How Communication Affects Patient Education and Practice Reputation

How Communication Affects Patient Education and Practice Reputation

Patient education is a building block when it comes to patient loyalty or retention. A patient happy with education and treatment is sure to provide word-of-mouth marketing for your practice. Education helps a patient know better and more about his or her ailment or treatment that further builds stronger bonds of trust. And this affects your practice reputation. Well, for good patient education you need to have good communication. Here are the communication mistakes to avoid online and offline when interacting with your patient.

Informal forms

When patients enter your practice, it is necessary for you and your staff to educate them. Making them sit in a waiting room to fill out a form that asks for medical information can be a turn-off. You first need to create a comfortable atmosphere. Here is how:

  • Greet patients on their arrival.
  • Have them sit comfortably.
  • Give them the opportunity to ask you questions, if any.
  • Include more in-person questions on your form.
  • Ask questions after they hand in the form.

Effective in-person communication helps you develop a long-term relationship with your patients. They need assistance and education at every step. So, offer it to them with a smile.

Lack of patience

You cannot rely on the concept of one-size-fits-all, especially when it comes to education. Regarding patient education, you cannot expect immediate understanding – and lack of patience is a big no-no. Irrespective of your practice time, you need to have patience and stop any communication breakdown from happening. To increase your patience level, remember:

  • There are too many distractions for an average person to stay focused.
  • Whenever you find patients distracted, request them to ask questions.
  • Double-check if they understood what you are explaining.
  • Educate them about other resources that can offer more knowledge on the topic.

Good communication will ease your task of building trust and bonding with patients of all age group.

Take the first step to protect your online reputation and request your Online Reputation Assessment.

Ignoring online reviews and stories

Communication is not limited to face-to-face interactions; instead, it is done via other mediums such as the Internet. So you need to monitor and manage what’s said online about your practice. Especially for a first-timer, your online reviews and website are the sole modes of communication. If some scary incidents are being shared about your practice or any kind of bad reviews have been posted, it’s better to deal with them professionally at the earliest opportunity. Report review spam if you find any fake reviews for your practice. You need to educate your existing and potential patients about your practice and services. And any wrong review or sad story can mislead your target audience. Here are some ways to deal with it:

  • Ask your happy patients to share their stories.
  • Upload educational videos that display your professional work and technology used.
  • Upload blogs that represent you as a thought-leader.
  • Learn to deal with bad reviews or sad stories.
  • Take things offline instead of having a heated discussion online.

Use of jargon

For communication to go smoothly and education to be fruitful, there needs to be parity of language. You as a doctor should not use medical jargon that blows over a layman’s head. When you explain an ailment or treatment to your patients with medical terminology, they are likely to look blank and disinterested. Here is where your patient education will fail because of poor communication. Also, patients might be hesitant to ask anything further. So, you should:

  • Keep things simple and clear.
  • Break larger pieces of information into easy-to-comprehend smaller portions.
  • Use various visual and audio aids to support your knowledge transfer process.

Patient education, if handled properly, can help you build a strong reputation, leading to higher revenue generation and an increased customer base. The above-mentioned steps will guide you to understanding your patients’ perspective and keep them delighted.

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