Are you wondering how to get more patients to commit to long-term wellness care? Start with your report of findings.
It is quite interesting to listen to a chiropractor giving an ROF (and believe me – I have heard A LOT, both live and recorded). From my experience, it is quite clear why patients are confused and doctors are getting the “let me think about it” or “let me talk to my spouse” response from their patients.
Although chiropractic care does a nice job with acute conditions, chiropractic is fundamentally corrective in nature. Its most effective when rendered to patients in an on-going preventative approach. I’ve been getting adjusted once a week for 48 years. I’ll do this for the rest of my life because I want my spine and nervous system to be flexible and adaptable to the inevitable stresses that come with life. I understand this very well and so I get my patients to understand this as well through my Report of Findings.
If you want patients to take their care seriously, if you want patients to value a corrective approach to their health, if you want patients to transition to wellness care, and if you are wondering how to get more patients to commit, it all starts with an effective Report of Findings. We wouldn’t expect people to commit to exercise, dental care, showering, or taking supplements by taking an “as-needed” approach for symptomatic relief. In other words, we don’t wait until we stink to shower, until our breath smells to brush and floss, until we are grossly obese until we start to understand the importance of exercise and good nutrition (at least most people). However, getting patients to make the transition from acute care to corrective care to wellness care, AND to pay out of pocket for it, is something that alludes most chiropractors.
Here are 4 steps that you must follow if you want patients to go from wanting pain relief care to wanting corrective and on-going wellness care. This is how to get more patients into wellness care.
1. Educate: Ask Questions! Connect with patient’s emotional brain as well as their logical brain. We show patients (through their wellness score, posture pics and x-rays) how their problem is effecting the quality of their life. What can’t they do anymore that they need to do or that they want to do? Garden, exercise, throw the football with their kids, take care of their grandkids, be productive at work? If you don’t connect with the way the patient’s condition is adversely affecting their life, you have little hope of getting the patient to commit to anything other than pain relief care.
3. Empower: We ask in our ROF, “What do you want to do about this condition Mary, since this is your spine and your wellness score?”. You can’t own someone else’s problem. The best way to empower patients is to SHOW them what their problem is and then simple ask them what they want to do about it. Once they take ownership of their problem, they are ready to hear what it’s going to take to correct it.
2. Equip: Give patients what they will need to get well. Equip them with the tools and resources they need. These could be supplements, rehab tools like foam rollers and dennerolls, or corrective exercises done in the office or at home. There is a reason dentist give their patients floss and tooth brushes when they leave the office. It’s to equip them for success at home! Home care is critical to get patients thinking about their spinal health every day.
4. Enlist: You must commit them or enlist them into your program of care. The first four letters in the word health spells “heal” and healing takes time. I tell patients that it takes 1 month of care for every year’s worth of damage to their spine or body. As you know, most patients have had their problem for years, if not decades before they come to see you. We won’t accept a patient if they don’t commit to at least the first 3 months of care. To enlist means to enroll and the definition of enroll is “to participate”. Patients must participate if they are going to get results. Remember, their results equal your reputation!
If you are wondering how to get more patients into your long-term wellness program, and start to change their lives, begin by reviewing these 4 E’s. Practice and perfect your talk and method. Your patients will happy that you did!
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