Posts Tagged ‘Benefits’

GROW YOUR PRACTICE IN 3 EASY STEPS

Thursday, November 13th, 2008

1) More word of mouth referrals

How many times have you been talked around by a slick sales-type offering you the greatest marketing opportunity yet? From Newspaper ads, to calendars and target audience magazines, to bigger and bigger Yellow Pages displays, to online directories with millions of visitors, to radio stations and even TV presenting themselves as the only way to convert prospects to buyers!

Have you worked this out yet? Some of your ads work and some don’t; but when you average the cost of all your campaigns against the return on your investment – you might be better spending your hard earned cash on something more reliable and sustainable.

What about spending some of that money on a practice resource that will consistently and persistently increase the number of word of mouth referrals you receive, AND, is a one-off investment?

Don’t we all know that word of mouth referrals are what have built this great profession? Nothing will grow your practice faster and stronger than a steady stream of new patients who have been recommended by an established patient – it seems to become contagious.

2) Impress your new patients so much that they commit to your recommendations

Do you hear this after you have examined and explained your recommendations to a prospective patient? “Why hasn’t anyone else checked me out this thoroughly before? You are the first person who has been able to explain why I am feeling the way I am! What do I need to do to fix this?”

If on the other hand you hear statements like this after conducting your report of findings: “So is it just muscles?” (they haven’t understood a word you said); “how long do you think it will take for my pain to go away” (you haven’t shifted their consciousness beyond how they are feeling to how they are functioning); “My doctor said it was lumbago” (you aren’t the expert in their mind and they won’t listen to you); “so overall I’m not so bad” (nothing you have done or said has shifted their denial mechanisms).

To make this quantum shift in practice growth in this day and age requires technology that demonstrates clearly, visually and impressively that the person has definite functional problems which need your help to correct (whatever it is that YOU do to help, regardless of how long you think this will take, and no matter how much you charge to do it).

3) Maximise your patient retention

Fred Barge used to ask the pointed question: “Are you the doctor, doctor?” Here’s the plain truth – if you are relying on how your patients are feeling to determine if they continue to see you – you are at the mercy of the retention angels: Some people will feel better, and will still stop coming to see you. Some won’t feel better and will stop coming to see you. Some won’t hang around long enough to even find out if they are feeling better or not. In other words you could be practicing in a leaky boat, and totally dependent on the flow of new patients in, to compensate for the outflow.

There are only three reasons why someone continues to see you, regardless of whether we are talking about for the next few weeks, or for the next several years:

a) They are consciously aware of the benefit/s that they have been receiving from seeing you: Do you have the tools to assist them to be completely aware of the benefits of your care?

b) They perceive that they will receive benefits in the future from continuing to see you: Do you have a tool that can demonstrate room for improvement, and justify them to continue to see you till their next re-exam and beyond?

c) They like you and your staff and will do whatever you say to continue the relationship: This may be enough to plateau a practice but it will never grow a practice.

Posture Pro Digital Postural Analysis Software is a tried, trusted, reliable and proven tool to stimulate referrals, improve conversion and increase retention for the following reasons:

1) Generate an impressive full colour posture report which people not only look at themselves, but they show it to others, and refer others to have an assessment

2) It is very quick and efficient to conduct an exam: Can even be performed by a trained tech CA. In exam mode you should be able to complete the assessment and print it in 5 minutes. Even quicker if using screening mode.

3) Is very visual requiring little translation: People usually can see the problems without any need for explanation – “is that really me – what do I have to do to change that?”

4) Is an objective functional assessment: Posture is an accepted functional outcome by many professions and has a substantial research base which justifies the need for corrective measures – It’s convincing!

5) Can be monitored and compared through time as regularly as you like – you don’t have to wait three months to re-exam if you don’t want to. Posture can be improved quickly and progressively through time, making it both a great short term and long term measure

6) Demonstrates both visually and objectively progress under care acting as a reward for positive response, and as a motivator for continued improvement under your care

7) Is an awesome quality assurance tool – I often get asked, does posture improve under your care? There are two answers to this: “YES”, and, “if it doesn’t then it’s about time you had the tool to direct you to improve your methodologies to improve your outcomes”.

