Bài giảng môn Medical Assisting - Chapter 7: Managing Correspondence and Mail

Learning Outcomes 7.1 List the supplies necessary for creating and mailing professional-looking correspondence. 7.2 Identify the types of correspondence used in medical office communications. 7.3 Describe the parts of a letter and the different letter and punctuation styles. 7.4 Compose a business letter.

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7Managing Correspondence and Mail7-* 7.1 List the supplies necessary for creating and mailing professional-looking correspondence. 7.2 Identify the types of correspondence used in medical office communications. 7.3 Describe the parts of a letter and the different letter and punctuation styles. 7.4 Compose a business letter.Learning Outcomes7-* 7.5 Explain the tasks involved in editing and proofreading. 7.6 Describe the process of handling incoming and outgoing mail. 7.7 Compare and contrast the services provided by the U.S. Postal Service and other delivery services.Learning Outcomes (cont.)7-*IntroductionWritten materials demonstrate ability toCommunicateConduct businessProfessional image is conveyed in written correspondence Written documents = legal records7-*Correspondence and ProfessionalismLearning to Create  Receive Send correspondence properly ensures positive, effective communication between your office and others.7-*Letterhead paperEnvelopesLabelsInvoicesStatementsChoosing Correspondence SuppliesSupplies7-*Choosing Correspondence Supplies (cont.)LetterheadFormal business stationaryDoctor’s or office’s name, address, phone number printed at the topCorrespondence withPatientsColleaguesVendorsMedical Practice, Inc.111 One Dr.Any, St. 11111111-111-11117-*Choosing Correspondence Supplies (cont.)LetterheadCotton fiber bond More expensive than other types of paper (sulfite bond)WatermarkSizesStandard or letter size – 8½ x 11 inchesLegal size – 8½ x 14 inchesMedical Practice, Inc.111 One Dr.Any, St. 11111111-111-1111Watermark7-*EnvelopesShould match letterheadTypes of envelopesCorrespondence or business – No. 10Invoices or statements – No. 6 to No. 10Payment-return envelopesTan Kraft or clasp envelopes – large, bulky documentsPadded envelopes – send items that may be damaged during mail handlingData mailersChoosing Correspondence Supplies (cont.)7-*Choosing Correspondence Supplies (cont.)Labels Printed, computerized address labels can save a large amount of timeInvoices and statementsPreprinted invoices Preprinted statements Computer-generated invoices and statementsSuperbillsData mailers7-*What three things do written materials of a medical office convey or demonstrate? ANSWER: Written materials convey the ability of the medical office staff to communicate and to conduct business, as well as demonstrate a professional image that reflects on the entire office staff.Apply Your KnowledgeRight!7-*Written CorrespondenceForm of communicationPurpose - to explain, clarify, or provide informationTypes ReferralsSchedulingPatient reportsPatient educationInsurance/billing informationCover or form letters7-*Parts of a Business LetterLetterheadDatelineMonth, day, and yearBegins 3 lines below letterhead on line 15Inside address Includes information needed for correct delivery Two to four spaces below dateline7-*Parts of a Business Letter (cont.)Attention line Used when letter is sent to specific person in a companySalutationWritten greeting such as “Dear”May use business title or department if name is not knownSecond line below inside address7-*Parts of a Business Letter (cont.)Subject line Used to bring attention to subject (optional)Second line below salutationBody Begins two lines below salutation or subject lineSingle-spaced within a paragraphDouble-spaced between paragraphs7-*Parts of a Business Letter (cont.)Complimentary closing Placed two lines below body“Sincerely” is commonly usedSignature block Places writer’s name on first line and business title on second lineThree to four lines below complimentary closing7-*Parts of a Business Letter (cont.)Identification lineLetter writer’s initials and the typist’s initials (KB/SF or KB:SF)Two lines below the signature block NotationsMay be abbreviated as Encl, Enc, or EncsCopy notation (c:) appears after the enclosure notationNumber of enclosures and copy recipientsOne to two lines below signature block or identification line7-*Punctuation StylesOpenMixedWritten Correspondence (cont.)7-*Punctuation StylesOpen punctuation uses no punctuation after these items in a letterThe word Attention in the attention lineThe salutationThe complimentary closingThe signature blockThe enclosure and copy notations7-*Punctuation Styles (cont.)Mixed Punctuation includes the following:Colon after Attention in the attention lineColon after the salutationComma after the complimentary closingColon or period after the enclosure notationColon after the copy notation,::7-*Letter FormatMargins: One inch on the left and right for 8 ½-inch wide paperLetter should be centered on the pageSingle-space body of letter and double-space between paragraphsShort sentences with no more than 20 words on an average7-*Letter Format (cont.)Have at least two or three sentences per paragraphDivide paragraphs longer than 10 lines into shorter paragraphsFor multipage letters, use letterhead for