PERCEPTION IS REALITY
The way we view ourselves is often not the way that our patients view us. As a practitioner it is easy to get comfortable in our office. After all, we spend countless hours there seeing patients, completing notes, managing staff and running the business so ultimately our office becomes our second home. With that level of comfortably and familiarity it is easy to overlook some of it acquired imperfections such as a messy front office, an un-swept reception area, unkempt bathroom and even an empty water cooler. However, we need to change our way of thinking and see every aspect of our business from the fresh eyes of a new patient.
New patients enter into our office with a preconceived notion of what they think a doctor's office should be and that is how we are judged. In most cases, like it or not, we are judged on how closely we resemble their medical doctor's office because that is what they are used to and what their largest frame-of-reference is.
Now, far be it from me to say that we, as chiropractors, need to create a sterile medical environment for our offices. I believe that having a warm, welcoming environment is what separates us from every other healthcare discipline. However, if we do not audit ourselves and pay attention to how of entire office registers to new eyes then that we can create a negative reflection of who we are and the patient's perception of the office, the staff and the DOCTOR will be that we are not professional. Ultimately we will lose the battle to win the patient over before it even begins. Which is a loss for both the office and the patient.
My advice is to walk through your office routinely and identify & correct any imperfection/eye sore that a new patient could perceive as clutter, messy and/or unprofessional. Make a daily checklist of all the aspects of the office that need to be cleaned and supplies that need to be restocked. Assign the respective jobs to your staff members and have them sign off on them when they are completed each day. This will keep your staff accountable to their office responsibilities and your office looking and functioning at its best.