8) When you compare the initial cost to the returns from referrals, compliance and retention this software pays for itself in a couple of months, and then generates consistent increased returns for miniscule ongoing costs (paper and ink for your printer)

9) Can be completely portable making it great for presentations, screenings, expos and external events.

10) Is simple and easy to introduce and implement into any style of practice: Easy to install, email tech support, free upgrades, thorough instruction manual, plus a pile of bonus materials to help get you started or to maximise your results in diverse ways.

AND: Right now is the best time to purchase Posture Pro with our recession buster price.

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THE PERCEIVED VALUE VERSUS COST FORMULA

Monday, February 11th, 2008

Whether a person chooses to continue or discontinue chiropractic care depends upon how much the person values the care when compared with how much they feel it is costing them.

If the value appears greater than the cost the patient will continue care. If the cost appears to become more than the value they will discontinue treatment. The more we can increase the perceived value the less we need to worry about the cost!

VALUE INCREASERS:

1) Experiencing benefits from chiropractic care. Especially if those benefits are over and above the initial complaint or the benefits expected.

2) Increased education and understanding about chiropractic.

3) Third parties (family and friends) experiencing benefits: Another great reason to stimulate referrals quickly.

4) A “paradigm shift”: Changing people’s attitudes from “don’t fix it till it’s broke”, to one of maintenance, prevention and/or preferably wellness. That is “getting the BIG idea”!

COST INCREASERS:

1) Financial constraints: The amazing thing about this factor is that the more you can increase perceived value the less important this becomes. If you want it then you will find a way to pay. However cost is one of the main reasons people discontinue.

2) Time constraints: The old saying is that “time is money”. If it takes a person more than 20 minutes to drive to your practice; then they sit in your waiting room for 20 minutes; then it takes 15 minutes to get adjusted; then it takes 5 minutes to pay and reschedule – that’s 80 minutes out of their life. And then you tell them you want to see them 3 times a week? Big cost.

VALUE DECREASERS:

1) No or slow perceived response to treatment.

2) A reaction to an adjustment.

3) ‘Chiropractic consultants’: Rumor, opinion and hearsay can always affect the attitude of a new member of the chiropractic “family”.

4) Our attitude towards chiropractic: It ‘rubs off’ you know!

5) “The law of diminishing intent”: Ever made a new year’s resolution; then a few weeks later it just doesn’t seem that important any more? Day to day stresses and commitments and the distractions of “life” seem to get in the way. That is – the original commitment gradually becomes diluted to the point of becoming unimportant:

If we constantly feed, reinforce and nurture our goals and resolutions there is less chance of them fading and getting lost in this way. It is never safe to think that a patient has got “the big idea” now, and will hence have it forever – they need constant feeding, reinforcement and nurturing of their goals and resolutions.

TWO WAYS TO GET PEOPLE TO DO THINGS:

1) Control and manipulate: This is like trying to get a donkey to move by putting a carrot in front of its nose or hitting it from behind with a big stick. The problem with these techniques is that the reward or the punishments need to be continually increased to receive the same response over a long period of time.

In our health care setting this would take claiming bigger and bigger benefits to our patients as they feel better (the carrot), or convincing people that if they don’t continue to see us something terrible will happen to them (the stick). At some point in time the carrot and the stick will not be big enough!

2) Build relationships and teach by example: This is not about getting people to do what we want them to do: It is about showing people how they can get what they want – by following our example!

Click Here To Find Out More About Practice Management Coaching…

Practice Tip - WHAT DO YOUR PRACTICE MEMBERS REALLY THINK ABOUT YOUR CARE?

Friday, October 19th, 2007

The Million Dollar Question

Many of us now call ourselves “Wellness DCs” or “Healthy Lifestyle Doctors” or some other impressive sounding title - I guess we are trying to differentiate our services from the other “garden variety” DCs? But these titles often are a reflection of us, and not a true reflection of how our customers really see us, or how they themselves behave. Maybe we exercise regularly, get adjusted every 1-2 weeks, keep a positive outlook, eat organic etc. But then we have 80% of our practice on monthly schedules, and have no discernable influence on their other healthy habits?

