Lately I've been thinking about the clinical experience I create for each of my patients. Yes, what I create. Seriously, before I opened my doors, I drew out a schematic of the various touch points a patient would have in their physical therapy experience with me. I sat back and envisioned what I wanted those touch points to feel like. In hindsight, there was one area that I didn't think as deeply about - the time with me.
l knew from working in a pizzaria that I the one thing I couldn't ignore was sprinkling fun, humor and laughter into the experience. This would make their time with me enjoyable and surprising. I knew I couldn't bear day to day without bringing my personality into the picture. I can appropriately toss out zingers that snag attention. I can tease and cajole better than anyone else I know. Patients never really know exactly what to expect not only due to my personality, but also due to continually changing up sessions as their condition changes.
There is one area that the majority of patients mention that is a huge pain point for them. Do you realize how many times they tell their stories? By the time they come to see me, often times they have told their story a couple of times. I think that is one area that they dislike. The time it takes... the feeling that no one is really listening... the lack of feeling understood.... AND the lack of feeling a part of the team. For many years, I was just as bad as many medical professionals. I'd have them tell their story and I'd take notes and ask questions for clarification.
Clinic life is different and better now that I have Outcomes Manager as part of my practice. First of all, I email a link to patients to complete. This link includes a patient self-report outcomes measure specific to their condition. Before I begin an initial appointment, I review the patient specific report generated by Outcomes Manager. The next step is how my services change. The new process enhances patient engagement. At my fingertips I have information that changes the conversation.