Creating a Patient Guide for a Clinic or Medical Practice


When you check into a hotel room, a guide to the hotel is usually sitting on the desk. It lists what and when services are available. It describes where the hotel is located relative to the highway and the airport, information about the phone and TV, pool and fitness center, and how to use the wireless connection. And most important, it tells you how to contact the people who can help if you need it with reservations, housekeeping, room service, and wake-up calls.

The services the average hotel offers are no less complex than the services offered to patients and their families in the average physician practice, though the goal is obviously very different. Are patients and families provided with such a guide when they receive care at your practice?

We have created three resources that a clinic or medical practice can use to create a simple guide for its patients. Such a guide will give your patients and their families the information they need to make an appointment and contact the doctor or the team. It lets them know who to discuss financial matters with, who to call for problems in the middle of the night, and how referrals and lab reports are handled.

The three resources are:

A. A list of the elements that constitute a basic guide.
B. A sample guide – Welcome to Grove Street Practice – that illustrates what a finished guide might look like.
C. A sample “fill-in-the-blank” template so you can design your own guide.

Most patients would welcome this information in the form of a pamphlet handed to them at every visit, in the waiting room and posted on practice Websites.

Read the full Creating a Patient Guide for a Clinic or Medical Practice white paper