In the best practices… how Sharp Rees-Stealy warms up the patient experience


Unfortunately these days more often than not when patients approach the counter for check-in, they are asked to present a photo ID and their insurance card. This drive toward depersonalization hit it’s lowest point when one Sullivan/Luallin “mystery” patient called a practice to schedule an appointment. The receptionist answered courteously enough, but when the patient said. “I’d like to make an appointment,” the response was a terse “Social?”

When asked to clarify, the clerk with an irritated sigh in her voice, replied, “Social Security number.”


How do “Best Practices” warm up the initial encounter at the front desk? Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Group (CA) insists that their employees, especially those at the registration and reception counters, introduce themselves. Atop the computer terminal at each work station perches a small sign with the name of the employee on duty. In some departments, at the close of the interaction with the patient, the staff member hands the patient a slip of paper noting the employee’s name and the statement, “If I can be of further assistance, please let me know.”

By putting a name with a smiling face, Sharp Rees-Stealy ensures that the brief encounter is a warm one.


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