As a chiropractor, the weight of your practice is on your shoulders.
While chiropractic school taught you how to be a good doctor, it probably didn’t teach you how to run your own practice. And as your business grows, it’s important to be able to balance both sides of the equation. Your business needs to provide quality patient care to continue operating, yet there’s the marketing, billing, insurance, compliance, training, and other critical aspects that affect your practice.
The most critical component of running a clinic efficiently is training. For training methods to be most successful, they need to be administered both with and through a top-level mentorship program.
Buy-in begins at the top. If you’re not onboard, you can’t possibly expect the rest of your staff to be. Take your training seriously and they will, too.
Prioritizing training will positively affect the success of your clinic in the long run.
Ongoing and neverending
For training to be effective, it needs to happen continually without stopping. Once a new employee joins your practice, their training should start immediately. We assign all new chiropractors an onboarding specialist. We find a one-on-one relationship to be beneficial, and they will be working closely together for about 14 weeks, if not longer.
Furthermore, this training starts before the “official” training program. Because training begins early, it helps make new knowledge stick so there’s a basis to work from in the comprehensive training period that follows. Some of the initial training topics include how to brand a clinic correctly and basic operation systems to run a successful clinic.
As our system grows, our No. 1 concern is to deliver the highest quality care to patients. This is a clear goal for any chiropractic clinic, regardless of size, but it is also a constant struggle for most chiropractors. Because when you look to improve care for patients, you might neglect another aspect of your business. Proper training, however, will keep your clinic current and improve patient care in turn.
Our “official” training program takes place over an intensive five days. The chiropractors going through the program are already familiar with some of our processes due to the initial training with their onboarding specialist. This one-on-one relation- ship is effective, as it helps avoid “cold immersion” to building a clinic.
A training program shouldn’t be a shock. You probably wouldn’t dive right into a pool of water—you’d likely dip your toes in it to prepare your body for what’s to come. That’s the same premise you should build your training upon.
For training to have impact, it should cover everything. This includes when to turn the lights on in the morning and when to shut them off at night—plus everything else that needs to be done in between.
It’s a journey
Consider a karate student’s training, for example. In martial arts, the black belt marks the highest level of training completed. But once the student attains a black belt, the journey doesn’t stop. Instead, the real learning starts. This goes for a chiropractor, too. Chiropractic school is just the beginning. Once you graduate with your doctorate, the next adventure begins.
As mentioned before, chiropractic school taught you the skills necessary to be a chiropractor, but it prob- ably didn’t teach you every aspect of running a successful clinic. This is the training conundrum for most chiropractors. They simply can’t keep their clinics current to provide the best possible care to patients while simultaneously running a successful business. But with an enhanced emphasis on training, a clinic can continue to focus on providing patients the best care while remaining operationally successful.
Weekly training sessions are essential. Our clinics close Tuesday mornings, and every location receives an agenda, videos, and any other materials needed for the week’s training topic.
Mandatory training time refocuses everyone in the system on key protocols and operations. It covers things like how to speak with patients and how to handle new patient questions on the phone.
Success by design
Success doesn’t happen by accident— it stems from continual excellent training. To be successful, you need to train. To stay successful, you need to continually train. And to become the best at anything, your training must remain ongoing. By making your training programs systematic, they become a part of your company culture.
It has never been more difficult to be successful in the chiropractic field than it is now. There is an increasing amount of pressure due to consolidation. Look at chiropractic’s sister practices: dentistry and optometry.
Both of those disciplines are experiencing a shift due to larger corporate entities entering the fields. Corporate practices are booming, and consolidation is where the rest of the healthcare field is headed. To stay successful, chiropractic clinics must emphasize and incorporate comprehensive training programs.
Chris Tomshack , DC, is the founder and CEO of HealthSource, a chiropractic franchise with nearly 300 domestic and international clinics serving more than six million patients. Tomshack was in the Airforce ROTC at Ohio University and served in the National Guard. He authored The Ultimate Practice Adjustment and co-authored Freedom from Fat. For more information or to contact him, visit healthsourcechiro.com.