Peer-to-Peer Tips for Helping Your Patients Feel Valued
You love your patients. In fact, you get up and go to work each day because of them! But is your appreciation always as tangible to them as you think it is? Maybe. Check out these tips from Drs. Julie Woodward, Suneel Chilukuri, Kevin Smith, Mark Rubin, Joe Niamtu and Joel Schlessinger on how they let their patients know how much they appreciate them.
Dr. Julie Woodward, Durham, NC, refers to a book written by Carnegie, which states that “people like you when given the chance to speak about themselves.” So, she asks, “all patients at least 3 questions about themselves: where they are from, who referred them, what kind of work they do/did.”
“I am blessed to have wonderful patients,” says Dr. Suneel Chilukuri of Houston, TX. “While we may not see each other socially, I consider every patient a friend. I spend more time visiting with patients and learning about them and their families than I do on their actual procedure. To show these friends I do care, I call every patient I treat the evening of any procedure to check on them and answer any questions. I thank every patient for coming in to visit with our team. I also ask each patient to come in during the month of their birthday for a complimentary birthday surprise.”
Dr. Kevin Smith of Niagara Falls, Canada, always asks patients: “Is there anything else I can do for you today?” I also ask them “What are you doing for fun this time of year? Any trips or special occasions?” I make note of their answers and ask them about these things at the next visit.”
“I take the time to listen to them, even when I am rushed. I take a breath and slow myself down so I can hear what’s on their mind,” says Dr. Mark Rubin, Beverly Hills, CA. “Patients really appreciate you taking the time to hear them out and not just rushing to do a treatment.”
Dr. Joe Niamtu, Richmond, VA, believes, “This could be a thesis.” He followed with, “It is not a one person fix, but rather an entire team dedicated to excellence. From the first Internet or phone contact to the final discharge, each step of the patient experience should be skillfully crafted. Knowing what your competition is doing by sending in ‘secret shoppers’ or visiting legendary practices can provide awesome ideas. My staff and I have regular meetings and literally break down each step and challenge each other to improve it. Excellence does not happen randomly, it is practiced like any sport or musical instrument. Practice makes perfect, although you never get there. Excellence is a journey, not a destination.”
In Omaha, NE, Dr. Joel Schlessinger and his staff encourage patients to leave their feedback and suggestions. “We reach out to patients after a visit to ask for reviews via Solution Reach and most patients are excited to be given the opportunity to share about their experience. When we are fortunate enough to see a result in a review, we take the time to thank them. I handwrite a personal thank you note to let them know we appreciate them.”
How do you transmit your appreciate for your patients? Let us know!