“Mrs. Jones, before you leave today I want to give you this sheet to look at. This week we celebrate National Falls Prevention Day. While we’re already taking care of your feet, one of the biggest factors in preventing falls, here are some other tips to consider.”
Chances are there are many podiatrists in your community. Keeping current and offering your patients additional information that benefits them can help set you apart. At the Institute of Podiatric Excellence and Development (IPED) we offer members the opportunity to interface with other podiatric professionals at all stages of their careers from new practitioners to veteran podiatrists. From this sharing comes knowledge and ideas for increasing the success of your practice.
One of these is utilizing national health observances to aid your patients. The benefits include:
- Allows podiatrist an additional way to personally connect with patients (i.e. the arthritis sufferer, those with diabetes, seniors, etc.). When you share information the pertains specifically to your patient it shows that you care about them as an individual—not just a patient.
- The information provided by the various organizations that sponsor health awareness months is usually in an easy-to-digest format and may actually help educate your patients and provide tips and suggestions they can use to improve their health.
- You, as a practitioner, appear relevant and current—a perception that can increase your patient’s comfort level when it comes to the discussion of treatment options and plans.
Making Best Use of Materials
A visit to the web will help you find daily, weekly and monthly health observances. A good site to check is healthfinder.gov/NHO, which lists an entire calendar year of health awareness days and their sponsors. There are links to the sites that will provide you with information and ready-to-print handouts about the health concern. Consider putting posters or info sheets in your waiting room or handing out to patients that you know who deal with a particular condition. There’s even a Foot Health Awareness Month which you can use to offer information and a promotion for your office by including your contact info on a magnet, pencil, etc.