7 Ways to Make Your Patients Happier

While running a busy medical office, it can be easy to forget that patients are the heart of our practice.

Keeping patients happy and smiling should be the number one focus of any medical office. Satisfied patients are great for your bottom line and your soul. Patients who leave your office happy are more likely to return, recommend you, and more likely to leave positive reviews.

Like a happy staff, happy patients can be infectious and create a cheerful atmosphere in your office. Here are seven ways you and your team can work to make your patients happier.

You’ll never get a second chance to make a first impression.

Your front office staff is your first impression for new and existing patients, so the first impression must be positive. Ensuring that your front office is made up of the right mix of talent, skill, and personality is essential in practice management. Some ideas for doing this include:

  • Practice patience – Cultivate healthy habits and valuable strategies that help your front office manage whatever comes their way. Help your staff understand the signs of impatience, recognize their triggers, and learn to control their reactions positively.
  • Emphasize personality and positivity – Your front desk staff must be friendly and personable. Most people who come into your office spend a lot of time at appointments; they are tired and don’t always feel well. A smiling face and positive attitude can go a long way.
  • Manage the chaos – Front desk employees play a huge role in your practice management. Not only do you need staff who can handle various tasks, but you also need to ensure that they are practicing patience while keeping that winning personality.

Offer a simple smile.

A smile can go a long way. Everyone has bad days, especially if they aren’t feeling well. Ensure everyone on staff has a smile to offer, even those who show up grouchy; they often need a smile the most. A smile shows your patients that you are happy to see them.

Patients are the core of your practice, so express to them that you are glad they are there. Make them feel welcome and let them know that they are appreciated.

Be on time.

Waiting to be seen is often a patient’s number one complaint. Delays are a part of life, especially in medical offices, but we must do our best to work with the affected patients. When there is a delay in your office, does your staff tell your patients about it? Most patients will understand an unexpected delay, but they appreciate it when you work with them and keep them informed.

However, if there are delays for every appointment, patients will become unforgiving quickly. If long wait times are an issue at your office, it is time to look at office procedures and increase efficiency. Show your patients you respect them and their time by sticking to your schedule.

Address patients by name.

Making a small effort to remember patients and call them by name will make them feel important and acknowledged. This little detail makes patients feel appreciated and helps your practice build meaningful connections and relationships.

[Need more ideas for attracting patients to your practice? Click here!]

Make some time for small talk.

Even though it’s crucial to be on time, it is also essential to make sure patients don’t feel rushed.

Take the time to chat with your patients and make them feel heard. If they have questions or feel confused about a diagnosis or their health, take a minute to actively listen and answer questions.

Know how to handle disputes.

Unfortunately, it is impossible to make everyone happy all the time, and complaints are bound to happen within the medical field.

Unhappy patients come with the territory, and while you cannot eliminate potential issues altogether, you can ensure your staff knows how to handle them. Make sure they feel heard, acknowledge their feelings, ask essential questions, and take action.

Give your waiting room some TLC.

For many patients, waiting rooms are a part of life. Adding simple and inexpensive details can make patients feel comfortable and peaceful rather than anxious and frustrated.

With a small investment and creativity, you can make your waiting room a pleasant and positive place for your patients. You can easily give your office a pleasantly professional waiting room makeover without breaking your budget.

These simple and positive changes within your practice can boost your practice, not only financially but mentally.

Things like smiling, respect, and making patients feel important come at no cost, and it will create a mutual appreciation among you, your staff, and your patients.

Tags: , , , , , , Posted by
  • 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

What We Offer

We’re adding value to practices across the nation by creating a thriving community of rheumatology managers and physicians.

<svg xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2000/svg" viewBox="0 0 52 40"><path d="M48,8H32V6A6,6,0,0,0,20,6V8H4a4,4,0,0,0-4,4V36a4,4,0,0,0,4,4H48a4,4,0,0,0,4-4V12A4,4,0,0,0,48,8ZM22,6a4,4,0,0,1,8,0v8H22ZM50,36a2,2,0,0,1-2,2H4a2,2,0,0,1-2-2V12a2,2,0,0,1,2-2H20v2a2,2,0,0,0,0,4H32a2,2,0,0,0,0-4V10H48a2,2,0,0,1,2,2ZM26,4a2,2,0,1,0,2,2A2,2,0,0,0,26,4ZM16.8,26.64a6,6,0,1,0-7.6,0,15.91,15.91,0,0,0-4.84,2.59A1,1,0,0,0,4,30v5a1,1,0,0,0,1,1H21a1,1,0,0,0,1-1V30a1,1,0,0,0-.36-.77A15.91,15.91,0,0,0,16.8,26.64ZM9,22a4,4,0,1,1,4,4A4,4,0,0,1,9,22ZM20,34H6V30.49A12.78,12.78,0,0,1,13,28a12.79,12.79,0,0,1,7,2.5Zm9-12H39a1,1,0,0,0,0-2H29a1,1,0,0,0,0,2Zm16,4H29a1,1,0,0,0,0,2H45a1,1,0,0,0,0-2Zm0,4H29a1,1,0,0,0,0,2H45a1,1,0,0,0,0-2Z" style="fill:#003d4c"/></svg>

