Communication plays an important role in maintaining any relationship, whether personal or professional. If you’re a healthcare professional looking to establish your new practice or spruce up your existing one, regular and appropriate patient communication is necessary. The easiest and most effective way to keep in contact with your patients today is to interact with them online, whether through secure patient portals or through other digital means.

The relationship between a doctor and patient is a delicate one – and at the same time has to be professional. So, how can doctors improve their communication with their patients?

Don’t go silent before or after an appointment. 

When your patients schedule an appointment with you, it is important that your staff contact them before the appointment to confirm it. This communication can be sent in the form of an email or text message with a link, which the patients have to click on to confirm their appointment or it can simply be in the form of a reminder on the patient portal. After the appointment, take the time to ask your patients for feedback regarding their experience at your healthcare facility. Not only is patient feedback incredibly important for improving the processes of your facility, but these reviews are also incredibly important for your local search performance.

Answer questions and share information. 

Sharing is caring – doctors and other medical professionals should take time to interact with their patients purely to share valuable information about a particular condition or to simply offer useful healthcare tips that their patients can use. While there’s no hard and fast rule against giving specific medical advice over the internet (provided you aren’t disclosing any sensitive patient information), it’s generally a good idea to avoid diagnosing specific people over the internet, so keep the medical advice out of the comment sections. That being said, sharing answers to common medical questions via your social media channels or your website is a great way to increase your engagement and SEO

Keep conversations professional. 

It might seem like a no-brainer, but it bears repeating: always keep your communication with your patients professional. This is true when you’re asked for medical advice, of course, but it’s also true in other settings such as when a disgruntled patient leaves your practice a negative review. Never let your emotions run your conversations when you’re representing your practice. Instead, listen, thank your reviewer, and offer solutions such as taking the conversation offline. 

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