Posts Tagged ‘Process’

THE IDEAL PATIENT

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008

In order to go through the step by step process of building your dream practice, it is necessary to start at the beginning: That is; WHOM DO YOU WANT TO SERVE?

There are three main reasons why you need to define your “ideal patient“.

1) To make you aware of the people presently using your services, that you enjoy serving. By identifying who they are you can better understand how to best serve, reward and encourage these people.

2) So that you know how to attract these people to your practice by better understanding their needs and values.

3) To help you determine what systems and procedures you need to put in place to help the rest of your patients to grow into being an ‘ideal patient’.

DESIGNING THE IDEAL PATIENT:

Think of the patients you presently enjoy serving in the practice; the ones you look forward to seeing and when you see their name on the appointment book it brings a smile to your face. Why do you like them?

Some of the characteristics we might need to consider include: Age, gender, occupation, socioeconomic group, culture, health status, attitude, sense of humor, marriage status, hobbies, interests, values, understanding of health care and chiropractic, with or without kids, appearance etc…

AN EXAMPLE: MY ‘IDEAL PATIENT’:

  • Communicative.
  • Obedient.
  • Positive attitude and outlook.
  • Inquisitive.
  • Health conscious.
  • Believe in chiropractic.
  • Value chiropractic care.
  • Honest.
  • Any age, gender, culture etc.
  • Families.
  • Pays for care.
  • Refers others.
  • Gives recognition for the care they receive.
  • Smile!
  • Doers.
  • Reliable.
  • Enthusiastic.
  • Responsible.

Sit down with your TEAM and brainstorm the different attributes of your practice’s ‘ideal patient’ and come up with your own description…

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 - 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…