Membership Benefits

<svg xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2000/svg" viewBox="0 0 56 52"><path d="M28,18a5,5,0,1,0-5-5A5,5,0,0,0,28,18Zm0-8a3,3,0,1,1-3,3A3,3,0,0,1,28,10ZM10,18a5,5,0,1,0-5-5A5,5,0,0,0,10,18Zm0-8a3,3,0,1,1-3,3A3,3,0,0,1,10,10Zm9,0a5,5,0,1,0-5-5A5,5,0,0,0,19,10Zm0-8a3,3,0,1,1-3,3A3,3,0,0,1,19,2Zm18,8a5,5,0,1,0-5-5A5,5,0,0,0,37,10Zm0-8a3,3,0,1,1-3,3A3,3,0,0,1,37,2ZM52.84,18.69,50.25,18a1,1,0,0,0-1,.26L46,21.59l-3.29-3.3a1,1,0,0,0-1-.26l-2.66.68A4.49,4.49,0,0,0,37,20.18a4.68,4.68,0,0,0-2.16-1.49L32.25,18a1,1,0,0,0-1,.26L28,21.59l-3.29-3.3a1,1,0,0,0-1-.26l-2.66.68A4.49,4.49,0,0,0,19,20.18a4.68,4.68,0,0,0-2.16-1.49L14.25,18a1,1,0,0,0-1,.26L10,21.59l-3.29-3.3a1,1,0,0,0-1-.26l-2.66.68A4.51,4.51,0,0,0,0,23V33a5,5,0,0,0,4,4.9V51a1,1,0,0,0,1,1H15a1,1,0,0,0,1-1V37.9A5,5,0,0,0,19,36a5,5,0,0,0,3,1.93V51a1,1,0,0,0,1,1H33a1,1,0,0,0,1-1V37.9A5,5,0,0,0,37,36a5,5,0,0,0,3,1.93V51a1,1,0,0,0,1,1H51a1,1,0,0,0,1-1V37.9A5,5,0,0,0,56,33V23A4.52,4.52,0,0,0,52.84,18.69ZM18,33a3,3,0,0,1-2,2.82V25a1,1,0,0,0-2,0V50H11V35a1,1,0,0,0-2,0V50H6V25a1,1,0,0,0-2,0V35.82A3,3,0,0,1,2,33V23a2.49,2.49,0,0,1,1.66-2.37l2-.52,3.59,3.6a1,1,0,0,0,1.42,0l3.6-3.6,2,.5A2.51,2.51,0,0,1,18,23Zm18,0a3,3,0,0,1-2,2.82V25a1,1,0,0,0-2,0V50H29V35a1,1,0,0,0-2,0V50H24V25a1,1,0,0,0-2,0V35.82A3,3,0,0,1,20,33V23a2.49,2.49,0,0,1,1.66-2.37l2-.52,3.59,3.6a1,1,0,0,0,1.42,0l3.6-3.6,2,.5A2.51,2.51,0,0,1,36,23Zm18,0a3,3,0,0,1-2,2.82V25a1,1,0,0,0-2,0V50H47V35a1,1,0,0,0-2,0V50H42V25a1,1,0,0,0-2,0V35.82A3,3,0,0,1,38,33V23a2.49,2.49,0,0,1,1.66-2.37l2-.52,3.59,3.6a1,1,0,0,0,1.42,0l3.6-3.6,2,.5A2.51,2.51,0,0,1,54,23ZM46,18a5,5,0,1,0-5-5A5,5,0,0,0,46,18Zm0-8a3,3,0,1,1-3,3A3,3,0,0,1,46,10Z" style="fill:#003d4c"/></svg>

