Posts Tagged ‘Practice Tip’

Practice Tip - INCREASE COMPLIANCE WITH EXERCISE PRESCRIPTION

Tuesday, November 27th, 2007

Perceived indifference is the number one reason for patient drop out - AND - the number one need of each of your client’s is the perception that you have heard and understood their biggest concerns. A major shift in consumer power is the demand for self-help advice. While most MDs THINK that their patients come to them for a prescription; and most DCs THINK that their new patients have come to get their backs cracked; One of the first questions in your patient’s mind/s is “what can I do to help myself?”

I still remember one particular new patient who consulted me. He was wanting help with his chronic recurrent Low Back condition and had already seen his MD for an “expert” opinion. The GP had given him a sheet full of exercises as his prescription. This sheet had actually convinced the man that he was in the wrong place! You see, the copyright symbol at the bottom of the page was 1965! The guy said to me - “if that’s how up to date the MDs are then I figured I needed to find another profession”.

A lot of chiropractic treatment programs are very “front-ended” - That is the new practice member gets a lot of attention and information in the first 1-2 weeks of care: And then they become part of the daily schedule - Arrive, wait, guided into the adjusting room, face down, adjustment, “powers-on, see you next visit”, pay and make an appointment, leave. And as each visit passes they develop a growing dis-ease that they might just be a number.

Here’s one technique to help your practice members feel like you continue to see them as individual, important and cared for: It’s called drip-feeding. People respond and comply much more effectively to your educational inputs when they are in small bite-size chunks, instead of a huge plate full of stew that exceeds the appetite. You can apply this to any aspect of your ongoing systems and procedures but let’s use the example of exercise prescription:

Many DCs have given up on prescribing exercises because of perceived poor compliance and persistence. The primary cause of this poor outcome is the way in which the exercises are taught, delivered and reviewed. Instead try these guidelines…

1) Only teach 1 and never more than 2 exercises at any one visit.

2) Demonstrate the exercise by assisting the person to perform the exercise there and then - it’s fine to give a sheet but these are just visual reminders - NEVER expect a client to perform an exercise from a still picture without demonstration, and DVDs will rarely make it into the player more than once.

3) Let them know that you will be teaching them another exercise next week, and that you will be reviewing their progress.

4) When you teach them the next exercise, get them to quickly show you how they are doing the last one you taught them.

This process should only add 1-2 minutes to that consult if you do it effectively - if this is too long, this can be delegated to a tech CA who you should have assisting you if you are seeing high volume anyway.

This process achieves a number of things - implementation because they will remember the exercise, compliance because they know you will be checking on them, persistence because they have been made accountable.

When we teach the Super Posture program I show a set of 12 simple exercises which are very effective for improving postural habits, and can also be used to improve response to your adjustments. Click Here To Learn More About Super Posture…

Now the challenge for you is to review the information that you currently bombard your new patients with, and take some time to trim it down into smaller bite size pieces, to mix into your drip-feeding recipe…

Practice Tip - HELP YOUR PRACTICE MEMBERS TO FIND ONLINE HELP

Saturday, November 10th, 2007

The Internet has now become one of the primary ways that practice members and prospective customers find out answers.

Do you help to direct them to congruent health related resources?

65% of people report access to the internet. A total of 74% of those with access use the Internet to find health information for themselves or family members. Disease-specific information is most frequently sought, followed by medication information, and then information about nutrition and exercise. Did you know that as a health care professional you can significantly build your relationship and loyalty with your customers by referring them to useful and helpful web sites?

Here are some short cuts to assist you to point your patients in the right direction…

1) Collect your patients email addresses and offer them a periodical email update service: Send out a periodical group newsletter with links to interesting health articles that align with your philosophy and services. Nowadays you can even remind some patients about their appointments via email.

Click Here To Find Out How To Send Powerful and Impacting Emails…

2) Get a web site: Not just an online business card - but one that has significant amounts of health related and even self-help information, which is regularly updated. There are chiropractic specific services that can help you with this.

3) Have a list of health sites that you regularly refer to yourself - link to these from your web-site, and try to set up reciprocal links from their site to yours.

Click Here To Visit My New Health Blog Suitable For Anyone To Read…

Practice Tip - EMPOWER AND RELEASE YOUR MOST VALUABLE ASSET

Sunday, November 4th, 2007

Here’s some vital questions to ask yourself: Which member of your business…

1) Educates your practice members more simply and effectively than you do?

