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How to make patients love your practice
Miriam Atlas | November 23, 2016

Your patients are your most important asset. Not only are they your main revenue source, but they can potentially become a walking (and online) advertisement to help generate more business for your practice. These days, after a doctor’s visit, a patient, like a customer at any other business, can go on Facebook and write a review – which could turn into a powerful endorsement…. Or, they could trigger a conversation that could be very destructive to your business. We all know that online crowdsourcing and word-of-mouth are both very common ways for people to find a good doctor, so making a good impression on your patients is essential.

 

Make your patients love your practice

 

The question is, how do you make your patients love your practice? What sets your practice apart from others?

 

Tips to Make Your Surgical Practice Friendlier

 
We have found interesting tactics used by surgical practices (many of them our clients!) to show patients how important they are:

 

1. Coffee and snacks

– Doctors often get delayed, and it’s crucial to keep your patients happy while they wait. Offering refreshments will help soften the blow for patients waiting to see the doctor. Set up a refreshment corner with a coffeemaker and fruit. Provide juice and crackers or cookies for children. Or even some granola bars and chocolate!

 

2. Entertainment in the waiting room

– Offer your patients entertainment – and not just People magazines from 2014. Consider a TV with several pairs of wireless headphones. You know what else people (especially kids) love? Video games! Less expensive toys will also provide your younger patients with entertainment and offer parents a rare moment of peace. One of our pediatric clients has a huge train set to play with in their waiting room.

 Watching TV with headphones

 

3. Fun Fridays

– Every Friday during the summer, the staff working at one of our clients has a different theme and they dress up accordingly. Grass skirts and pineapple snacks for Hawaii Friday, or sports jerseys of beloved teams for Sports Day. This kind of thing demonstrates your practice’s fun side. Bonus points if the doctors join in and dress up as well!

4. Celebrating the holidays

– Beyond putting up some decorations and wishing your patients a happy holiday, does your practice do anything to celebrate – with the patients? One of our clients throws an annual Independence Day barbecue and they invite all of their patients to join. After all, what could be more fun than grilling steak and throwing back a beer with the doc?

 Independence Day barbecue

5. Treat your patients – One generous client of ours sponsors a seven day cruise for all of their Total Joint patients. As well as having the time of their life, patients get to celebrate their renewed mobility. A cruise may be out of your budget, but sponsoring a smaller scale social event (renting out a theater for a free movie night) can also improve your connection with your patients.

 

6. Let your patients know you’re thinking of them

– Surgery is hard on patients, and so is the recovery process. One of our clients likes to show their patients a little love by sending them flowers after surgery. Even a small gesture like calling them a few weeks post surgery to see how they are feeling can be touching. Check in to ensure they are following up with the appropriate care and physical therapy. Don’t underestimate the power of human touch.

 

7. Wall of gratitude

– Show off your patients’ accomplishments – after all, their accomplishments are your accomplishments. One orthopedic practice we work with has a wall covered in photos of patients (post-op) rock climbing and hang gliding, thanking their surgeons for helping them get back in the game. This wall acts as the practice’s testimonial page. When new patients come in and see this wall, they feel confident they have chosen the right place for their surgeries.

 

Ready to show your patients a little love? Try implementing some of these ideas, or expand and improve what you’re already doing now. Already offer coffee and snacks? Take it to the next level. Offer a larger variety of snacks, and better yet – ditch the instant coffee for a real cappuccino machine. Going that extra mile to make your patients feel important and taken care of will increase the chances of them sharing a positive review online and recommending your practice to their friends and loved ones.

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About the author: Miriam Atlas has been working in healthcare since she started volunteering as an EMT at the age of 16. In addition to finding ways to ease your office workload, Miriam enjoys swimming and kickboxing.
Published on November 23, 2016. All rights reserved by the author.
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