10 Tips to Help Your Patients Have a Great Visit

Doctor talking to female patient During an office visit, patients often look to their physicians for answers as to what ails them.  To help them, physicians look to their patients for answers to their questions.  So, everyone has questions and is looking for answers.  But, how can everyone get their questions answered well and efficiently?  The answer lies in helping your patients give you the information you need.

KevinMD.com had a recent article that inspired us –about ways to improve your patient experience.  You will find some of those suggestions here along with a few of our own.  Interestingly, many of the suggestions on the list occur at the time of scheduling the visit.

Here are 10 tips that you can suggest to your patients when they prepare for a visit with you:

1.  Ask them to make a prioritized list of their complaints/concerns before the visit.

2.  Ask them to bring a complete list of all diagnoses and medications they are on along with doses.

3.  Tell them they can feel free to bring a friend or family member to help remember info, take notes, etc.

4.  Ask them to please allow plenty of time for their visit.  Suggest that reception staff inform patients how late you are running (and apologize), if you are running late.

5.  Let your patients know that they can be honest with you and that you won’t judge them or their behaviors.

6.  Tell them you can write down any information they would like to take with them –the name of the diagnosis, treatment options, etc.

7.  Suggest your patients keep an appointment journal.  A simple notebook will do, that lists the date, physician seen, reason, questions for the visit, and any follow-up necessary.  This can go a long way in helping to answer questions you may have about previous visits with other physicians, etc.  They can also write down the dates of any surgeries, procedures, etc.

8.  Suggest that they make their follow-up appointment before they leave.  This way they are less likely to forget and miss the next visit.

9.  Before your patients leave an appointment, always ask if they have any additional questions or if they’d like any information repeated.

10.  Finally, ask if you have addressed all of the patient’s concerns.  This overarching question goes a long way in ensuring that nothing was overlooked or forgotten and that the patient’s needs were met and satisfied during the visit.

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