6 Ways to Improve Patient Relations

Starting out as a new practitioner you’re probably finding that there are so many details that go into creating a successful podiatry practice. As with any business, customer satisfaction has to be a top priority if you want to maintain and grow your patient base. One of the benefits of being a member of the Institute for Podiatric Excellence (IPED) is that we have veteran practitioners who have many years of experience in private practice willing to share what they’ve learned. Here are some easy and creative ways to enhance your practice’s relationship with your patients:

  1. Have fresh flowers delivered each Monday for the reception area of your office. On Friday, offer them to the last patient of the day to take home.
  2. Call the area where your patients stay a “reception area,” not a waiting room. This simple change in terminology will change your patients’ perspective.
  3. Instruct staff members to smile whenever they are talking to a patient on the phone. Studies show that a smile can be “heard” over the phone.
  4. Call all patients the day before their appointments with a reminder. Always address patients by name (this goes for in-person greetings as well). Friendly appointment reminders will not only increase patient satisfaction but will also reduce no-shows.
  5. Schedule extra time for patients that tend to be “needy.” What you are losing with the extra appointment slot will be made up for in the positive referrals you receive and the new patients that are brought to your practice.
  6. If a patient has been waiting in your reception area for an excessive period of time—usually defined as more than 20 minutes past their appointment time—consider giving a small gift such as a scratch off lottery ticket or coupon for a free coffee and donut at a local shop. Although a small gesture, it will usually reduce the patient’s tension level and could possibly avert a negative opinion or negative online review.

To learn more about IPED and how to access other resources that will benefit your podiatric practice, contact us online or by calling: 978-296-7634.