I suffered a daunting revelation when I upgraded my technique and scheduling systems to a more “wellness” driven focus. You see I used to spend ~15 minutes with each client, and they loved my soft-tissue techniques, and often complimented me on my ability to find the sore spots and to provide instantaneous relief from their musculoskeletal aches and pains. Not that there is anything wrong with this - but my mission is to improve the health and wellness of everyone that I can influence - not to be the natural alternative to Nurofen and Panadeine. And when I changed my technique to a neurological model, many left the practice before they could possibly experience the extra health benefits - why? “Because I didn’t rub their shoulders”!

So, what do YOUR clients really think of YOU? Here is the million dollar question to ask your practice members that will inform you of the truth…

“If you could come and have an adjustment whenever you wanted to, and it didn’t cost you anything, how often would you come?”

1) If the answer is, “Oh I’d come every single week, and sometimes even more”: Congratulations - you probably are truly a wellness DC - your clients truly comprehend the global benefits of an adjustment. They probably perceive the reduction in tension and stress, the improved sleep patterns, the maximised immunity, and the increases in energy after each adjustment.

2) “Oh, I’d come every 4-6 weeks”: Maybe you should replace the title “Wellness” with “Maintenance” DC. Your clients have probably discovered that if they go longer than 4-6 weeks, that their aches and pains start to increase in severity and regularity. Your periodical adjustments offer them effective and lasting pain relief.

3) “Oh, I’d come a 2-3 times a year”: I actually don’t quite understand this concept - maybe it’s because they get their car serviced twice a year, and go to the dentist twice a year, and floss their teeth twice a year, and make love twice a year? I’m not sure of what possible benefit two adjustments per year could have - maybe I underestimate the power of an adjustment?

4) “Oh, I’d come in whenever I had a problem”: Whoops, if you get a lot of this answer, then it is time to change your title to “garden variety DC”.

To take this question to the next level: If your practice members answer that they would like to come more often than they actually do - the next question to ask is - “What do we need to do to help you come as often as you would really like to?” - now its time to work out a strategy, schedule, fee, that makes their dream a reality…

Click Here To Find Out More About Practice Change Coaching…

WHAT IF YOU WERE ONLY ALLOWED TO MAKE ONE ADJUSTMENT?

Wednesday, October 17th, 2007

Imagine if every Australian was allowed to receive one adjustment per week, and that adjustment was covered under Medicare? But here’s the condition: You can only deliver one adjustment per week, per person, and you have to demonstrate the measure benefits of those adjustments every three months using impartial objective outcome tools. I guess there would be a minority of DCs who would think they had found easy street and delivered any old adjustment, in any old fashion, without much consideration for where or how they delivered that adjustment - just so long as the cheques kept rolling in. But for the rest of us, we would want to be completely diligent in ensuring that this one adjustment was a good one, a really good one, and that we adjusted the segment which most needed to be adjusted, and in the right direction because you can’t just hit it on both sides - you only get one shot!!

Think about this in the context of how you currently prioritise how you deliver your adjustments each and every day:

1) Do you start at the bottom and work your way up, or some other variation of this theme? Check and adjust the low back, check and adjust the thoracics, then roll them over and check and adjust their neck? Most DCs have an order in which they adjust everyone. It may not be the order I mentioned, but in most cases it will be a “routine” based on the practitioner’s habit as opposed to some patient-centred findings dictating where you start and finish. STOP IT: Take an extra few seconds to analyse your patients’ spines and make a decision about which is the most important adjustment to make on that visit.

2) Do you adjust the same segments in the same order, any three visits in a row? I thought your practice members were supposed to be getting better and progressing to a new level of health - why then would they continue to have the same subluxations? If you are activating retracing in their body then surely the next layer of subluxation should appear and need to be corrected? And, since they last saw you a lot of different stresses have presented, so they may have a new and different layer appearing on the next visit. Why do we say that the body is a self-healing adaptive organism and then fail to adapt and change our adjustments to keep up? BEWARE: If you check your notes and see that patients are getting the same mix of adjustments on every visit then there’s only two options - A) you put the stuck pattern there with your repetitive habituating stimulus, or, B) their spine isn’t evolving under your care - either way you need to try a new strategy.

