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Archive for the ‘Chiropractic Tips’ Category

How to Avoid Practice Burnout

Monday, February 13th, 2017

Mark Sanna, DC, ACRB Level II, FICC

One of the more challenging aspects of owning your own business is that the proverbial buck stops with you. This entrepreneurial aspect of owning a practice frustrates many chiropractors. Being the owner of your practice requires you to exercise your skills in leadership in order to get your team to work together and take direction. This is true in all forms of business, including the chiropractic practice. However, you can’t lead others unless you’re in a good position to lead. The proper care and feeding of your practice team begins with proper care and feeding of the team leader—you.

 

Burnout Is a Serious Threat

 

You need to be aware of how sharp your sword is before you try to sharpen someone else’s.

Burnout is a serious threat. It steals the passion that inspired you to go into practice in the first place. Without passion, your ability and willingness to do what it takes to make your practice a success quickly diminishes.

 

Symptoms of Burnout

 

  • You find yourself resenting your patients instead of wanting to help them.
  • You dislike your employees because you think that they’re making constant demands.
  • You snap at your spouse when asked how your day went.
  • You’re constantly feeling pressured and unable to relax.

 

At first glance these behaviors may seem ridiculous, but unfortunately they are indicative of a way of life for many chiropractors. They’ve become stuck in fast forward and so entrenched in their practice that they “don’t have time” for friendships, having fun, being creative, hanging out or simply resting. They have difficulty relaxing enough to sleep at night. When they do wake up, they speed through their morning routine and rush to arrive at the practice on time. By the time they do arrive, they’re ready for a morning break. This is a classic formula for burnout!

You have two simultaneous roles in your practice. You play both the role of an employer and of an employee. If you worked for an employer who expected you to work non-stop, never allowing time off, paying less than you are worth, you’d soon have your resume updated and you’d be out the door. While you would never consider treating your employees this way, many practice owners work themselves harder than they would ever ask someone on their team to work.

 

Faced with the increasing pressures placed upon all health care practitioners, it’s not uncommon for practice owners to take on more than they can handle. They increase the number and speed of their activities, raise their goals, and introduce new systems at a furious pace. And after initial success, too often they try to make this furious pace the new normal. What began as an exceptional burst of achievement becomes chronic overloading, with dire consequences. Not only does the frenetic pace sap your energy, it can zap the motivation of your entire practice team.

 

Keep Yourself Fresh and Engaged

 

How do you keep yourself fresh and engaged? What are you going to do to keep yourself from being overwhelmed?  Begin by delegating or outsourcing the tasks that are draining you and creating an unhealthy environment. If insurance billing and collections are zapping the life out of your practice, consider outsourcing these functions to a billing company. One of the most useful roles a practice management consultant can play is to provide a non-emotional evaluation of what’s working and what isn’t in your practice.

 

Like a fish that isn’t aware of the water it is swimming in, you may be too close to your practice or too emotionally engaged to remain objective. Don’t reinvent the wheel when you don’t have to.  A good consultant can help you find simpler, easier ways to do what isn’t working. Just say, “Okay, this is an area that’s draining our practice. Coach, how can you help us?”

 

Schedule Regular Time Off

 

Some doctors insist that they can’t take time off or they can’t afford to hire a covering doctor.  Whatever point your practice is at, you are the pilot of your ship. If you feel that you can’t step away from your practice, start putting a plan in place so that you can take time off in the future. It’s been said that a candle loses nothing by lighting another candle. It takes nothing away from you to pass on your flame. But how can you light the fire in your practice team if your candle’s not burning?

 

Learn to take care of yourself. This is why taking adequate time away from your routine is so crucial. Taking care of your mental psyche includes taking the initiative of giving yourself proper time to relax and unwind. Clearing your mind is not only good for reducing the stress that accumulates during everyday life, but it also provides an opportunity to take a step back and re-assessing what you have been doing and the direction you are heading.

