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1 Dragovic Jelena Dragovic Doctor Pearson JRN 371 19 May 2013 5 Ways to Make the Doctor’s Visit Less Intimidating Doctors have failed and failed again, miserably redesigning their waiting rooms and changing their mood music to employ a more comforting and welcoming environment for their patients. But let’s just face it; none of us wake up the morning look at our calendar and scream “YES! I get to go to the doctor’s office today!” This is not the best scenario for doctors and can effect business negatively here’s five simple tips I’ve found to be helpful in creating a better environment for patients: 1) Temperature Matters: What’s worse than going to the doctor’s office? Going to the doctor’s office on a hot day and walking in to an equally hot office or a cold day and walking into an ice storm. I personally have been struggling with this concept for years. My childhood doctor is a fan of cold weather, so much that he sets the thermostat at a cool 68 degrees. This does not matter if it is cold or hot, the office is always chilling. I found this to be ironic considering the fact that some of the patients were struggling with a cold and seemed more miserable in the office than walking into the office. So, Doctor’s, set your thermostat accordingly. Sacrifice some of your comfort for the comfort of your patients. Allow your patients an environment of welcoming and comfortable vibes, temperature is key.

2 2) Frigid Doctor = Frigid Patient: Runner up to an awkward temperature is an awkward doctor. Look, if I have to be in the doctor’s office, I am not happy about it. I understand we all have bad days at work, but if you go into the business of providing care to sick people, prepare yourself for grouchy clients. This means that if you are in a bad mood, or not feeling too talkative that day you do not have the luxury of other professionals in showing such frustrations. Instead, slap a smile on your face and behave accordingly. 3) Patient Appreciation is Recognized: Nothing is better than a post card from your doctor telling you how much they appreciate your business. Like any other business, customer appreciation pays back. Send out a post card every now and then and sign it personally. This lets your patients know that you care and that you know who they are. You are not simply reading names off of that day’s schedule and going through the motions. Rather, you are a doctor who cares. Personally, I love that my doctor knows I am a student and that I play volleyball. This makes small talk less awkward and the visit more enjoyable. Know your patients and appreciate your patients. 4) Style Counts: Although many doctors have great senses of styles, there are equally as many who have terrible style. It is not a matter of my personal taste that is judging this but simple coordination of textiles. I once walked into a dentist’s office that was covered in horses and cowboy decorations. I then met the dentist himself, a clean-cut city man dressed in a fine suit and coordinating tie. Like any other person I was left confused and wondered more about the clash of styles than the information I was

3 Dragovic getting from my dentist. If necessary, hire an interior designer to make your office vibe and welcoming to your patients eye. This has a greater impact than you truly know. If you are looking to save some money, read up on the trends in interior design and watch a few Do It Yourself shows over the weekend. Making the style of the office welcoming to your patients is a lot easier than you think. 5) Technology Advanced, So Should You: Sure, you opened your office in the 1980s when cell phones and the Internet were not part of everyday conversation. So you call your patients the day before their appointment with a “friendly reminder” and have a sign in sheet at the front desk. These things are all great, but papers pile up and eventually phone calls from your doctor become annoying. Employ strategies such as email reminders, or text message reminders. Update your sign in sheet to a sign in pad and electronically transmit your daily sign in lists. These simple changes make the world’s difference for your patients. If you appear to be current with technology, your office seems more welcoming and thus, less intimidating for your patient. These five steps may seem obvious but more often than not they are overlooked and doctor’s fail at simple things that are detrimental to their office’s success. If your office is clean, your staff welcoming and your environment is friendly you are likely to experience more success than if you are cold, chaotic, and cluttered. Consider the five steps and try a few out, I guarantee your patients will notice.

4 Who is Jelena Dragovic? For more tips like these visit my blog. I am a Public Relations major with a minor in Spanish I pride myself in “fixing”. Whether you need a translation for a document, or simple insight on a project, I am knowledgeable in many areas of public relations. Growing up in Belgrade Serbia, I was educated in music and languages. I am fluent in Serbian, Croatian, Italian, Spanish and English, so literary and entertainment pieces alike of many cultures catch my attention and are always options for work. I found a passion for helping fix doctor’s offices when my first internship was offered to me by a dermatologist in dire need for a new image in the community. An affluent woman with a great resume found her office stuck in her late father’s early days of work during the 60’s. I am currently working on revamping her image and advancing her office’s technology to be current with today’s advancements. This project was far from what I initially believed my calling in public relations was. However, this has brought me to understand the true flexibility of public relations and how it applies so broadly to our lives.

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