The Fundamentals of Patient Communication

September 6, 2021

It's important to discuss the fundamentals of excellent patient communication with your team; to help them understand how they can develop effective communication styles, and help them to understand how body language and non-verbal communication can negatively affect the outcome of the conversations they have with their patients. It's also important to review with your team, the fundamentals of how we can provide value to our patients through this communication. 

Once you have built the foundation of the patient relationship and welcomed them into your office, then you must communicate your brand, your products, and your services effectively. Strong communication is an integral part of private practice. When done well, your communication helps to build trust in the care that your practice is providing, and in your recommendations. The manner in which your brand and the information is communicated is just as important as the information that is being communicated. Patients who value your image and understand what is being discussed, are more likely to acknowledge and better understand their treatment options. You will find it easier to retain a patient when it comes to asking them to return for an office visit, or you will see a higher recall rate when it comes to scheduling the annual comprehensive exam. 

Within developing effective communication, your brand and your employees must maintain a professional image. Appearance, cleanliness, body language, verbal and written communication; all of these factors need to be considered when it comes to maintaining that professional image. The appearance of your office will need to be clean, organized, and free of clutter and chaos. Your team will also need to be capable of working well together. This needs to be relayed in the frontline care that we’re giving our patients. The atmosphere and the environment will need to be comforting, welcoming, and calming. Your body language when communicating with patients will need to show compassion and kindness. You must appear knowledgeable and confident in the information you are providing.  

As we dig down deeper into the fundamentals of effective communication, we need to discuss body language and non-verbal communication. These are two important factors when it comes to relaying the message you are trying to tell your patient. As far as body language, it is not always what you say, it's how you say it, and the body language that's associated with your communication. When you are not smiling, or when you seem concerned or have weird eyebrows while trying to tell your patient something, they may not fully grasp what it is you're trying to tell them. The gestures we make, the positions in which we hold our bodies, the expressions we wear on our faces, and the qualities of our speech – all contribute to how others receive the message.   

You need to create value with the communication you are having with your patients. As you begin to create value, you'll need to reference terms and fundamental elements of value that address four kinds of needs. These needs include functional, emotional, life-changing, and social impact. You want to consider your patients’ perspective, consistently work to improve patient satisfaction and create a memorable patient experience. 

Help your team to understand some of the fundamentals behind providing excellent patient communication by reaching out to Williams Group and joining the Executive Management Program today! With access to the Optometric Success Center Learning library, you will be providing your team with a vast amount of information to help them understand the many ways that lead to providing excellent 5 STAR patient care.  

Want to know more about Excelling in 5 STAR Patient Care? Join our Executive Management Program.

Already a member? Access our course, Excelling in 5 STAR Patient Care, to learn more.

Michelle Bogeart

Executive Management Coach
Email Michelle


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