3) Do you have a system that allows you to make a live analysis and differential diagnosis of which subluxation wants to be adjusted at any given moment in time? When we teach TRT we show you 14 different indicators of subluxation and train you in the differential diagnosis technique that gives you absolute certainty and precision in making this vital decision…

Click Here To Find Out More About TRT Training…

An interesting question arising from my hypothetical above is for our profession as wellness providers. I used the weekly example based on the observation that:

1) If I could get adjusted as often as I liked I would probably get an adjustment every week;

2) I conducted a highly informal survey of a group of my practice members when I asked them “if you could get adjusted whenever you liked and it didn’t cost you anything, how often would you get adjusted?” The most common reply was “I’d come every week”;

3) I have been using functional assessment technologies in my practice for over a decade and have observed qualitatively and quantitatively the biggest changes when clients are getting adjusted weekly (go beyond three weeks and you will see a significant percentage of clients start to deteriorate functionally);

4) Many chiropractors I have met who claim to be wellness DCs get adjusted weekly and recommend weekly adjustments.

But, how much would this cost the community if every man, woman and child was adjusted weekly: Using the round figure of 20 million people and $40 per adjustment, that comes to $800 million per week.

Here’s the ultimate challenge: We would have to be able to demonstrate without a shadow of a doubt that we were saving the Australian economy at least $1 Billion per week? Can we do this? Your thoughts are welcome…

PROVE IT!

Monday, September 17th, 2007

Gill and I have just gone through a major change in our practice and personal lives. After 18 years of owning and practising in the one location, we have handed over ownership to another chiropractor. So it feels like an appropriate time to reflect and to share some experiences, and some insight into the challenges and potential of our great profession.

It was an emotionally charged time as we started to tell our patients and practice members that we were going to be moving on and that we were going to be handing over their care to a new chiropractor. And there were three groups whose reactions really impacted me: The first group was those old faithful regular clients who had been seeing me for 15 to 18 years. Some reminded me that they had seen me in my first weeks of practice. A couple of people even reminded me that they’d seen me in the first days of my practice. And they reminded me how young and “green” I was; and many thanked me for how much I had grown up and evolved in that time.

Now, this raises an interesting question: why would someone see a chiropractor consistently, and regularly over a period of 18 years? I can guarantee you that it wasn’t because I signed them up with an 18 year prepayment plan. But instead, they must have some conscious value for the benefits that they receive from their adjustments. And they have enormous experience in terms of how chiropractic has helped them – beyond the relief of an acute low back episode

The second group that probably affected me the most was a group of 18 to 22-year-old’s, who when I told them that I was going to be moving on, and that they were about to be under the care of another chiropractor; they looked at me with sorrow and surprise and even disappointment. And most of them said to me, “what am I supposed to do, you have been my only chiropractor for my entire life. You have kept me healthy for all these years?” - Many of them since birth. And it reminded me of how much children intuitively love chiropractic care when they have a good experience. You don’t need to educate or intellectually explain the benefits of chiropractic to a child who experiences them. It’s like a seven-year-old boy said to me once, “I love getting adjusted, you recharge my batteries”.

The third group that probably surprised me a little was a significant group of people who’d only been seeing me for weeks, perhaps months, maybe a year or two: In the bigger scheme of an eighteen year old practice, not a long time. But they too were shocked and disappointed that I was going to be moving on. I guess every chiropractor has patients like this: People who’d been to every other doctor and had all sorts of medical tests and been to other alternative practitioners. And then they stumbled upon you and the healing magic started to occur. And I realised that this group associated their healing with ME and perhaps not so much CHIROPRACTIC. They also place an enormous amount of value on our adjustments. The next part of their journey, being under a new chiropractor, will be to discover that their healing comes from chiropractic, not from Nick Hodgson.

