Knowledge is Power: Boosting Patient Confidence Through Research
By Drew Stevens, PhD
There is an interesting juxtaposition from the quote developed by English philosopher Francis Bacon in the 1600's, "knowledge is power." While the quote is very true, the paradox exists because of the plethora of Internet information. With more than 670 million websites, patients have more content today than ever before. However, this begs the question: "Can they apply it?" Knowledge cannot be powerful when it is just information. Information is just that, it's data. One must be able to apply data in order to create knowledge. And, with the droves of Internet information, it then becomes the chiropractor's responsibility to aid patients in applying that information.
In the last several years due in large measure to industry and competitive issues, many chiropractors are treating patients based on current needs. Research is a wonderful way to illustrate the patients knowledge, power and new modalities of patient care. This is especially useful during current industry and competitive changes. In fact, research is strongly indicating that patients want to live longer, happier and healthier lives. In doing so, they desire to discover new methods and who better than their family physician - the chiropractor - to show them just how to accomplish this.
What are some areas of research you can incorporate into your practice? That is a great question, this depends upon your market demographics, your region and even the type of patient care you provide. However, there are some national trends that might be of interest to you so that you can immediately assist patients.
The first level of research that you might want to conduct concerns weight management. There are numerous products on the market, those that one might purchase from GNC or others that could be purchased at a local supermarket. There are even those that can be purchased through online shopping. No matter what the patient chooses, there is lack of knowledge in supplementation. We all agree, from a holistic standpoint, that most foods lack nutritional value and/or are vitamin deficient. Yet doctors can illustrate to patients through their myopic research how the particular fad diet can impact that particular patient. Most diets, as we know, are made for the average person, but no patient is ever average. Therefore, extracting information from the CDC or even the FDA can be exceedingly helpful in providing proper knowledge to the patient so that they can lose weight, feel better and entrust your services.
If you are seeking proper places of conducting useful research, I would suggest your local library or even your chiropractic college. Many of the services that both offer will provide you electronic access. Entrance to the electronic library will provide you with well over 200,000 journal, peer-reviewed and scholarly articles that you can research by keyword and key term. Such databases include EBSCO, that incorporates numerous newspapers periodicals and trade publications. Additionally, many electronic libraries provide you with interlibrary loans for both e-books and regular texts. Having access to this type of data will grant you data that many of your patients will not have and die for. This content will immediately increase your value sixfold!
According to new analysis made available in late 2012 and 2013, consumers today seek newer and better alternatives for care. Even though consumers age, there appears to be a commitment on their part to not use medicinal products to aid in symptomatic care. With increased insurance and medicinal costs, consumers today are seeking newer alternatives. In a report from Packaged Facts, it is found that the supplement market sales across the U.S. have shown strong, steady growth in the face of economic uncertainty, posting a 7% gain in 2012, according to a new report. The report seems to suggest that veterans, baby boomers and a small dose of generation Xers seem to formulate the core backbone for supplemental products. Moreover, in 2014 and beyond, the market is expected to double.
Given that many chiropractors during their course of study focus on biochemical areas of the body, the use of supplementation aligns very well with the core components of holistic health. Opportunities present themselves in the form of supplemental counseling and defending much of this with proper research. Your patients will be blown away by the multiple amounts of content you provide to save them money, increase their health and live longer. Such research can include, but is not limited to, best countries to buy supplementation from, numerous products to avoid and the best types of products. This type of research will save your patients time and money.
Expanding Patient Options
Many patients are realistically unfamiliar with anatomy, biology and kinesiology. Since many do want to feel younger, act younger and be younger, finding new research related to new chiropractic techniques, holistic formulas and even whole foods would provide your keenness and passion for patient care. For many years, dentists have required that their patients visit with them an average of two to four times a year simply for dental hygiene and teeth cleaning. Research has indicated that doing so will eradicate many diseases found in the body such as heart disease, diabetes and certain forms of cancer. We all pragmatically understand that the body runs best when it obtains the proper fuel and systems. The type of food put into the body will help achieve maximum potential or ruin it. Therefore, the relationship the chiropractor has with the patient will fully support a healthier, happier and longer living patient. And, the better education you provide to the patient helps to increase not only their life, but also your value. Since relationships are all about trust and respect, the patient will visit the chiropractor more often and even provide more future growth with referral. When knowledge becomes power, your relationship with your patient grows stronger.
Drew Stevens, PhD, is known as "The Revenue Doctor." He helps chiropractors develop strategies that exponentially grow revenue and returns personal time. He is the author of eight books including the widely acclaimed "Practice Acceleration" by Greenbranch publishing. He can be reached through his website at www.stevensconsultinggroup.com.