then trained to be a facilitator for the Rainbow group that took place at the Centre. This was for children that was going through a family separation or bereavement. This for me this was volunteering at its best. To work with these amazing children through such tough times made me feel very humble. I certainly learnt a lot from these little ones. I then went on to train to become a Coordination for the Rainbows Group where I would be responsible for the group facilitator and the children. If it were not for volunteers this group would not have survived.
I was then asked to volunteer on the HR sub group at the Centre. I also became a member on the volunteers committee and helped to produce a booklet for the older people in the area with all useful information.If it were not for volunteers this group would not have survived.
Throughout the years volunteering I was very privileged to have attended numerous training sessions, workshops and open days. I helped organise various fun days, Christmas Fayre and education sessions. I took first aid courses, I took courses that came with a certificate at the end and none of these ever cost me any money – just my time. From every course and workshop, I always learnt something that I not only used in my time as a volunteer, but often in my own personal life.
I met some amazing people and it made me realise that volunteering actually did something for me. It gave me a purpose, to get out, to meet people, and knowing that my volunteering actually meant a lot to people.
The good thing about volunteering is you can choose to volunteer in an area that you are really interested in. You can often choose your hours, give as little of as many as you like. You make friends, learn new skills and for the gesture of your time can often mean so very much to someone.
I popped into my local bank on Friday and whilst waiting in the queue I was shocked at what I overheard.
There was a staff member of the bank on the information desk helping a gentleman. The member of staff was polite and extremely helpful to the gentleman – full marks for customer service. BUT she was extremely loudly spoken – almost shouting while she spoke, she had one of those voices that everyone could hear. Standing in the queue with 2 other people in front I could not help but hear everything she was saying and it was all very clear. The member of staff was obviously speaking to another bank department on the telephone and it was to do with their on-line banking app.
The conversation between the customer and the bank staff was very one way, I could hear the member of staff very clearly yet I couldn’t hear the customer at all.
This is what I overheard and it was VERY loud and clear.
The member of staff was on the telephone explaining to the third-party that the gentleman in front of her has been locked out of his on-line banking the night before. This she said happened at approximately 22.10.
She explained to the third-party that the customer uses this way of banking on a regular basis. She went on to tell the third-party exactly what had happened and what he did as in logging out and trying again, and what app he was using – telling the third-party that he uses this app on a regular basis.
She explained to the third-party that the amount the gentleman was trying to transfer was £6,500 and she made a comment that this was possible why it he was locked out as it was such a large amount. She asked the gentleman exactly what the message had said when this happened. He obviously replied but I couldn’t hear it, but she then proceeded to tell the third-party what the message said.
She asked the gentleman what device he has used, he replied and again I couldn’t hear him, but she then told the third-party that it was an IPad that he had been using for the transaction.
She then proceeded to give the third-party the customers:
First name, surname, address and date of birth.
She then gave the third-party his
Account number, sort code and the account name that he held at the branch.
I was completely gobsmacked.
I wondered if I should say something!!! Should I stop her making this situation worse than it already was. I actually felt uncomfortable standing there listening to this gentleman’s personal details being broadcast for everyone to hear.
There was another member of staff standing just in front of her directing people to the self-service machine and he didn’t once attempt to tell her conversation could be heard and to make it even worse right next to her were 2 empty offices where she could have taken the gentleman ensuring that confidentiality was adhered to throughout the call. She must have known that these questions would have been asked by the third-party.
She then proceeded to ask the gentleman for proof of identification so he gave her his driving licence to which she told the third-party she had and went on to give the third-party his driving license number.
My turn came to do my transaction, again I wondered about saying something to the cashier in front of me, but did I want to cause a fuss as this really wasnt anything to do with me and there were enough members of staff in the bank at that particular time that someone could have said something.
I left the bank, shocked I had been in there about 10 minutes enough time that I heard so much of this gentleman’s personal information. The sad thing is the member of staff was doing her very best to help this gentleman, but in doing so she could have caused a bigger problem simply by not understanding and adhering to confidentiality.
There has been a lot of publicity recently regarding Sepsis. This is aimed at raising awareness and those that work in the GP surgeries and Hospitals will know on too well that this will create fear amongst some patients and therefore will be more than likely phoning the Surgery/Hospital for advice.
We are being told Sepis should be treated urgently as we would a heart attack.
