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Help Guide Patients Through Their Many Decisions

By: Nextech | February 19th, 2024

Help Guide Patients Through Their Many Decisions Blog Feature

It is estimated that every day the average adult makes about 35,000 remotely conscious decisions each day.1 Some decisions are big. Others are small and almost done subconsciously or out of habit. The decision to have cosmetic surgery or LASIK is a big one and can have life-changing outcomes. It’s important for practices to understand that all along a patient’s journey with you and your team, they are making decisions. So, how can you help them decide they want to move forward with the treatment, procedure, or surgery and want you to help them?

Assess, Understand, and Make Course Corrections

It starts by understanding what contributes to patients choosing to get care at your practice. What do they have to see, hear, feel, and believe at critical steps in their journey? For many patients, it may come down to building trust in your expertise, belief that they would benefit from the treatment, procedure, or surgery, and feeling that you are their advocate along their journey. The start of the new year is a great time to review the entire patient experience and make necessary changes that help make your patient experience exceptional so that it results in care acceptance, retention, great reviews, and referrals. Here are a few ideas to consider: 

  • Get an objective opinion. Secret shoppers are a great way to get a fresh and realistic assessment of your patient experience. Be sure to recruit shoppers who are not seeking to please you and tell you only the good, not the bad and ugly. It’s in the bad and ugly that opportunity waits, because those are the areas of growth and change.
  • Get voice of customer. Patients’ perspectives can also be valuable, especially if you can capture them anonymously. Online patient surveys are easy to implement and can provide unique and honest feedback. It’s also important for the team to ask the right questions that provide insight into why patients did not move forward with care – seeking to understand why they made the decision they did. 
  • Get a map so you know where you want to go. To make the most appropriate course corrections, it’s important to map out the patient journey, step by step. The journey can be structured into three large buckets: pre-appointment, appointment, and post-appointment. Within those buckets are smaller steps. For example, pre-appointment would include your website and social sites, setting the appointment online or by phone, pre-appointment communications, and reminder calls or text messages.   

Once you have an assessment and a map, you can meet as a team to determine any necessary course corrections. Start with the big steps or big barriers to care. Many patients’ decision to move forward with care is greatly influenced by real and perceived affordability. Some ways to help make this decision easier is by being transparent, acknowledging that the treatment, procedure or surgery they are considering is an investment, confirming the value of the investment, and providing solutions – early in the patient journey. Here’s how that conversation may sound: 

“John, thank you for coming in to discuss the surgery you are considering. It is a big decision, and the first step is to see if you are a surgical candidate and discuss what you can expect after surgery. We know it is an investment of both time and money. We are committed to helping you along this journey and will only recommend what’s best for you. Many of our patients ask about cost – in fact, many come in having already researched the fees associated with surgery. I’d like to let you know up front that we have payment solutions that you may want to take advantage of — like the CareCredit credit card. You may have heard of it or even already have CareCredit. If approved, CareCredit has promotional financing options that help fit care into your budget so you can pay over time. We’ll discuss this option later if you want to hear more.” 

The decision to create a consistent, exceptional patient experience should be easy to make. Implementing change is often difficult, but with the motivation of helping more people have life-changing care, it’s a decision you – and your potential patients – will be glad you made.  



1. Graff, F (August 10, 2022) How Many Decisions Do We Make In One Day. Retrieved from:,are%20both%20good%20and%20bad. 


The information, opinions and recommendations expressed in this content are for informational purposes only. Information has been obtained from sources generally believed to be reliable. However, because of the possibility of human or mechanical error by our sources, or any other, Synchrony and any of its affiliates, including CareCredit, (collectively, “Synchrony") does not provide any warranty as to the accuracy, adequacy, or completeness of any information for its intended purpose or any results obtained from the use of such information. The data presented was current as of the time of writing. Please consult with your individual advisors with respect to any information presented.