As a provider of medical services running your own practice, it’s important that you take the time to build a business that caters to the needs of your patients. Seeking and receiving medical treatment is a sensitive topic for many people. Whereas an imperfect customer experience may not be detrimental to some businesses, your patients expect the highest standards in service and care when it comes to matters of health and physical well-being. No matter what field of medicine you specialize in, here are some things to know about building a practice your patients will appreciate.
Putting Your Patients at Ease
For many reasons, many patients feel anxiety about visiting a doctor’s office. Whether due to past negative experiences with health professionals or fear of confirmation of disease, many people are hesitant or afraid to come see the doctor. Some people even experience “white coat syndrome”, a phenomenon where their blood pressure spikes during a visit. Seek to create an environment where your patients can relax during their visit. Think about the amenities in your office. Perhaps your clients can benefit from soft music, mood lighting and other environmental factors that can help them get comfortable.
Developing a Relationship of Trust with Patients
It goes without saying that as a medical caregiver, you’re expected to be fully knowledgeable in your area of practice. You’ve put in the time learning everything there is to know in your field of expertise, but you need to be much more than just a well of facts. Patients value a health professional that communicates clearly, effectively and regularly. Don’t speak down to the people you’re helping. You want to reflect a sense of calmness, even when the news isn’t good. Calmness can be misinterpreted as coldness or clinical disinterest, so it’s also important to be empathetic. Don’t mince words, but be mindful of your patient’s mood. They’re looking to you for knowledge and guidance.
Ensuring a Personal Touch
Medicine and healthcare are fields of science, but your practice shouldn’t give off an air of clinical detachment. Clients of all shape and sizes appreciate a personal touch when it comes to medical care. This not only includes your bedside manner, but it extends to other parts of your business approach also. Consider the information you’re distributing about health and medical care. Look to provide materials that not only convey meaningful information, but do so in a way that is warm and welcoming. From your receptionist to assistant staff, courtesy and friendliness go a long way. You might even consider using an answering service, so clients never have to deal with a recorded message or robotic voice.
Prioritizing Customer Convenience
Although you’re providing medical care and/or therapy, you must remember that this is also a business. Think carefully about your clientele and make sure your practice caters to their convenience. For example, you don’t want to make it difficult for people to pay their bills or access their records. Consider using a web portal or site wherein patients can see their care history, pay any existing balances and download pertinent information. If you deal with patients of a particular demographic that prefer to use other methods of payment besides debit or credit cards, look for business tools that allow you to accept payment forms. If people find it inconvenient to do business with you, this will negatively impact their rapport with you as well as their sense of comfort.
Choosing a Good Location
Location matters. Operating a family clinic in an area that doesn’t have many families may not be the wisest choice. Providing cosmetic surgery in a neighborhood where there aren’t a lot of people looking for those services may not be sustainable long term. Give some thought to the type of care offered by your practice and the locations that may be best served. Your patients will appreciate a location that is easy to reach throughout typical business hours. They’ll also appreciate a location that has plenty of free parking. Other important considerations include proximity to a hospital, closeness to labs and testing facilities and public transportation access. Last but certainly not least, be sure to choose a location that prioritizes wheelchair accessibility.
Building a private medical practice is a process that requires thoughtfulness and careful planning. As a health professional, you’ll be tending to the medical care of your patients, but a successful practice is more than just knowledge of facts. Customer service and care are of the utmost importance in the ability to retain clients, especially since referrals and word of mouth are critical to growing your practice. Realize that many factors can negatively impact a patient’s experience with medical care. While you can’t control everything, you should put yourself in your patients’ shoes when it comes to your approach and how you do business.
Daniel Bailey is a known content writer from California, USA. He writes content in different niches such as social media marketing, finance, business, etc. He’s a day time blogger and night time reader currently working for some blogs. He enjoys pie, as should all right-thinking people.