Six Strategies for Preparing your Patients for Treatment

Getting ready for different treatments can be a significant source of anxiety for many patients.

Making sure your patients are relaxed and comfortable will make them happier and, ultimately will make your job easier.

Happy and relaxed patients lead to a superior practice and an excellent bottom line. Here are six ideas for preparing your patients for treatment.

Make sure they are prepared.

The first step in preparing your patients for treatment happens long before the patient’s appointment. Make sure they are preparing by ensuring they know what to expect. Send them their paperwork ahead of time and include details about the appointment itself as well as anything they should do beforehand.

[Need some tips on getting patients to engage with your online portal? Click here!]

While your patient may feel nervous about the details of the day, allowing them time to reflect and prepare will reduce their 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 of your practice that your patient encounters, so it will set the stage for their entire visit.

Warm lighting and soothing paint colors can create a feeling of peace and relaxation rather than anxiety and distress. Some other things you can do to create a relaxing waiting room include:

  • Add serene décor.
  • Provide comfortable seating.
  • Television can provide a welcomed distraction.
  • A coffee or tea bar can make patients feel warm and cozy.

Set a positive 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.

Be sure you are listening. 

Actively listening to patients can convey respect for their self-knowledge and will build trust. It allows your practice to assume the role of the trusted liaison who provides crucial medical knowledge and translates it into options in line with the patient’s needs and priorities.

It is only through shared knowledge, transmitted in both directions, that physicians and patients can co-create an authentic, viable care plan.

Be empathetic.

Acknowledge your patient’s feelings and concerns and let them know that it’s okay to express themselves. Listening without judgment helps patients realize that they are not alone and helps to ease tension and anxiety.

Provide information.

Studies show a lot of patient anxiety stems from the unknown. Take the time to educate your patients before their treatments and provide them with realistic and detailed information.

Providing this information upfront creates a vital 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 essential factors to consider. Implementing these ideas will help in preparing your patients for treatment, lessening anxiety, and building a positive relationship between patient and doctor.

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