Your office and medical practice can be part of a decision made by patients as to whether they want to choose you as their physician.
There are many factors your patients are considering when they visit your office. Any one of these factors can make a patient feel uncomfortable, or comfortable. Your goal is to maintain patient loyalty.
Patient loyalty can offer you benefits. One, you can treat the patient long-term, developing a healthy relationship, giving you inclusive insight into their health so you can properly treat them. This allows you to help them reap the benefits of a good treatment plan and improved outcomes.
Two, patient loyalty offers you consistent revenue. You do not have to market your services as often because satisfied patients will keep you as their physician, and they will spread the word about your fantastic service.
One major way to achieve this level of patient loyalty is to have an inviting office and overall positive experience while in your medical practice. Below are steps you can take to create this type of environment.
Patients visit your office for treatment, knowing they may encounter other sick people. What they don’t want to see is a sick environment. The cleaner the rooms, the better. Patients want to feel as if every room, from the waiting room to the exam room, is sterile.
One way to maintain cleanliness in your office is to create a frequent schedule of checking every room and fixing any problems immediately when necessary. Allow patients to see how you are providing sanitary spaces. They will appreciate your efforts.
If your office is decorated with outdated décor, patients will not be impressed. They may think if you don’t care enough about updating your furniture and wall décor, you may not care about providing them with the highest quality of services.
Televisions, check-in stations, posters, information pamphlets, and even furniture should be modern, in great working condition, and attractive.
Promote positive health so your patients can feel as if their outcomes will improve.
Room Layout and Provisions
Patients want to feel comfortable while waiting for your visit. In the waiting room, don’t place a kid’s play area next to adults who are sick. Have a separate area in the room where parents can take their children and avoid disturbing those who are ill.
Separate sick and well check patients. Provide free coffee or water. Have recent magazines available. If using a television, make sure the channels are positive and make the patients feel happy. Don’t play network news stations who only offer negative stories.
Keep a monitor that shows an estimated time of when the patient will be seen. Provide them with the basic information and they can avoid interrupting your staff for answers.
Streamline Your Staff
The more streamlined your office, the more comfortable your patients. Using software, like that used by in-office dispensing physicians, are created to help streamline all activities of your staff.
Happy staff equals happy patients. Your front-office staff are the first representatives of your practice seen by patients. If that first impression is negative, it is less likely the patient will return. Furthermore, they may even spread the word that your staff caused a negative experience for them.
This can be avoided by implementing software that can make work easier for your staff. From medical billing to appointment setting to reminder calls, the software can do it all.
Make Your Patients Feel Special
Making patients feel special is one of the easiest things to do. Simply acknowledge their presence, know their names, and show an interest. Don’t treat them like they are just another dollar earned for you.
Hire a liaison who can communicate with patients from the time they walk in the door to when they leave. The liaison can direct them to the right check-in spot, serve them coffee or water, and keep them informed of wait times. And because some patients are extremely nervous when waiting in your office, a liaison can sit with them and distract them from their anxiety.
Furthermore, liaisons can help patients complete necessary paperwork so your front-office staff can prepare the patient file you desire.
Patients want to feel as if you truly care about them. Unfortunately, most patients feel like their doctors do not care. This is because most physicians only spend a few minutes with patients.
Patients have feelings. When you treat them in less than ten minutes, they feel as if you did not take the time to hear them or treat them properly.
Patients are nervous when they visit you. They are scared that their issue will not be resolved, that they will forget to ask the right questions due to having limited time with you, and that they will leave your office feeling worse than when they arrived.
You can change this by slowing down and spending quality time with patients. Find ways to ease your patients’ nerves. When you do not appear rushed, they will not feel rushed. Look up from your computer or clipboard and look into your patients’ eyes.
This will make your patients feel you care.
In conclusion, to make your office more inviting, avoid treating your patients like they are part of a herd. Make them feel special by engaging with them personally. Your patients are the only reason you have a job. It is important to make them feel valued.
An inviting environment starts from the moment the patient opens the doors to your office and does not end until they have checked out with your staff and left the building.
Become a patient for a day. Walk in their shoes through every room and every process within your medical practice. Take note of the things that need improvement and then follow through with them.
Most importantly, provide services to satisfy patients that provide convenience, safety and higher health outcomes. Services like in-office dispensing, which offer many benefits at each stage of the patient visit.