Getting ready for different treatments can be a major source of anxiety for many patients. Making sure your patients are relaxed and comfortable will make them happier and in the end, will make your job easier. Happy and relaxed patients lead to a superior practice and a good bottom line. Here are five ideas for preparing your patients for treatment.
Make sure they are prepared.
Before the patient’s appointment, make sure he or she knows what to expect. Send all his or her paperwork ahead of time and include details about the appointment itself as well as anything they should do beforehand. While your patient may feel nervous about the details of the day, allowing them time to reflect and prepare will reduce his or her anxiety.
Is your waiting room comfortable?
Does your waiting room feel cozy and welcoming, or cold and sterile? Your waiting room is the first part your practice that your patient encounters, so it will set the stage for his or her entire visit. Warm lighting, comfortable furniture and soothing paint colors can create a feeling of peace and relaxation rather than anxiety and distress.
Set the tone.
Be sure your appointments are running on schedule. Allowing patients too much time to sit and think creates frustration, and that frustration can quickly turn into unease. When it’s time to meet with your patients, you set the tone. Be punctual, efficient and firm while still allowing your patient time to voice concerns or ask questions.
Acknowledge your patient’s feelings and concerns and let them know that it’s okay to express themselves. Listening without judgement helps patients realize that they are not alone and helps to ease tension and anxiety.
Studies show a lot of patient anxiety stems from the unknown. Take the time to talk with your patients before their treatments and provide them with realistic and detailed information. Providing this information up front creates an important relationship of trust and reliability between doctor and patient.
Empathy and preparation are a huge part of ensuring patient comfort, but atmosphere and information are also important factors to consider. Implementing these ideas will help in lessening anxiety and building a positive relationship between patient and doctor.
What techniques does your office use to prepare patients for treatment appointments? We would love to hear about them on our Facebook page!Posted by