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Reimbursement and Practice Management

Attitude of Gratitude in a Medical Practice

Thanksgiving is a great reminder to be grateful. However, our gratitude can and should extend beyond late November. A hallmark of a patient-centered practice is a pervasive “attitude of gratitude” that permeates all aspects of the clinical and business interactions within the group. Yet, as Audrey “Christie” McLaughlin, RN, reports in Physicians Practice, 70% of medical groups are not saying “thank you” to patients.

As a patient, a referring medical professional or a co-worker -- don’t we truly appreciate being appreciated? I know I do. Research shows that people who are grateful are happier, healthier, have less stress, are more resilient and have stronger relationships than those who don’t practice an attitude of gratitude. Here are some ways to create a thankful medical practice without needing to invest dollars and cents:

  • Start giving thanks in the morning on the way to the clinic, make it a daily habit. Take a few minutes without the emerging news stories to make a mental list. It all starts with you.
  • Catch a colleague “doing something right” and say “thank you”. Look for ways to express gratitude throughout the day.
  • Say “thank you” to patients when they call.
  • Say “thank you” to patients when they arrive.
  • Say “thank you” to patients, referring medical professionals or business associates in your e-mail correspondence. (Consider adding a brief professional expression of appreciation in your signature block.)
  • Send thank you cards or e-mails to patients. What a great way to show you care.
  • Give “attitude of gratitude” a 30-day money-back trial. I predict people are going to appreciate this “attitude of gratitude” – and it comes with a warning: Attitude of gratitude is highly infectious!

By the way: Thank you for taking the time to read the Practice Advantage blog.

I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder. ~G.K. Chesterton

United States