Perspective: the interrelation in which a subject or its parts are mentally viewed, as defined by Miriam-Webster.
Your medical office, ACU, imaging facility, or hospital looks completely different depending on which side of the counter, clinic room, or exam table you are on. You may think you run a shiny, sparkling, well-oiled healthcare providing machine. Most of you probably do, but if your facility, staff, or even patient forms look shabby, it can take major points away from of the first impression felt by your patients.
1. Facility: The constant flow of patients and visitors, especially in a 24 hour setting like a hospital can make it very difficult to be 100% spic and span at all times. There is no excuse though for oversights like basic maintenance. Torn upholstery or unravelling carpet should be addressed immediately. Sagging wallpaper, get it down. Chipped paint, scrape it off and repaint. These are not huge projects and can be addressed relatively easily with typically little to no impact on patients.
2. Staff: Scrubs have been the welcome savior to many healthcare personnel, but they have an innate tendency to look messy and unkempt. Dress codes policies are an integral part of addressing this potential issue. Guidance on appropriate colors/patterns, etc. is important. Non-clinical personnel, like front desk staff, can wear a more tailored look like, button down shirts. I recently encountered this “look” at my dentist office and was very impressed.
3. Patient forms: This is probably my biggest pet peeve. Handing out copies of copies of copies that have become distorted and covered with “artifacts” from all the previous bad copies is just plain lazy. It can also make important information illegible. Take all patient forms and create a brand new template. Save it on your hard drive and print fresh copies from your computer. You can even have them printed inexpensively through an online printing service or your local print shop. If you look cheap here, your patients may wonder where else you “cut corners”.
You never get a second chance to make a good first impression.— Will Rogers
The bigger challenge is to keep making a good impression, visit after visit! — Dr. Ernie