Want to know a little secret? A patient’s experience on their first day of physical therapy will determine whether they drop out of therapy, complete HEPs, reach a better outcome or become a patient for life. Shocking, right? All that, from just the evaluation.
So why is the initial eval so important? Well, it sets the tone for how the rest of therapy will go and creates a lasting first impression. This is your chance to get your patient pumped about their plan of care and motivated about working with you.
That’s why it’s so imperative that you start thinking about your patient’s happiness before they even step through the door. You must ensure:
- Your patient knows how to find your location
- Your facility looks clean, bright and accessible
- Your front desk staff is welcoming and informative
- Your wait times are short
If you can start off positively in these aspects, your patient should be pleased with you when you shake their hand. However, they may still be unhappy about seeing you due to pain or discomfort. Next, you’ll need to take that negativity and turn it into hope!
Your patient may be depressed or feeling discouraged about healing after an injury or after dealing with chronic pain. Your patient wants to feel like you care about them, so listen to their story. Learn about their anxieties and frustrations and take notes. You’ll need to help them on a physical level as well as a mental level. Discuss the value and benefits of physical therapy with your patient and show them exactly why YOU are the best person to help them. If you can help them feel more comfortable and confident that you will heal them, they’ll be more excited to complete their plan of care.
Make sure you are thorough in educating your patient on their needs and why they need to do certain exercises. Don’t leave any room for confusion or your patient may lose sight of why they’re doing therapy in the first place.
Mastering all these things will not only improve the outcome for your patient but will also make them a “patient for life.” Now, of course as therapists we don’t want to see a patient need therapy for life – what this means is that they become a promoter for your business, return for future wellness or therapy services and recommend their friends and family come to you.
A patient for life will be your biggest cheerleader and will become a huge referral source for your practice. Making this scenario a reality for all your patients will ensure you’re flooded with referrals. Keep it up and you may need to expand your business!
FYZICAL offers 10 exact steps to complete upon a patient’s arrival – plus training manuals and so much more to guarantee your entire team knows how to give patients a five-star therapy experience.
Click here to see how you can gain access to these steps and training manuals!