Treating Patients As Customers

in Patient

Just taking the time to treat your patients with respect and showing sensitivity and professionalism will pay benefits for your practices that are priceless.

And even fewer people on staff with doctors recognize that their patients are actually customers.

But they are.

And there is just as much competition for your services as for any other consumer product or service.

To make your practice stand out from the crowd, give your staff a few pointers on treating patients like valued customers.

Marketing your practice as a special experience is easier when you take steps to ensure that your patients consider their time with you a good experience. Go ahead. Be brave. Put a lot of customer reviews and client testimonials for your online business to boost up your internet marketing efforts. You'll be respected for it.

Make a visit to your office an experience that will have your patients referring family and friends to you the next time someone needs a good doctor. These are some of the important points to maximize a great relationship with your workers to create a good experience from patients:

1. Get patient information discreetly as soon as they arrive.

HIPPA has been created as a guidelines governing employee benefits, fraud, security of patient information, and electronic transactions involving billing and claims processing. Not only does no one want their medical information yelled across a crowded waiting room, it's also against the law. Obtaining the needed information in a quiet, confidential manner ensures the patient that you respect their privacy. It also lets them know that you are paying attention to them as individuals as soon as they walk through the door.

2. Be mindful of your patients' state of mind and current health situation.

Many of your patients come to you in pain. And that pain makes it hard for them to be physically active. If you're treating patients with physical disabilities that make it hard for them to be active, ask your staff to refrain from regaling each other about their latest ski trip or scuba diving excursion. If you treat patients going through chemotherapy with extremely sensitive stomachs and ongoing nausea, ask your staff not to go on about the incredibly rich meal they had the night before. Save those conversations for times when they are not within earshot of sensitive patients.

3. Be sensitive to patients with weight issues.

For patients struggling with their weight, having the number on the scale broadcast in front of other people is a nightmare. So much so that many will put off coming in for a visit if they've felt humiliated in the past. Ask your staff to keep this in mind. And remember to never argue with a patient about what the scale reflects.

4. Address patients by Mr., Mrs. Or Ms.

Start off the message with a proper salutation when entertaining a patient. Many elderly patients feel that being addressed by their first name is a sign of disrespect. If in doubt, have your staff ask the patient what they prefer.

5. Be pleasant and friendly but not overly personal.

Remind your staff not to take liberties with patients that don't exist. Don't assume that you have a friendly relationship unless they know the patient very well. This can be as bad from a customer service perspective as ignoring them.

6. Present the image you want your patients to see.

Never present a sloppy image to your patients. To make your patients feels that they're important, show them your care in a manner that you are enjoying doing it. It goes without saying that getting quality medical supplies and a medical office can be an investment, but quality products will definitely help you get your patients the service that they desperately need. If you don't like what you see (messy workspaces, sloppily staff, food in the reception area, etc.), chances are your patients won't be impressed either.

7. Never talk about a patient where another patient can overhear.

As a general rule, the patients you see every day aren't feeling well and that can make them less than pleasant. Regardless of how the patient behaves, never express an unflattering opinion about them where other patients can hear it.

8. Send an apology if you think that makes a patient feels irritated.

Your staff may perform a certain procedure 20 times a day but for your patient, it could be something totally new. Remind them to be honest with the patient. Letting them know ahead of time that something is going to be unpleasant, and how unpleasant it will be, will give them more of a comfort level with you and know what to expect.

9. Speak in plain terms.

Remind your staff that not everyone works for a doctor. Don't use medical jargon or abbreviations or other terms that the average person doesn't understand. Take the time to explain what's happening and do it in terms that are clear. Make sure the patient understands exactly what they've been told.

Just taking the time to treat your patients with respect and showing sensitivity and professionalism will pay benefits for your practices that are priceless. These important process will help develop the relationship between patients and soon they'll introduce their friends, family and relatives as they experienced good service satisfaction. Collecting testimonials from happy patients will make your internet marketing efforts a labor of love and grow your practice faster than you can imagine.

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John Hayes Jr has 1 articles online

Dr. John Hayes, Jr. is an Evvy Award Nominee and author of "Living and Practicing by Design" and "Beating Neuropathy". Register your information at to get a free CD and information packet on his unique services. Peripheral neuropathy doctors and patients will find more at

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This article was published on 2011/01/10