After you master the basics of finding and keeping patients, you’ll still have roomÂ to improve your methodology.
And what works best for you and your practice will reflect your unique style of chiropractic and your patient base. The following principles are effective and tested by time.
Avoid talking about your interests, your vacation, the movie you saw last night, or the restaurant you like. Your patients don’t care about you. They come to your office because they are not feeling well””they want to learn about their health problem, what you are doing to fix it, and what they can do to get better faster.
Patients always want to know the consequences of not fixing their problem, e.g., arthritis, disc degeneration, or nerve compression. It’s all about them””not you.
Give reasons to return
Schedule your patients for blood and urine test results, to update their orthotics, to replace their cervical pillows (they flatten out after six months), and to reorder supplements. These procedures give your patients a compelling reason to come back.
Keep them invested in their care
Never let your patients get bored. When they get bored””they’re gone. D.D. Palmer stressed the importance of keeping patients focused.
Change what you do each visit to make your patient’s office visit exciting and interesting. Give your patients a one-minute mini exam to determine where you are going to adjust. This shows your patient that you are diagnosing and treating what you found. Change the order of your adjustments: If you normally adjust the lumbars first, next time do them last. Patients shouldn’t think they are getting a routine office visit.
Other ways of keeping your patients looking forward include mini exams, range-of-motion improvement, post-X- ray examinations, kinesiological checks, analysis of blood and urine tests, dynamometer checks, vital capacity exams, trigger point elimination, bilateral weight balancing, and post- muscle-strength testing to make sure the correction hasn’t weakened or reversed.
Offer a measurable brand
Keep your patients interested in their care by showing them proof of their progress. Take pre- and post-treatment X-rays to show patients their spinal corrections. Show them the return of their spinal curves and the straightening of their spines. Show them digital proof on-screen to illustrate your findings.
Patients will continue with you as long as they can see continual corrections.
Provide patient education
The more educated your patients are about chiropractic, the more they will want your services. Educate them by conducting classes on relief for back pain, neck pain, headaches, and similar healthcare topics. Provide in-office educational videos and health pamphlets, too.
Stop patient attrition
Your CAs should be trained in how to recapture a patient when one misses a visit or is dropping out of care. Use multiple appointment cards or calendars because patients rarely miss their office visits when they have premade appointments.
Whenever a patient misses an appointment, your CA should notify you so that on the patient’s next visit you can discuss the necessity of staying on the treatment schedule.
If a patient misses more than two appointments, give the patient a mini report of findings to reaffirm the seriousness of the patient’s problem and the necessity of the treatment frequency.
A missed appointment indicates that the bond between you and your patient has weakened or is broken.
Peter G. Fernandez, DC, the “start-up coach,” has been a practice consultant for more than 30 years. He has consulted with more than 5,000 practices and can be contacted through the practice Starters program at 800-882-4476, firstname.lastname@example.org, or through practicestarters.com.