What Does a Medical Receptionist Do? (Insider Secrets)

What Does a Medical Receptionist Do? (Insider Secrets)

Are you curious about the role of a medical receptionist? 

A medical receptionist is a professional responsible for greeting patients and visitors, answering phone calls, scheduling appointments, collecting co-pays, verifying insurance benefits, handling patient phone calls, faxes, emails, and many other administrative duties that will be discussed in this piece.

They are the first point of contact for patients and play a vital role in the smooth running of medical practice. 

The job of a medical receptionist is to ensure that patients have a positive experience from the moment they enter the practice. They must be able to multitask and have excellent customer service skills.

Understanding the responsibilities of a medical receptionist is essential for healthcare professionals, job seekers interested in the healthcare industry, and patients who interact with them daily.  

In this post, we’ll delve into the insider secrets of what medical receptionists do daily.

So without much ado, let’s delve in!

Where do medical receptionists work?

Medical receptionists work in a wide range of patient-facing healthcare facilities. Typically, 95.7% of the time, they can be found in various healthcare and social assistance settings, including hospitals, clinics, doctors’ offices, dental practices, and specialised medical centres. 

The remaining 4.3% is shared among the following industries:

  • Public Administration and Safety
  • Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services
  • Education and Training
  • Other industries

In some cases, during a job search, employers may use the terms medical secretary, medical administrative assistant, patient coordinator, and unit secretary in place of medical receptionists.

Medical receptionists can also advance in their careers. With adequate experience and training, you could eventually work your way up to the office or practice manager position. 

As a medical receptionist, you’ll most likely spend most of your time in an office. Based on the report on Labour Market Insights, Working a typical full-time 40-hour work week is common, but if you work in a hospital or facility that is open 24 hours a day, you may be required to work nights and weekends. 

What are the job duties of a medical receptionist?

Medical receptionists have diverse responsibilities that contribute to the efficient functioning of a medical facility. 

Here are some of the key tasks performed by a medical receptionist:

Greets office visitors and manages patient intake


Medical receptionists warmly welcome patients, check them in, and gather necessary information such as contact details and insurance information. They ensure patients feel comfortable and provide them with any required forms or paperwork.

Answers and routes incoming calls

They handle incoming phone calls, provide callers with information, schedule appointments, and direct calls to the appropriate staff members. 

To excel in this medical receptionist role, it is crucial to have excellent communication skills.

Schedules patient appointments and maintains records and calendars

Medical receptionists manage appointment schedules, ensuring efficient use of healthcare providers’ time. 

Their job entails maintaining patient records and updating calendars to reflect changes or cancellations. Hence, organisational skill is a must in this field.

Fills medical records 

Medical receptionists may be responsible for filling and organising medical records, ensuring they are complete, accurate, and easily accessible for healthcare providers.

Optimizes patients’ satisfaction 

In addition to handling administrative tasks, medical receptionists strive to enhance patients’ satisfaction. They assist distressed patients, respond to emergencies, and provide support, creating a compassionate and caring environment where patients can feel at ease.

This requires putting your customer service game on and using an empathetic tone when communicating with patients, which makes you more approachable, positively impacting how patients view the practice. 

They are the frontline in healthcare practice, hence are responsible for anticipating anxieties and effectively answering questions. This includes explaining policies and providing accurate information while being compassionate and understanding a patient’s needs. 

To do this, you must thoroughly understand what the job entails so you can adequately address any concerns or questions that may arise.

You may also like: What Skills Do You Gain from Being a Medical Receptionist?

Maintains business office inventory and equipment

Medical receptionists may manage inventory and order supplies for the business office. They ensure that necessary equipment and resources are available for day-to-day operations.

Ensures availability of treatment information  

Another aspect of the medical receptionist job is collaborating with healthcare providers and staff to ensure the availability of treatment information for patients. This may involve organising and updating educational materials and brochures.

Performs other administrative tasks, such as scanning or data entry

Besides their regular tasks, medical receptionists may be assigned additional administrative tasks like scanning documents, data entry, or billing processes.

Transcribes notes from doctors

During patient visits, doctors frequently need to take notes. They may not, however, always have the time to transcribe these notes themselves. This is where medical receptionists and transcriptionists come in.

In this case, the medical receptionist’s job is to listen to audio recordings of doctor-patient visits and type out the notes from these conversations. 

To excel in this function, you must be well-versed in medical terminology. They may also need to edit the notes for clarity or ensure they are error-free.

Transcribing notes from doctors is a vital job in the medical field. By doing this, the transcriptionists help ensure that crucial medical information is accurately recorded to provide better patient care.

