One of the first things that you probably learned from a basic chiropractic practice marketing class was how to determine your care philosophy.
What are the values that drive your desire to practice chiropractic, and how do you want to reflect that? Do you want to show that chiropractic is as evidence-based as standard medicine for treating musculoskeletal problems?
Perhaps you want to project a warm, caring alternative to clinical care. Understanding your care philosophy is the first step toward determining how to project that to your current and potential patients in a consistent, integrated fashion.
Depending upon your particular care philosophy, you will want your practice to reflect that. This will start in your waiting area. Essentially, you want to project an image of your care philosophy to your new and regular patients that starts the minute they open the front door to your office.
If you want to show that chiropractic care can stack up against other clinical treatments, you want an office that looks high tech. On the other hand, if your philosophy involves presenting chiropractic as a warm, nurturing alternative to clinical medicine, you might consider going for a look that helps puts your patients at ease. Lots of plants, natural soft color tones, and soothing music can set a relaxing mood.
However, you need to go beyond just the waiting area to project the right image in even your treatment rooms.
How can you extend the image of your care philosophy past the waiting area? Carefully considering your treatment furniture and décor can help make your entire office consistent with your care philosophy.
Beyond the waiting room
Your treatment room should follow through on the tone that you have set in your waiting area. Think of it as delivering on a promise you have made. Your waiting room is the area where you show your patients what they should expect from you in terms of your approach to chiropractic care.
Your treatment room and table is where you fulfill their expectations. Using the two care philosophies outlined in the first paragraph, here are some ways that you can update your treatment table and room to fit your care philosophy.
High-tech medicine: If you want your patients to view chiropractic as serious, evidence-based medicine, your table and room should look similar to that of their primary care doctor. For this, your table should really be the centerpiece. It should look as high-tech and modern as possible, with metal fixtures.
Your table accessories should be computerized, with an ability to print out or show data, as this is an excellent way to “show and tell” your patients about the value of chiropractic. Continue this motif with walls in a neutral color, accented with detailed anatomical charts showing the musculoskeletal system. A 3-D spine model that comes apart can also help you demonstrate for your patients exactly how a spinal adjustment works.
Warm and caring: Evoking a warm and caring space in your treatment room is all about doing the exact opposite for a high-tech medicine space. The goal is not to look like an MD’s office, but instead to offer an alternative.
Start with a table that has natural wood fixtures, rather than metal. If you are using a table that is all one piece, rather than with jointed sections, consider dressing it with sheets in a natural fiber, such as linen. The walls should be a warm, neutral tone, with simple art or photos of nature. Finish off with soft instrumental music that is soothing.
You’ve probably spend a great deal of time thinking about your philosophy of care. Taking time to consider how to incorporate that into every aspect of your practice, including your waiting room, treatment area and choice of table and accessories, is a natural extension of your philosophy.
Transmitting all of that to your patients will pay off for both you and them in the long run.