Empowering Women in Chiropractic – Patient Connection Amid COVID-19 Pandemic Dr. McAllister F4CP

Welcome Facebook Live friends. Delighted to have you on this ChiroSecure Facebook Live moment. We have a fantastic topic for you today. Build patient connection and COVID-19 pandemic information. I know that this is a very stressful time, not only for you, but for the patients and the consumers around the nation. And together we’re going to start laying out a plan that’s going to ease a little bit of your stress, help you communicate effectively with your patients that are not able to see you. And in some cases your office has been closed and we’re sensitive to, in the entire nation, because we know there’s a variation on what’s going on. But the most important thing is that we stay connected, we stay united as a profession, and we communicate effectively with our patients. So, as we go through today, I want to always thank our generous sponsors.

These are the sponsors that are supporting the entire profession, and so many of them have done a fantastic job of really getting the information out to all of you so you can be as effective as you can be in building your practice when those doors open and the pandemic is starting to ramp down, that’s where we need to be. So, thank you ChiroSecure for always being with us and providing us this platform to be able to engage with you today, and thank you for joining us. Now, let’s get started with some of the key aspects. How are we communicating to our patients? With so many consumers in a state of panic, upset, there’s just a lot going on. We as healthcare providers in 2020 are now going to have to shift. Many of you remembered how excited it was with the foundation, we had an Olympic commercial and we were all jazzed up about it.

Well, just like life, there’s twists and turns and we need to move quickly with those twists and turns. So, as you know, the Olympics will now be in 2021, still in Tokyo, and our optimized performance campaign, it’s ongoing. It’s going to be happening as we roll it out at the end of this year, and we’re going to have fantastic opportunity to really showcase the Olympic athletes and how chiropractic has optimized their performance. So, stay tuned to that, we have not forgotten that. And you’re all with us, uniting the profession in an optimized performance campaign. So, how did we twist? Well with the pandemic, we decided that it was important for us to help our patients and enhance their health through chiropractic care. So, this is the new campaign we’re going to be rolling out. It’s all about easing the consumers’ stress level, educating them, informing them, and most importantly preparing them for what’s coming out.

In addition, we want you to continue to become alert to what’s happening, all of the facts, state associations are pumping them out. Our national associations are creating and the foundation is going to do everything it can to help you be effective during COVID-19 pandemic. We’re working through the opiod epidemic as well. So, we have a lot of important aspects to get across. Remembering that chiropractic started on the structure and function of the human frame. Hippocrates was the first and foremost to say that the doctor of the future, that’s the doctor right now, is a chiropractor because what we’re doing is enhancing their health by interesting them in all of the pieces that we’re going to cover today. So, let’s just jump in, first and foremost, as I said, the doctor of the future is going to have to make some changes and these changes are actually going to be involving telehealth.

The foundation’s website f4cp.org actually has now hosted two informational webinars for doctors to reference about telehealth options, as well as how to properly code for telehealth appointments at this time. It is important to familiarize yourself with these local and state laws as telehealth options are very different based on your location. Just keep that in mind as we go through this. Because of the many legal, and regulatory, and economic constraints on the system, healthcare is actually taking a major twist because we’re actually behind in using and innovating the technology into the patient’s life. So, your practice is going to start to create a whole new revenue generating opportunity in the future to come. And how you implement that, is now, you start to think about how you’re going to offer opportunities. Because let’s face it, two failures have actually become obvious as the coronavirus has spread across the globe.

One is the lack of telehealth adopted by the providers, which technically has resulted in capacity management struggles such as frightened patients actually crowding emergency departments and waiting rooms. The other failure is that many patients do not actually understand telehealth and how it works. And that in and of itself is changing how the consumer is thinking about their health. And many have not even heard about telehealth previously. Remember that this is a time for us to adopt new ways to create opportunity with our patients and engage them. So, as we go through, just remember with telehealth, the laws are different state to state, but many DCs across the nation are actually gearing up to introduce a telehealth component to their practice. And in order to stay connected with your patients, it’s a lovely way to do it, especially some of the elderly patients with a few or more comorbidities that come into your practice regularly and now they can’t.

