Smiling patients are loyal patients, and they are the ones who are likely to refer your practice to their family and friends and post positive online reviews of your practice. This kind of word-of-mouth marketing can help attract new patients into your medical practice and keep your existing patients coming back. One of the best ways to encourage patients to keep coming back is to keep them comfortable while they are in your office.
Keeping your patients happy and satisfied should be your primary goal. It will lift up spirits- both yours and the patient’s and will feel relaxed after making a difference in someone’s life, regardless of how big or small the impact. Taking care of your patients and ensuring their comfort is all about treating them as human beings and letting them know that you are concerned about their health and wellbeing.
However, always keeping your patients smiling and positive can be tough for medical professionals due to the nature of their job. Long work hours and unpredictable workloads can lead to a stressed, rushing physician. Under such conditions, it often becomes difficult for physicians and staff to present their best self to patients. Here are six small ways to put a smile on your patients’ face and enhance their experience:
Take the first step to protect your online reputation and request your Online Reputation Assessment.
- Always be punctual: Nothing makes patients feel more annoyed than being in your waiting room 30 minutes after their appointment time. Respecting your patients’ time is a sure way to please them. Also, it relieves the stress of always apologizing to frustrated patients for your delay.
- Know your patients’ names and the reason for visit: It is comforting for patients to feel like they are not just one of your 50 patients sitting in the waiting room, that they will be welcomed and cared for. That comfort is lost when you enter the exam room and look at the chart for the patient’s name and the reason for the visit. You must take that extra minute to research about the patient before entering the exam room so you can greet him or her by name. Your preparation will prevent confusion, improve patient confidence, and increase productivity.
- Follow-up after the visit: If your patient has had lab work, or was referred to a specialist, make time to call him or her to follow up. See how your patient is doing and report on any lab results. This will help patients feel secure that you are concerned about their health and did not forget them after they left your practice.
- Empower your patients: You can keep your patients happy by enabling them to take control of their health and wellness. You should educate patients about their medical condition and what they must do to stay healthy. You must let them know that staying well starts with sticking to their treatment, taking medication regularly, exercising, and eating right. Setting specific health goals can empower patients to take proactive actions towards wellness.
- Be optimistic: A positive attitude can cure any medical disorder and heal any wound. It is critical that your patient stays positive, which may be an impossible task without your support. As a medical practitioner, you must have a positive attitude so that the patient feels the positive vibes the moment he or she enters your practice. This will help in his treatment journey and make your job easier. For instance, you can help a diabetic patient create a healthy eating and exercising plan. By working together, you will be able to engage patients in their healthcare plan and keep them happy.
- Be empathetic: Most of your patients will have a slew of questions about their condition, which may feel confusing and overwhelming. It is your responsibility to take a minute to acknowledge their anxiety and reassure them that they are not alone. Remind them that you are taking care of them, and together you can find the right treatment options. Even if you are running behind schedule, do not get tempted to rush through the visit. Do take a few minutes for a friendly chat with the patient. Try breaking the ice with chitchat about their family, current hot topics, or anything other than their illness and symptoms. This small exchange will make your patient comfortable, and he or she will appreciate the human approach.
Patients relate a positive experience with quality. Some studies show that when patients are shown care and affection, they are more likely to be loyal and obedient. A few constructive changes in the way you communicate with your patients can lead to a better outcome for everyone involved.
If you take the time to follow these basic steps and do your best to make them feel cared, you will be amazed at how your patients respond and how quickly they recover. It will be easier for you and your staff to develop a long-term relationship with patients.