Your optometric practice is a business, and as a business, your goal is to grow your patient database. However, sometimes an existing patient can become difficult and affect your practice, your patients, and your profits.
Below are tips on how to identify and react to a toxic patient before it negatively affects your optometric practice.
Tips For Handling Toxic Patients In Your Practice
How To Spot Toxic Patients
Sometimes a patient may just be having a rough day. Usually, a one-off, bad mood doesn’t warrant any action, but if the patient is constantly toxic or abusive to your staff or patients, then it’s time to sit down and discuss the next approach in terminating your professional relationship with that patient.
Here are some common characteristics of a toxic patient:
- Non-compliant- When your professional advice is routinely ignored by your patient, it’s a sign that they don’t respect your decision.
- Argumentative- Patients that constantly argue with you or your staff undermine your authority and can cause workflow constraints for your staff.
- Chronic Dissatisfaction-Patients who are chronically dissatisfied with the service you provided or the corrective eyewear selected can drain your staff and impact your profits from multiple requests for refunds or exchanges.
Instead of spending more time focusing on troublesome patients, you can fill your exam chair with people who value your time and the level of care you and your staff provide.
How To Dismiss a Patient From Your Practice
The decision to dismiss a patient may be difficult, but firing a toxic patient will help keep your staff focused on providing the best possible care to your patients. When you have to fire a patient from your optometric practice, consult with your lawyer to ensure you’re doing so legally. Then work with your attorney to create a certified letter to let the patient know you aren’t a good fit for their eye health needs.
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