We took our dog up to an after hours vet the other day. After examining her, the vet sat down and started to explain what was going on and what his recommendation was.
I have no idea what he was talking about. First, he referred to certain drugs by their chemical name, rather than a trade name that I might recognize – except for the times he used the trade name. I had to stop him several times and ask him to drop the jargon and speak to me in plain English. The bill was fair and his recommendations worked. But I would go back there with caution – if I really didn’t think we could wait to see our regular vet.
I have written here before about developing patient handouts – their takeaways. Materials in hand reinforce what has been told to a patient. Patients are going online looking for health information – your job is to steer patients to reliable sources. Providing material at the time of the visit also adds perceived value from the perspective of the patient.
Information is a central facet of your recommendations to your patients. Consider how you sum up a visit and present your recommendations to your patients. Invest some time and money in developing the set of materials that you can hand out. One handout can be one where you can write – or type – further instructions, as well as list website references. Finally, of course, a website with relevant links is a “must-have” adjunct for any practice.