What’s that expression? You only get one chance to make a good first impression. At the Institute for Podiatric Excellence (IPED), we want to help all our members make their practices as successful as possible. One way that you can do that is by getting new patients off to the best possible start. Here are some tips from the moment a new patient walks in the door:
- Create a beautiful reception area. The waiting area is the first thing a new patient sees when they enter your practice. Make sure it’s well lit, painted a cheerful color and spotlessly clean. A dirty reception room that has stained carpeting or furniture can leave new patients feeling uneasy and wondering if your examination rooms are unsanitary as well. A lovely waiting area is uplifting and sets the tone for the patient’s visit.
- Find the friendliest, most helpful receptionist you can. The first person a new patient talks to is the receptionist. A smiling face and kind words put your patient at ease and in a good mood, predisposing them to have a positive experience. Conversely, a negative encounter or receptionist with a perceived “attitude” can be difficult to overcome with even the best medical care.
- Take two minutes to connect. A minute preparing for your patient briefly reviewing the chart to know your patient’s name and why they’ve come in shows personal attention. Spending the first minute after you walk into the examining room talking to the patient and looking at them not a computer screen or a chart creates a connection and can greatly increase the patient’s initial impression of patient/doctor relationship.
- Be sure to follow up. A “welcome letter” along with a token from the office (magnet, emery board) with the practice info on it and a survey with a pre-stamped/addressed envelope lets patients know that you value their input. A personal phone call to ask if there were any additional questions and to be sure expectations were met will solidify the impression that you care about your patients and are genuinely concerned about them.
At IPED, we have many resources available to help establish new practices and reinvigorate veteran ones. We believe in information sharing among all our members for best patient outcomes. To learn how to access other resources to improve your podiatric practice, contact us online or by calling: 978-296-7634.