From a Patient’s Perspective…

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Hey doc, have you ever stood in front of your chiropractic office and mentally stepped out of your shoes and into the shoes of a patient? Have you ever slowed down lately to listen to how your receptionist and other team members that interact with patients, treat patients? What they are saying, how they are saying it? Are they smiling? Are they friendly? Are they inviting?

I think about every time I step foot into a Starbucks. Before I am 10 steps in a barista is greeting me with a Hello or a Welcome to Starbucks. The energy in the place is buzzing with people doing business, sharing quality time together, working, relaxing, etc.  The employees are all smiling and have 100% focus on serving clients. They are efficient and effective in their every move. How does your office compare? We all know that everyone flocks to Starbucks because of the feeling they have when they are there. They don’t have great coffee – there are many better places to go. People just subconsciously walk into one almost every day of their lives now.

It’s time to slow down to take your practice to the next level. Slow down and take yourself out of the “doctors headspace” and put yourself into your old headspace before you were a doctor OR put yourself in your shoes when you walk into other businesses – restaurants, dry cleaners, dentists, etc. What do you expect when you go to these places and these services?

As a chiropractic patient myself, I can let you know that when I walk into my chiropractor’s office, I expect a smile and a nice greeting. I expect to be taken care of immediately, even if that means a simple “Welcome into the office Tim, here’s your chart, take a seat and relax for a few minutes and I will be right with you when I finish up with my other 2 clients. ”

When I walk into my chiropractor’s office, I expect a very clean and comfortable setting where I feel good. If I don’t get this, I would just rather go somewhere else.

Once I am with the doctor, I expect him/her to be respectful, courteous, interested and empathetic with me. I am paying $40-$60 per visit and that is more than I pay to go most anywhere else but I know my body is worth it and the reward ratio is sky high for the service I get. I expect a doctor that communicates with me and lets me know the plan once he hears me out as I explain where I am at today, physically.  And I like when my doctor lets me know what he is doing before he does it if it is something new we haven’t done in my appointments yet.

As I leave the office, I expect to feel like I just invested my money wisely in my long-term care as a chiropractic patient. If I were going in for short-term care to get a specific issue resolved, I would want to feel the same. Remember patients aren’t only making a financial investment into your practice they are making a time investment. They could be somewhere else doing other things that bring them joy, money, satisfaction. Don’t EVER take a patient for granted. And an insurance patient deserves to be treated the same as a cash paying patient. Though they may be paying less out of pocket, they are equally “expecting specific things” just like a cash paying patient.

So take the time to step out of your shoes and walk in your patients. It would even be wise to choose a few patients you have a great relationship and ask them point blank, “Mary, what could I improve in my office – from the second you walk in to the care and communication of me and my team to the second you walk out the door – any great feedback you can provide as to what you would suggest we change or improve on – and please be honest – we want to be sure we are doing everything we can to make this an AMAZING experience for our patients.”

Okay Doc, I think you get the idea……don’t procrastinate – get on this right away and see what changes need to be made in the way your office is decorated, organized, the seating, the staff, their demeanor, your communication, your clothes, your breath, everything!!!!

Timothy Feuling is the Managing Director of CBS Malpractice Insurance Program (NFP Property & Casualty). As an insurance broker he is able to shop the market to find you the most competitive premiums for the most comprehensive policies. You can reach Timothy at 1-858-750-9176 or by email at Tim@CallTimToday.com . Authoring 5 books on chiropractic risk management and patient testimonials, Timothy has a deep rooted passion for serving the chiropractic profession throughout the remainder of his life. Chiropractic has given him far more than he can ever give back.

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