With so many things to go over during an in-office visit, it might be tempting to jump into every topic, including financial options. Just a reminder: don’t forget that keeping roles within your office well defined will only serve to benefit patient satisfaction and, ultimately, conversion and return rates.
As you know, the consultation marks the beginning of a personal relationship. It is a critical first step for your relationship and truly “central to the transaction between doctors and patients." ¹
For today's professionals, however, it is only natural to want to cover-all-bases within a single session. In some ways, that inclination is consistent with 21st century physician training, which can promote a "mechanistic" approach, including tools like "preset algorithms and practice guidelines in the form of decision trees," to find solutions to all problems. However, trying to communicate extra details in addition to the proper diagnosis or diagnoses, risks confusing the patient and muddying the relationship by mistake.
There’s a more practical consideration, too – i.e., the physician’s limited time. Remember that allotting minutes to focus on financial solutions ultimately takes time away from your patients, their health, histories, and expectations. ²
One solution to this common issue lies simply with maintaining specific office roles. Many practices empower an office manager or lead receptionist to handle financial questions, creating a clear separation for the guests. They can feel comfortable knowing that your only concern is meeting their needs. And as a further benefit, any perceived notion of a "sales atmosphere" within the actual consultation disappears, clearing the path for excellent relationship building.
¹ "Consultation Analysis." Patient.co.uk, n.d. Web.
² Green, Charles H. "What Doctors and Salespeople Can Learn From Each Other." Trusted Advisor. The 'Trust Matters' Blog, n.d. Web.
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