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May, 2017

Peer to Peer: How to Create Loyal Patients

By DCPI Staff

What's the secret to a successful practice? Of all the variables experts have postulated, one stands out as common-sense and constant: patient engagement. A practice that lacks patients who believe in their DC and are willing to place their health in their doctor's hands won't survive the long haul.

To help enhance your practice and increase your bottom line, we periodically ask practicing DCs for ideas and solutions that have been tested in real-world environments.

customer loyalty - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark Our latest question: "When talking to new patients about chiropractic and their first Report of Findings, what do you consider the most effective ways to get buy-in for your care plan and the value of chiropractic? In other words, what keeps patients coming back?" Here's what a few of your peers said when asked for their input:

Dr. Michael Arnot, Portland, Ore.: "After 25 years of practice, I no longer do report of findings. Patients in reality do not care about chiropractic; they only care about what will help them to attain their personal goals. As a practitioner, if I am able to listen and understand the goals of each individual patient, I can construct a treatment plan to assist them in reaching their goals. If you are able to do this, whether you are in agreement or not with their request, you will have a patient for life and someone who will continue to praise your services and refer in.

"As a profession, we should be more focused on the inequality of reimbursement of our services. Producing a better-quality experience, and charging abundantly for it, is a much better model."

Dr. Daniel Wills, Pataskala, Ohio: "When I give a report of findings, I tell the patient what is wrong, and then tell them how I am going to help. I cite specific guidelines and let the patient know how it relates to them and their care. I do not sell long plans or ask for (nor require) any cash up front. I treat patients symptomatically and when their symptoms resolve, I release them from care."

Dr. Pamela Latimer, Harwich, Mass.: "I almost never have an issue with the initial acceptance of my care plan because my goals are the same as the patient; that is, to remove their pain as quickly as possible. I try to never overstep what the patient can see for themselves.

"That being said, I find out what they 'want' immediately, while I gradually teach them the options they could consider down the road as far as stabilizing their condition and increasing their future health."

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