5 Ways to Engage Patients for an Enriching Patient Experience

Confident female doctor in front of team

I couldn’t recall the last time I’d gone to the doctor for a wellness checkup. I had no desire to go for myself, as I feel I’m in excellent health. I run, I eat my veggies and fruits, and I drink at least 64 oz of water daily. But my husband and kids count on me, and I owe it to them to make sure my numbers verify that my health is excellent.  So I decided to get a checkup — for my family.

After locating my doctor’s name and number, I discovered that he left the practice 7 years ago. Yeah, it’s been that long. So, I went to the website of the hospital nearest my home, and I began looking at photos and reading bios of family medicine doctors. I was literally picking my doctor like I choose a handbag, going by images, reviews, and descriptions.

I found a doctor I liked. Her name is Michelle. Her photo looked friendly, and her background impressed me. So, I called her office and made an appointment. Forty-five days later I’m sitting in Dr. Michelle’s exam room. She walked in with contagious energy, made eye contact, shook my hand and welcomed me to her practice.

I’m thinking about my experience with Dr. Michelle today because I am preparing to deliver a “Delight the Patient” training for a dental office in the Tulsa area later this week. I will be sharing with my dental client 5 Ways to Engage Patients for an Enriching Patient Experience and what I’ll share with my client comes directly from my amazing patient experience with Dr. Michelle.  Here’s how my new doctor absolutely delighted me and gave me an enriching patient experience.


The 5 Ways Dr. Michelle Engaged Me as a Patient and Left Me Feeling Enriched

1. Break the ice

“What made you choose me?” the doctor asked. I loved that she asked that. I told her that I was literally surfing the web and liked what I saw. We chatted about her background. I learned that she didn’t even start med school until she was 46. That fascinated me, and we talked about the fact that it’s never too late to be who you were created to be.

2. Show genuine interest in your patient

Dr. Michelle faced me squarely, kept confident eye contact, nodded warmly and showed genuine interest in everything I said. Whether I was talking about my upcoming keynote, my son’s basketball game or my daughter’s last debate competition, Dr. Michelle listened with interest and added meaningfully to my remarks.

3. Establish rapport

Dr. Michelle started the rapport building from the moment she walked into the exam room. She nailed rapport by showing genuine interest in me and by asking me, “What do you do?” When I told her I was a keynote speaker on the customer experience, she shared with me that she designs and conducts Patient Experience training for doctors.  You know I was all over that! We had so much in common, and the rapport was terrific.

4. Share something about yourself

Part of rapport building is to be open enough to share things about yourself. When I talked about my kids and their busy schedules, Dr. Michelle talked about her grandkids and the fact that she coaches her grandson’s soccer team. Her openness was a surprise, and it gave me a glimpse into her personality. I saw her as a nurturing and super cool grandmother and not just a physician.

5. Make your goodbye memorable

After I dressed and left the exam room, I headed toward the exit, which was right past the checkout desk. Dr. Michelle was sitting at the front desk holding a picture frame with her two beautiful grandchildren. She was waiting to show me her pride and joy! I took the framed photo in my hands and admired her sweet little grandkids, and we talked about the blessing of children and how busy their activities keep us. It just made my day that my new doctor felt comfortable enough with me to share with me a photo of her babies.

Delighting the Patient Training.001

I walked out of Dr. Michelle’s office feeling so good.  I knew I had made the right decision in choosing her. She was engaging, warm and friendly and she truly enriched my afternoon. I felt excellent and upbeat as a direct result of talking to her. That’s the goal, isn’t it? You want your patients to walk out of your office feeling good.

Do the simple things Dr. Michelle did: Show genuine interest, establish rapport, share something about yourself and make your goodbye memorable. When you do, I promise you, you’ll enrich the lives of your patients one by one.

Now you can give your employees even more great skills for delivering the best customer experience. Sign up for my email list and learn specific tips, approaches, and phrases to help your employees help your patients.


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