Dealing with patients, whether in a clinic or a hospital setting, isn’t always fun. They are often easily upset simply because they don’t feel good! However, happy patients are a lot easier to treat, and when they’re happy, they’re a lot more likely to recommend your practice.
Whether you’re a doctor or a nurse, there are things you can do to make your patients happier, which in turn will make you happier. Not to mention, a happier attitude can improve patient outcomes too!
Use the Right Systems
There’s a lot about going to the doctor that can be annoying, but few things are more annoying than filling out redundant paperwork or standing at the counter while the clinician tries to retrieve your information.
You can save a lot of annoyance, and you can save your patients and workers time, by making sure your office or hospital uses the right systems. Not only can the right management system increase profit margins, but it can also make life a lot easier for your patients. Healthcare information can be stored in the system, reducing the number of paperwork patients have to fill out, and information can be retrieved more easily, so they aren’t stuck sitting there in silence while a doctor tries to find what they’re looking for.
Keep Patients Informed
As a healthcare provider, you already know that patients have certain rights. There are certain things you have to tell them about their condition and their care, and yet, many patients leave an interaction with a doctor or a nurse feeling more confused and scared than before.
You can do a lot to ease patient fears and confusion by keeping them informed of their care every step of the way. That includes telling them what medication you’re administering, but it may also include giving them a heads-up when they can expect a poke in the arm or the next time they can expect a nurse to come by and check on them.
Keeping patients informed also means making sure they understand how their health insurance works. If you don’t know the answers, make sure you find someone in the office who can tell them more about the costs they can expect before treatment begins.
Smile and Make Eye Contact
A simple smile can change a person’s entire day. Even if you’ve had a long day or you aren’t particularly happy, you can change the tone in the room simply by entering with a smile.
Eye contact is equally as important. It shows your patients that you really care about what they have to say, and it shows that you respect their feelings and point of view. It can mean the difference between building a meaningful relationship with your patient and forgetting who they are the second they walk out the door. That’s important if the person is expected to return for another visit!
Add a Touch of Home
If patients have to sit in the waiting room until they are called back to see the doctor, you should do a little extra to make the waiting room more inviting. A few tips include:
- Choose to seat with padded chairs
- Keep the space clean and tidy
- Provide a charging space for devices
- Offer complimentary coffee, drinks, or snacks
- Hang artwork on the walls
If you’re caring for patients in a hospital setting, you know how cold and unwelcoming hospital rooms can be. Encourage them to bring items from home, or ask visitors to bring something special the next time they visit. It’ll be a great surprise for your patient, which will certainly make them happier.
Find Ways to Keep Them Entertained
Doctor’s offices and hospitals can be boring! As a doctor or nurse, you have probably seen countless ways people entertain themselves in the waiting room. Use what you’ve seen to help other guests entertain themselves!
For example, consider leaving magazines, as well as short stories and books, out in the waiting room. Television can help too, as can making television show suggestions to those staying in the hospital. A pack of crayons and paper can keep a child entertained, while Mad Libs can be a fun way to encourage patients to keep themselves entertained during a long hospital stay.
It’s your job to keep your patients healthy, but their mental health matters too! With these tips, you can keep your patients as happy as possible, with the added benefit of feeling happier yourself as you deal with more pleasant patients.