Slaying the dragon myth: An ethnographic study of receptionists in UK general practiceCitation formats

  • External authors:
  • Katja Gravenhorst
  • Emma Funnell
  • Susan Beatty
  • Derek Hibbert
  • Jonathan Lamb
  • Heather Burroughs
  • Marija Kovandžić
  • Mark Gabbay
  • Christopher Dowrick
  • Linda Gask
  • Waquas Waheed
  • Carolyn A. Chew-Graham

Standard

Slaying the dragon myth: An ethnographic study of receptionists in UK general practice. / Hammond, Jonathan; Gravenhorst, Katja; Funnell, Emma; Beatty, Susan; Hibbert, Derek; Lamb, Jonathan; Burroughs, Heather; Kovandžić, Marija; Gabbay, Mark; Dowrick, Christopher; Gask, Linda; Waheed, Waquas; Chew-Graham, Carolyn A.

In: British Journal of General Practice, Vol. 63, No. 608, 03.2013, p. e177-e184.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Harvard

Hammond, J, Gravenhorst, K, Funnell, E, Beatty, S, Hibbert, D, Lamb, J, Burroughs, H, Kovandžić, M, Gabbay, M, Dowrick, C, Gask, L, Waheed, W & Chew-Graham, CA 2013, 'Slaying the dragon myth: An ethnographic study of receptionists in UK general practice', British Journal of General Practice, vol. 63, no. 608, pp. e177-e184. https://doi.org/10.3399/bjgp13X664225

APA

Hammond, J., Gravenhorst, K., Funnell, E., Beatty, S., Hibbert, D., Lamb, J., ... Chew-Graham, C. A. (2013). Slaying the dragon myth: An ethnographic study of receptionists in UK general practice. British Journal of General Practice, 63(608), e177-e184. https://doi.org/10.3399/bjgp13X664225

Vancouver

Hammond J, Gravenhorst K, Funnell E, Beatty S, Hibbert D, Lamb J et al. Slaying the dragon myth: An ethnographic study of receptionists in UK general practice. British Journal of General Practice. 2013 Mar;63(608):e177-e184. https://doi.org/10.3399/bjgp13X664225

Author

Hammond, Jonathan ; Gravenhorst, Katja ; Funnell, Emma ; Beatty, Susan ; Hibbert, Derek ; Lamb, Jonathan ; Burroughs, Heather ; Kovandžić, Marija ; Gabbay, Mark ; Dowrick, Christopher ; Gask, Linda ; Waheed, Waquas ; Chew-Graham, Carolyn A. / Slaying the dragon myth: An ethnographic study of receptionists in UK general practice. In: British Journal of General Practice. 2013 ; Vol. 63, No. 608. pp. e177-e184.

Bibtex

@article{822b69e659a149b48e434556f093d06f,
title = "Slaying the dragon myth: An ethnographic study of receptionists in UK general practice",
abstract = "Background General practice receptionists fulfil an essential role in UK primary care, shaping patient access to health professionals. They are often portrayed as powerful 'gatekeepers'. Existing literature and management initiatives advocate more training to improve their performance and, consequently, the patient experience. Aim To explore the complexity of the role of general practice receptionists by considering the wider practice context in which they work. Design and setting Ethnographic observation in seven urban general practices in the north-west of England. Method Seven researchers conducted 200 hours of ethnographic observation, predominantly in the reception areas of each practice. Forty-five receptionists were involved in the study and were asked about their work as they carried out their activities. Observational notes were taken. Analysis involved ascribing codes to incidents considered relevant to the role and organising these into related clusters. Results Receptionists were faced with the difficult task of prioritising patients, despite having little time, information, and training. They felt responsible for protecting those patients who were most vulnerable, however this was sometimes made difficult by protocols set by the GPs and by patients trying to 'play' the system. Conclusion Framing the receptionist-patient encounter as one between the 'powerful' and the 'vulnerable' gets in the way of fully understanding the complex tasks receptionists perform and the contradictions that are inherent in their role. Calls for more training, without reflective attention to practice dynamics, risk failing to address systemic problems, portraying them instead as individual failings. {\circledC} British Journal of General Practice.",
keywords = "Ethnography, Health services accessibility, Medical, Primary care, Qualitative research, Receptionists, Role",
author = "Jonathan Hammond and Katja Gravenhorst and Emma Funnell and Susan Beatty and Derek Hibbert and Jonathan Lamb and Heather Burroughs and Marija Kovandžić and Mark Gabbay and Christopher Dowrick and Linda Gask and Waquas Waheed and Chew-Graham, {Carolyn A.}",
year = "2013",
month = "3",
doi = "10.3399/bjgp13X664225",
language = "English",
volume = "63",
pages = "e177--e184",
journal = "British Journal of General Practice",
issn = "0960-1643",
publisher = "Royal College of General Practitioners",
number = "608",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Slaying the dragon myth: An ethnographic study of receptionists in UK general practice