So here is the big question: Do you underestimate the value of the benefits from YOUR chiropractic to the health and wellbeing of your patients and your community? Are you aware of the changes that are happening in the lives of your practice members?

I know there was a time in my practice life where I underestimated the value of what I did. And I remember sitting in a packed theatre at a Dynamic Growth Congress on the Gold Coast, on a Friday night. And one particular speaker was sharing a case story of someone that he cared for over a long period of time. This patient was in a wheelchair as a result of previous injuries, and as the story unfolded, we saw photos of this guy, looking sickly and drawn, in his wheelchair; through to a time when he was no longer in his chair; and then he was holding a newborn baby; his own son in his arms: Both events that should not have happened – but for a chiropractic miracle. And I can remember sitting in my chair, feeling really tense, and then I broke into a cold sweat, and then tears started to well up in my eyes. And later that night, I was tossing and turning in bed, trying to get sleep, and I realised that there was a deep burning question building up inside of me; and it sounded something like this: “Nick, where are your miracles, where are the miracles in your practice?”

Now you might be thinking that when I got back to practice on Monday morning, that there was a guy in a wheelchair, or a deaf or a blind person, waiting to see me, who had a miraculous healing after I adjusted them, and that from that day on I produced miracles of my own. No, my outcomes didn’t change: But instead what happened was my awareness changed. And over the next few weeks and months I started to notice changes and miracles that had already been occurring in my own patients – I just had never taken the time to notice. And as a result I developed a deeper appreciation for the changes that occur as a result of my adjustments. So, let me ask you again: Do you underestimate the value of YOUR chiropractic care?

How do you start to identify and become more aware of the changes that are happening in your practice? In the past, the main way we used to help ourselves to become aware of our miracles was through the patient testimonial. When we had a patient who had a dramatic response to our treatment, we would get them to write a short story about their experiences. And after a while we would have a collection of a range of these testimonials. But what about all the other patients in your practice? How do you know what changes they are experiencing under your healing hands?

Now is one of the best times to be a chiropractor, because we have so many fantastic tools and technologies to measure and demonstrate what happens as a result of an adjustment: We can use health questionnaires to record someone’s state, at any given time. Anything from a neck disability, or low back pain questionnaire; through to specific health problem questionnaires, like asthma or ADHD or any named illness for which I guarantee you can find the questionnaire that matches the ailment; through to health and wellness, and quality of life questionnaires.

And there are also numerous functional assessment technologies, which can measure almost any aspect of your patient’s physiology. From taking digital photographs, and then using software to analyse their postural alignment; Or digital radiographs, where we can store the images on our computer and draw angles and measurements and calculations to be compared later; Through to surface EMG, paraspinal thermography, and pain algometry, and flexibility inclinometry; and now even heart rate variability, brain EEG, skin conductivity, and bio feedback assessments: You name the thing you want to measure, and the technology probably exists to demonstrate the changes.

So what are the benefits to the average chiropractor of utilising these technologies? The first and most obvious reason is that it helps to identify the miracles that you might otherwise miss. Often people don’t tell you about some of the less predictable changes that have happened in their lives until you see the changes in their physiology, and then they’ll say, “oh so that’s why I’m sleeping better, or playing better golf, or feeling happier?” And like me you’ve probably noticed that sometimes people have short memories. Those people who, when you first met them were in a terrible state, and were struggling to do even daily activities. And after a period of being under your care life is now going pretty well. But then, they say to you, “why do I need to keep coming? I’m not sure whether I’m getting any value out of my adjustments?” And you think “what are you talking about, don’t you remember how bad you were? Can’t you see how much you have improved?” So the benefits of using outcome tools is that you have a “snapshot” in time of what they were like back then, and you can show them and remind them as to how far they have come, and how much value they do receive from chiropractic.

So which tools should you be using in your practice? Here’s a really big question that you need to be asking yourself: What do you claim to change? What changes do you expect to see in your patients when you adjust them? A useful bit of homework to do is to take a blank sheet of paper and down one side list what are the major changes that you focus on that indicate that your chiropractic is working? And come up with a short-list of what are the most important functional improvements that you expect. Is it an improvement in posture, a change in a cervical curve angle, a reduction of muscle tension, improved flexibility, less pain and daily dysfunction, or an increased state of well-being and quality of life? Then, next to each of those listed changes, you need to identify the tool that you can use to prove that you change what you claim to change.

