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Communicating with Your Patients About In-Office Visits


As community-based practices communicate about their new procedures around in-office visits, they need to understand their patients’ state of mind. 

In a simplified form, there are three states to your patients’ comfort level as they re-emerge into society.  When tailoring messages for your patients, it is important to consider all these types of patients to connect with them.  You need to think about what your patient needs to know; how do you need them to feel and what do you need them to do; and communicate with empathy and understanding of their needs.

  • The types of patients and their messages include:
    Those individuals eager to return to everyday life immediately, with no hesitation on visit doctor’s offices. They are comfortable going out and understand what they need to do to protect themselves during the pandemic. These patients just need to know that your office is open and what the rules are around visiting in-office.
  • There are patients who understand they need to follow-up on their healthcare, schedule an appointment or follow-up on an issue that was delayed because of the pandemic. But these individuals may need more help feeling comfortable about coming in, especially as they see upticks in different part of the country. These patients may need all the information of the “eager to return” patient as well as understanding your safety measures and precautions to help them feel more comfortable.

  • Lastly, there is the patient who is not comfortable at all venturing out in public, with or without a face covering. It will be more difficult to encourage them to return to the office for care, but in addition to all the information you are sharing with your other types of patients, they need to understand the risks of not returning to care. That motivation may be the only thing that drives that patient back to your office.

Helping your patients understand your health and safety procedures and concern with their own welfare will drive them back to your practice.  It is important to encourage patients to resume their healthcare routines within the safety of community practices.