AU - Hammond, Jonathan

AU - Gravenhorst, Katja

AU - Funnell, Emma

AU - Beatty, Susan

AU - Hibbert, Derek

AU - Lamb, Jonathan

AU - Burroughs, Heather

AU - Kovandžić, Marija

AU - Gabbay, Mark

AU - Dowrick, Christopher

AU - Gask, Linda

AU - Waheed, Waquas

AU - Chew-Graham, Carolyn A.

PY - 2013/3

Y1 - 2013/3

N2 - Background General practice receptionists fulfil an essential role in UK primary care, shaping patient access to health professionals. They are often portrayed as powerful 'gatekeepers'. Existing literature and management initiatives advocate more training to improve their performance and, consequently, the patient experience. Aim To explore the complexity of the role of general practice receptionists by considering the wider practice context in which they work. Design and setting Ethnographic observation in seven urban general practices in the north-west of England. Method Seven researchers conducted 200 hours of ethnographic observation, predominantly in the reception areas of each practice. Forty-five receptionists were involved in the study and were asked about their work as they carried out their activities. Observational notes were taken. Analysis involved ascribing codes to incidents considered relevant to the role and organising these into related clusters. Results Receptionists were faced with the difficult task of prioritising patients, despite having little time, information, and training. They felt responsible for protecting those patients who were most vulnerable, however this was sometimes made difficult by protocols set by the GPs and by patients trying to 'play' the system. Conclusion Framing the receptionist-patient encounter as one between the 'powerful' and the 'vulnerable' gets in the way of fully understanding the complex tasks receptionists perform and the contradictions that are inherent in their role. Calls for more training, without reflective attention to practice dynamics, risk failing to address systemic problems, portraying them instead as individual failings. © British Journal of General Practice.

AB - Background General practice receptionists fulfil an essential role in UK primary care, shaping patient access to health professionals. They are often portrayed as powerful 'gatekeepers'. Existing literature and management initiatives advocate more training to improve their performance and, consequently, the patient experience. Aim To explore the complexity of the role of general practice receptionists by considering the wider practice context in which they work. Design and setting Ethnographic observation in seven urban general practices in the north-west of England. Method Seven researchers conducted 200 hours of ethnographic observation, predominantly in the reception areas of each practice. Forty-five receptionists were involved in the study and were asked about their work as they carried out their activities. Observational notes were taken. Analysis involved ascribing codes to incidents considered relevant to the role and organising these into related clusters. Results Receptionists were faced with the difficult task of prioritising patients, despite having little time, information, and training. They felt responsible for protecting those patients who were most vulnerable, however this was sometimes made difficult by protocols set by the GPs and by patients trying to 'play' the system. Conclusion Framing the receptionist-patient encounter as one between the 'powerful' and the 'vulnerable' gets in the way of fully understanding the complex tasks receptionists perform and the contradictions that are inherent in their role. Calls for more training, without reflective attention to practice dynamics, risk failing to address systemic problems, portraying them instead as individual failings. © British Journal of General Practice.

KW - Ethnography

KW - Health services accessibility

KW - Medical

KW - Primary care

KW - Qualitative research

KW - Receptionists

KW - Role

U2 - 10.3399/bjgp13X664225

DO - 10.3399/bjgp13X664225

M3 - Article

VL - 63

SP - e177-e184

JO - British Journal of General Practice

JF - British Journal of General Practice

SN - 0960-1643

IS - 608

ER -