For all Receptionists, Secretaries and Administrators who could be faced with a query regarding this are you fully competent to deal with it? Would you be confident in dealing with a call that could be Sepsis? I must confess I am not sure I would be able to identify this emergency a few weeks ago, but I feel a lot more confident now that I have read up on it.
You probably have procedures and policies in place for dealing with a heart attack. Have you a procedure or policies in place to deal with sepsis? Perhaps at your next team meeting you could put this on your agenda or speak to your Reception Manager or Practice Manager about having one written up.
The most important thing is that you know the facts about Sepis and what is expected from you as a Receptionist if you take such a call. Don’t be one of those surgeries/hospitals that could be highlighted as missing something that might be so obvious to someone who knows what Sepsis is.
Many doctors view Sepsis as a three-stage syndrome, starting with Sepsis and progressing through severe Sepsis to septic shock. The goal is to treat Sepis during its early stage, before it becomes more dangerous.
Sepsis usually comes with a probable or confirmed infection and includes several symptoms. These perhaps can be discussed with a Doctor and the Receptionists and a guide of what questions to ask the patient.
Septis has to be treated quickly as the patient can go downhill very quickly
A chart that I found very useful to help identify some of the symptoms:
A very interesting clip from the Royal Bournemouth Hospital highlighted a patients experience and how his Sepsis was nearly missed. They are keen to spread awareness. Well done Bournemouth Hospital for sharing this short film.
Published on July 13 2016.
Sepsis is a medical emergency, here at RBCH we are keen to spread awarness and listen to patients experiences to improve care.
The guest post today is from someone I don’t personally know, but with her permission I would like to share it with you, and to stress how important it is to keep patients informed when the Doctor or Nurse is running late. Quite often patients are not annoyed at the delay in their appointments, it the “not knowing and lack of communication” that can quite often bring on frustration and anger.
By informing the patients that there is a delay you are taking away a possible frustrated patient coming to the desk demanding to know what is happening when their appoitment times has come and gone – it then too late the damage is already done – the patient is angry and you as the Receptionist is more than likely to get the brunt of it.
“I had a Hospital apt today at Aintree Hospital here in Liverpool mum came with me, the clinic was running late. Billy the senior HCA was rushing around everywhere making sure everyone was ok and informed us all of the delay “no wonder he’s so thin he never stands still” mum commented. We went through from 1 waiting room to another and was again informed of the delay that there were 3 doctors on and were doing their best. Around 10 minutes later mum started nattering to the lady sat next to her, the lady said “there is a delay my apt was at 10:30am” mum “it is what it is, where would we be without our NHS”. No amount of waiting time is a problem for me or my mum if it means we keep our NHS, I am NHS staff myself and I love our care system its the best in the world and we should all fight to keep it. The poor doctor I saw had a packet of biscuits on his desk to keep him going, clearly working through his lunch”
I have previously written a post on keeping patients informed:
When The Doctor/Nurse is running late. http://t.co/Tlnpi4OD
Your organisation tells you that you are booked in for some training — what are your thoughts? Do you dread the forthcoming training, do you embrace it with a view to learning more and thus helping your career to move forward, or are you happy to go along with an open mind?
Every trainer has a mixture of these candidates at the start of most training sessions. There are those that don’t think they need training and those that will embrace the training wanting more, and those with an open mind are often pleasantly surprises.
Staff often have to attend outside of they’re working hours, even on their day off, some are lucky enough to do the training in their normal working hours. So as a trainer you have to make sure that the candidates have felt their time has been worthwhile.
As a trainer my goal is to have everyone “reading from the same page” by the end of the training session. It is important to involve everyone in some way throughout, turning negatives into positives and most of all making the sessions relevant, interesting and interactive.
Training can be tiring and after a 3-hour session people are more that ready to go on their way and then bang — at the end of the session I produce the dreaded feedback form to be completed asking for comments on the training session. I sense the silent groans as people rush through their form before they leave.
Have you ever stopped and wondered what is done with these forms and how important it is to the trainer and future training?
As a trainer I take the forms seriously. Firstly, they rate the session from 1 – 10 (ten being top marks) and my ability to hold an informative and interesting session. I pride myself on getting mainly 9 and 10’s.
I take great care in analysing the forms. I pride myself of getting mainly 9 and 10’s, but if I every get around 6-7 I would be looking at that part of training and asking myself was relevant to that group – or is it a part of the training that I should be changing or updating.
