With all the stresses in practicing medicine and managing medical laboratories, at times it’s easy to forget that the whole point is to provide quality care. That’s easier for both you and your patients if you can keep them happy and comfortable. Satisfied patients will also come back for additional treatment, and recommend you to family and friends. Here are some ways to keep patients satisfied.

1. Be Punctual

Keeping distressed people waiting only serves to frustrate and annoy them before you even get started. Being late for your own appointments, or making patients wait in the exam room another 15 minutes every time you step out the door, tells them they may not be getting the attention and care they expected. Delays happen, but be sure to adjust your schedule so you aren’t juggling more patients than you can handle.

2. Communicate Often

Follow up with patients on lab tests, referrals, new symptoms, or changes to treatments and medications. All it takes is a quick phone call or email from your staff to ask how they’re doing. This tells patients that your concern for them doesn’t end the second they walk out the door. It also helps to ensure you aren’t missing any health problems between appointments.

3. Respect Beliefs

For many people, religious beliefs are an important part of the healing process, handling anxiety, remaining optimistic. In fact, 74 percent of patients with serious problems would like to discuss their faith with their physician. Regardless of your own views, respecting the beliefs of your patients will make them feel more comfortable and appreciated.

4. Earn Confidence

Take the time to establish your professionalism. When you explain things to patients, don’t be afraid to get a little technical, but without talking down to them. Hang your diplomas, certificates, and awards where patients can see them. You could also support your staff in furthering their own careers. The more professional credentials you and your team supply, the more trusting your patients will be.

5. Friendly Atmosphere

Walking into an exam room with no idea of the patient’s name or problem makes them feel they don’t matter to you. Get to know your patients. Smile and engage in a little small talk at the least, and meaningful conversation where possible. This will make you seem as much a friend as a caregiver, while learning more about your patients and their physical and emotional needs. The better your personal relationships are, the stronger the connection patients will have with you.

Problems are to be expected, but never forget that most medical practices are a business. Sustaining it means delivering customer satisfaction at every level.