Get serious about your practice image.   First impressions are powerful and your image leaves a lasting impression – so make it positive!
 
The office space
See your office from your patients’ eyes.  Walk in the front door and take a critical look at everything from the paint to the floor, to the lighting to the furnishings,  the equipment and even the reading materials.  If it’s shabby or worn it needs to go!
 
Beyond the space
If you think scrubs are the in thing for staff to wear, get a grip.  Patients, who are often sick, take time to get dressed for the office visit only to be greeted by employees dressed in scrubs that look like slept-in pajamas.   Scrubs are inappropriate for front office and even look shabby in the clinic.   A tailored uniform or lab coat with the practice name and logo works nicely for the clinical staff and will make the patient feel they are in good hands. Front office staff might dress in this attire, but nice causal business attire makes a positive impression that separates front office staff from the clinic in the patient’s mind.
 
Little things mean a lot
The power of image extends to the little things.  Set a policy on no gum-chewing, conservative jewelry, and no food at work stations that are visible to patients.  These are things we don’t often address, but should be part of the dress code that is discussed with each employee during their orientation. 
 
Engaging patients
Get name tags for everyone – include their name,  title and the practice logo – all in a font size big enough for patient to easily read.  Then patients will know who they are talking to and who to address when they have a question or need help.  Call patients by name and introduce yourself and you will begin to engage patients and build a patient-centered practice.
 

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