Personalize the Patient Experience at your Rheumatology Practice with these 3 Tips

Creating a personalized care experience for patients at a rheumatology practice does not just happen overnight. However, when done correctly, it can be powerful for your practice and its patients. It can be the difference between a patient forgetting about your practice after one visit, and that same patient returning and becoming a loyal patient for life and sending many referrals your way. Show your patients some love this February with these three tips on how to personalize your patient’s experience.

Focus on details.

When staff members remember specific details about a patient, it makes them feel appreciated and special. Knowing key information about your patients is important, because personal details matter. It could be as simple as a question about their family, a pet or recent travels. Be sure to always address patients by their preferred name.

Attempt to find out details about your patients beyond their medical history; take the time to ask about their jobs, children, travel and hobbies.

Utilize all forms of engagement.

If you aren’t already, it’s time to utilize social media to engage with your patients. Here are some ideas:

  • With over 500 million daily active users, Instagram is a great social media platform for marketing your rheumatology practice. It’s also relatively cheap—while you can pay to get your posts in front of more people, you can also expand your reach organically with a few clever tips and tricks.
  • Create a Facebook support group for your patients. Facebook groups are usually organized around a theme, cause, or interest. Many medical practices are beginning to create Facebook groups for their patients, which is a good way to help patients connect with one another, share information and resources about their diseases and stay connected with their physicians.
  • Implement an informative blog along section with resources, tips and tricks. Also, be sure to add an online patient portal so your patients can easily access their records and important documents.
  • It is important to engage with your patients online, but don’t forget to do it face-to-face. A big complaint among many patients is that they don’t feel respected or have enough time with their physicians. Ensure that your patients are heard by your whole staff – doctors, nurses and office personnel. Take the time to sit down, talk with them and truly listen.

Give your front desk a makeover.

Believe it or not, it’s important that your front office area looks aesthetically pleasing. Ensure this area is clean, organized and styled. However, even more important it is essential that your front desk staff are making a great first impression in other ways as well. Your front office maintains patient flow, handles accounting, schedules appointments, verifies insurance, answers the phone, and much more. Most importantly, these are the first faces your patients will see during every visit. Maintaining a roster of high quality front staff is key in keeping an office running smoothly, patients happy and driving revenue. It is important that they are professional, smiling, providing consistency, and constantly communicating with patients and physicians.

The bottom line is that today’s healthcare environment is more competitive than ever. Practices that are able to provide a more personalized care experience will not only win the loyalty of their patients; they will enjoy a more profitable future.

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  • As a speaker at the first ad hoc meeting of rheumatology practice managers gathered in a single small room at its infancy a decade ago, I’m amazed to see how NORM has blossomed into a high energy organization of depth and professional meetings with parallel break-out symposia between plenary sessions. NORM has truly come of age. This is where the “business” of rheumatology gets learned. The ”guildmanship” for rheumatology practice management is now strong.- Paul H. Caldron, DO, FACP, FACR, MBA, Arizona Arthritis and Rheumatology Associates
  • In a time of demanding changes in the management of medical practices in the US, NORM has been a lifesaver to the community of Rheumatology practices.  NORM has allowed our practice to stay ahead of the many demands of CMS and others payors and has ensured that our practice remains cognizant of new issues that arise in HIPPA compliance, human resources and medical billing to name a few. Sending our Practice Manager to NORM's conferences has been cost-effective and beneficial to our practice because she returns to our office with an abundance of information that otherwise would have taken months to compile. Every Rheumatology practice that wishes to stay on top of emerging issues in practice management should consider sending a member of their staff to NORM's conference.- Michael S. Rosen M.D., Chester County Rheumatology PC
  • Thanks to all those wonderful people in the NORM Network who respond to emails, offering their advice, experience, time, and support ... I haven't even been a member a full year yet and I am amazed at the dedication of everyone who responds to helping via emails and the NORM Organization itself! I have barely had a chance to explore the resources and I have yet to really dive into requests for help still I am silently learning so much and do occasionally offer what I can! Thank you all!- Cheryl Piambino, Kenneth E. Bresky, DO

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