1. Manage their Expectations
As a health coach, communication is key here. Most doctors do little to educate their patients on what they are looking for and whether the patient is in the right office. By explaining what you are about to do and why you are going to do it, you immediately put the patient’s mind at ease. In our office, before we do our exam, we explain the spine, alignment and motion, impacting of subluxation on the nervous system. We also explain how we do a Wellness Score to see how their body is functioning and to discover the genesis of their initial complaint.
2. Manage their Spine
For God’s sake, you are a Chiropractor, ASSESS their posture and alignment.We know that Posture follows movement like a shadow, and lack of motion in the spine is the foundation for degeneration and neurological interference. Check their posture with digital technology like Posture Screen Mobile. If possible, use digital x-rays to see what’s going on inside their spine. So many patients over the years have commented on the fact that other Chiropractors never took x-rays and how impressed they were that our center did. We also do a functional movement screen, visual inspection and bilateral scales to look for gross asymmetry in their alignment. Show me a patient’s posture and I’ll point out their issues. Most learning for people happens visually. Show them what’s wrong; don’t just tell them. Be their health coach and bring them through their journey to wellness.
3. Measure and Manage
Measure what you manage and manage what you measure. In other words, what physiological changes do you expect to see with your care? If you just measure pain using a pain scale, or range of motion, how will the patient know that you’ve helped them in other areas such as their G.I. issues, blood pressure, cholesterol, etc. Patients are taking meds for other conditions that you, as a chiropractor, can help them alleviate. Therefore, we use a Wellness Score and measure things that we expect to see change beyond symptoms. The key is to measure physiology, not just symptomatology. Remember, patients need cues and goals. What cues are you measuring? If you can measure it and you know it will improve, do it!
4. Manage Expectations
Manage your patient expectation for the next visit, the Report of Findings. After the exam, I let the new patient know a couple things. If I think they are in the right office, I let them know. If not, I try to refer them to someone who can help them. A good health coach will not lead them astray.
If they are in the right place, I let them know what to expect next. “Mary, I really feel I can help you but I need to review your films to rule out anything that would prevent me from being able to give you an adjustment and help you. If I can help you, I will let you know exactly what you will need to do on your next visit to fix your problem, including what it will take time wise and how much it will cost, sound fair?”.
I don’t adjust on the first visit. I may do some modalities with them to ease their pain if that is the reason for their visit, but I won’t adjust them until I see their films and put together a game plan for them. Lastly, I let them know when to schedule their ROF, I don’t leave it up to them. “Mary, I’m in again on Thursday, does morning or evening work best for your Report of Findings?”.
You Are the Doctor & Health Coach
When placed in command, take charge. You are the doctor and their health coach. Your examination is the discovery process to be the detective to uncover the cues and signs that will help the patient get what they came in for but also what they need to truly get back on the path to allow their health to become a blessing instead of a burden.
Take the next step!
Contact us to learn how to be an amazing chiropractor and health coach!