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Also known as registration clerks, admitting clerks and patient services representatives, hospital registrars perform a variety of tasks related to admitting patients to a hospital. In some organizations, they may also have other duties, such as handling the hospital switchboard or paging hospital staff and physicians. Some may conduct telephone interviews prior to admission, or greet and direct hospital visitors to their destinations.
Skills and Characteristics
Registrars fulfill a customer service role, so interpersonal and communication skills are integral to the job. They must help patients understand complex documents related to the admissions process, listen carefully to patients' concerns and correctly answer questions. A registrar must be able to work under pressure in an environment that changes frequently.
Give Accurate Information
The primary task of a registrar is to ensure that patients are admitted in a timely fashion and that all information about them is correct. A registrar may call patients in advance of admission to verify information or ensure that they have completed necessary lab work or other diagnostic procedures. The registrar enters a patient’s information into the hospital computer system and confirms that information when the patient arrives for admission. Registrars also process admission paperwork for in emergency situations, making sure that the patient or guardian signs all necessary forms and providing copies of the materials.
Registrars may perform a variety of clerical tasks, such as preparing charts or other documents, filing, faxing, answering phones and taking messages. They communicate with nursing supervisors about bed assignments and keep family members informed of plans or changes. Registrars often initiate the billing process by gathering insurance information and entering insurance data into the hospital billing systems. They may also assist patients who have a question about a bill and take payments or copayments at the time of service.
A high school diploma is the most common educational requirement for a registrar, according to ONet Online. Computer skills are typically required, and some organizations prefer registrars who are bilingual. Some organizations require experience with patient registration, while all organizations conduct some on-the-job training that covers hospital policies, forms and computer systems. The organization may want a prospective registrar to be familiar with certain types of medical insurance and government payers, such as Medicaid and Medicare.
Beth Greenwood is an RN and has been a writer since 2010. She specializes in medical and health topics, as well as career articles about health care professions. Greenwood holds an Associate of Science in nursing from Shasta College.