Joycelyn Ghansah is a former Healthcare Organizer with a background public health, include reproductive and sexual health. When she's not freelance writing, she's transcribing interviews and researching ways to strengthen healthcare labor laws.
First impressions are everything, especially in healthcare. What your patients experience during their visits can make or break a new practice.
As a new practice, you want to keep your patients happy, healthy, and safe. Promoting a comfortable and inviting atmosphere begins even before you meet your patients. Patients evaluate everything from the time they schedule their appointment to when they leave the office. There are many ways you and your staff can make a good impression on patients and keep them coming back.
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Here are 4 ways to make a good impression at a new practice:
First impressions start before the patient walks in. Their ability to schedule an appointment and connect with staff starts on the phone or online. Due to COVID-19, how practices schedule and meet patient needs have changed. Developing a system that is accessible, informational, and friendly is key.
Training staff on how to screen patients on the phone and set appointments helps them communicate with patients and make patients at ease before they walk through the door. Remember to pre-screening questions and answers readily. Also, the way staff greets patients, set the tone for their patients, remember to greet patients with a positive attitude. The more inviting the patient feels, the more open patients become.
How the waiting room looks and feels is important. The waiting room must be professional, organized, and inviting. Having comfortable and inviting furniture allows patients to feel at ease in their new surroundings. Staff and providers should meet about workflow and patient scheduling for the day, so the practice can facilitate smooth workflow throughout the day.
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How to make a good impression in-office
Note: Make sure the office is neat, organized and sanitized before opening.
Meeting for the first time can be scary for both patients and providers. Creating a space where patients can feel welcome and comfortable about talking about why they are there. Smiling and engaging in small talk with patients to feel at ease in the provider’s office. Your mission is to provide quality care for the patient, so asking and listening to their concerns allows for a positive patient-provider experience.
Virtual appointments are important. Be sure to address patient questions and concerns during their online appointments. It’s important to train staff to effectively answer questions on video calls or portal boards. This will allow the patient to feel welcome when you’re able to meet them in person.
Make sure your patient portal is accessible and your patients have a way of accessing all information needed; including how they sign up for appointments, input their information, send staff messages. The portal is also an essential part of the patient experience, so pay attention to the design, how it looks, and how patients can access resources and information.
How you connect with patient aftercare is just as important as during the in-person visit. Using the patient portal to answer and communicate with after visit allows patients, especially newer patients, to feel that your practice cares. Make sure the staff is trained to answer questions and check in on patients in a timely manner.
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Making a good first impression on patients is important for every practice. By incorporating these ways into your practice will allow you to focus on providing quality patient care and help your patients feel at ease and trust you.
Do you have any suggestions on ways to make a good impression at a new practice? Write them in the comments below.
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