A positive patient experience can make or break your relationship with a patient. A bad experience can cause patients to drop-out prematurely or move on to another competing physical therapist clinic. While a positive experience can reinforce your clinic’s relationship with your clinic. Happy patients are more likely to commit to their therapy, recover quicker, and even refer new patients to your clinic.
Make your patients’ experience a positive one with these tips for improving the patient experience.
Make the First Impression Shine
First impressions matter. Your front office team members are your front line to establishing a positive patient experience and are many times the very first (and last) face your patients see. And even if they say only a few words each visit to your patients, this interaction is extremely significant.
To improve the patient experience, start by ensuring your front office staff is cordial, knowledgeable, and helpful. Rude, dismissive behavior or appearing uninformed about the patient’s purpose for being there can taint your patients’ clinic experience before they even begin their therapy.
Physical therapy can be a vulnerable time for patients. Having properly trained staff can make time in your office more pleasant and less confusing, which ultimately leads to your patients feeling more secure with their choice of physical therapists.
Don’t Rush Your Patients
You run a busy practice! Between appointments, managing your staff, and cleaning and sanitizing your office, it’s easy to feel like there simply isn’t enough time in the day. As a result, you or your staff may be tempted to cut corners with your patients. Fight the temptation!
If your patients feel rushed or pushed through their exercises, it can have a huge negative impact on their experience. Your patients shouldn’t have to compete with you or your staff for your time and energy. Instead, be sure your patients feel confident that they have your undivided attention while they’re working through their therapy.
Make your patients feel valued by providing them the time they need to successfully complete their therapy sessions.
To free up patient time, find ways to cut back on the time you spent dealing with chores (like laundry) and admin responsibilities. Our EcoPro pillow covers can significantly cut back on the amount of time your staff spends doing clinic laundry by eliminating the need for laundering cloth pillowcases. Sanitize and wipe clean, then move on to your next patient. All under 5 minutes.
Create an Inviting Space
Many patients report feeling anxious about their physical therapy session. To help mitigate their nervousness, be sure your clinic has an inviting and approachable atmosphere. Fresh paint, clean carpets, and soft lighting can work wonders in making the patient feel more calm and relaxed during their appointment.
Following Through With What You Say
Clear communication is essential for a positive experience in any aspect of life. This is especially true when it comes to ensuring that your patients feel cared for during their visit. If your staff sets an expectation, they need to follow through with it.
Whether it’s following up with an email, delivering a billing invoice by a certain date, or setting proper waiting time expectations, if your staff says they’re going to do something on behalf of your patients, be sure that they do.
Actively Listen to Your Patients
Patients can tell when your listening is on autopilot.
When patients come to your clinic with concerns or frustrations about their progress or the result of lack of action by your staff, train yourself and your staff to actively listen to their concerns.
Active listening looks like this:
- Maintaining eye contact
- Smiling, nodding, and showing empathy
- Keeping body language open (put the folders down, uncross your arms, etc.)
- Asking questions
- Using clarifying statements to confirm you understand their need
By focusing 100% on the patient you can genuinely make a difference in how they feel about their experience with your office and staff.
Promote Healthy Habits Outside of the Office
Your patients are with you in your office for only a few hours out of the week. But, your time, wisdom, efforts, and words shouldn’t end once they leave your office.
By promoting health care outside of your office, you’re helping to instill inside your patients the confidence they need to continue their recovery program in and outside of your physical therapy office.
Start by providing your patients with light exercises they can do at home, provide them with reading materials, or even call them in between appointments to see how they’re doing. Even little actions like the ones listed here can have a huge impact on fostering a positive patient experience.
Creating Positive Experiences with EcoPro
You’ve already got an amazing team of clinicians and front office staff. With our easy to clean pillow covers and these helpful tips, you can be more mindful about the patient experience to create a wonderful and positive office everyone loves.