The American Chiropractic Association shares that the word chiropractic is derived from two Greek words: cheir which means ‘hand’ and praktos which means ‘done’.
While this accurately refers to how DCs provide patients with spinal manipulations or corrections—largely, by hand—one could also argue that, at least in the early stages of chiropractic, the assessment of a patient’s spine was also done by hand.
Back when chiropractic first started as a profession, more than a century ago, there was no fancy equipment a DC could use to help him or her determine postural issues in patients. The doctors had only their eyes and hands to rely upon when attempting to locate and diagnose potential problem areas.
Fortunately, there have been a number of advancements in this area, making the initial consultation process easier than ever. One of the most notable is posture assessment software and grids.
Posture assessment software and grids explained
While grids are simply graph-like tools used to help a practitioner quickly identify basic postural issues, posture assessment software is a computer-based program designed to help chiropractic professionals (and other postural experts) both document and analyze a person’s stance.
Depending on which brand and type of software is selected, some of the potential features provided include:
- Being able to import a digital image of the patient’s posture and overlay it on a grid graphic
- The ability to enlarge or reduce the image size for more accurate postural measurements
- Measuring degrees of deviation by using various areas of the body or grid as reference points
- Printing postural reports using patient’s front, back, and/or side views to create a complete and inclusive analysis of the issues
- Preparing comparison reports to monitor a patient’s postural progress
What are the advantages of using this type of technology?
Benefits of postural software and grids
Because posture assessment software and grids are computer-based, they allow DCs to easily crop, edit, and maneuver patient images in an effort to obtain more specific and in-depth postural data. This creates the foundation for a more accurate diagnosis based on the information provided. They’re also instantaneous in that you don’t have to wait for the results. Simply take the pictures, add them to the software, and you can start doing your assessment.
Another benefit of these software and grids is that you can take the images while the patient is in the office, yet complete the analysis at a later point in time. This enables you to get patients in and out in a quick and efficient manner while still having adequate time to make a complete and comprehensive assessment, the results of which can be disclosed at the next appointment session.
There are also advantages when it comes to a patient’s progress over time as these computer-aided tools make it possible to track postural changes from the first visit to the last. Plus, the fact that they’re electronic means that you’re not taking up valuable office space by having to find a place to store the files.
Finally, posture software and grids also make it easier to show both current and prospective patients how regular chiropractic care can provide positive results. They provide a clear visual image that enables people to actually see the difference in posture after treatment sessions. This can be powerful both for the person being treated and those considering choosing you as their healthcare provider.
How to implement software and grid usage for greater practice success
Should you decide to use posture assessment software and grids in your chiropractic practice, there are a few things you can do so their usage contributes to your success. For instance, set a consistent schedule by which you monitor all patients at regular intervals, showing them their positive results along the way. This helps them see their progress, increasing the likelihood that they’ll continue to follow your recommended course of treatment.
Additionally, for your cases with the most notable progress, ask whether they’d consider being one of your “success stories.” If they grant permission (which you may want to get in writing for legal protection purposes), you can use their statements and images to show potential clients that your chiropractic methods can provide some pretty amazing results. This alone can greatly increase the number of patients you see, as well as the revenue you can earn.