We were conducting a training session the other day at our Administrative Power Center when I overheard two clinic owners discussing the sample “please turn off your cell phone” sign that we had hung on the wall.
“Oh, that would never work in our clinic”, I heard one of them say. “Really?” I asked, “You don’t have a policy in place for turning of cell phones while in the clinic?” “No”, he said, “and it is really annoying when I am trying to stretch someone and they are talking on the phone”. The visual of this scenario made me chuckle at first but in reality there was a real problem here that needed to be addressed. Here are my thoughts on the matter…
The most important reason to have a no cell phone policy is because your time is valuable. Being made to treat a patient while they are on the phone or having to wait while they finish up a call is not only inconsiderate on the patient’s part but can cost you time - and as everyone knows “time is money”. Due to a patients’ bad cell phone habits, you could find yourself behind and unable to complete all the procedures that you wanted to perform and get paid for. So in the end, not only are you allowing the patient to be disrespectful of your time, you are losing potential revenue.
“Ok, I get it”, you say, and you would like to establish a policy but you fear you will offend your existing patients if you put your foot down. You can look at it this way… patients who are taking time to talk on the phone while in your care are actually hindering their own treatment. Patients are at your clinic presumably to get better and the constant interruption and sometimes stress of being on the phone does not lend itself to a therapeutic environment; not to mention that the noise can also be disruptive to the other patients receiving treatment.
Let’s face it, we live in a culture that is fast paced and the use of cell phones has invaded every corner of our lives and who knows where it will end. Now is the time for you to do yourself, your practice and your patients a favor by having them “silence their cell phones” while in your clinic.