Are Patient Compliance Issues Infecting Your Practice?
It’s never a bad time to review what you are doing and where you want to go. At the forefront of your attention should be your level of patient compliance to your recommendations.
Over the last decade in practice, we’ve always tracked and celebrated the level of patient compliance in our office. No, we don’t bat 1.000, but we do have a high number of completed treatment plans. We also have a very strong patient visit average and incredible patient satisfaction from internal statistics and online/Google reviews.
However, we know this isn’t always true for every chiropractic office. It’s definitely not true for many new doctors struggling to make ends meet in the first 3 years of practice. So, we dedicated this post to our 3 cures for poor patient compliance to at-home exercises and/or basic treatment recommendations. We hope these cures help you immediately, but we also hope you investigate TeleCare Rx software to see how it can maximize your practice.
Cure #1 – Reduce Confusion
Patients don’t neglect your recommendations because they don’t care, they neglect your recommendations because they get confused. Granted, there are patients who walk through the door and all they want is an adjustment. But most are looking for a solution to a larger problem and a relationship with a provider they can trust.
If that is the case, and I really think it is, then there shouldn’t be any issues with compliance, retention, or building a stable practice. If there are issues in this area, you should consider if what you are trying to do is actually resonating with the patient.
There are two reasons why you might be confusing your patient. The first is information overload and the second is poor communication skills/systems.
Too Much Info or Bad Communication
Chiropractors are the worst at trying to jam all the information available into the first visit. Remember, patients are only going to remember 2-3 things at most when they leave your office. Don’t overwhelm them with things that don’t matter and don’t dilute the few things you want to get in their mind with a bunch of “stuff” that will confuse or distract them.
If you do struggle with communication or if there are a lot of things that you need to cover on the first visit, make sure you are getting some help. If you need coaching and relationship training that’s not a bad idea, but I’m talking about things that can help you reduce clutter and build confidence within your system. You need a good staff and/or good tech to streamline your process and make it all easy for you and the patient.
TeleCare Rx does both. For the complicated things that are important but hard to remember, we have our customizable video feature. This allows you to create patient education videos that will streamline your most commons, making them instantly available to your patients for review when they get home and realize they can’t remember anything (not tech savvy… we’ll build it for you). To help with controlling the amount of information you throw at the patient, our patient profile will help you better structure your first visit so your patient compliance will improve.
Cure #2 – Improve Convenience
I talk to my associates and to the students that I mentor about one thing over and over again. It can not be stressed enough how important it is to make life easy on the patient.
After years of studies and professional school, we tend to forget about the actual realities of the “normal” person. People want to feel better and they want a true solution. They also don’t want an overly complicated or difficult system to follow. People are simply too busy. If you increase the busy-ness in their lives they will see you as a liability and not an asset… bye-bye patient!
You must only ask the patient to do things that are easy and convenient. If this ease and convenience is matched with results, then it is virtually impossible to fail with patient compliance.
TeleCare Rx is a software system that was specifically designed to make life incredibly easy and efficient. This is true not only for the patient but also the doctor. Our ever-expanding default library of the most commonly used at-home exercises helps you integrate what you do in practice with what the patient does at home. It truly is a win-win situation for you on virtually all levels.
Cure #3 – Measure System Efficiency
One of the major driving forces behind the creation of TeleCare Rx was to allow the chiropractic profession a “first chance” opportunity to utilize technology in practice. We wanted to develop a “virtual” extension of your office – something that patients could access as a virtual portal back to you and your practice, without requiring your time or presence. How convenient!
Yet, if your system of treatment isn’t producing results, it probably isn’t a good idea to virtualize it. Before you take the next step in delivery, you probably need to evaluate your systems for inefficiencies.
Power of Statistics
Statistics are important because they provide an objective measure of how well your practice is operating. Many variables are important to consider such as new patient acquisition, collections per visit, and visits per new patient. They are key performance metrics or key performance indicators that should be measured and understood. If you are not hitting good numbers, you will need to look at your systems and identify where things are going wrong. Then fix them!
Luckily, TeleCare Rx shows a patient’s profile on one screen that offers a snapshot of your system. We obviously hope that the statistics show that your system is efficient and producing results. If so, you’d want to reinforce that system and market it to your community with confidence. If not, go back to the drawing board and see how you might do things differently (cure #1 and cure #2). The great thing is that the software can give you a quick look at patient profiles that succeeded and those that failed providing a powerful opportunity to reinforce positives or fix problems. And even better, it can be visualized in seconds!
We hope this post helps you identify the patient compliance cures necessary to grow your practice. Know that we are excited to help you not only grow and stabilize your practice, but also leap frog others in the industry. It’s time to position chiropractic as the best method for delivering true and lasting health.