As a business owner, it is entirely up to you how you want to set up your chiropractic practice.
Want a huge waiting area with a small table set for children to sit and play and a TV in the corner? Great. Or maybe you’d prefer a smaller, quieter sitting room with just a few chairs and a table with magazines. No problem. You can do whichever you wish because it is your business.
While this is great in that it allows you to customize your office to your liking, it can also create a bit of stress as you try to make day-to-day decisions about which options are best. And one area where DCs sometimes struggle is in deciding whether or not to use chiropractic instruments.
To help you arrive at an answer that is best for your individual practice, here are five factors to consider.
1. The types of services you want to offer
If you own a restaurant that serves only Chinese food, then you’d likely need to have chopsticks on hand for your patrons to eat their meals. Yet, if your restaurant has an American-inspired menu, chopsticks wouldn’t make much sense.
The same is true with chiropractic. If you’re offering services that require the use of instruments, then you need to obtain those instruments or you won’t be able to supply the service. If not, then purchase of these instruments are solely optional, which means that you’ll likely want to consider other factors to determine whether or not they’re worth it.
2. The potential value to your patients
Speaking of worth, when deciding whether to use instruments in your practice, one of the things you want to ask is whether that instrument would provide value to your patients. Would it help them heal faster or more effectively? Would it greatly increase their quality of life?
Answering these types of questions also requires that you think about your patients as a whole to better determine what percentage a particular instrument may help. Your response will likely influence your decision because an instrument that can help 80 percent of your patients carries a lot more weight than one that will only provide value to 8 percent.
3. The potential value to you
A similar consideration is what type of value the instrument can provide you as the healthcare professional. Can it take some of the impact off your own body while doing adjustments, for instance? If so, you may find that having that that instrument will mean that you’re less taxed at the end of the day, making it worth the investment.
Or maybe you are in pain yourself due to a pre-existing condition or injury and having an instrument could help you continue to work without it being so hard on your body. Again, in this case, purchasing the instrument may be the best choice.
4. The size of your budget
Of course, money is a concern as well as your budget has to be able to support the purchase of the instrument. So, how much cash are you willing to spend on the instrument you’re considering? Subsequently, do you have this money on hand or would you have to borrow it?
With any equipment, there are also maintenance costs to think about and factor into your decision. Over time, how much will this instrument cost you? How much will you have to budget monthly or annually? Can you afford this amount? If so, do you want to?
5. The ROI of the instruments
The final consideration when determining whether or not to use chiropractic instruments is what their potential return on investment (ROI) is to your practice. In other words, if you were to purchase the instrument, could you use it to pay for itself and then some?
Though this may be difficult to figure out exactly, primarily because you may not know until you actually get it, you could always reach out to your current patients and do a quick survey. Ask them if they’d consider a service that used that instrument. If a number of them say yes, it may be worth the risk.
On the other hand, you also want to think about whether that instrument could draw in even more patients, helping you grow your business that way. This requires knowing a little bit about the community you serve and what issues they typically struggle to overcome. If the instrument can help address one of them, then you may want to try it out.
Although there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as long as you consider these five factors, you’ll be well on your way to making the best instrument-based decision possible for you, your patients, and your practice. In that case, everyone wins.