 

Take Care of the People Who Take Care of You

 

Be aware of the work environment that you’re creating for your employees. Make sure that you’re treating your practice team the way that you would want to be treated. Preventing burnout must be part of your business plan. Begin by scheduling weekly one to two minute long standing meetings with each team member on a one-on-one basis. This will provide you with the opportunity to acknowledge and praise them for their successes and to perform a “gut check” to see if problems are brewing – long before you might discover them otherwise. This is also your chance to listen to hear if problems are brewing with other team members.

 

Use cross training to build your team. Give each team member the opportunity to share their role with another member of the team. By learning each other’s job responsibilities, individual team members become aware that they’re not an isolated component of the practice.  This helps to make sure that everyone “gets” the big picture and understands how the work they do helps the practice achieve specific goals.

 

Cross training makes team members more valuable (and normally provides job security). Often people don’t want to learn new skills because they’re afraid. And they don’t want to teach others their skills because they’re afraid they will become less valuable to the practice. In reality, the more each team member knows, the more valuable they are to the practice. To make cross training work, identify the critical skills that make your practice function. Set up a schedule of activities to train team members and give them an opportunity to grow in a safe environment. You can build upon this idea by holding monthly in-services during which your team members have the opportunity to showcase their role in the practice to the rest of the team.

 

Acknowledge and Reward Success

 

Reward your team members for a job well done. There are countless recognition programs in place in chiropractic practices. The most successful programs are custom tailored to what inspires the individual members or the team. Ask each team member to create a wish list of those things that would motivate them personally to hit their goals. Rewards do not always have to be monetary in nature. Non-monetary rewards form one important part of a complete recognition program. Nonmonetary rewards include such items as being thanked publicly at a team meeting, having lunch with the team member of their choice, or receiving an extra day off. The desired outcome of a rewards and recognition program is to improve performance. Each team member should have their own list of goals and the associated rewards, ranked by value, based upon the significance of their achievement to the practice.

 

Build a culture in your practice that encourages accomplishment. Take the time to poke your head into your team members’ space just to say “thank you” for a job well done. This brief moment of acknowledgement will ensure that the individual knows what they did was important and is appreciated by you. In addition to acknowledging your team’s individual efforts, you can celebrate success extravagantly by popping the cork on a bottle of champagne when your team hits a collective goal, or in a more low key fashion with bagels the next morning with a note of thanks. The important thing is to ensure that individual efforts are noted and appreciated.

 

Share Your Goals with Your Team

 

To make your goals live you need to write them down and verbalize them. Share them with your team and to ask each individual to help hold each other accountable. Practice visualizing your goals vividly and communicating them with energy and enthusiasm. If you want your team to help grow your practice, you must share your vision of what you want the practice to be. Establish beginning and ending points. Your team won’t know if they’re moving the needle if they don’t know where they are today and they’ll have no way of knowing when they cross the finish line if they don’t know where the finish line is. Set a goal with your team to become the very best team possible and celebrate your accomplishments along the way!

 

Dr. Mark Sanna is the CEO of Breakthrough Coaching. He is a member of the Chiropractic Summit and a board member of the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress. You can learn more about Breakthrough Coaching by visiting www. mybreakthrough.com or by calling 1-800-723-8423.

Cash or Insurance Practice? Why Choose One?

Wednesday, January 11th, 2017

Mark Sanna, DC, ACRB Level II, FICC 

The expansion of Obamacare has made insurance policies with $10,000 to $15,000 deductibles  commonplace. Savvy health care consumers are making more cautious decisions about where  to spend their discretionary healthcare dollars than ever before. This leaves many chiropractors  struggling with a choice of being a cash or insurance‐based practice. They wonder if the  increased demands upon their and their practice team members’ time that come with  accepting insurance is a viable business model for their practice future.  Many chiropractors  facing this dilemma feel that they must choose either cash or insurance as an “all in” or “all out”  strategy.

The Either/Or Scenario 

Chiropractors who choose to opt out of insurance reimbursement do so because they believe  that removing the burdens of dealing with third party reimbursement will reduce their daily  level of stress and free them to offer patients more affordable payment options. Many times  these practices offer services at reduced fees. Due to their lower fees, seeing a high volume of  patients is often the way that these chiropractors can generate a level of income that will  support their overhead and lifestyle.

