The Doctor/Patient Relationship: Service vs Hospitality

By Brooke Strickland

What is service?

Service means you’re delivering on your promise or the simple expectations that a patient has when coming in to see you. The patient leaves with what they needed and remembers zero about the experience.

What is hospitality?

Hospitality is how you make the patient feel when you’re providing them service. Creating a lasting experience, building a relationship, and providing a comfortable atmosphere means that the patient will likely value their experience and remember it, and more importantly, share their experience with others looking for a new doctor.

The main objectives of every interaction with a patient should be:

  • Create a lasting impression
  • Create the desire to come back when needed
  • Create a measurable difference from any other doctor’s office in the area
  • Build a relationship

Why should you provide great service?

  • Great service makes us something special. Something as little as a genuine smile, a nice word, or spending a little extra time with a patient can make a good impression that they'll remember.
  • Great service is great marketing. The difference of the experience you create for your patients will make you stand apart from competition.
  • Great service keeps patients coming back. If patients have had a positive experience with your office – having positive interactions with your staff, feeling they were heard when they saw you, and that the office in general was warm and inviting – they will naturally want to keep coming back.
  • Great service is easy. It almost always ends up being easier to do things well & make the patient feel comfortable and heard the first time, rather than being rushed, rude, or sloppy then trying to make things right later.

Simple steps to great service:

  • Figure out what the patient needs.
  • Engage with the patient and be interactive
  • Listen to them, never assume, and don’t rush them
  • Provide what they need - accurately and politely
  • Thank them – genuinely – for coming into the office and genuinely wish them well on their way out.
  • Go the extra mile.
  • Remember something about the patient or their family