first page only7-*Letter StyleDescriptionFull-BlockLines are typed flush leftNo indented paragraphsMost commonly used in medical officeModified-BlockDateline, complimentary closing, signature block, and notations are aligned at the center of the page or to the rightTraditional, balanced appearanceWritten Correspondence (cont.)7-*Written Correspondence (cont.)Letter StyleDescriptionModified-Block with Indented Paragraphs Paragraphs are indented ½ inchSimplifiedModification of full-block styleMost modern letter styleNo salutation, courtesy title, or closingHas a subject line in all capital lettersToo informal for medical office7-*What should the medical assistant do if a mailing is to be sent to an organization to request x-ray films, but no specific name or title is given to address it to? Which of the following would you use? To Whom It May Concern Attention: To Whom It May Concern Dear Sir/Madam Dear Radiology DepartmentApply Your KnowledgeANSWER:Correct!7-*Effective WritingIdentify your reading audience Tone of letter (formal or relaxed)Know the purpose of the letterBe clear and conciseDon’t use unnecessary wordsMessage should be easily understoodUse active voice when possible Passive voice is best when relaying negative news7-*Effective Writing (cont.)Be polite and courteousCheck Spelling Accuracy of dates and monetary figuresGrammarAvoid leaving “widows and orphans” (dangling words and phrases)7-*Interoffice Memorandum (Memo)Word processing software has templatesFacilitate informal written communication within an office7-*Apply Your KnowledgeAll professional correspondence must be written in a way that conveys information clearly. What do you need to know when preparing to write any form of office communication?ANSWER: You must know who you are writing to, i.e., a physician, patient, vendor, or fellow staff member. Good Job!7-*Editing and ProofreadingEditingCheck forFactual accuracyLogical flowConcisenessClarityTone ProofreadingCheck for errorsGrammatical SpellingFormattingHave another person proofread if possibleNEVER skip editing and proofreading steps!7-*Tools for Editing and ProofreadingDictionaryMedical dictionaryPhysician’s Desk Reference (PDR)English grammar andusage manualWord processing spell checkerEditing and Proofreading (cont.)Thesaurus 7-*EditingEditing ensures that documents areAccurate Clear Complete Free of grammatical errorsLogically organizedWritten in appropriate style7-*Editing (cont.)Language usageLearn basic grammar rulesAsk: “Is this the best way to convey what I want to say?”StyleAppropriate to reader7-*Editing (cont.)Content - logical flow of thoughtState purposeDiscuss one topic at a timeChange paragraphs when changing topicsList events in chronological orderStick to subjectSelect words carefullyProofread what you write7-*ProofreadingProofread and put asideHave coworker proofread documentThree types of errorsFormattingDataMechanical 7-*Proofreading (cont.)Formatting errorsPositioning parts of a letterIndenting, line length, line spacingAvoid by following office styleData errorsMistyping monetary figuresAvoid by double-checking figures or having someone else check them$$$7-*Proofreading (cont.)Mechanical errorsSpelling, punctuation, spacing between words, division of wordsBe sure word processing spell checker has medical terminologyAvoid mechanical errorsLearn basic spelling, punctuation, and word division rulesCheck for transposed characters or wordsAvoid dividing words at the end of a line7-*A letter must be sent to current employees that have exceeded their number of absences according to office policy. Which of the following would be most appropriate?Dear _____, The attendance policy of this office requires that.Dear _____, You have violated the attendance policy of this .Dear _____, Are you aware that you have missed “X” days.Apply Your KnowledgeANSWER: This correspondence must communicate the facts in a soft manner while getting the point across. The first response begins with identifying the “fact” or policy, followed by the individual’s performance, and is less subjective or punitive.Nice Work!7-*Preparing Outgoing MailSigning lettersIf you sign for the doctor, place your initials after the doctor’s signaturePreparing the envelopeUse USPS guidelines for addressing envelopesAddress placementAddress format7-*Preparing Outgoing Mail (cont.)Folding and inserting the mailType of envelope determines the way a letter should be foldedSmall envelope – fold letter in halfBusiness-size envelope – fold in thirds (fold bottom up then top down)Window envelope – accordion fold so address appears in the windowBe sure letters are signed and all enclosures are includedBe sure address on letter matches envelope7-*Apply Your KnowledgeANSWER: When preparing envelopes for mailing office correspondence, you should use USPS guidelines.How should you prepare envelopes for mailing office correspondence? Stamp of Approval!7-*Mailing Equipment and SuppliesLetterhead, blank stationery, envelopesAvailable from USPS, private delivery companies, and office supply storesFormsLabelsPackaging supplies7-*Mailing Equipment and Supplies (cont.)Airmail suppliesLetters and packages must be labeled “AIRMAIL” on all sidesAvailable for mail to foreign countriesEnvelopes for overnight delivery servicesUSPS and other companies