Chiropractors who choose to focus solely on the insurance‐based model of care confront a  different set of problems. With increased limitations on chiropractic coverage, including the  number of visits allowed, these practitioners often times tailor their patient recommendations  to the level of services covered by third party payers. Practicing to meet the requirements of  insurance payers takes the focus away from the patient’s health needs.

I’ve seen chiropractors place themselves and their practice in jeopardy because of their lack of  knowledge of the significant regulatory and compliance requirements that remain in place  whether they decide to accept insurance or not. The “let’s make a deal” payment plans offered  by both cash‐only and insurance‐based practices walk a fine line between what is legal and  what is not. Offering the same service for different fees is considered a dual fee schedule and is  illegal.

Blend the Best of Both 

No wonder chiropractors are confused. Let me assure you that it is possible to create a practice  that blends the best of both cash and insurance. Your practice can deliver affordable care to a  high volume of patients while meeting the requirements of insurance reimbursement.                                            This may be easier to achieve then you may think. The first step is to establish a compliant fee schedule  that allows you to accept limited insurance coverage while at the same time offering your  patients legal discounts. This can only be done by joining a recognized Discount Medical Plan  Organization (DMPO) and creating a cash‐based fee schedule that is published and available to  all patients regardless of their level of (or lack of) insurance coverage. A DMPO allows you to  blend covered and uncovered services into an affordable payment plan that fits the financial  requirements of care into the patient’s family budget. It also allows you to inform patients what  their financial responsibility will be from their very first visit. This removes stress from  providers, practice team members and patients.

Moments of Truth 

Along with compliant patient financial procedures, the blended practice has a system of  compliant patient care procedures that begin with a new patient’s first interactions with your  practice. How your practice team handles these moments of truth is essential to your success.

Patients make both conscious and subconscious decisions as to how much they are willing to  spend when they purchase care from you. You can build the perceived value for your care by  creating an extraordinary first visit experience for your new patients. When delivered correctly  you should regularly hear the words, “That was the most thorough examination that I have ever  received—I feel like I’m in the right place!” To consistently achieve this high level of perceived  value requires you to take a fresh look at the services you provide on a patient’s first visit.  These include: your consultation and examination procedures.

Build Value with Your Consultation & Examination 

New patient procedures begin with the consultation. During your consultation, let patients  know that you’ll be listening closely to the answers that they provide to the questions that you  ask them while taking their history. Let them know that their answers will guide you in the  choice of which tests you will perform and which instruments you use during their examination.  Let them know that this allows you to customize their examination to specifically look for the  cause of their condition. Custom‐designed items and services carry a higher perceived value  then their off‐the‐shelf, generic counterparts. By letting patients know that they will be  receiving a customized examination you increase the value that they place upon your service.

You can add tremendous value to your examination procedures simply by recording them with  a digital recorder. Inform the patient that you record all of your examinations and get their  permission for the recording. Recording your exam accomplishes several goals. Most people  don’t like to hear themselves recorded. For this reason, patients tend to be quiet during your  examination and this allows you to proceed with your examination without extraneous  comments and conversation.

As you examine the patient, call out your findings to the recorder. Rather than the typical  silence on the part of the examiner, which can be confusing and unsettling to the patient, you’ll  be providing value‐building information. A patient undergoing a Lasègue test may think that  you are simply lifting their leg until it hurts. Calling out the finding “Lasègue test positive on the  right hand side at 45 out of 90 degrees for L5 nerve root tension” lets the patient know that you  have found something wrong with them. This will limit much of what is covered in a traditional  Report of Findings. The patient has listened to your Report of Findings during the examination  process. This raises the value of the entire procedure and lets the patient know that you are  actively examining them to uncover the cause of their problem.

Build Value with Your Report of Findings 

I counsel my clients to avoid adjusting their new patients on their first visit. Providing palliative  therapies to decrease pain and inflammation is encouraged. Adjusting the patient immediately  following their examination decreases the perceived value of your care exponentially. How  significant could the patient’s problem be if you determined the cause and applied the  correction within minutes of meeting the patient? If you feel that you absolutely must deliver  an adjustment on the patient’s first visit, I encourage you to send the patient home for several  hours to rest while you review your examination findings and create your plan of care. Have the  patient return later in the day for their report.

