A physicians office is a busy place, and patients often have to queue up just to see their physician. Time is precious, and apparently time is something which physicians and staff can never have enough of. “Making the most of this time and communicating well is key,” says Matt Eventoff, a communication and messaging strategist and founder of The Oratory Project. “I have worked with many physicians, and many more patients. What Ive come to realise is that some basic parameters at the beginning of a visit can make the difference between a great experience and a poor one for both parties.” A common complaint is that a physician often rushes into an examination room, spending more time looking at the patient’s chart or with the computer, instead of “interacting” with the patient. As Eventoff points out, a visit isnt just the examination it starts the minute a patient enters the office area.He recommends the following steps to help physicians become more effective communicators. These steps are also relevant for all office staff.1) Refer to the patient by name. Referring to a patient as the patient, especially when a loved one is helping to fill out paperwork or attending the visit, can sound cold and clinical. Refer to the patient by name, either first or last, all throughout the visit. It seems like a very small matter, but it means a lot to the person to whom you are speaking. 2) Make eye contact. The patients chart might be crucial, but the person whose chart you are looking at is more crucial. The patient has often been waiting days, or weeks, and may be very anxious. Eye contact from everyone, from the front desk to the attending nurse to the physician makes a huge difference. And along with eye contact

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