2) Listens to your patients’ “dirty laundry” and counsels and advises them at the same time?

3) Stimulates more referrals than any other marketing source than you could ever invent?

4) Is more likely to hug, wipe tears, encourage and listen to the people who pay your bills?

5) Placates disgruntled customers who are sick of being kept waiting, or haven’t had their questions answered to their satisfaction?

6) Would like to be more involved in the healing process than you recognise and give credit for?

And all we worry about is did they take the correct money, make the next booking correctly, get people into the adjusting room when we needed them there, keep the kids quiet in the play area, and still manage to book in 3 new patients who rang while 5 people were queued at the front desk?

That’s right, I’m talking about your CA, receptionist, secretary, personal assistant - whatever you call them.

After asking yourself the above questions; next ask your best CA/s: “Would you like to be more involved in the healing process, and learn some new skills?” You may be surprised by the answers you get.

Here’s three ways you can up-skill your most valuable business asset:

A) Involve them in the interview or case history process - Use pre-formatted questionnaires to save you time and actually improve your record keeping. A good CA will have already heard most of the person’s life, family and health history, and will probably know more about what is really worrying the person, before they even see your face: Your CA is the ideal person to select the most appropriate paperwork for each new client, and then to follow up at a pre-determined time to review the questionnaire again.

ACTION STEP: Click Here To Check Out Health Questionnaires That Your CA Could Be Trained To Administer…

B) Get them trained in aspects of the examination procedures - There are some amazing technologies which improve your objective analysis of your patients’ state of wellbeing, and some of these can be trained and delegated to a tech-CA.

ACTION STEP: Have some of your CAs complete the Super Posture program - they will learn how to perform low-tech and high-tech postural assessment and even how to prescribe some corrective exercises: Click Here To Find Out More About The Super Posture Program…

C) Select some therapeutic modalities which can be administered by an assistant under your oversight - Consider this - As your practice expands you may assume that the way to increase your volume and turnover is to employ an associate DC. Most associate DCs will drain up to 60% of the money they generate. How about delegating some of the less skilled and time effective activities to well trained staff who work for an hourly rate? You could dramatically increase your patient flow and diversify your services (and increase customer satisfaction) at a fraction of the overhead.

ACTION STEP: Click Here To Find Out About A Treatment Modality That Can Be Delegated To Tech Assistants…

Practice Tip - ASKING FOR REFERRALS

Monday, October 29th, 2007

I can remember paying good money to attend a practice management seminar that promised me I’d be able to see more people, charge more for my services, work less hours, convert everyone to lifetime care, and attract hundreds of new patients. The crux of the seminar was rehearsing, memorising and then regurgitating powerful “scripts” which if said in the correct manner, guaranteed that everyone would do anything you told them to do. I must say they did work well, but here’s the glitch: When you’ve been in practice for a little while, and you start to see the same people over an extended period of time; and you also see their family members, and friends and colleagues, and reactivated patients; and if your CAs and associates are also using those same power scripts - eventually you are all going to be “found out”. You see this technique is based on “Disney” systems - BUT; how many times have you visited Disneyland? Once, maybe twice, to go to the bits that you missed the first time? And guess what - you only have to listen to the script once! If YOU are going to be a wellness DC with people seeing you 12 or more times a year, for many years, then you’d better have something different to say… Here’s the best way to develop dialogue processes that evolve and adapt to where you practice members are at…

Ask better questions!

Here’s a really simple strategy that doesn’t take long; builds rapport, intimacy and relationship; and produces numerous opportunities for generating referrals: Get to know the practice member’s family, friends and colleagues by asking a simple series of questions… My CA even knows their Dog’s name/s!

It goes something like this:

Q: “What does your husband/wife/partner do for a living?” A: ……..

Q: “Wow, does he/she enjoy that?” A: ………

Q: “Has your husband/wife/partner seen a chiropractor before?” A: ……..

This is where the brief conversation can take a number of turns, but regardless of the answer, your questions should search for a reason for you to recommend that they bring their partner in to be checked to see if you can help.

On subsequent visits I’ll take some brief moments to get to know their kids, and then their friends, and then their colleagues…

I know this sounds really simple, but I have got to tell you that the conversations are much more interesting than listening to the sound of your own voice saying the same thing over and over again?

Click Here To Find Out About Chiropractic 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…