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 group operations and revenue cycle management for more than 20 years and has led educational sessions for the Medical Group Management Association, the American Congress of Obstetricians & Gynecologists, and the American Medical Association. She has authored and co-authored many books. She is frequently published and quoted in national publications including The Wall Street Journal, Family Practice Management, MGMA Connexion, and American Medical News. 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.