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5 Tips to Put Embarrassed Patients at Ease

5 Tips to Put Embarrassed Patients at Ease by Elements magazine | pbahealth.com


February 24, 2016


When it comes to treating health issues, there are plenty of opportunities for patients to be embarrassed.

Whether a patient needs help finding a front-end product for a condition he considers embarrassing, or filling a prescription for a condition that he might be shy about, embarrassment can be a hurdle for many patients when seeking treatment. If patients are ashamed about their condition they might neglect the issue, decide to not fill their script or leave your pharmacy all together.

Don’t risk losing patients to embarrassment. Here are five things you can do help patients who are embarrassed.

1. Have a consultation area

Put patients at ease by designating a private consultation area in your store. Make this an area where patients can discuss potentially embarrassing conditions or uncomfortable questions with you.

Create a space in your pharmacy with privacy, so patients feel comfortable speaking openly, without the fear of being overheard or interrupted. When patients know that you have this space, they’ll be more comfortable coming to your pharmacy with any embarrassing issues.

2. Approach the patient

Some patients might just be too embarrassed to approach you. Maybe they think their question is frivolous, or perhaps they feel uncomfortable interrupting one of your employees.

If a patient appears to be struggling or confused, make the first move. Start the conversation by asking if there is anything you can do to help, or just telling the patient that you would be happy to discuss the merits and features of various products.

3. Strategically layout your front end

Design your front end to minimize embarrassment.

Keep possibly embarrassing products, such as fungus cream, away from high-traffic aisles and waiting areas. That way, people can select their product without other patients walking around or standing nearby.

Also, make sure your sections are clearly marked with signs, so patients don’t have to ask for directions to sections of potentially embarrassing products.

4. Show empathy

Being empathetic with your patients can help make them feel less embarrassed.

Reassure patients by reminding them that everybody has to deal with embarrassing issues, and that you’re here to help. If you’re comfortable, you can even share a story about how you’ve personally dealt with an embarrassing situation.

5. Use positive body language

Your body language can help make patients with embarrassing conditions feel more at ease.

When patients share information about a medical condition that might be embarrassing, make sure you don’t look surprised, or make any gestures that would signal that you’re uncomfortable. Instead, work on active listening by nodding your head, maintaining eye contact and smiling while reassuring the patient that you can help.

Helping patients who are embarrassed should be just one aspect of your pharmacy’s top-notch customer experience. Get more tips to enhance your customer experience.

 

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