Dos and don'ts for practice production: Building patient trust through teamwork

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Each staff member should be ready at all times to foster a sense of trust during every interaction with patients. Whether in scripted or less formal situations, the underlying message should be, "You can trust the doctor and our entire team to have your best interests at heart."

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Every staff member should be prepared to be asked for a "second opinion." At morning meetings, everyone should be informed about who will be in the practice that day and what treatment recommendations will be made. Patients can (and often do) turn to staff members looking for reassurance about the recommended treatment. Though they cannot offer a clinical opinion, everyone on the team should be prepared to endorse the doctor's skills and judgment.

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Don't wait until a crucial moment to build trust.Trust takes time. Every team member should work to establish trust with patients by showing concern, empathizing with them, and projecting confidence in the doctor. The idea is to have a trusting relationship established before patients reach out for support or reassurance.

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