When you think about improving your patient experience scores, you might be quick to focus on your office décor or new equipment without pausing to think about the little things that can add up to a big deal in the minds of a patient. An interaction that garners high patient experience scores may be much easier than you thought. Displaying positive body language can help you make better connections, earn stronger reviews, and enjoy better long-term relationships with your patients. Try one of these tips to get underway:
Ultimately, your body language with patients may be just as important as the information you discuss and the plans you make. In order to care for your patients, your patients must perceive that you care about them. Most often, we are not aware of our body language, so try to understand yours – and take strides to improve it. Body language can make the difference between comfort and discomfort, good ratings and bad, a one-time visit and a long-term connection. If these “soft” skills don’t come naturally to you, practice making eye contact, keeping your posture and the lines of communication open so that you invite greater trust and ease with each patient you meet.
Elizabeth Woodcock is the founder and principal of Woodcock & Associates. She has focused on medical practice operations and revenue cycle management for more than 25 years. She has led educational sessions for a multitude of national professional associations and specialty societies, and consulted for clients as diverse as a solo orthopaedic surgeon in rural Georgia to the Mayo Clinic. She is author or co-author of 17 best-selling practice management books, to include Mastering Patient Flow and The Physician Billing Process: Avoiding Potholes in the Road to Getting Paid. Elizabeth is a Fellow in the American College of Medical Practice Executives and a Certified Professional Coder. In addition to a Bachelor of Arts from Duke University, she completed a Master of Business Administration in healthcare management from The Wharton School of Business of the University of Pennsylvania. She is currently a doctoral student at the Bloomberg School of Public Health of Johns Hopkins University.
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