New Patient Orientation Kit
After you have invested time and effort in acquiring a new patient, you will want to make a positive first impression. A new patient orientation kit can help you do just that. This collection of informative and attractive materials can make your patients feel welcome, comfortable, and an important part of your practice. In fact, sending a kit to a new patient before their first appointment has even helped some practices cut down on no-shows.
What a New Patient Kit Should Accomplish
A well-thought-out new patient kit should accomplish three basic things for you and your practice:
Welcome your patients.
You want your patients to feel a part of your practice as soon as possible – building a bond of loyalty based on your personal service. It makes them less likely to switch health care providers and more likely to refer you to other potential patients.
Assure your patients.
After new patients make an appointment, they invariably wonder if they've done the right thing. Your welcome kit should mention your experience, background and benefits of your care to assure them that they made the right choice. Remember – most decisions are made on emotion and justified by logic. Your new patient kit reinforces the patients' choice of selecting you as their Doctor of Chiropractic.
Provide basic information.
Give your patients the tools to use your practice effectively.
- What are your office hours?
- What are your phone numbers?
- Where do patients call after hours (in case of emergency)?
- Where is your office located?
- What services do you offer?
- Who is on your staff?
- What types of insurance do you accept?
What to Include in Your New Patient Kit
The look or design of a new patient kit takes on many forms – from a full-color, glossy pocket folder, to a few stapled sheets of information printed on your practice's stationery. But whatever form your kit takes, it should be professional-looking and help you gain the trust and confidence of those newly acquainted with your practice. You should consider including:
WARM WELCOME LETTER
This should come directly from you and be personally signed. It can be the same for all new patients and printed in advance. Present all information positively. Instead of listing the types of insurance you don't accept, talk about the methods of payment you do accept. Instead of telling patients where not to park, invite them to park in the proper spaces.
If you have one, include a practice brochure in the kit to make sure the patient is aware of the range of your services and benefits. And a quality practice brochure is a versatile marketing tool that can be an excellent source of basic information about you and your practice (phone numbers, office hours, etc.) as well as a quality representation of your practice's professional image.
RESUME OR CURRICULM VITAE (CV)
This is an excellent way to include information about yourself and the services you offer. New patients are curious to know your credentials and experience. It is also a good idea to warm up your resume. Spell out acronyms and include some personal information, such as a list of your hobbies.
NOTE: Be sure every fact on your CV is accurate and truthful. Any embellishment could find its way into court in the possibility of a malpractice allegation. It can be extremely harmful to your credibility and make your case very difficult to defend. The damage to your reputation and practice could be irreparable – so be certain all the information on your CV is accurate and truthful.
If you are participating in cross-promotions with other professionals, include these in your new patient orientation kit. It is a great way to join with other health care professionals (dentists, optometrists, psychologists, etc.) in your community to grow your practices together and to reinforce with new patients the professional nature of the chiropractic profession. Be selective rather than inclusive—participating in a community-wide package may not be in your best interest, since some area businesses may not portray the image you will want to deliver to your new patients.
Using Your New Patient Kit
The purpose of this kit is to make the patient feel welcome and excited about their appointment or visit. Always keep your goal in mind. Your new patient kit will be an effective way of gaining a new patient's trust. Since you're trying to create a positive first impression, try not to burden them with unnecessary forms or requirements, or to overwhelm them with too much information.
- Forms for patients to fill out
- Insurance documents
- Rules or regulations that can come across negatively
- Fee schedules for every service you offer
New patient orientation kits can be assembled as you need them, keeping your costs low and allowing you to update information easily as your practice changes and grows. Do have your kits professionally printed – don't photocopy letters or photographs. These materials do not copy well and will not convey the professional image you want for your practice.