There is something about going to a beach that makes me happy. I can remember growing up in North Carolina and taking day trips to the ocean. I can visualize opening the car door, the salty air hitting my face, the sun’s heat, and the anticipation of a fun day in the water. Even at the tender age of 38, ☺ I still have the same positive visceral response to visiting the coast.
On the other hand, my ten-year-old daughter was stung by a jellyfish last year in Florida. Her visits to the ocean provoke anxiety and avoidance. Although I will travel any distance to visit any beach at any time, my daughter is not equally enthusiastic. Our unique experiences have etched permanent memories that will forever shape our mood, personality, and expectations.
This blog will describe four simple steps to improve routine patient encounters and create overwhelmingly positive experiences.
Today’s blog will explore how the most successful clinics consistently create positive experiences. There are four intangible assets that patient-centered physicians use to scale their practice. The process has very little to do with the individual practitioner’s clinical skill; but everything to do with how the patient feels during their visit. The most successful chiropractic practices don’t just solve problems; they create memorable experiences. Here is how.
Performing orthopedic exams and providing manual therapy carries a unique risk of irritating sensitized tissues. Spinal manipulation may be the treatment of choice, but it may not be the only treatment you provide an office. If a patient leaves your office in more pain than they arrived in, it will be challenging for them to decide to come back.
Chiropractors utilize multiple modes of therapy, including acupuncture, manipulation, ice, heat, or various soft tissue techniques to alleviate symptoms.
ChiroUp’s team researches new technology, tools, and procedures monthly. Review the Condition Reference section for the current best-practice palliative modalities and treatments per diagnosis. For example; Do you use nerve flossing exercises to reduce neuropathic pain? While it may be a short-term response, it is helpful to show patients you know how to ease their symptoms.
2. Set Clear Expectations
Evidence-based chiropractic treatment is a blend of active and passive therapy. A clear description of the services you provide will allow patients to understand why these treatments are necessary. Be sure to use no higher than sixth-grade language to explain how each technique assists in their recovery.
Employ lay education that speaks to your patients. Patients need to consume information not only in your office, but also at home. Video demonstrations and explanations are a game-changer for many practices. Did you know that you can create customized videos that your patients can see in their condition report? https://www.youtube.com/embed/AtHFzQXWwSs
Use visuals in your explanation as much as possible. Some procedures and processes require pictures, videos, or models.
Dynamic Disc Designs has an excellent model to demonstrate facet gapping and joint cavitation. https://dynamicdiscdesigns.com/product/professional-lxh-disc-model/
3. Define Patient Responsibilities
Good outcomes are jeopardized when we do not verbally and visually explain exercises, posture avoidance strategies, or activity modifications. Telling a patient to perform five exercises and sit up straight IS NOT good enough. Teaching a patient how to perform each task properly and clearly explaining how it will affect their care IS congruent with best-practice evidence. Don’t assume every patient understands everything that you say. Use reinforcement patient education materials, videos, emails, and reminders.
Patients will discontinue at-home care due to pain or uncertainty. Eliminate these barriers to care with accessible information. All of your patients can access exercise & ADL demonstrations via their ChiroUp condition report or by downloading the HealthCom.io app. All tasks have verbal commands and visual cues to minimize the chance of exacerbation or re-injury. For example, patients should experience some pain with eccentric strengthening exercises, but not have peripheralization of symptoms with directional preference exercises.
4. Explain the Prognosis.
It would be relatively ineffective to perform identical treatments and care plans for every patient or condition. Alleviating shoulder impingement symptoms will occur faster than resolving neurogenic claudication secondary to spinal stenosis. Set realistic short-term goals with each specific patient’s needs in mind. Often, it is better to under-promise and over-deliver.
Every patient should leave your office with an understanding of how you will help solve their problem and how long it will take. Personalize your treatment plans from the ChiroUp report preferences tab.
Evidence-based chiropractors pride themselves on being exceptional physical medicine providers but are often not experienced in managing the brain-based learning component. Improving the patient’s experience with quick pain relief, a reassurance of a favorable prognosis, and creating positive memories about a potentially uncomfortable situation are keys to exceptional outcomes and high patient satisfaction scores.
As a ChiroUp subscriber, you have access to a system of powerful resources that all operate to improve patient outcomes and satisfaction. Take a moment to review your ChiroUp Dashboard to evaluate how your practice is performing.
We are thankful to have you in our community of exceptional providers worldwide.
To learn more about the disc model used in this blog, visit https://dynamicdiscdesigns.com/ or check them out on social media.
About the Author
Dr. Brandon Steele
Dr. Steele is currently in private practice at Premier Rehab in the greater St. Louis area. He began his career with a post-graduate residency at The Central Institute for Human Performance. During this unique opportunity, he was able to create and implement rehabilitation programs for members of the St. Louis Cardinals, Rams, and Blues. Dr. Steele currently lectures extensively on evidence-based treatment of musculoskeletal disorders for the University of Bridgeport’s diplomate in orthopedics program. He serves on the executive board of the Illinois Chiropractic Society. He is a Diplomate and Fellow of the Academy of Chiropractic Orthopedists (FACO). His mission in practice is to get people in and out of pain as fast as possible; then give each patient the education and rehabilitation to never see them again. Dr. Steele is also the co-founder of ChiroUp.com, a resource used around the world by practicing chiropractors and colleges.
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