Lonely, isolated, maybe afraid, might be our time to just even reach out and call them on the phone. But telehealth certainly is changing the way the healthcare system will be delivering for the future. And also, as we start to think about how chiropractic as a whole is working its way into the lives of our patients with lots of new work-from-home employees, we have an opportunity to educate them more now than ever. Remembering there’s quite a few studies out there, longitudinal studies that showcase the reasons why chiropractors are being utilized. One of them is, we’re a whole body approach and that we’re looking at the body as a opportunity to increase the environment to which we live in. So, we’re building our success and enhancing health by the inside out, that’s always been our premise. Now, I know many of you are sitting there thinking these are tough times, but do remember there’s been tougher times for chiropractic, and we need to reflect on how strong and willing we are to build a future that helps our American consumers create opportunities in their own lives.

And I want to reflect back on how many went to jail for us, how many actually stood in jail, still doing what they love to do, adjusting the inmates. So, as we work through this very difficult pandemic and our practices have taken a hit, we will come out and we will be stronger, both in the epidemic and the pandemic. Now, let’s just be very honest, we have to stay active on social media, more now than ever before, because that’s where our patients are and when the patients are there, we need to be reaching out to them. And that’s what Enhance Your Health campaign is really going to be focusing on.

You’re going to actually see some pretty cool things, things that the foundation has never done before and you’re going to ask yourself, how is this really fitting into chiropractic? It’s fitting into their lifestyle. It’s trying to help them where they’re at today and where they want to be tomorrow, and so as we go through, we want to make sure that we’re looking at staying active with them in 2020 on a variety of different platforms, in your newsletters, getting online and doing a video.

I saw a recent video and it just made me smile. It was my own doctor that mentored me and he was doing core exercises for his patients in his pajamas and that is kudos to him because I think this is a way for us to connect on a whole different level and the time is now. As we get through, I want to remind you that there’s opportunities as we walk through some of these resources. If you’re a foundation member, you’ll be able to see it. If you’re not, think about some of the materials that you want to put out into the public eye that talks about you as the expert in helping them maintain and enhance their health. So, let’s start thinking about the ergonomic habits. It’s an interesting thing because a lot of us have transitioned to our in-office work at home moments. I know for myself, I have teenage boys and them walking in on a Facebook Live, it could happen.

So, if it does, I’ll apologize, but a lot of us are sitting on our beds, on our couches, snuggled up in our pajamas. It’s okay, no one’s judging. We’re all in it together. But the reality is, is that we do need to have these conversations of the ergonomics of their positioning. So, what do we got? Well, as a doctor of chiropractic, your expertise is especially important as the Bureau of Statistics for Labor, they note that almost 33% of musculoskeletal disorders create work injuries. One of them just being poor postural ergonomics at their desk, and it is going to be our job to talk to them. Everybody needs a helping hand and sometimes we forget. Even the chiropractor behind in this Facebook Live right now, needs to be reminded that you’re important and that your health is very important. And we need you to put, like they say in the airplanes, put your oxygen mask on first.

Are you taking care of you, as the chiropractor? Because that will help you take care of your audience through the effective ways that we may not be able to be giving them spinal manipulations at this moment, pending where you are. But if you cannot, then remind them of their ergonomic settings and what it means. This is a nice little piece for workplace. It just goes over some of the lifting, and bending, and twisting and postural things. The other piece that millions of Americans are facing is anxiety and chiropractors are extraordinary in helping the whole body and we listen very effectively. So, given that we’re experiencing the situation that we have, the respiratory system is impacted and breathing techniques can actually provide your patients a very logical opportunity to impact their health through something very simple they can do throughout the day. And not to mention, with everyone’s stress level at this time, breathing helps to relax them.

