3 Steps to Create a Sustainable Chiropractic Practice
Traditional chiropractic has historically promoted a value proposition that sounds something like this: “Spinal manipulation is the solution to your problem (insert condition). Come in today to get your spine checked. After 3 visits per week for 4 weeks, we will re-check to see if your problem is gone.”
That approach worked for many years because the patient out-of-pocket visit costs were low while reimbursement for the chiropractor was high. Some patients got better—some didn’t, but either way, there were always more prospective new patients to harvest. Plus, the number of chiropractors was limited and medical alternatives often failed.
Patients today have more options from other providers offering similar if not identical services. To compete, many chiropractors have elected to offer “revolutionary” new services and/or techniques to differentiate themselves from their competitors. While that works for some, I propose a different way to capitalize on our changing economy.
Focus on patient outcomes instead of expanding services. (i.e. If you want to be the known as best steak house, quit highlighting your creamed asparagus.) Select the right service or techniques to produce the fastest and most effective patient outcomes. Patients want value because health care is becoming more expensive. They don’t have the time or money to give you 2 months to see if your solution will work.
Stop focusing on random services—and start bolstering value in your core product
I assure you that the vast majority of new graduates have a plan to create value. They need to succeed in the same community that you do, but with limited resources and no reputation. The ones who are succeeding producing and marketing digital content, providing excellent customer service focused on alleviating patient symptoms in the least about of time, and networking with other healthcare providers. Experience gleaned from talking with hundreds of chiropractors around the world and running my own practice has highlighted 3 steps you can take today to separate your practice from surrounding clinics in a meaningful way.
1.Let your community see your name and clinic logo on a regular basis. Most people are not in pain all the time. However, those in pain want to get out of pain fast. Having your logo and name fresh in their mind will improve the likelihood of patients calling your office first. Have a digital marketing campaign that includes:
email your patients and professional acquaintances on a monthly basis (example),make regular posts to your Facebook and social media pages (example)request Google reviews. Here is a quick tutorial to learn how to incorporate asking for Google reviews to current patients.
2.Network with MD’s, DO’s, PA’s, and nurse practitioners. These providers see a similar population and are constantly looking for high-value treatment options for their patients. Demonstrate your ability to care for their patients and communicate that with a common language. Here is an example of a sample initial and release report. Imagine if medical professionals in your area saw every chiropractic success story. Sending a release report via mail and fax will ensure they see your successes and not just your failures. Check out this prior video blog to learn more about generating massive medical referrals.
3. Your primary goal in practice should be to solve patient’s problems as soon as possible. I tell each of my patients, “It is my goal to get you out of pain as fast as possible, then teach you how to keep it from ever coming back.” Continually refine your techniques, services, rehab, and patient education to produce better clinical results, i.e. a better steak. Selecting the right treatments for the right patient at the right time will ensure that your customers are receiving the best value in healthcare. Make chiropractic care a service that patients want to buy, instead one they try when nothing else works. Excited patients refer- telling family, friends, Google, and their doctors about how well you performed.
These three steps are big leaps for some. We don’t have the time, money, or ability to reinvent our clinics every time a new practice management company comes to town. However, if you base your clinical and business model on achieving the best clinical outcomes, your reputation in your community will market for you.
Get your message out through social media, MD strategies, and Google reviews. Spending time on creating value for your patients is a multilevel system that cannot be piecemealed together. Your patient education, marketing, and in office communication must contain the same message of patient value through outcomes.