« October 2008 |
| December 2008 »
November 2008 Archives
You’ve probably heard this one: “If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep getting what you’ve always gotten.” This little cliché usually shows up when someone is exhorting the value of making some type of change, whether adjusting technique, first visit procedure, report of findings or the way to communicate with your teenage daughter. It’s related to the one about doing the same thing but expecting different results being a sign of insanity.
In light of today’s changing practice environment, a more accurate rephrasing of the statement would be:
“If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep getting what you’ve always gotten. Until you don’t.”
In short, the procedures, scripts, new patient acquisition strategies, financial policies and care recommendations that seemed to work only five years ago are growing increasingly ineffective.
Continue reading "Patient Priorities" »
How easily do you get offended? Or insulted? Slighted?
Common or rare?
As Eleanor Franklin observed, "No one can insult you unless you agree with them."
Many, especially those who are emotionally "thin skinned," seem especially on the lookout for circumstances in which they can feel some sort of justifiable rage, anger or at least irritation, based on the behaviors, beliefs or opinions of others.
It's a convenient source of angst.
This is one of those common social subluxations that you have complete control over. Being "offended" is merely a choice. What someone else believes has little meaning other than what you give it. Choosing to make it an attack on your beliefs is just that, a choice.
Hold fast. Know what you know. Believe what you believe. Assume they will come around. As you did. They're just not ready yet. Smile. Their time will come. Bite your tongue.
If your candidate won, I’m sure that life is about to get better. If your candidate didn’t win, I’m sure life is about to get better, too. Yes, the sky will be bluer, the sun brighter and the TV news more upbeat. With the election behind us, there’s one less variable hanging in the balance. It was a convenient excuse for inaction, but it’s time to get your head back in the game.
What’s your plan?
Although you may have used the subprime meltdown, election hoopla and the recent fear-based media coverage as excuses to put off facing the reality of a declining practice, it’s time to implement your plan to return it to its former altitude.
Oops! I forgot. With the holidays around the corner, you can’t be expected to pull your practice out of the ditch until after the first of the year. Oh, but then there will be the annual first-of-the-year deductible resets that will further delay any expectations of getting the needed traction. And let’s not forget the weather! So, by the looks of things, you may have until spring to take action. Can you coast that long?
Continue reading "Are We There Yet?" »
Q: I have tried all different variations on the theme of new patient orientation classes. The running problem I can’t seem to get a handle on is compliance. Currently we have been doing lunches at my office. We had even thought about doing a room at a restaurant on a weekend. We are just not sure if there is a better night, day, venue, etc.
Do you know what has been working well for others?
Continue reading "Dear Bill" »
During your new patient consultations listen for words representing absolutes, such as never, ever, always, forever and every. As in “I’ve had this forever” and “I never sleep through the night.”
Forever is a long time. Never means not even once. Always means there are no exceptions. Absolutes rarely describe health issues accurately.
Absolutes are convenient, but they’re rarely true. They often serve to hide or cover up something important. Linguistically, they can be used to separate us from self-responsibility or dismiss situations that conflict with such sweeping generalities. Declarations using absolutes are like road signs: “Do Not Enter” or “Detour.”
But don’t fall for it. Instead, when you hear patients describing circumstances with absolutes, dig deeper. “What do you mean never?” “When you say always, do you mean there are absolutely no exceptions?” “Ever? Tell me more.”
Listen carefully. Dig deeper. Follow up. It is often a clue or access for healing.
One of the more common personas that many chiropractors seem inclined to assume, other than the “Fixer,” is that of the “Coach.” Apparently, so the thinking goes, showing up as the patient’s health care coach grants them the opportunity to employ whatever means necessary to “motivate” patients to do the right thing to regain and enhance their health.
Clearly, this stretches the social contract under which patients show up in your office. Foisting this role onto patients leaves a trail of patient misunderstanding and shame that often precludes future referrals (even after obtaining great results) and practically guarantees that there won’t be a reactivation when their problem returns.
If you show up as the Coach, you’re likely to find it difficult to populate a complete team. Your “scouts” must constantly find new players to fill the void created by a practice of “free agents” who immediately leave once they feel better. That’s because showing up as the coach, selfishly makes the relationship about you, not them.
Continue reading "Do Patients Want a Coach?" »
Are you a fixer?
Many chiropractors define themselves by what they do. But you don't fix patients. They aren't even broken!
Their body has positioned spinal bones in a specific pattern for a reason. (We live in a cause and effect world, remember?) Before you rush in to create your notion of better biomechanics, stop!
Is the stressor (physical, chemical or emotional) that produced the defensive mechanism we call subluxation still present?
Remember, the patient does the reorganization (if there's going to be any), not your thrusting. It's merely energy you make available for their body to help "right" itself.
Showing up as the "fixer" obscures the truth, tempting you to take credit or blame for an outcome you can't control. This is how chiropractors get pushed off their pedestal—whether they or patients place them there.
You can fix a cat. You can fix a car. But you can't fix patients!
New patient statistics are a helpful barometer of your own health. Like symptoms, they are the last to appear and the first to disappear.
When you do a screening, run a promotion or conduct some other self-effort for the purpose of manifesting new patients, these are often the superficial variety. Oh, they have spinal problems, appreciate your care and usually get better, but they rarely embrace chiropractic as a healthy habit.
That's partly because your intention for manifesting those new patients was for your benefit ("I need more new patients!"), not necessarily theirs ("Who needs my help?"). This self-centeredness means you must constantly concern yourself with their replacement. It's burdensome work.
A lack of referrals from all those patients you supposedly helped is a telltale sign that something is amiss. Get your heart right. Dedicate your practice to serving, and you will be served. Meet their deepest needs and yours will be met.
This page contains all entries posted to Chiropractic Practice Blog in November 2008. They are listed from oldest to newest.
October 2008 is the previous archive.
December 2008 is the next archive.
Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.