It improves their posture, it incorporates the ability for them to really think about themselves and how they’re being impacted. So, just on the left hand side of your screen, 478, great infographic. Four seconds to breathe in, we’re really starting to think about our belly breathing and then creating an opportunity to hold it in for seven seconds, slowly expiring. We all know our Apple phones are set and our Apple watches will remind us to do some breathing, but it’s also important to reach out and talk about breathing. Why? Because there’s many causes that cause breathing to become more superficial. One obviously is anxiety, but remember we have a lot of people out there that are smoking, that may have asthma. It’s that time of year where the pollen comes out. It’s also a stressful environment that they may or may not be in.

And for women, options can vary from very tight intimate garments that may be constricting their chest wall to just having the anxiety of daily life at home, unknowing of what’s going to come, so please get these out. As well, 45% of Americans are actually getting inadequate sleep, which is affecting their daily activities, in the last seven days. Stress the importance of adequate sleep with your patients because it relates to the bigger picture of overall health, in that poor sleep is actually linked to a number of different problems ranging from diabetes, increases depression, also changes the way you feel during the day and your hunger, as well as high blood pressure. So, we start to see how enhanced health starts with just going to bed early and how that manages the performance for the next day. Speaking of having teenagers at home, Netflix is one of those big things that gets streamed across the nation.

My son is watching the Michael Jordan documentary and one of the things that I thought was really kind of interesting and important is, when you’re an elite athlete, you stick with a regimen and one of those regimens, Michael Jordan always went is 10:30 to bed, is getting a proper night’s sleep. If it’s good for an extremely elite athlete, it’s going to be great for our patients, especially during a time where things are changing all around them. So, let’s not forget how important those easy things are to do. We all need a little boost in the postural distortion area. Having the ability to connect with your patients ranges from just simply reaching out and saying, “How are you doing?” To, let’s do a few exercises together, maybe a chin tuck, maybe a wall angel and show them on your YouTube channel, or even put this exercise, improve your posture right into your next newsletter.

Nothing stops you from mailing things out to your patients. If you wanted to mail something and just said, “I’m thinking about you. I’m looking forward to seeing you once we get through this pandemic.” These are all great opportunities. Along with that, how do we enhance our health through some of the simple things? I know right now it’s been the busiest time for the foundation we’ve ever had. Just a lot of changes, a lot of updates, a lot of thinking ahead, and so for me, my go-to is my coffee. And maybe there’s some of you that might really to my go-to. I’m hoping that we can help ourselves optimize health through living, one of them being better hydration. So, as you see the campaign rolling out, how to add some fruit to your water, how to create a little more time to think about just your hydration levels and your nutrition levels.

All of these things play a role in connecting with your patients, especially as they start to change their nutrition values. A lot of them are not going and getting fresh vegetables and fiber, so we still need to keep our fiber levels high and how do we do that? You’re a nutrition expert with your patients and we’ve been through a lot of the courses, we know how we keep healthy in our workout regimens, in our nutritional daily supplements. That’s something that we’re going to be starting to share with our patients.

Now, what patients really do need to hear while we’re going through a pandemic. I’m going to cover that now because listen, we’re in it right now, but we won’t be forever. So, we want to start thinking positively about the future, positive press for chiropractic and the benefits that we do. One of the things I want to just reiterate is how the patient uses us is important because we need to meet them where they’re at and if they’re seeing us as a holistic doctor for their entire health, that’s when we need to encourage and broaden our perspective on helping them where they’re currently at.

So, as we go through on your Facebook pages, on your Pinterest, on your Twitter, we want to remind the patients that chiropractors are here to help. We’re frontline providers pending where we are in the United States, for spinal health and wellbeing, specifically as it relates to what we want, the neck, the back, headaches. But we also want to start talking about wellness in general and the foundation is here to help you, to encourage you to start talking about wellbeing. Because when we encourage someone to optimize their choices on a daily basis, they’re going to be stronger. And as we noted in many conversations that COVID affects, more drastically, those that are suffering with diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular issues, lung issues, so the best we can do for our patients is really encourage them with their health as we go through. We also, especially in telehealth opportunities, we want to make sure that they understand that we actually can diagnose, evaluate, and provide non-pharmacological care and rehabilitation, as well as ergonomics, lifestyle and nutrition counseling to enhance their health and their wellbeing.

