4 Improvements for Orthopedic Practice Waiting Rooms

Laura Dyrda -   Print  |
Here are four ways you can improve the waiting room at your orthopedic practice.
1. Run physician videos in the waiting room. Compile five minute video clips from all of the practice physicians discussing their subspecialty and the latest technology in their field. Spine surgeons can talk about minimally invasive procedures while knee surgeons might talk about new techniques for joint replacement. "If you're going to spend money on marketing, the most important place to do that, at first, is in the waiting room," says Peter Althausen, MD, an orthopedic surgeon at Reno Orthopaedic Clinic and chairman of the board of directors of The Orthopaedic Implant Company. "If you market yourself as 'top in technology,' you want to show your patients that from the beginning. You also want to make sure your waiting room is clean, put together and modern."

2. Hang a plaque with physician certification in the waiting room. Patients who come to your practice for joint replacement might have a great experience, but they'll go elsewhere for their spine surgery or ankle care because they don't know physicians at your practice can treat those conditions. Hanging a plaque in the waiting room that includes each physician's certification is a relatively inexpensive way to communicate the diverse range of conditions practice physicians treat. Patients will also remember these conditions when their friends need orthopedic care. "The patient might come to the practice for their shoulder, but their friend might need a knee replacement and they'll remember to send them to your practice," says Dr. Althausen.

3. Staff should make patients feel comfortable.
Make sure the staff smiles at the patients when they arrive and throughout the visit. Ask the patients questions and make sure they have everything they need, and provide them with things they've forgotten. "Customer service is very important," says Bal Raj, MD, an orthopedic surgeon at the Beverly Hills (Calif.) Orthopedic Institute. "If the patient needs to have their MRI but didn't bring it, my clinical staff will get the MRI."

4. Install computers for patients to use.
Have computers available in the waiting room with the practice website available for patients to search while they wait. The website can allow patients to make copayments online and look through educational information before the visit. The practice can also teach patients about their physicians and services through video clips. Compile five minute clips from all of the practice physicians discussing their subspecialty and the latest technology in their field. Spine surgeons can talk about minimally invasive procedures while knee surgeons might talk about new techniques for joint replacement.

More Articles on Orthopedic Practices:
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Surviving a Turbulent Healthcare Market: 7 Points From Dr. Steven Wertheim of Resurgens Orthopaedics

5 Best Practices for Managing Claims in Orthopedic Groups

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