It’s no secret that businesses across the country are suffering from the high costs of workplace injuries. Employers are spending billions of dollars each year on workers’ compensation claims, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration estimates that as much as one-third of all workplace injuries are related to back injuries, carpal tunnel syndrome and repetitive stress-type injuries.
It’s pretty obvious there’s an opportunity in here for chiropractors; the secret lies with leveraging that opportunity. Industry is starting to realize that medical costs keep rising as musculoskeletal injuries continue to mount. These injuries affect the well-being and production of employees, and they are a burden businesses are finding increasingly difficult to bear.
Medical costs related to a workplace injuries can be significant. Insurance companies cite $40,000 as the average cost for back surgery and $29,000 as the average for carpal tunnel surgery. But that’s just a portion of the “real” cost of the injury. For every dollar a company spends on back surgery, they’ll spend three to five times that on indirect costs such as productivity loss, rehiring, retraining and overtime — all major concerns of most company executives. Case in point: The Department of Labor states the average length of lost work time for carpal tunnel is 27 days, the highest of all injuries.
A Focus on Prevention
So, what’s to be done?
As the saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” This axiom holds true when dealing with workplace injuries. Although many chiropractors treat injuries after they occur, what if chiropractors could also offer a solution when it comes to preventing those injuries in the first place? No other profession is more qualified or more capable to fill this role.
Chiropractors are already armed with the knowledge it takes to prevent most musculoskeletal injuries. The basic fundamental knowledge of a trained chiropractor translates easily into injury prevention. More importantly, most chiropractors’ innate desire to help people predisposes the chiropractor to be aligned with the common-sense philosophy of prevention.
As a chiropractor, to be successful as an injury prevention consultant, you need a truly effective program that meshes with your philosophy; and, just as importantly, strategies to “get in the door” when approaching industry.
Many doctors of chiropractic are aware of a bias against the profession that historically has been held by some members of industry. So, how does one, even with the right program, get in the door of companies that your patients work at and that you drive by daily? These are the same companies that need your services desperately, and the same companies that could change your practice dramatically. The answer lies with a solid marketing approach.
Once you become an effective injury prevention consultant, you can form strategic alliances to help you access other organizations more easily. These alliances are the key to helping you expand your influence in the marketplace.
In the past, many chiropractors approached industry by offering their services for free. This is an ineffective long-term strategy, since anything perceived to have value always costs something. The goal is to create value with the injury prevention services you provide. Providing valuable services for free is a poor substitute for knowing how to market yourself properly.
For example, chiropractors trained as injury prevention consultants worked with the largest airline in the world in 1997 and reduced their back injuries by 63%. This saved that company millions of dollars in workers’ compensation costs. These doctors proved the value of their consulting services. Injury prevention consultants increased production by 20% for the Los Angeles County Assessor’s Office. How’s that for value?
To add perspective, Jennifer Lopez, the popular singer/entertainer, gets $750,000 per hour for appearances. She has acquired a skill that is needed and wanted, has developed great confidence in her worth and is being marketed correctly.
As a chiropractor, you can easily augment your existing skills to become an expert at prevention as well as the treatment of injuries. You will gain confidence with this knowledge, be perceived as an asset to the business community, earn great income for your services, and build your practice in the process.
The goal is to prevent unnecessary injuries in the workplace. The way to do this is by teaching people for the first time in their lives how they can be responsible for their own well-being. There is no better profession to deliver this message than chiropractic – you just need to do your homework so you have the tools and skill sets to succeed.