require the use of their own mailing materials for next-day delivery7-*Mailing Equipment and Supplies (cont.)Postal rates, scales, and metersRates and regulations change periodically, so keep current rates on-hand at the medical office7-*Apply Your KnowledgeIn addition to letterhead, blank stationary, and envelopes, what other mailing supplies might be needed for a medical office?ANSWER: A medical office may need forms, labels, and packaging supplies for items needing special attention.Good Answer!7-*USPS – Regular Mail ServiceFirst-class mailMust weigh no more than 11 oz.Cost is based on weightMail is forwarded at no extra costMedia mail (Third-Class Mail)Book rate mailBooks, cataloguesWeight of less than 16 ouncesAuthorized mailers7-*USPS – Regular Mail Service (cont.)Parcel Post (Fourth-Class Mail)Used for items weighing between 1 lb. and 70 lb.Rates are based on weight and distanceBound Printed Material (Special Fourth-class mail)Used for promotional advertising and directoriesNo personal correspondenceBulk rates 7-*USPS – Regular Mail Service (cont.)Priority MailUseful for heavier items requiring faster deliveryUSPS offers a flat rate for any items that can fit into the priority envelopeUSPS guarantees delivery within 2–3 daysExpress MailThe quickest serviceDelivery service available every dayRates vary with weightItems automatically insured against loss or damageSpecial flat rate also available7-*USPS – Special Postal ServicesOnline postageSpecial deliveryDeliveries made before regular mail delivery Limited hours and distance limits availability Certified mailOffers a guarantee that the item has been receivedRequires signature of recipient7-*USPS – Special Postal Services (cont.)Return receipt requested Offers proof of who received the item and when they received it Registered mail Used to send valuable, important items Evidence provided of mailing and delivery to sender First-class and priority mail can be registeredDelivery confirmation 7-*USPS – Special Postal Services (cont.)International mailUSPS offers surface and airmail services to most foreign countriesInternational mail classes are similar to domestic mail classesTracing mailService used if a piece of certified or registered mail does not reach its destination on timeThe original receipt must be presented to locate the item7-*Delivery ServiceDescriptionUnited Parcel Service (UPS)Provides overnight letter and express servicesPackages insuredExpress Delivery Services Federal Express DHLMessengers or CarriersLocal area same-day deliveryOther Delivery Services7-*Confidential laboratory resultsSigned and dated contract materialsPatient invoice and billing statementsWhich type of mail would you use to send each of the following: C or DAApply Your KnowledgeA. First class mailB. Priority MailC. Certified mailD. Registered mailANSWER:C or DRight!111 One DriveAny, ST 111117-*StepsSortOpenRecordAnnotateDistributeProcessing Incoming Mail7-*Processing Incoming Mail (cont.) Sort and OpenMail is often sorted according to its priorityUrgent, registered mail, etc.Personal or confidential mailFirst class, airmail, and Priority MailPackagesMagazines and newspapersAdvertisements and cataloguesDo not open personal mail without permission7-*Processing Incoming Mail (cont.)Record – daily mail log Mail receivedFollow-up correspondenceAnnotateOutline key points Write reminders, comments, or suggestionsDistributeDeliver items to mail recipients7-*Processing Incoming Mail (cont.) Handling Drug and Product SamplesDOPlace only nonprescription products in patient areas according to office policy Sort and store other prescription items in locked cabinetDestroy outdated samples properlyDO NOTGive patients samples without the physician approvalFail to document in patient record when samples are given per the physician’s requestDiscard medication samples in trash cans or flush down sink or toilet7-*What are the steps for processing incoming mail?Apply Your KnowledgeANSWER: The steps for processing incoming mail are Sorting Opening Recording Annotating DistributingCORRECT!7-*In Summary7.1 Choose the right supplies for professional looking office correspondence. LetterheadEnvelopes, labelsInvoices 7.2 Medical assistants may be responsible for preparingRoutine correspondenceLetters of referralsScheduling letters Reports to insurance companiesInstructions for exams and lab reports7-*In Summary (cont.)7.3 Business lettersPartsDatelineSubject lineAttention lineBody of letterComplimentary closingSignature blockIdentification lineNotationsLetter stylesFull-blockModified-blockModified block with indented paragraphsSimplified Punctuation stylesOpenMixed 7-*In Summary (cont.)7.4 Medical assistants should proofread and edit correspondence they create.7.5 Keep reference tools available when editing and proofreading.7.6 The processing incoming and outgoing mail includes properly sorting, opening, recording, annotating, and distributing the mail.7.7 The United States Postal Service offers a variety of services for letters and packages and can now compete with other mail and package delivery services.7-*If a fellow wants to be a nobody in the business world, let him neglect sending the mailman to somebody on his behalf. —Abraham Lincoln End of Chapter 7
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