“Begin with the end in mind” – Stephen Covey
Every physician has experienced the patient who only tells them the real – and concerning – reason for their appointment as they’re getting ready to leave the exam room.
- Let the patient know how long you have to spend with them.
- Agree on an agenda at the beginning of the appointment. Anything not covered, or added, they need to know to make an additional appointment.
- Nearing the end of the appointment, link back to the agreed upon agenda and remind them that your time together is almost up.
- Affirm the patient’s reason for visiting, such as “I’m glad you came in today to see me about this.”
- Outline the follow-up plan, be it sending the patient for tests and/or a follow-up appointment, and state the reason for the follow-up visit. If it’s to review tests, they need to know they have to have the tests done within a certain time frame for you to get the test results back in time for the follow-up appointment.
- Say goodbye with a smile on your face.
Now it’s time to write down your closure statement and start using it!
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