Become a Member

<svg xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2000/svg" viewBox="0 0 60 46"><path d="M59.79,44.38a14,14,0,0,0-4.54-3.61,5,5,0,1,0-6.5,0A13.31,13.31,0,0,0,45,43.5a13.31,13.31,0,0,0-3.75-2.73,5,5,0,1,0-6.5,0A13.31,13.31,0,0,0,31,43.5a13.31,13.31,0,0,0-3.75-2.73,5,5,0,1,0-6.5,0,14,14,0,0,0-4.54,3.61A1,1,0,0,0,17,46H59a1,1,0,0,0,.79-1.62ZM24,34a3,3,0,1,1-3,3A3,3,0,0,1,24,34ZM19.4,44A7.57,7.57,0,0,1,24,42a7.56,7.56,0,0,1,4.59,2ZM38,34a3,3,0,1,1-3,3A3,3,0,0,1,38,34ZM33.4,44A7.57,7.57,0,0,1,38,42a7.56,7.56,0,0,1,4.59,2ZM52,34a3,3,0,1,1-3,3A3,3,0,0,1,52,34ZM47.4,44A7.57,7.57,0,0,1,52,42a7.56,7.56,0,0,1,4.59,2ZM52,29V1a1,1,0,0,0-1-1H10a5,5,0,1,0,5,5,4.92,4.92,0,0,0-1-3H50V28H16V16.5a.5.5,0,0,1,.5-.5H25a5,5,0,0,0,5-5,1,1,0,0,0-1-1H14a1,1,0,0,0-.71.29L10,13.59l-3.29-3.3a1,1,0,0,0-1-.26l-2.66.68A4.51,4.51,0,0,0,0,15v8a5,5,0,0,0,4,4.9V41a1,1,0,0,0,1,1H15a1,1,0,0,0,1-1V30H51A1,1,0,0,0,52,29ZM10,8a3,3,0,1,1,3-3A3,3,0,0,1,10,8Zm4,8.5V40H11V27a1,1,0,0,0-2,0V40H6V17a1,1,0,0,0-2,0v8.83A3,3,0,0,1,2,23V15a2.49,2.49,0,0,1,1.66-2.37l2-.52,3.59,3.6a1,1,0,0,0,1.42,0L14.41,12H27.83A3,3,0,0,1,25,14H16.5A2.5,2.5,0,0,0,14,16.5Z" transform="translate(0)" style="fill:#003d4c"/></svg>

Annual Conference

<svg xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2000/svg" viewBox="0 0 52 50"><path d="M33,28H7a1,1,0,0,0,0,2H33a1,1,0,0,0,0-2Zm0,4H7a1,1,0,0,0,0,2H33a1,1,0,0,0,0-2ZM21,36H7a1,1,0,0,0,0,2H21a1,1,0,0,0,0-2Zm3-19a1,1,0,0,0,1,1h8a1,1,0,0,0,0-2H25A1,1,0,0,0,24,17Zm9,25H25a1,1,0,0,0,0,2h8a1,1,0,0,0,0-2ZM31,22a1,1,0,0,0,0-2H25a1,1,0,0,0,0,2ZM29.71.29A1,1,0,0,0,29,0H3A3,3,0,0,0,0,3V47a3,3,0,0,0,3,3H37a3,3,0,0,0,3-3V11a1,1,0,0,0-.29-.71ZM30,3.41,36.59,10H31a1,1,0,0,1-1-1ZM38,47a1,1,0,0,1-1,1H3a1,1,0,0,1-1-1V3A1,1,0,0,1,3,2H28V9a3,3,0,0,0,3,3h7ZM48.84,7.09A3,3,0,0,0,46,5H45a3,3,0,0,0-3,3V38a1,1,0,0,0,.08.38l2.5,6a1,1,0,0,0,1.84,0l2.5-6A1,1,0,0,0,49,38V9.28A2,2,0,0,1,50,11v7a1,1,0,0,0,2,0V11A4,4,0,0,0,48.84,7.09ZM47,37.8l-1.5,3.6L44,37.8V21h3ZM47,19H44V8a1,1,0,0,1,1-1h1a1,1,0,0,1,1,1ZM7,24H21a1,1,0,0,0,1-1V19.54a3.16,3.16,0,0,0-2.21-2.95c-.37-.12-1.44-.53-1.44-.53a1,1,0,0,0-.8.05L14,17.88l-3.55-1.77a1,1,0,0,0-.8-.05s-1.07.41-1.44.53A3.16,3.16,0,0,0,6,19.54V23A1,1,0,0,0,7,24Zm1-4.46a1.18,1.18,0,0,1,.85-1.06c.23-.07.73-.26,1.09-.39l3.61,1.8a1,1,0,0,0,.9,0l3.61-1.8c.36.13.86.32,1.09.39A1.18,1.18,0,0,1,20,19.54V22H8ZM14,16a5,5,0,1,0-5-5A5,5,0,0,0,14,16Zm0-8a3,3,0,1,1-3,3A3,3,0,0,1,14,8Z" style="fill:#003d4c"/></svg>

Conference Registration