Having the patient return for their Report of Findings and first adjustment gives your practice  team time to verify insurance benefits. You will know the patient’s level of coverage and the  doctor will have created an initial plan of care. You can now estimate the patient’s financial  responsibility for their course of care and create a payment plan without the stress of having to  do it on the spot, while the patient is waiting to receive care. You can deliver a financial  consultation to the patient immediately following their Report of Findings.

Begin your Report of Findings by confirming to the patient that your examination uncovered  the cause of their condition and that you have the ability to provide them with the care that  they need. At this point patients will be concerned with two primary questions: they want to  know how long it will take and how much it will cost. The blended practice, utilizing a compliant  DMPO fee schedule can make a recommendation for care based upon what the patient needs  and not what their insurance does or doesn’t cover. This allows you to give the patient your  recommendations for care based upon your estimation of how long it will take for their  condition to resolve and not their financial circumstances.

Increase Case Acceptance 

Add these steps to your new patient procedures and you will increase the value of your care in  the eyes of your new patients. Handling patient finances skillfully, upfront by blending
insurance benefits and cash in a unified payment plan decreases stress and increases case  acceptance. Patients are more likely to follow through with your recommendations when their  financial commitment has been taken care of in advance when their perceived value of your  service is at its highest level.

 

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Energy, Not Time, Is Your Most Precious Resource

Monday, December 5th, 2016

Mark Sanna, DC, ACRB Level II, FICC

We live in a digital time. Our rhythms are rushed, rapid fire and relentless, our days carved up  into bits and bytes. We celebrate quick reaction more than considered reflection. We skim  across the surface, alighting for brief moments at dozens of destinations but rarely remaining  for long at any one. We race through our lives without pausing to consider who we really want  to be or where we really want to go. We’re wired up but we’re melting down.    Most of us are just tying to do the best that we can. We survive on too little sleep, wolf down  fast foods on the run, fuel up with coffee and cool down with alcohol and sleeping pills. Faced  with relentless demands at work, we become short‐tempered and easily distracted. We return  home from long days at work feeling exhausted and often experience our families not as a  source of joy and renewal, but as one more demand in an already overburdened life.

Consider these scenarios: 

 You attend an hour‐long Team Meeting in which not a single second is wasted – but  during the final half hour your energy level drops off and you struggle to stay focused.

 You race through a meticulously scheduled four‐hour shift but by midway your energy  has turned negative‐impatient, edgy and irritable.

 You set aside time to be with your children when you get home at the end of the day,  but you are so distracted by thoughts about work that you never really give them your  full attention.

 You remember your wedding anniversary – your computer alerts you and so does your  smart device– but by the evening, you are too tired to go out and celebrate.

Energy, not time is the fundamental currency of high performance.   

This insight revolutionized my thinking about what drives enduring high performance. It has  also prompted a dramatic transformation in the way I coach my clients to manage their lives,  personally and professionally. Everything they do – from interacting with patients and staff to  spending time with their families – requires energy. Obvious as this seems, we often fail to take  into account the importance of energy at work and in our personal lives.  Without the right  quantity, quality, focus and force of energy, we are compromised in any activity we undertake.

Performance, health and happiness are grounded in the skillful management of energy.

There are undeniably difficult patients, tough days, bad relationships and real life crises.  Nonetheless, we have far more control over our energy than we realize. The number of hours in  a day is fixed, but the quantity and quality of energy available to us is not. It is our most  precious resource. The more we take responsibility for the energy we bring to the world, the  more empowered and productive we become. The more we blame others or external  circumstances, the more negative and compromised our energy will be.
If you could wake up tomorrow with significantly more positive, focused energy to invest in  your practice and with your family, how significantly would that change your life for the better?  As a leader and a manager, how valuable would it be to bring more positive energy and passion  to your practice? If your practice team could call on more positive energy, how would it affect  their relationships with one another, and the quality of service that they deliver to your  patients?

