Having to go to the doctor’s office or hospital can be a stressful experience for many people. However, the physician’s demeanor can go a long way toward making your patients feel comfortable and relaxed. And their impression of you begins the minute they walk through the doors of your practice.

Here are some tips that can improve your patient relations:

Tip 1: Consider investing in updated, comfortable furniture for your waiting room. If your office is decorated in cool colors this can help calm anxious patients and their families. A flat screen TV that features engaging health information can facilitate a positive first impression.

Tip 2: Train your front desk staff to be warm and welcoming. While all jobs can be stressful, it is imperative that your front desk staff makes patients their #1 priority. Talk to your staff about the power of a warm smile and let them know that how the patient is greeted will factor in to whether or not the person likes the practice and wants to return.

Tip 3: Meet and Greet. As simple as it may sound, greeting your patient with a firm handshake and introducing yourself with a warm tone of voice is a great way to make your patient feel more comfortable and at ease. And direct contact lets the patient know you are involved and “present” with them.

Tip 4: Time. While maximizing clinic time is more important than ever, make sure you are giving your patient enough time for them to explain their issue or condition. Even if you are running late, no one wants to feel rushed…and if the patient feels rushed he or she may feel like you’re not listening and/or do not care about their situation.

Tip 5: Make arrangements to follow up. Suggesting that you meet with the patient again to see how they are doing helps demonstrates that you care about them and their progress.

Tip 6: Special event cards. Keep a database of your patients’ birthdays and send them “Happy Birthday” postcards. These could also be used as appointment reminders, depending on your practice.

Want more information on how to connect to your patients? Contact Lisa@staffordcommunicationsinc.com