Building Patient Confidence During a Pandemic

The COVID-19 Pandemic has dramatically affected us all. Between changing work environments and shifting education logistics, this pandemic has altered virtually everyone’s way of living.

Without notice, medical and dental groups are feeling the impact as a number of patients are putting off preventative care appointments. Some may not feel safe entering a medical office with the looming risk of contracting the virus. If you manage a dental or family care setting, it can be difficult to keep schedules full during such a difficult and confusing time.

Here are some ways you can build trust with your patients, so they can come into your office with confidence.

Enhance Use of PPE, Cleaning & Disinfection Protocols

While medical offices by nature had routine disinfection protocols before COVID-19, it is really important to go above and beyond in terms of implementing additional layers to protect patients and staff. These increased protocols help clients know that you are serious about their safety and they can rest assured they will receive the utmost of care. Make sure to discuss the procedures, PPE supply levels, and idea sharing with your staff. In some offices and clinics, the front-line staff are even wearing disposable booties and caps in addition to masks and gloves just to help prevent cross contamination.

Consider creating talking points so everyone on your team is emphasizing the same message. While these extra steps may be tedious and an extra expense, they ultimately show that you are taking your patient and staff safety seriously.

Over-Communicate Cleaning & Disinfection Protocols to Patients

Another way to help boost patient confidence in the clinical setting is to over-communicate the protective measures and disinfection protocols your office has in place. Patients may not know everything that you are doing, and while it may seem to be “in the weeds,” this is something that people want to know during this time.

Posters in the waiting rooms and operatories, social media posts, banners on the homepage of your website, and proactive client phone calls are great ways to reassure patients that you care about their needs. Calling patients who are overdue for scheduled appointments, and explaining some of the details may even prompt them to make an appointment.

Partner with Your Frontline Staff Members

Your greatest asset during this time of patient uncertainty will be your frontline staff. Receptionists, nurses, doctors -- anyone who has face-time with patients will ultimately have a huge influence on patient confidence.

Are you requesting more time for patient check-in to take temperatures? Open up communications to explain to patients the “why” behind it. Additionally, offer suggestions and guidance to staff members so they may respond to fears or concerns from patients in a healthy, productive ways. Patients ultimately want to feel heard by their medical professionals. When they have confidence that their fears are heard, trust can be reinforced. 

Managing patient fears and addressing each concern can sometimes feel overwhelming, but equipping and empowering your staff with the resources they need will help to reinforce that safe environment patients are looking for. To learn more about Blackhawk Bank, contact us today. 

Stephanie Meier
VP Marketing