I look at what the candidates found the most interesting in the training, what did the candidates feel they gained from the training and how will they will hope to apply this back in their workplace. Deciding what material to keep in the next few training sessions ahead.
No two training courses are the same either — this all depends on the candidates and the part they play in the training, and for me an important part of the training as this is where I can learn from them. Questions are asked, solutions discussed and new ideas thrown around. The training offers many different scenarios that often raise questions and answers.
So next time you are faced with a feedback form, not only are you helping the trainer identify future training needs you are also helping future candidates in getting a well planned and thought out training session.
Does your Practice have guidelines on phoning patients at home? We all know of the obvious one and that’s not to leave a message of any kind on a landline because of confidentiality.
But when is it a good time to phone when you need to speak to a patient? Perhaps it’s relaying on a message from the Doctor or Nurse, or just to let them know there is a prescription to collect due to recent tests coming in.
I will give you an example on how consideration should be made when phoning a patient at home.
Someone close to me has for the past 6 years been trying for a baby without any success. The couple have been through many hospital and doctors visits, pregnancy results and alternative treatment to try help them achieve a pregnancy. They finally went through IVF earlier in the year with the daily injections, hormone changes and finally the heart-breaking news that it hadn’t worked. They set their sights on more IVF in 3 months’ time. An eternity to them both. But to all our surprise and delight a month after the failed IVF they fell pregnant naturally.
Fast follow to her being 6 months pregnant. She hadn’t had an easy time, morning sickness and fatigue hit with a vengeance, she also has an over active thyroid that needs monitoring throughout the pregnancy and she also found out that she was rhesus negative blood type and tests would have to be done when the baby was born to see if she needed an anti D injection but the delight of finally being pregnancy got them through all of these hiccups.
Her symptoms were getting worse and she was feeling poorly with no energy she seen the doctor and bloods were sent off to check for her iron levels.
So last Wednesday morning she was in bed. It was 7.55 and the telephone rang downstairs. They have elderly relatives and she immediately worried something was up. No on every phones at that time unless its urgent she thought.
She rushed out of bed, rang down the stairs and as she picked up the phone it stopped. She waited for a message but then her mobile started ringing upstairs – she panicked as someone was trying to get hold of her.
As she ran upstairs to get to the phone she tripped on the stairs and fell. In the panic she got up and answered the telephone to find it was her Doctors Receptionist telephoning to say that there was a prescription in reception for her to pick up for iron tablets.
As you can imagine she was upset as the fall. As the day went on she couldn’t feel much movement from the baby and this caused her a lot of distress, until she finally telephoned her midwife to asked her to come straight into the maternity hospital to check the baby and to have an anti D injection.
So, did the Receptionist really need to phone at 7.55 in the morning? I don’t think so. This telephoned caused a lot of unnecessary worry and inconvenience not to say how awful it could have been – but we wont do there! And not to mention how bad the Receptionist would have felt had she had known about the fall.
There should always be a guideline for people being telephoned at home unless it is urgent of course. 7.55 is far too early, what if it had been an elderly or disabled person doing the same thing? A fall could have been a disaster for them.
When training staff I always told them unless urgent no patient should be telephoned at home before 9.00 and if possible leave it until around 10.00.
More and more surgeries are opening up earlier than every before, so perhaps guidelines should be set to what time Receptionists can start to phone patients.
My guest posts are becoming very popular and it is nice to read how important patient care is to the patient from their point of view, and reading about their experiences in difference countries.
This post has come from Ireland and the experiences the writer has found when dealing with Dr’s Receptionists.
The most important thing we should remember that as a Dr’s Receptionist our actions do impact of people’s life, and we can leave lasting impressions – we what are in control of is that the patient is left with the right impression.
Some of the feedback from this post included:
– intimated by the receptionists I have to deal with
– Seemed cold and hard
– wishing for is someone to show a little bit of empathy
– one receptionist who was the most amazing woman I came across
– really cared about the patient’s
– All we ask is that someone understand our position too.
Thank you A for your contribution to my blog…….
About 5 years ago I was diagnosed with Benign Intracranial Hypertension and chronic migraine. It was a long road to get diagnosed and then an even longer road to get treatment and eventually to be able to live a somewhat normal life. As you can imagine I dealt with many different doctors including neurologists, surgeons, migraine specialists, pain specialists, ophthalmologists and physiotherapists. That’s a lot of doctors and departments which in turn means a lot of doctors receptionists.