I’ve noticed that this can be really, really challenging for many chiropractors. And there seems to be only two possible reasons why a chiropractor would resist utilising these tools: The first is that they perceive these technologies as being expensive or time-consuming: In fact most technologies are now more than affordable and cost effective than ever before, and can usually more than pay for themselves via the extra revenue they generate: Some can be delegated to staff members who are usually more than enthusiastic to get more involved in the clinical and healing process.

And the second “excuse” appears to be a degree of fear of exposure. “What if I don’t change what I claim to change?” And I guess that are only two possibilities to this scenario: either chiropractic doesn’t work or YOUR chiropractic doesn’t work! But this perception is best resolved by putting the outcome tools to work – You either discover that your chiropractic is working; it’s not working as well as you would like (in which case you can modify your management plans and procedures); or it isn’t working (in which case you will need to discover a way that does work): Any of these three possibilities leads to improved quality in your products and service to your community – a win-win situation for everyone.

It is now the 21st century, and if you are practising in the same manner as you were in the 1990s, then you are not a 21st century chiropractor. Assessment and treatment technologies have evolved greatly in the last decade, including the chiropractic adjustment – there are new ways of adjusting which are gentler and faster, which work as well as, and perhaps even better than the “old” stuff. And there is no doubt that the chiropractic profession needs to redesign its packaging IF it wants to be seen as the leaders of the wellness revolution, as opposed to just another provider of drug-free back treatment.

What will happen if our profession doesn’t embrace the technologies and opportunities of the 21st century? There’s a saying, “put up or shut up”: Show your evidence and be listened to and respected, or stay silent and have your ways of life dictated to by others. I know there was a period in my practice life when I was waiting for the definitive study that proved that chiropractic did what I thought it did – improved state of wellbeing, maximized health and optimised human performance. And that once this paper was published in a legitimate scientific journal, the rest of the world would sit up and listen to us. It’s been eighteen years, and I am still waiting! And the profession is 112 years old, and we are all still waiting. That’s not to say that
there haven’t been some good papers – but the “breakthrough” has not occurred.

Here’s what I have discovered to be a fact: The evidence that chiropractic works exists inside the four walls of each and every chiropractor’s office – they are just not using the tools to prove it – they are waiting silently for someone else to present the evidence – maybe someone really famous and trendy who will receive a chiropractic miracle and do a testimonial on national TV, and then everyone will want to get adjusted??

Imagine if every DC used outcome tools in their practice, and that as a result they had enough evidence in their practice to publish just one case study in their career: That would mean that the Australian chiropractic profession would contribute 2,500 case studies to the evidence base. And the US contingent could produce tens of thousands of case studies. Case studies are a legitimate means of scientific endeavour, and the registration boards can’t silence you from sharing this information with the world.

But here’s what happens if you stay silent, and have no evidence to “put up” – third parties start to dictate to you the terms and conditions of your practice life… When the chiropractic profession shuts up, we wake up one morning and discover that our patients cannot share their success stories with the outside world; we wake up and discover we can no longer use the title Dr. What wake-up call will it take to make you put up your proof? Waking up to discover that it is now illegal for you to care for children; waking up to discover that you can no longer adjust necks because some other profession thinks it’s not safe; that you must discharge your practice members once their symptoms subside; or that if their symptoms haven’t subsided after four weeks that you must refer them to another profession anyway?

Maybe we shut up because we lack certainty? THE BEST solution to a lack of certainty is EVIDENCE: Evidence that what you do makes a difference in the world – and the most convincing way to collect the evidence is through the use of relevant outcome tools to measure what it is that you claim to change. You see, nowadays I have complete certainty that MY chiropractic works exactly as I thought it did; it improves state of wellbeing, maximizes health and optimises human performance – I know this because I have used the tools to measure what I claim to change, and they change!

Please join me in the 21st century…