To be fully engaged, we must be physically energized, emotionally connected, mentally focused  and spiritually aligned with a purpose beyond our immediate self‐interest. Full engagement  begins with feeling eager to get to the practice in the morning, equally happy to return home in  the evening and capable of setting clear boundaries between the two. It means being able to  immerse yourself in the mission you are on, whether it is grappling with a frustrating challenge  in the practice, managing your practice team on a project, spending time with loved ones or  simply having fun. Full engagement implies a fundamental shift in the way we live our lives.

You must become fully engaged. Four key energy management principles drive this process.

Principle 1: Full engagement requires drawing on four separate but related sources of energy:  physical, emotional, mental and spiritual.   

Human beings are complex energy systems, and full engagement is not simply one‐dimensional.  The energy that pulses through us is physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. All four  dynamics are critical, none is sufficient by itself and each profoundly influences the others. To  perform at our best, we must skillfully manage each of these interconnected dimensions of  energy. Subtract any one from the equation and our capacity to fully ignite our talent and skill is  diminished, much the way an engine sputters when one of its cylinders’ misfires.    The more toxic and unpleasant the energy, the less effectively it serves performance; the more  positive and pleasant the energy, the more efficient it is. Imagine for a moment that you are  about to have a chiropractic adjustment. Which energy quadrant would you want your  chiropractor to be in? How would you feel if he entered the adjusting room feeling angry,  frustrated and anxious? What if he was disengaged, laid back and slightly spacey? Obviously,  you want your chiropractor energized, confident and upbeat.

Principle 2: Because energy capacity diminishes both with overuse and with underuse, we  must balance energy expenditure with intermittent energy renewal.   

We rarely consider how much energy we are spending because we take it for granted that the  energy available to us is limitless. In fact, increased demand progressively depletes our energy  reserves – especially in the absence of any effort to reverse the progressive loss of capacity that  occurs with age. By training in all dimensions we can dramatically slow our decline physically  and mentally, and we can actually deepen our emotional and spiritual capacity until the very  end of our lives.

When we live highly linear lives – spending far more energy than we recover or recovering  more than we spend – the eventual consequence is that we break down, burn out, atrophy,  lose our passion and get sick.  Sadly, the need for recovery is often viewed as a sign of weakness  rather than as an integral aspect of sustained performance. The result is that we give almost no  attention to renewing and expanding our energy reserves, individually or for our practice.

To maintain a powerful pulse in our lives, we must learn how to rhythmically spend and  renew energy.   

The richest, happiest and most productive lives are characterized by the ability to fully engage  in the challenge at hand, but also to disengage periodically and seek renewal. Instead, many of  us live our lives as if we are running in an endless marathon, pushing ourselves far beyond  healthy levels of exertion. We become flat liners mentally and emotionally by relentlessly  spending energy without sufficient recovery. We become flat liners physically and spiritually by  not expending enough energy. Either way, we slowly but inexorably wear down.    Think for a moment about the look of many long‐distance runners: gaunt, sallow, slightly  sunken and emotionally flat. Now visualize a sprinter. Sprinters typically look powerful, bursting  with energy and eager to push themselves to their limits. The explanation is simple. No matter  how intense the demand they face, the finish line is clearly visible 100 or 200 meters down the  track. We too must learn to live our lives as a series of sprints – fully engaging for periods of  time and then fully disengaging and seeking renewal before jumping back into the fray to face  whatever challenges confront us.

Principle 3: To build capacity, we must push beyond our normal limits, training in the same  systematic way that elite athletes do.   

Stress is not the enemy in our lives. Paradoxically, it is the key to growth. In order to build  strength in a muscle, we must systematically stress it, expending energy beyond normal levels.  Doing so literally causes microscopic tears in the muscle fibers. At the end of a training session,  functional capacity is diminished. But give the muscle twenty‐four to forty‐eight hours to  recover, and it grows stronger and better able to handle the next stimulus.  While this training  phenomenon had been applied largely to building physical strength, it is just as relevant to  building “muscles” in every dimension of our lives – from empathy and patience to focus and  creativity to integrity and commitment. What applies to the body applies equally to the other  dimensions of our lives.

We build emotional, mental and spiritual capacity in precisely the same way that we build  physical capacity. 

