212 Linden Drive, Suite 150
Winchester, VA 22601
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What do our patient coordinators do? A Q&A with Maddie and Taylor

Patient coordinators Maddie and Taylor

At Winchester Dental, our patient coordinators are essential to making things run smoothly from the beginning to the end of each day. How does it work? As Maddie and Taylor tell us, it depends on clear, consistent communication among everyone in the office, as well as attention to time, detail, and most importantly, patients!

How long have you been with Winchester Dental, and what did you do before you started at this practice?

Maddie: I started five years ago at the office of an orthodontist, then I worked at a pediatric dentist where Taylor worked as an assistant. Then we both came here and became patient coordinators.

What does a patient coordinator do on a day-to-day basis?

Taylor: When we come in, the first thing we do each morning is check on schedule changes and confirmations. We aim to be done with this by 8 am; any calls we don’t complete by then, we do in the afternoon. Then we focus on our patients. We need to be sure to maintain privacy for HIPAA, so we’re careful to speak with patients discreetly. We also answer our phones by the second ring. We do this to put patients first; their time and concerns are important. 

On that note, we don’t ever want patients to hesitate about asking questions—we want to make it as comfortable as possible. 

Maddie: We also want to make things as clear as possible.

Taylor: In the evening, we make appointment confirmation calls and contact patients who are due for visits. If we don’t reach someone, we make sure to follow up. We also do our best to maximize the next day’s schedule.

Maddie: All the patient coordinators here are assigned to specific doctors. We work in teams, and it makes it easier to organize everything. We have a constant connection with the doctors from the front office to the back operatories, to make things run as smoothly as possible for patients, for doctors, and for everyone else in the office. But we work as a team—there is no “front vs. back” here.

We deal with insurance; that’s important. We need to know it front and back to do this job!

We also take care of calling patients to ensure all consents and medication checking ahead of time. This is important when treatments require sedation. We keep track to be sure the doctors assign and approve medications and anything else patients might need. All of this with smiles, of course!

Taylor: We do treatment planning—we do that in the front office. Throughout the day our goal is to maximize patient benefits and maximize the doctors’ time. We also plan visits to include as much as possible so patients can avoid extra visits. And we make as many confirmation calls as possible to avoid missed appointments.

What’s your favorite part of what you do?

Taylor: We have amazing managers who are ALWAYS willing to help us. And on a personal note, I’ve seen three of our six doctors for treatment, and I would never go anywhere else. 

Maddie: Our managers really step in and help us if we need, no matter what the situation is. We really do work as a team. Also, Winchester Dental is the biggest dental practice in Winchester, but it doesn’t feel like a corporate office. We are a family, and our doctors are ALL really great. They’re willing to speak with us and with patients, and that is not the case in every practice.

I love building relationships with patients. It helps them to be calm and comfortable when they visit our office. This is the longest I’ve been at any job,­ and I have no plans to leave.

What’s been the biggest surprise about your work?

Taylor: I can talk to Dr. Gio, who leads the practice, about anything; if I need an explanation of a treatment, he’ll provide it to me so I can provide it to a patient. The doctors here are also quite willing to speak directly with patients.

Maddie: For me, the biggest surprise has been how much dental knowledge we need to be able to work up front. We do treatment planning for fillings, root canals, and so much more. It’s surprising how much I’ve learned in my time here. There is so much more to this job than answering phones and scheduling. It’s very different from the generic “front desk” job the way it’s depicted in the media. We aim to make things as clear as possible for patients by explaining the process of treatment before taking payment.

We also receive recognition and incentives to work harder! This is the first job I’ve had where this is the case. I also feel strongly that managers care about us and our families. If we need time off, they have our backs.

Patient coordinator crystal has been a great mentor!

Has anyone on the Winchester Dental team served as a mentor to you? Tell us about that person and how they’ve helped you.

Taylor: Crystal is always willing to help us and puts us above whatever she’s doing. It’s ALWAYS team before self with her. Understandably, I had an adjustment period when I first started working here, and Crystal never made me feel like I was pestering her or that I wouldn’t get it, and finally it clicked.

Maddie: I agree, Crystal has been an incredible mentor! She is SO good at talking to patients and helping with the most difficult situations. She works so hard!