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What to Do with Patient Gifts, Treats at Your Medical Practice


Over the next month, your office will be inundated with treats and gifts for your medical staff. How much is enough? Here are some options to spread the goodwill.

It happens every year. Patients want to show their gratitude to you and your staff for your outstanding care over the past year. How do they do this? By baking cookies, pies, cakes, and all sorts of treats. They send flowers, fruit baskets, or send fruitcake! They bring you small little gifts from here or there.

But, what message are you sending your staff and the rest of the patients by sitting there eating all of those treats? I have a few suggestions that can keep you and your staff members' health in check while allowing patients to still show their gratitude.

One idea is to pick your favorite local charity. Put up a sign today stating something like this: “We thank you for your patronage. We so appreciate that you have chosen us to help you with your healthcare needs. Over the next few weeks, instead of bringing us holiday treats, could you give $5 (or $10 or $15) to our favorite local charity listed below? It would mean so much to us to be able to share with them everything that we can. In fact, we will match each donation made dollar-for-dollar.”

Have a box wrapped up nice with a slot for their check to slide into. Make sure the check is made out to the charity name and each week, have someone drive the checks over. It will help them out so much, and provide you a tax deductible write-off for your business at the end of the year.

If patients still opt to bring in the treats, here are a few other ideas you can follow:

1. Many churches have soup kitchens that they run. They are always looking for food donations. They're not too picky, and I'm sure would love some of those cakes, cookies, and pies to feed some lesser fortunate people.

2. Women's shelters, afterschool programs at the YMCA, or even a homeless shelter might also take some of those treats off of your hands.

3. Send items home with staff members daily, and ask them to stop and share if they see someone in need. People in need are everywhere.

The opportunity to show your staff how everything in moderation is the key, and that sharing at this time of year is really a good choice and will go a long way with them; sort of a pay-it-forward kind of attitude. It spreads.

Do your part and show your patients that you do practice what you sell, and that being healthy is a priority to you.

Coming up next week: End of the year insurance plans, time to think about re-verifying those insurances.

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