Make sure your patient IS heard and feels heard in your Private Practice.
One of the most common reasons that patients change doctors and therapists, or move from the public to the private practice pay system is they feel strongly their personal health complaints have not been listened to. And unfortunately, often times it’s an intense personal feeling that something is seriously wrong with their health.
In fact, I’m sure to consult somebody who has been to several offices, who will say, “Nobody ever sat down and listened to exactly what has been happening to me”. This is very sad. But also a key point for private practice owners worth visiting.
Once upon a time, I was taught by very senior clinician the following words: “LISTEN to the patient, for they will tell you exactly what is wrong with them.”
Of course you know, as a clinician, that history-taking is both an art and a science. Patients very often will give you clues to the underlying diagnosis.
But, more than that, it is essential that the patient get to know, trust, and respect you before you can ever have an effective relationship. Patients who don’t trust their clinicians won’t normally continue care in any self-pay setting, but—more importantly—they don’t get better.
So the reminder from today’s discussion is to simply take a hard look at your initial intake of all new and former patients. Make sure your staff knows the importance of adequate time, and not being interrupted.
Above all, make sure your patient is heard and feels heard. One of the best ways to ensure that this has actually happened is to conclude every consultation with the following words:
“Mrs. Smith, do I understand everything correctly? Is there anything else I need to know?”
Do this every time, and you’ll never have to worry about new patients in your private practice again.
I invite you to visit here frequently for more tips about creating a sustainable private practice!
I wish you the best along your journeys!
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Have a great day!
the PPW team