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Scaling Mt. Everest

everest.jpgThe allure of new patients can be potent. Profitable exams. Frequent visits. Insurance reimbursement. And let’s not forget the emotional payoff of having easy proof that chiropractic is working as patients see their symptoms melt away! In short, new patients are profitable—financially, clinically and psychologically.

This, combined with the fact that few patients seem to want post-symptomatic care, reduces chiropractic to little more than physical medicine and puts many chiropractors on an endless treadmill of chiropractic marketing overtures to get more new patients.

At speaking gigs, I frequently remind audiences that of the nine chiropractors I’ve consulted over the last 30 years, chiropractor number seven and nine have enjoyed far greater financial rewards than the first one back in 1981 who harvested my insurance benefits. So, if the appeal of new patients is financial, many shortsighted chiropractors are missing the practice stability and predictable cash flow afforded a tribe of nonsymptomatic practice members who show up once or twice a month. For life.

Consider these three distinctions shared among practices that enjoy high patient retention:

Patient Education

Sorry, but at the risk of appearing self-serving, patient education is crucial if you are to have any hope of fostering post-symptomatic relationships. Patient Media patient education supplies cover most of the topics you’d need to be more effective in your patient conversations. Whether it’s financial policy, the implications of spinal decay or a greater awareness of stress, our patient communication tools save time, project a contemporary image and connect with today’s visually-oriented patient. End of sales message.

Objective Measurements

If you depend solely on gross orthopedic findings to determine the presence of subluxation, you’re dismissing patients long before their nervous system is back to its unimpaired full capacity. Such crude measurements mean you’re dismissing patients prematurely, or depending upon how patients feel as a guide for your care recommendations. This is just one of many reasons we’ve teamed up with the Chiropractic Leadership Alliance to produce patient communication materials for their Subluxation Station. Surface EMG, thermography and their other instrumentation give you feedback on each patient’s neurology that even patients understand.

An objective measurement is crucial if you have any hope of keeping the patient (and you!) inspired when patients show up for their visits feeling great, and leave after their visits… feeling great.

Mount Everest

Overlooked by many chiropractors, especially those with a more analytical bent, is the importance of understanding what drives each patient. It may take some digging, but if you hope to inspire a chiropractic lifestyle, it’s crucial that you uncover and connect each patient’s Mount Everest with chiropractic.

Oh, it may not be Mount Everest. In fact, it probably isn’t. But it could be running a marathon. Or a 10K. It might be losing an extra 30 pounds. Keeping up with their grandchildren. Lowering their golf handicap. Taking the blue ribbon at the state fair. Getting their black belt. Becoming president of the school board. You get the idea. Every patient has a Mount Everest. They may not hold it up to the world and may not think it’s even possible to achieve. But your mission (if you should decide to accept it) is to help them identify it and help them achieve it. In other words, make their chiropractic care about their nervous system—not their symptoms; about their life—not their spine.

When you get bored, patients get bored. If you’re excited by the possibilities, if you’re inspired by the opportunity to at least vicariously participate with those in your community who are up to something, you have a compelling reason for patients to see you as a partner in their climb up whatever their Mount Everest is. How cool is that?

Comments (1)

Nice article.

Another administrative method of both getting new patients and keeping the ones you have is to send the patients' primary care physician a comprehensive narrative report as a courtesy, and as a way to let the MD know that you know what you're doing.

Many MDs receiving these reports, will start or continue sending you their patients if they think you might be able to help them, where all they could come up with was drugs and/or surgery, which as we know, doesn't always work.

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From June 28, 2010 4:54 PM

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