We grow at all levels by expending energy beyond our ordinary limits and then recovering.  Expose a muscle to ordinary demand and it won’t grow. With age it will actually lose strength.  The limiting factor in building any muscle is that many of us back off at the slightest hint of  discomfort. To meet increased demand in our lives, we must learn to systematically build and
strengthen muscles wherever our capacity is insufficient. Any form of stress that prompts  discomfort has the potential to expand our capacity – physically, mentally, emotionally or  spiritually – so long as it is followed by adequate recovery.

Principle 4: Positive energy rituals – highly specific routines for managing energy – are the key  to full engagement and sustained high performance.

Change is difficult. We are creatures of habit. Most of what we do is automatic and  nonconscious. What we did yesterday is what we are likely to do today. The problem with most  efforts to change is that conscious effort can’t be sustained over the long haul. Will and  discipline are far more limited resources than most of us realize. If you have to think about  something each time you do it, the likelihood is that you won’t keep doing it for very long. The  status quo has a magnetic pull on us.

A positive ritual is a behavior that becomes automatic over time – fueled by some deeply  held value.   

I use the word ritual purposefully to emphasize the notion of a carefully defined, highly  structured behavior. In contrast to will and discipline, which requires pushing yourself to a  particular behavior, a ritual pulls at you. Think of something as simple as brushing your teeth. It  is not something that you ordinarily have to remind yourself to do. Brushing your teeth is  something to which you feel consistently drawn, compelled by its clear health value. You do it  largely on automatic pilot, without much conscious effort or intention. The power of rituals is  that they insure that we use as little conscious energy as possible where it is not absolutely  necessary, leaving us free to strategically focus the energy available to us in creative, enriching  ways.

Look at any part of your life in which you are consistently effective and you will find that certain  habits help make that possible. If you eat in a healthy way, it is probably because you have built  routines around the food you buy and what you are willing to order at restaurants. If you are  fit, it is probably because you have regular days and times for working out. If you manage your  practice team well, you likely have a style of giving feedback that leaves people feeling  challenged rather than threatened. If you are closely connected to your spouse and your  children, you probably have rituals around spending time together with them.  Creating positive  rituals is the most powerful and effective way to manage energy in the service of full  engagement.

Dr. Mark Sanna is a member of the Chiropractic Summit and a board member of the  Foundation for Chiropractic Progress. He is the president and CEO of Breakthrough Coaching.  (www.mybreakthrough.com 1‐800‐723‐8423).

 

At Scrip Hessco, chiropractors can find the products that they require, easily, conveniently, and affordably. Scrip Hessco’s massive inventory allows chiropractors to search for specific items, or browse for new and exciting options. The most successful chiropractors are the ones that are constantly evolving and taking necessary steps to keep business fresh and interesting for the patients, as well as for themselves.

For more than 40 years, ScripHessco has been the leading full-service distributor of chiropractic supplies such as Biofreeze and equipment to the chiropractic industry. Rely on ScripHessco to help you serve your patients and grow your business with popular resale items.

How to Make Your Chiropractic Practice Grow

Monday, May 16th, 2016

Mark Sanna, DC, ACRB Level II, FICC

CEO, Breakthrough Coaching

Breakthrough Coaching Logo

Building a successful chiropractic practice can be a competitive business. You must continually advance your practice by attracting new patients, maintaining the ones you already have and incorporating new technologies and techniques. This is something you must do continually or your practice will stagnate rather than expand.

 

Win on the Web

There is a high likelihood that your next new patient will search for you on the web even if they have been referred by one of your current patients. Make sure that their first impression of your practice is excellent by hiring a professional web designer to build a website for your practice. Make sure that the content is written with search engine optimization in mind, so prospective patients will find you when searching the web. If you don’t already have a catchy phrase or brilliant logo for your practice, now would be the time to create one. Include well produced, short video clips so that patients can get to know something about you before coming to your practice. Patients come to your practice assuming you know how to do chiropractic, but what they really want is to get to know you and your staff. They want to be welcomed and feel that they have made a good decision on how to spend their hard earned dollars on their health. If they like how they are treated and feel you have their best interests at heart, then they will trust you.

