Many chiropractors utilize a two-step procedure with new patients, and in a recent article, chiropractic consultant Dr. Daron Stegall encourages this approach. The two parts include an initial consultation and exam appointment followed by a report of findings and delivery of a treatment plan.
But how can you help patients see that chiropractic treatment at your office is the right choice? We summarized Dr. Stegall's tips here, to help you boost your initial patient interactions.
1. Make yourself the "prize".
Set the tone from the initial consultation that you are asking questions and examining the patient to determine if you can accept his or her case in your office. Let patients know that if you cannot help, you will connect them with someone who can. Just this simple mindset can increase your case acceptance.
2. Focus on the primary problem.
Many patients come in with several symptoms, such as back pain, knee and hip complaints, and neck soreness. Try focusing on one primary complaint that most negatively affects the patient's life. This keeps the patient from becoming overwhelmed and focuses on what will help most.
3. Use visual aids.
New chiropractic patients may become confused while you're explaining the reasons for their pain. Use graphs, pictures, and x-rays to not just tell about the problem, but also show it.
4. Describe long-term consequences.
You are a professional, and prospective patients are seeking your valued opinion. Honestly discuss the possible side effects that may arise if their complaints go untreated. You may cite headaches, arthritis, a weakened immune system, chronic pain, or any number of other side effects that may result.
5. Welcome patients to seek a second opinion.
Present the treatment plan that you know your patients need. Let them know that you understand if they would like to get a second opinion, but either way treatment should be started right away to prevent further complications. When you invite a second opinion, you send the message that you are more concerned for the patient's well-being than your own profit from treatment. And Dr. Stegall suggests that in most cases, gently pushing the patient away a little will actually increase their desire for your proposed care plan.