Registrars are one of the first people visitors encounter in the ED or admitting department. “It is very important that we are maintaining a positive demeanor while delivering care,” says Aubrey Ratliff, registration supervisor at Genesis Medical Center in Davenport, IA.

Registrars do some very simple things to make a great impression. “We greet every individual by making eye contact and supplying our undivided attention,” Ratliff says.

The department uses a patient experience tool called Acknowledge, Introduce, Duration, Explain, and Thank. For example, registrars start by stating, “Hello, my name is Aubrey. I’m here to register you today, and it will take about five minutes.”

Registrars thank the patient for their time after registration is complete.

“We escort our patients to their destination, to give reassurance that they will arrive to the correct location and be on time,” Ratliff says. “We offer wheelchair rides to all of our patients and visitors.” In the ED, registrars supply children with coloring activities to keep them busy, and blankets to keep patients comfortable.

“We also use the term, ‘My pleasure’ instead of ‘You’re welcome,’” Ratliff notes.

Some practices that are well-known to give a bad first impression are surprisingly common in registration areas. Ratliff gives these examples: not acknowledging the patients or visitors, not making eye contact, giving the impression that you are in a hurry or annoyed, not explaining why you are asking so many questions, and not offering extra assistance like a wheelchair or escort. Another common pitfall is “managing down,” pointing fingers at a co-worker or other hospital area.

“Pushing blame on their co-worker or another department to a patient or visitor, instead of focusing on how they can help find a solution, gives a negative experience every time,” Ratliff says.