Tootsie Pops

250px-Tootsie_Pops_1At the ripe old age of four I recall visiting our family practitioner, a gentle, and kind man advanced in years. I don’t remember if I cried when I got the shots. I don’t remember if I was scared. I don’t remember much past the smell of the disinfectant. What I do remember is the Tootsie Pops. An office visit always produced that reward. Either he or his wife (who also doubled as his nurse, cleaning lady, office manager, secretary and biller) would open the cabinet at the bottom of the exam table and miraculously the bottomless box of Tootsie Pops appeared. Grabbing my favorite color purple, I ravenously removed the wrapper and walked out proudly working on another cavity to help buy my dentist’s new car.
Today we hear much about patient satisfaction. Large companies, practice consultants and speakers thrive on this. We often try to take a problem and make it complex. The consulting firms and those specializing in patient satisfaction position themselves knowing that there are those willing to throw money at the problem to solve it.
Like that simple treat mentioned above, little things can mean a lot. Eye contact, a smile, a warm greeting, kind facial expressions and sometimes just listening is what our patients want and need.
I plan on discussing some simple, inexpensive things we can do to keep patients satisfied with care , with office staff, and with primary care in general.

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