 

Review Your Software

If you are serious about expanding your chiropractic practice, you must be sure the software system you have in place will accommodate the growth and the requirements of electronic records management. If you’re unsure if you have the right software, you will need to review several different systems to determine which will best suit your needs. Practice can become a nightmare if you don’t have the proper software to track appointments, insurance claims, patient records, and payments. The right software should allow you to file insurance claims electronically to save you time and paperwork. A good piece of software will allow you to track your practice, spot trends in services and reimbursement, and help you grow into a profitable practice all at the same time.

 

Market Internally

Internal marketing and word-of-mouth advertising are the best two ways to attract new patients. They are also the least expensive methods of advertising. Word-of-mouth is spread mostly by people who come to you for chiropractic services and are pleased with your work. Patients who are pleased with their chiropractor, typically recommend them to their friends and family members. You can encourage former patients who no longer visit you by reaching out to them with reminder postcards for a check-up or for other services. If you don’t get an immediate response, continue to mail on a quarterly basis. It often takes several contacts before a reminder will spur someone into action. In addition to postcards, write and send a monthly newsletter to all of your patients via e-mail. Include useful information that educates your patients while subtly promoting your practice.

 

Maintain Current Patients

Although it is normal to lose some patients, you can advance your chiropractic practice by maintaining as many as possible. According to expert practice builders, twenty five percent of your marketing efforts should be focused on attracting new patients to your practice. Your main focus should be on retaining your current patients. Make sure that your current patients are satisfied with your service so they won’t think about finding another chiropractor. Build strong relationships with your patients. Chiropractors who focus on their patients and establish strong relationships increase their revenues, even during financially hard times. Make an effort to remember each patient’s personal information and family members’ names to show that you value their business and see them as an important part of your practice. Solicit your patients’ feedback about their experience with your practice and use the information to realize your strengths and fix your weaknesses.

 

Attract New Patients

Even if you have a large patient base, over time some patients will stop coming in for various reasons. They may move, lose or change their insurance or simply decide to try another chiropractor. Play an active role in your community. Performing community outreach by volunteering to speak at schools, service organizations, local employers and other groups is a highly effective way to attract new patients. Give presentations on topics consistent with your philosophy on health and wellness to bring visibility to your practice and promote your expertise.

 

Most organizations won’t mind if you pass out business cards after your talk. Even if you don’t, people who are looking for a chiropractor will remember your presentation and will locate you via your website. Where state laws allow, you can make yourself especially attractive to new patients by giving them a special offer. Offer a complementary consultation or other service and let people know that you will extend the offer to their family members, friends and co-workers. Reward people who refer new patients to your practice. Give them a small item, such as a gift card, for each family member or friend they refer to you.

 

Expand Your Services

One way to grow your practice is by offering new products services. There are many services that are compatible with chiropractic care. Nutritional supplements, orthotics and supports are natural compliments to chiropractic care. Massage therapy, acupuncture and exercise therapy are high demand procedures that fit well in a chiropractic setting.  Research the services that are in demand and determine whether they will be profitable for your practice to offer them.  Be aware of the services that other health care providers are offering in your community to be sure that your practice remains competitive. Review the pages of this and other chiropractic publications on a regular basis to keep up to date on current practice trends.

 

Add New Technologies

One important way to advance your chiropractic practice is to keep your technology up-to-date. This is especially important when a new technique or piece of equipment can help differentiate your practice by making your procedures easier and more comfortable for your patients. For example, you can switch to digital x-rays that can be read immediately and deliver less exposure to radiation. The new generations of hand-held instrument adjusting devices come equipped with auditory feedback signals that indicate to both doctor and patients that a desired level of movement has been achieved. Many chiropractors are finding that laser therapy is an excellent high-tech adjunct to the traditional modalities they offer. The results are well documented and providing laser therapy can create the cutting-edge buzz that helps to grow a practice. Feature your use of technology prominently in your ads and on your website. Send postcards to patients notifying them when you incorporate something new and beneficial into your practice.

 

Focus on Your Patients

Make the choice to establish, build, and retain solid relationships with your patients. Listen to what they want and treat them well. Give them the intrinsic value they seek from choosing your practice. Deliver quality care above and beyond what they expect. The payback for you will be increased patient referrals, more satisfied patients, and greater profitability. It is then that your practice can continue to grow and truly flourish.

