You may think you’re in the business of health care, but the reality is that you are in the business of customer service, and that means making patients happy. 

Private practices can live and die by the level of patient care they provide. In fact, it can be the one special attribute that sets your practice apart from others.

But how do you create that excellent patient experience in your practice? Let’s dig in!

The first thing you have to consider is, if you have an overall positive culture or if you are struggling in the way of patient experience.

If you are starting with a foundation of happy patients, your approach will be focused on improving what you’re doing already. If you have a negative culture, there is definitely more groundwork you need to do.

Either way, focusing on a few of the following tips will help you improve your patient experience and create a culture of excellence in your practice. 

Top Tips for Improving the Patient Experience:

1.  What’s in a name? Patients would argue that using their name is one of the best ways you can show how much you care about them. You don’t have to go crazy, but slip their name into a few sentences in the conversation to show them they matter.  Also, consider sharing with them your first name as well. Sometimes doctors can have difficult last names and it’s easier for patients to say “Dr. Steve” instead.

2.  What are you saying without saying anything? Consider what your nonverbal body language portrays to a patient. Crossed arms, turned shoulders and indirect eye contact are signs of disengagement. Instead, take the extra few seconds to look your patients in the eye as you explain what you see in their exam.

3.  It’s all in the details. Remembering little tidbits about your patients can do wonders to making them feel at home in your practice. Keep notes in their chart about hobbies, projects, interests and family updates. At each appointment, make a point to show some interest in their personal life. Encourage your staff to do this as well.

4.  Keep it simple. Remember that your patients did not go to medical school, nor do they always care about medical terminology. If you are able to simplify medical conditions into short, clear explanations will help you connect more with your patients.

5.  Do what you say you’ll do. One of the easiest ways you can build rapport with patients is to simply do what you say you’ll do. Patients will love the fact that there is a reliable business in today’s world, and they will have more long-term loyalty to your practice.

6.  Create a culture of positivity. A positive attitude can go a long way in improving the patient experience. If you and your team are committed to excellence and positivity, your patient experience will improve now and continue to improve over time. Remember, as the practice owner, a positive culture starts with you. Your staff will follow your lead. 

Every practice can benefit from taking a few minutes to look at their own patient experience.  Whether you have a little or a lot to work on, it is worth taking the time to improve the office environment. A little effort in this area could be the key to growing and improving your practice!

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