Do You Have H.E.A.R.T. in Your Practice?
Have you ever heard the standard from the musical Damn Yankees, “Heart”?
The show is about a baseball team that just doesn’t have any luck. They are down and they can’t get up. To boost up their spirits, the coach tells them that all they really need is heart. If they have heart, they will turn things around and start winning games!
A successful plastic surgery practice also needs “heart” — but in a slightly different way. It needs H.E.A.R.T.!
The level of hospitality your practice delivers to patients directly impacts their overall experience. If patients don’t have a good experience pre-surgery, they aren’t likely to be coming back to your practice, no matter how good their results.
By offering them a hospitable experience from the moment they walk into your practice until the moment they walk out, you will ensure that they have a positive experience. Patient tend to remember things like that when they are looking to get more plastic surgery in the future.
Empathy and Enthusiasm
For plastic surgeons, plastic surgery is, well, routine! It is our lives, day in and day out. For our patients, on the other hand, plastic surgery is special, sometimes life-altering. Changing your appearance is a big deal, especially when there is invasive surgery involved. To make your patients more comfortable, you have to show both empathy and enthusiasm.
By empathizing with their concerns, you will let them know that you are on their side. You could tell them stories of other patients who were nervous at first, but were thrilled at their results. You could walk them through the entire procedure, so there are no surprises. Ask them if there is anything that you can do to make them feel more comfortable with the surgery.
It is often said that plastic surgery is where medical science meets art. This is one of the most often cited reasons plastic surgeons say they chose their specialty. By showing enthusiasm about your profession and plastic surgery in general, you can create an element of anticipation. This can be contagious, and help your patients look forward to their surgery rather than be nervous about it.
What is your default attitude when dealing with patients? Are you friendly? Professional? Detached? Humorous?
Your attitude is a large part of the impression you make with patients. You never want to rub a prospective patient the wrong way. A positive, professional attitude is often the best choice for first meetings. As you get to know patients a bit better, you can starting letting out more of your personality and engage them on a more personal level.
The plastic surgery business often doesn’t get the respect it deserves. Due to the demonization of plastic surgery throughout the 80s and 90s, a stigma was born that plastic surgery was only for the rich and famous. It wasn’t a “serious” part of the medical establishment. Thankfully, this has started to change and the plastic surgery industry is gaining more and more respect every year.
We’re at our best when our goal is to provide every one of our patients with excellent and consistent results. Your skill and attentiveness as a plastic surgeon will gain you the respect of your patients and your staff, of other plastic surgeons and those in the larger medical community. This is one of the most important reasons patients look for plastic surgeons who are members of ISAPS. They know that they will be going to a respected medical professional.
The thing about the plastic surgery is that it just keeps moving forward. Every year, new procedures become available for any plastic surgeon willing to learn. When these new procedures become popular with patients, they expect that your practice will be able to deliver it to them. To keep up with your competitors, you need to keep current and be aware of every new plastic surgery trend and technique. Being timely is a major part of what puts plastic surgery clinics on the map.
So, does your plastic surgery practice have H.E.A.R.T.?