Rapport is the foundation of a strong doctor-patient relationship. When patients feel comfortable, everybody wins—treatment plans are trusted and followed and health outcomes improve.
From a chiropractor’s point of view, rapport should be considered a critical precursor to patient loyalty. Great care leads to satisfied patients, but it’s the personal connection that generates repeat visits, positive reviews, and precious referrals.
How to Initiate Rapport Building With New Patients
Research on rapport building suggests these five actions that healthcare providers can take to put patients at ease:
Provide verbal reassurance
Encourage patients to ask questions
Discuss test results with patients
Avoid judgmental or disrespectful speech toward patients
Ask patients to describe their health goals and treatment preferences
Taking these simple steps can get any doctor-patient relationship off to a promising start.
Benefits of Prioritizing Patient Rapport at Your Chiropractic Practice
Patient rapport comes naturally to some healthcare professionals, while others need to devote special attention to this aspect of care. In any case, rapport-building is always worth the effort.
Here are a few key benefits of effectively building patient rapport at your chiropractic practice.
Rapport Reduces Patient Anxieties and Doubts About Treatment
Some patients experience fear or discomfort during physical touch, especially during the vulnerable moments that precede chiropractic adjustments.
Sometimes, the anxieties a patient brings to an appointment aren’t directly related to the treatment itself. Some people experience generalized anxiety, or they may be in the midst of a hard time.
Whatever the reason for a patient’s anxious state, it’s important to establish a sense of comfort before initiating hands-on treatment. Taking the time to put a nervous patient at ease helps them to think of your office as a safe and pleasant space, which increases the likelihood that they’ll stick with treatment.
Rapport is also helpful when working with doubtful patients. Just because someone booked and showed up for an appointment, doesn’t mean they actually believe your treatment can help them.
A patient may have been reluctantly convinced by a family member to just “give it a try.” Or, they may have suffered from pain for so long that they no longer believe any medical intervention can help them, even though they keep trying new types of treatment.
Rapport building is the best way to begin turning a doubter into a believer. Once a patient sees that you’re willing to listen to their concerns and treat them with respect, they may become more open to embracing the benefits of your care.
Rapport Helps Patients Feel Comfortable Discussing Sensitive Topics
Patients are often reluctant to disclose sensitive information about their health. For example, if a patient is embarrassed about their body weight, they might not like discussing certain aches and pains that they associate with that issue.
Rapport helps patients overcome the awkwardness that gets in the way of productive communication. Once a trusting and comfortable rapport is established, the patient and practitioner can engage in frank discussions that lead to more helpful appointments.
Rapport Motivates Patients to Stick With Their Treatment Plans
Rapport is linked to trust. Patients who feel personally connected to a care provider are more likely to develop faith in the treatment program recommended for them. When a patient recognizes that their care provider is personally invested in their well-being, the two parties develop a shared commitment to treatment.
Rapport Leads to Better Health Outcomes for Patients
A trusting and supportive rapport helps patients feel motivated, optimistic, and committed—the perfect recipe for positive health outcomes.
When rapport is absent, patients may think of their appointments as chores, or even sources of stress.
When rapport is present, appointments can be relaxing, fun, and inspiring. The positive energy that patients feel during their visits has direct benefits for their health and motivates them to stick with treatment.
Rapport Generates More Positive Reviews and Referrals
In addition to improving patient health outcomes and helping your workdays pass more pleasantly, rapport is a major driver of business growth.
When patients respect you not only as a practitioner but as a person, they take an interest in the success of your practice. This leads to the five-star reviews, referrals, and word-of-mouth advertising that drive your practice’s growth and prosperity.
Build Better Rapport and Grow Your Practice With Coaching From AMC
At Aligned Mentoring for Chiropractors, we provide transformative business coaching for chiropractors.
Our team of mentors and trainers helps growth-focused chiropractors build the thriving practices they desire and deserve.
Contact us today to learn more.