Put this in a variety of different Twitter posts, in a variety of different Pinterest outreaches, because when they see it repeatedly, they’re going to be coming to us for questions and asking and doing more for their health. That’s one of the things that I think you’re going to see our campaign give you more material to work with, so you can have these conversations on a regular basis. We are a non-pharmacological first line approach to health, and then as we go through the pandemic, I want to remind you our goal is to lessen the burden on the hospitals. As we start to come out of the pandemic, right now all the precautions necessary to ensure a safe appointment for that patient. If they need an ER visit, they need to go into the hospital, but we want to ease a lot of that overflow and we also want them to understand and be considerate to the fact that neuromusculoskeletal options chiropractors treat and we want them to be aware that our healthcare professionals, when we start getting out back into our offices, those primary care physicians are going to be also overwhelmed.

I think now is the time, the time for you to introduce yourself to a five mile radius of every healthcare provider you have, to say, “When this pandemic is starting to open the opportunities for our patients to come back, I know that you will probably be overwhelmed and I’m happy to assist you with your patients that are going to need neuromusculoskeletal care and that you can refer to me. If you’d like to have a conversation on the phone, learn a little bit more about my practice, please call me. I’ve got information I’d love to share with you.” We as the foundation would love to give you the, what we call the definitive chiropractic resource manual, which shows a lot of the research out there and then draft some letters that you can find in our toolkits, to really be able to help the healthcare providers in your neck of the woods that are going to be overwhelmed.

I know just for my son’s orthodontist appointments, they just sent us a text that, “As soon as we’re open for business it’ll be 12 hour days.” You may be in the same boat, but the time has never been better to educate on enhanced health, help the patients understand our gift that we bring to the table and that when we do have telehealth in our court and we understand how we’re using it, we may or may not, depending where you are, able to charge for it, but what a fabulous way to really help them. We can look at their gait analysis, if we can share with the patient to just put their phone down and walk back and forth. We can look at their posture, we can look at their desk, we can talk about how they’re feeling. We can showcase ranges of motion with them.

There’s a lot we can do and increase our awareness in the nation through our telehealth options, so don’t be afraid of that. Especially when it comes to, as we see right here, the ergonomic chair. We want our patients to understand it’s not just sitting that causes the problem. It’s standing all day or the doctors that are in the ER, my clinic has a lot of first line patients, meaning they’re ER docs, they’re firefighters, they’re police officers, they’re on their feet all day long and what we want to do is the transition. Why is that transition important? What are some of the stretches that you can do to help your back, help your legs, and your upper chest? Great new ways to enhance your health with chiropractic care. The foundation focuses primarily on enhancing your health this year with chiropractic. Never forgetting that optimized performance with chiropractic is 2021.

As normal, next week, same time, same place ChiroSecure will offer another fabulous opportunity for you to learn more. Now is the time to get engaged with your practice and build the business protocols and procedures, and engage with your patients, so that when your doors open, if they’re closed right now, or when those numbers start to peak up, you’re ready, you’re willing and you’re able. We’re united as a profession to help those enhance their health and build on a future of them being knowledgeable about the framework that’s been given to them. That’s the most important thing they own, and now through a pandemic, I think they’re going to start really focusing on it.

It’s our job to teach them because the other healthcare providers are going to be focusing on sickness care, and now we get that glorious next step of showcasing wellness care. I want to thank you so much for being part of the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress’ Facebook Live opportunity. I sincerely hope to see you back on the ChiroSecure’s Facebook Live in May, when we start rolling out our entire toolkit on posture and what that means. Stay safe. Be well. Thank you.

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