10 Easy Patient Pleasers

April 12, 2012

How can you ensure your patients leave your practice feeling healthier and happier? We asked 10 patients for their tips.

How can you ensure your patients leave your practice feeling healthier and happier? We asked 10 patients for their tips.

1. Good times

"I like doctors' offices that have Wi-Fi, sports magazines, and beer - though I know that last one isn't possible."

2. A Sense of humor

"Unless you're telling me that I have cancer or that mole on my shoulder is a rare African flesh-eating virus, lighten up for a change! Too many doctors carry the weight of the world on their shoulders while probing whether I eat enough leafy vegetables or if I'm doing enough cardio (I am)."

3. Personal nature

"I appreciate when nurses and the doctor treat you like an individual, not just another patient filing through the office for an appointment. Asking some personal questions and genuinely taking interest in what's going on with me goes a long way."

4. Good reads

"I enjoy a waiting room with decent magazines of interest to wide audiences."

5. Accessibility

"I was a bit nervous about a dental procedure I had to have done, and when I called the office to ask questions, the periodontist gave me her cell phone number and was able to talk with me later that day to provide some answers. It's great when doctors go out of their way to be accessible!"

6. Soothing atmosphere

"If the exam room is painted in a color rather than stark white walls, I always feel calmer."

7. Sustenance

"One thing that makes my visits to my doctor more enjoyable is that her waiting room has a coffee machine with different types of coffee, and a little fridge filled with small water bottles available to anyone who's waiting."

8. Distractions

"I love the pictures on the ceiling at the gyno."

9. Thoughtful reactions

"I like when doctors actually listen to and repeat back my concerns to me before acting. They're supposed to do this with every patient, but many do not."

10. Colorful clothes

"I like when the nurses and aides are dressed in cheerful, colorful uniforms - it makes me feel happy and not stressed."

Marisa Torrieri is an associate editor at Physicians Practice. She can be reached at marisa.torrieri@ubm.com.

Aubrey Westgate is an associate editor at Physicians Practice. She can be reached at aubrey.westgate@ubm.com.

This article originally appeared in the April 2012 issue of Physicians Practice.