A patient can come into a health clinic for a vast and often times overwhelming amount of reasons, and as a doctor or a nurse, it can be difficult to hone in on the problem given the small time frame we have. We all know, though, how important it is to have that relationship with the patient, and how bedside manner can even affect their health. So here are some tips on how to improve patient satisfaction!
- When you enter the room, greet the patient by their name. It’s very easy to walk into the examination room and say “hello” or some other vague greeting, but once you sprinkle on that added name, it turns the patient into a whole other being: an individual, rather than a list of symptoms on a piece of paper. Names have a sort of unspoken power, and the more you use them, the more influence you will have with the patient.
- The following sentence should be your ideal greeting for new patients: “Hello [insert patient’s name here], I am [insert your name] and I do [blank].” Let the patient know who you are and what it is you do, what your area of study is, or what you’re specifically seeing them for. This is great for a patient who is seeing multiple doctors in a single visit, because it gives them a glimpse into their care and lets them know what’s going on, rather than them staring after you blankly while you start your examination or series of tests.
- Let your patients talk. Sometimes their stories might be long, but they usually have a point. Practitioners typically try to redirect the conversation after not even a minute, but if you give the patient some 60 seconds to explain themselves and their concerns; you’d be surprised at what you can gather from these stories about their lifestyle and how it might correlate.
- While you might not agree with every internet diagnosis that walks into your office, you still have to see the patient, because their symptoms are real. So hear them out, take them seriously, and don’t downplay their concerns no matter what WedMD might have told them.
- Be honest with your patients when it comes to their symptoms. Meaning, if you don’t know the answer or need to do more research, tell them. It’s better than making up an answer and leaving them more confused than before.
These are just a few ways to help keep your patient satisfaction rate high and, by extension, the staff’s satisfaction high as well! Just remember that everyone is human with human concerns and worries; your patients are there seeking your help, so let’s give it to them!