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Article Offers Ways to Address Overlooked Details in Practice

Positive impression can be created in waiting room, front desk, hallway, examination room

MONDAY, April 18, 2016 (HealthDay News) — Looking at a family medicine practice with fresh eyes can help address unsightly issues that patients notice, according to an article published in Family Practice Management.

Noting that unsightly details in family medicine practices can easily be overlooked by physicians and staff members, Elizabeth E. Stewart, Ph.D., and Marly McMillen, M.B.A., from TransforMED in Leadwood, Kan. discuss some of the most commonly overlooked details and ways to create a positive first impression.

The authors note that patients will notice mounds of messy, outdated magazines and no visible wastebasket; they recommend having a staff member walk through the waiting room every few hours to straighten up magazines and pick up trash. The front desk should not have excessive signage, sloppy signs, or desktop clutter; posting a bulletin board next to the window can help accommodate signage. Problems in back halls include stacked boxes, prolonged conversations with drug representatives, untidy views, and odious smells; inexpensive air fresheners can be very helpful. Having expired dates or calendars or faded artwork in examination rooms can be off-putting to patients; in addition, patients notice details relating to physician and staff appearance.

“Try coming in through the front door and seeing things through the eyes of your patients,” the authors write. “Better yet, enlist the assistance of trusted patients to simply walk around with you and notice the things you probably don’t anymore.”

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