Records and updates patient information

Keeping accurate and up-to-date patient information records is crucial in a medical setting. This includes everything from demographics and contact information to medical history and treatment plans. Attention to detail and accuracy are vital in this aspect of the job.

There are two major ways to record and store this information. Paper records are still used in many healthcare facilities, but electronic medical records (EMRs) are becoming more popular.

Since they are soft copies, EMRs can be accessed from anywhere and are easier to update and share than paper records.

Suppose you desire to work in a medical setting as a medical receptionist. In that case, it is essential to be computer proficient so you can work faster in keeping records and updating patient information.

Notifies providers of patient arrivals

Medical receptionists are the first point of contact when patients arrive at a healthcare facility. Hence, they must have excellent customer service skills for receiving patients and visitors. 

To ensure that all patients are seen on time, a part of their duty is to notify providers promptly when a patient arrives.

Calls patients to remind them of their appointments

A medical receptionist’s most crucial role is calling patients to remind them of their appointments. This helps ensure patients arrive on time for their visits and allows the healthcare team to provide timely care.

Provides doctors with patient feedback

As a medical receptionist, it is important to provide doctors with patient feedback to ensure that the best possible care is provided. 

Patient feedback can help doctors make informed decisions about their patient’s care and provide valuable insight into how they can improve their services. 

It also helps doctors better understand the needs of their patients and how they can better meet those needs. By providing doctors with patient feedback, medical receptionists play a critical function in improving the quality of healthcare provided to patients.

Processes payments from patients

As a medical receptionist, another task you do is processing payments from patients. This involves accurately entering patient information into the system and collecting payment for services rendered. 

It is also vital to ensure that all payments are processed promptly and that any discrepancies are handled appropriately. 

Additionally, it is essential to understand insurance policies and billing codes, as these will be used when processing patient payments.

Resolves complaints from patients, clients, and the public

Patients, clients, and the general public rely on medical receptionists to provide excellent customer service. Many visitors will come to you as their first point of contact, and you must be able to resolve any complaints or questions they may have. 

In this case, having a good understanding of medical terminology and procedures and being knowledgeable about the organisation’s policies will be helpful.

​​Read also: What Are the Challenges for a Medical Receptionist?

Contacts insurance companies

Medical receptionists are the first point of contact for patients who want information about an insurance policy. As a result, their job is to provide information and answer questions about the insurance company’s services, which may require them to use some medical terminologies.

Such a task may also require them to contact insurance companies on behalf of the patient if more information is needed. 

Note that because this job involves dealing with sensitive personal information, they must always maintain a professional demeanour.

To handle such a task easily, a TAFE course that will help you learn about the medical industry and teach you these medical terms might come in handy.

Keeps waiting and reception areas clean and inviting

In addition to the tasks we have discussed so far, a medical receptionist job also entails keeping the waiting and reception areas clean and inviting for patients. 

They are responsible for ensuring the office is well-maintained, organised, and presentable to visitors. 

This includes ensuring that all furniture and equipment are in good condition and cleaning up after patients who have visited the office. 

Importance of the medical receptionist job

Medical receptionists hold a vital position in the healthcare industry as they play a pivotal role in ensuring the smooth operation of medical facilities. 

They are responsible for managing front desk operations, scheduling patient appointments, handling billing and insurance claims, and providing exceptional customer service to patients.

They create a welcoming and organised patient environment, help streamline operations, and contribute to patient satisfaction. 

The importance of this job role cannot be overemphasised. Without medical receptionists, medical facilities would face challenges managing appointments, maintaining records, and delivering quality patient care.

Read also: What to Expect When You Start Working as a Medical Receptionist?

Takeaway: Insider secrets of medical receptionists job role revealed!

Medical receptionists are the unsung heroes of medical facilities, handling various responsibilities to ensure the smooth functioning of healthcare settings. 

Their role is vital in delivering quality healthcare services, from managing patient intake and scheduling appointments to resolving complaints and optimising patient satisfaction. 

If this job role excites you or you would like to get into the healthcare sector through this career path, getting a qualification is not required. However, completing a health, business, or medical business administration course at TAFE can help you learn about medical terms and the medical industry.

Consider getting a Certificate III in Health Administration to help you stand out. On CareerProgress, you can take the first step and kick-start your professional journey as a medical receptionist. Get started now! 

Nadia H.

Nadia H. is a versatile content writer with a passion for education, pets, and food. With a flair for crafting engaging and informative articles and blogs, she brings her expertise to a variety of topics. As an educationist, she understands the importance of knowledge-sharing and aims to create content that enlightens and inspires.