 

Dr. Mark Sanna is a member of the Chiropractic Summit, the ACA Governor’s Advisory Board and a board member of the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress. He is the president and CEO of Breakthrough Coaching

 

At Scriphessco.com, chiropractors can find the products that they require, easily, conveniently, and affordably. Scrip Hessco’s massive inventory allows chiropractors to search for specific items, or browse for new and exciting options. The most successful chiropractors are the ones that are constantly evolving and taking necessary steps to keep business fresh and interesting for the patients, as well as for themselves.

For more than 40 years, Scrip Hessco has been the leading full-service distributor of chiropractic supplies such asBiofreeze and equipment to the chiropractic industry. Rely on Scrip Hessco to help you serve your patients and grow your business with popular resale items.

 

What is Breakthrough Coaching?

Tuesday, February 16th, 2016

New 2014 BTC logoWhat is Breakthrough Coaching?

Breakthrough Coaching is a practice management consulting and personal coaching firm that teaches an outcome-based, functionally, oriented system of procedures that focuses on preparing chiropractors to become the primary providers of the prevention and wellness services driving healthcare reform today.

 

Tip of the Month by Dr. Mark Sanna

DC, ACRB Level II, FICC

CEO, Breakthrough Coaching        

                                                                         

Hire a Marketing Chiropractic Assistant

Some chiropractors cringe when the word “marketing” is brought up.  Very often, doctors will ask, “Do I really have to market my practice?”  Short answer: Yes!  Remember, your practice is a business, and new patients are its life blood.  Without new patients, your practice is in a state of decline, and if this situation is left unattended for long, your business will be in jeopardy.  The fact of the matter is, if your lights are on and your doors are unlocked, you are marketing your practice.  With a little more focused attention and thought, you can make a huge difference in the bottom line – cash flow.  One great option is to address this issue is to hire and train a dedicated Marketing specialist.

One of the biggest concerns doctors have is that they believe they can’t afford to put another team member on staff to focus on marketing.  However, time and again, it’s been proven that this person can more than pay for themselves with the efforts in the community and in-house to market your practice.  Just the addition of an extra 3-5 new patients per month can be a significant increase for your practice. However, with the consistent marketing efforts of your team member, many times that number are likely to be flooding your office, thus making the salary paid to this team member well worth it.

Practices that have a marketing representative devoted to promotion of the practice consistently report higher than average new patient statistics.  Keeping the plates spinning at all times and in all directions assures that a healthy amount of new business will constantly flow in.  Sit back and watch the abundance of new patients pour into your office with the right marketing team member!

Click here to learn more about Breakthrough Coaching!

 

 

At Scriphessco.com, chiropractors can find the products that they require, easily, conveniently, and affordably.  Scrip Hessco’s massive inventory allows chiropractors to search for specific items, or browse for new and exciting options.  The most successful chiropractors are the ones that are constantly evolving and taking necessary steps to keep business fresh and interesting for the patients, as well as for themselves.

For more than 40 years, Scrip Hessco has been the leading full-service distributor of chiropractic supplies such as Biofreeze and equipment to the chiropractic industry. Rely on Scrip Hessco to help you serve your patients and grow your business with popular resale items.

Do you have a chiropractic or health product that you want distributed by ScripHessco?

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015

Get ready to make your best 10 minute pitch to a panel of Scrip-Hessco’s executives at “Scrip-Tank” where you will have an answer instantly. Presentations must pre-register and presenters must be registered Parker Seminars attendees or exhibitors. Sign up now by emailing your name and product information to: ChiroPTProductManagers@scripco.com

SCRIP TANK
Thursday, January 29th from 3:30 – 5:30
at the Parker Seminar in Las Vegas
Once you have signed up, the place and time slot will be emailed to you. Deadline to sign up with be Friday January 23rd.

Parker Show Las Vegas

 

For more than 40 years, Scrip Hessco has been the leading full-service distributor of chiropractic supplies such asBiofreeze and equipment to the chiropractic industry. Rely on Scrip Hessco to help you serve your patients and grow your business with popular resale items.

 
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