When I was first diagnosed I was if I am honest a little intimated by the receptionists I have to deal with. They all seemed so cold and hard and when you are in as much pain as I was all the time then the one thing you are wishing for is someone to show a little bit of empathy, a little bit of emotion and maybe even a little bit of care. It seems that all they do is try to block you from getting the treatment you need.
However there is one receptionist who to me was and still is the most amazing woman I came across through all this. She was the receptionist for the migraine specialist in Beaumont. From the outset it seemed she actually really cared about the patients and would ask you how you were if you called or would have a chat with you when you went for an appointment.
I had just been discharged from hospital a week when I began to have extreme pain. Now I was very good at managing my pain and would only really call the hospital if I really needed to. This was one of those times. I always tried to bypass the receptionists because I knew I would get nowhere with them. This day however I failed to do that and got transferred to the receptionist. I explained the situation and by the end of the explanation I was in tears. To my utter shock, she put me in for an appointment the following day. This was completely unheard of in Beaumont. It turned out the pressure in my head was really high and if she hadn’t given me that appointment, I could have been in serious trouble.
From a patient’s point of view, a doctor’s receptionist is like the gate-keeper. The problem is when you have been in so much pain for so long and all you want is someone to help you, it can be tough to understand the harshness with which some receptionist treat you.
I can also understand the receptionist’s position; it’s a tough job having that much responsibility put on you. All we ask is that you understand our position too. We need help and you are the first person who can give it to us
thank you and this just highlights what was said “from a patents point of view, a Doctor’s receptionist is like the gate keeper” how very true this is.
As a Receptionist how would you like to be remembered?
I would like to thank Practice Index for letting me share their post on ‘Handling Difficult Patients’. Practice Index is a support site for GP practice managers and surgery staff. Their popular online discussion forum allows you to ask questions and gain advice and guidance on any surgery issues from the community of NHS professionals. They also have a resources library within the forum which contains hundreds of policies and protocols that you can use in your own practice. You can join the Practice Managers’ forum for free by clicking here: http://practiceindex.co.uk/gp/forum/register
April 28, 2015 by Practice Index in Patients
Handling Difficult Patients
Dealing with difficult patients at the reception desk and in the waiting room is, like it or not, part and parcel of your job as a Practice Manager. It’s your responsibility to demonstrate confident and compassionate handling of difficult patients, displaying techniques your team – especially newer recruits – can learn and gain self-assurance from.
Aggressive patients are particularly likely to try and bully you into an argument, but your role here is to stay calm and unemotional. An emotional response from you – irritation, laughter or anger – will only fuel their attack and potentially cause a situation to escalate. In nursing as much as in the general practice, sensible steps to take would include the following:
– Speak softly and abstain from being judgemental
– Put a little more physical distance between yourself and the patient and avoid intense eye contact which could be seen as provocative
– Be in control of the situation without seeming either demanding or overly authoritative
– Show your intention to rectify the situation rather than reprimanding the patient for their behaviour
An angry patient won’t respond to logical arguments, so try to resist the temptation to reason with someone who is clearly in a terrible temper. It’s also important in situations like these to not resort to all-out grovelling if the practice is not at fault. Accepting responsibility is irreversible and could do the practice damage, as well as your own reputation. What you can do, however, is apologise for the particular inconvenience your patient is aggrieved by at this moment – and offer what immediate action you can (if any) to rectify the situation. Make a note of all complaints received, formal or informal – this includes patients storming out of hanging up on phone calls.
Rise Above It
Patients can be rude and downright insulting on a bad day, but try to refrain from letting them know what you think of them or how they’ve made you feel. Stay professionally detached and see this objectivity as your ‘protection zone’ from hurt. Ignore their rudeness and you may find that, with no visible impact, their insults start to die down. Equally, treating an angry adult like the adult they are – despite the toddlerish tantrum they’re throwing – should encourage them to gently return to adult form if you’re consistent enough with it. Patronising, belittling treatment will only inflame that childish rage.
We’ve all come up against it in our time and this just scratches the surface in coping tools for difficult patients. Why not share your best advice for diffusing tempers and managing quarrelsome individuals in the waiting room?