"We should so live and work in our lifetime so that what comes to use as seeds might go to the next generation as blossoms. What comes to us as blossoms, might go to the next generation as fruit."
-------- Henry Ward BeecherBefore insurance coverage and managed care, one of the chiropractor's most effective methods of maintaining patient longevity and getting new patients through referrals was patient education and orientation. Doctor and staff talked chiropractic. They told twin stories. They knew how chiropractic worked. They knew and believed in the philosophy -- and they spread the word.
Managed health care is a reality. It is no longer a rumor. To retain patients and build patient longevity and referrals, we must have increased patient education about the human body and how it works.
There is a growing number of the public that focuses on preventive health care and wellness. Their attitude is, "What can and should I do today that will keep me healthy tomorrow and in the future?" Because of this attitude, many consumers have changed their lifestyles and health habits. They want natural health.
- eat less meat and foods containing cholesterol and fat
- read labels carefully for levels of cholesterol, sodium, fat, sugar and calories
- eat more fresh fruits, vegetables, fish, and chicken
- exercise regularly (health spas/gyms are everywhere; home exercise equipment and bikes are a flourishing market)
There is a growing number of consumers that continue to:
- take natural vitamins and eat healthy foods
- stop smoking and exercise regularly
- drink alcohol in moderation or abstain
- drink more bottled water
- brush, floss their teeth, and visit the dentist regularly
- drink alcohol in moderation or don't drink at all
- schedule yearly visits to ophthalmologists for annual eye check-ups
- get second and third opinions before agreeing to surgery
- wear seat belts
- women have regular pap smears and mammograms
Your new informed patients and potential patients want prevention and wellness. Your new informed patients will also refer. What can you as a chiropractor do to maintain your patients longevity?
- Focus on internal marketing, educating, and teaching philosophy and wellness.
- Test your patients' philosophical education level. Ask all of your patients beginning today: "Do you know why you are coming here?" Their answer will give you insight as to how well patients understand chiropractic.
The chiropractic profession must fall in love again with the chiropractic philosophy, and wellness education. It worked in the beginning. It works today, and it will still be working 100 years from now.
It is the eternal truth.
Patients need to know and feel the doctor's and staff's passion, commitment and conviction for chiropractic and wellness. It is sometimes easy to forget how powerful chiropractic is in its incredible simplicity. Don't become so afraid that you kill the excitement. Chiropractic have been criticized, vilified, ostracized, and attacked by the strongest forces in the legal counsel of the AMA. Chiropractic has survived because it is a major part of the natural forces within the human body to heal and maintain the health of humanity.
Chiropractic will never die because of outside forces. Its death will come from within the profession, if the profession does not propagate the principles and philosophy today as they have in the past.
In today's world of high technology, laser surgery, computers, and organ transplants, the uneducated public has been led to believe that health comes from outside.
Be confident, self-reliant, energetic and powerful in the rightness of chiropractic. Patients won't know that health comes from within unless you, the doctor, tell them. Patients won't refer others unless they understand chiropractic.
To grow and expand in this new health era, it is essential that you become the wellness mentor for your patients.
Question: Would you, as a doctor of chiropractic, be willing to go for the rest of your life without quality chiropractic care? If your answer is yes, perhaps you should consider a career change immediately. If your answer is no, think about your patients and potential patients that need quality care now and for the rest of their lives. Patients will not know or understand the need for lifetime care unless you educate them, nor will they refer.
Question: What chiropractic legacy are you leaving for those who will follow in your footsteps?
- no patient education
- no program of continued care for lifetime wellness
- no ongoing health care for the whole family
- nor, an abundance of quality chiropractic care, nurturing and education
We must go back to the future, and we must go back to what worked before some people in our profession because insurance junkies. Patient education is necessary. It brings referrals. It is vital for the survival and growth of chiropractic and chiropractors. It is to your and your patients' advantage and benefit that we bring patient education in the chiropractic philosophy.
I urge you to begin this approach in your office today. Watch what happens to your attitude and the attitudes of your patients, and watch your referrals increase.
You are welcome to call (404) 448-1799 with your questions and comments.