101 Things to Do Between Patients #59

It's a well-known fact that patients find a phone call from the doctor during the evening after their first visit to be an extraordinary caring gesture. If you're not making these calls, or have delegated them to a staff member, try this twist: two phone calls!

First, have the staff call the patient at the end of the evening shift. "I was just checking in to see how you enjoyed your visit with us today." The objective here is to take the "emotional temperature" of the patient. Any problems or concerns can be conveyed to you so you're less likely to be surprised or ambushed when you call.

"Good evening. I was just calling to see if you or your spouse have any questions about your visit today."

It's a powerful goodwill gesture that patients appreciate and that can provide valuable feedback to improve your first visit protocol.