The holiday season is fast approaching which means an opportunity to gently remind patients that you are available to meet their healthcare needs. A card or giveaway item is a nice way to say “thanks for being our patient.” What you don’t want is for your message to get lost in the busyness and information overload so often associated with holiday time. Here’s how to make the most of your efforts to stay in touch with patients this season
- Instead of a Christmas card, send one at Thanksgiving or for the New Year. A Thanksgiving card conveys that you’re grateful for the opportunity to serve your patients, while a New Year’s message expresses hope and optimism for the future. Choosing to send your greeting before or after Christmas not only helps you stand out during the holiday rush, but makes the whole “Merry Christmas vs. Happy Holidays” debate a non-issue.
- If your staff is small enough, have everyone in the office sign the cards you mail out. If one employee or doctor has a special relationship with a patient and can add a short, personal note such as, “Hope you’re enjoying your new grandbaby!” then all the better.
- Be extremely careful not to accidentally send a card to the home of a patient who is deceased. Check and double-check your mailing list.
- Hand address the cards you send out. Yes, this takes time (hire a high school student with good penmanship if needed), but this added personal touch is tasteful and will help ensure that your envelope gets opened.
- A pocket-sized, hanging, or magnetic calendar is a thoughtful item to give to patients as one year turns to the next. Send one out to every patient who visited your office this year and last or, to save on postage, order your calendars now and slip them into billing statements during November and December. Leave extras on the reception counter for patients to pick up throughout January and February.
Before you know it, you’ll be seeing Halloween candy in all the stores and smelling the Thanksgiving turkey roasting in the oven. Decide now what you want to do to stay in touch with patients this coming holiday season. Planning ahead will help make your holidays less stressful and more enjoyable.