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Dear Doctor,


You’ll improve your patient flow and volume when you improve your patience flow and volume. 


     What does this mean?  It means that all your years of training and experience will go down the proverbial tubes in today’s competitive healthcare marketplace unless you commit yourself to setting aside some time that you do not have for you to be your own patient!

     What would I know?  Not a whole lot, but I HAVE worked closely (as a personal counselor, physician’s advocate, and business/practice development consultant) with more than a thousand physicians over the years.  I HAVE written an Amazon 5-star rated book for doctors: DOCTOR BUSINESS . . . How to boost practice growth and build long-term relationships (see direct link on this site under “Books” tab above).  And I HAVE written a national book award-winning work titled DOCTOR SHOPPING . . . How to choose the right doctor for you and your family (see direct link on this site under “Books” tab above).

     So much for credentials, let’s get back to being your own patient! 

     Unless you can experience what it’s like to CALL your office (like the old detective movies, use a handkerchief and disguise your voice!) you’ll never know if callers are being greeted and provided with the right information the way you want them to be.

     Unless you can experience what it’s like to VISIT your office (after hours, armed with objective eyes and a digital camera to record for your self not for trial evidence— what you see . . . tattered magazines, dirty carpets or walls, dead bugs inside the overhead lights, empty businesscard holders, worn out furniture, dying plants?), you’ll never know whether the appropriate first impression (are there any others?) is being made. 

     Keep in mind that people will equate dying plants with a dying practice, dirty and/or worn surroundings with a less than sterile and less than “with-it” practice, and so on.

     Try —during office hours– to have someone you trust whom your staff doesn’t know (a “mystery shopper” if you will) pay a visit, ask questions and spend some observation time in the waiting area (even take notes!).  This person should ask questions like a prospective patient would . . . to see exactly what comes back from your staff.  

     Spying?  Perhaps, but so what?  It’s your practice with your name on the shingle and the people who answer your phone and greet office visitors are YOU in the minds of callers and those who step inside your door! 

     And the bottom line, doctor, is that you cannot afford for even one caller or visitor to not be greeted and treated like your personal guest.  Research shows that one unhappy patient tells a minimum of ten other people, who tell ten other people about the “bad” experience. 

     That translates to: one screw-up = 100 people getting a negative image of you! 

     Okay, so you find out that a few things and maybe a few people need a little tweaking.  Do it!  Do it nicely and do it in private because the people you need to re-direct may be responsible for bringing you patients (and perhaps just never thought about the importance of certain shortcomings).  Then check things out all over again in a few weeks, and again in a few months.  Keep it an ongoing practice the same way you keep your instruments sterile and your billing process up-to-date.

     When you want more insights about ways to build and boost your practice and strengthen long-term relationships, call me: 302.933.0116 (leave me a number and best times to return your call in case I’m out!)  Have a great patient patience week!  halalpiar

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