By Cyndi Miller, CEO of Miller Public Relations
One of the first thoughts I had about writing this blog about best practices was we can help you create and preserve a culture of compassion in your practice. With that, “Everything is practice,” said Pele, the Brazilian soccer god and now retired humanitarian.
As part of our full-service marketing and PR services to help grow your reputation, Miller Public Relations offers business consulting and training to make your practice a five-star performer. While we value productivity as important to serving any well-oiled team, we recognize the need for more intangible qualities such as providing a warm, compassionate patient experience that acts as a firm foundation for building a strong referral-based business.
Let’s consider some best practices that you can use not only for your patients, but also for your internal staff who are the valuable touch points for your business.
P. Present yourself always as the compassionate physician you are, by sitting to talk to patients (rather than standing). Always level the field. Same goes for your internal staff. Results found from Google’s Project Oxygen pinpointed manager qualities that contribute to overall team success. They included taking time to prioritize one-on-one meetings and taking an interest in employees’ lives, just as you would your patients. Try not to let anything disrupt you, such as messaging or other outside noise. Patients and employees like to be treated as if they are number one—exclusive—when they have face time with you.
R. Renew daily a spirit of loyalty by addressing team members not just as assets but as people. Referrals are key with patients, as they are with the people who support you (report to you). Take opportunities to tell someone how much you appreciate their lateral service among the contributions of the entire team.
A. Ask about the needs of your staff. Do they have everything they need to do their jobs at the highest level of technical and hands-on expertise? This is similar to how you would approach a patient when asking all the pertinent questions with regards to a given procedure in which you are trying to make them feel comfortable.
C. Create a culture of compassion; it does not come at any cost to your business. It’s free! As a physician, you are a caregiver so give that care to your internal staff too. According to Fast Company, “The Surprising Lesson Between Compassion and Success”, the niceness factor pays off. “In addition to being pleasant and easy to work with, compassion makes you trustworthy. Trust is a crucial aspect of our lives because it makes us feel safe,” the research article suggests. Safety first with patient procedures and with team performance.
T. Take every opportunity to practice your communication skills so when a particular moment presents itself, you have the poise and clarity to affect and connect with people. Think of the instances where a specific procedure is routine: Patients surrounded by unfamiliar sights and sounds are usually sensitive to every interaction, or touch point, with all the care providers in your office.
I. Instill repetition. Put into practice what you learn over and over (and over) until it becomes a habit. Say what you do and do what you say. Nicely.
C. Correct things, make them right immediately. If an issue arises with a patient whether it’s an office or appointment snag, pre-operative concern, post-operative follow-up or discharge orders, be responsive in all that you do.
E. Engage and elevate your team to greatness. This internal motivation goes a long way with fostering lasting relationships with employees who will stay on your team and patients who will refer business and be ever-ready to become a testimony to your great care; whether it’s a rave review or recommendation on a Glassdoor or Healthgrades website, for example. Remember, you’re shooting for five stars every time.
I will leave you with this on best practices. We at Miller Public Relations can help. We will guide your team with the expressed purpose of developing an Ambassadorial Business Model comprised of patients who are excited to talk about their experience with your practice.
“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” –Dalai Lama
We will happily explain Miller Public Relations services in this area of reputation management. We appreciate the opportunity to share best practices. Call us at 817.281.3440 or email Cyndi Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org.