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Hello, ChiroSecure viewers.
And thank you for joining me today and a special shout out to Kyra secure for sponsoring these programs for the profession. We love them, right? They’ve got the best coverage, incredible customer service and amazingly helpful resources. I’m Kim Clapp, founder of assistants for chiropractic excellence. And for over 25 years now, I’ve been managing my husband, dr. Tom’s practice. We are in Ann Arbor, Michigan plus I’ve been coaching CA since 2000. So if there’s anything you need help with hiring training office systems, you, so today I want to start off with a well known story. At least among scientists late one night, a police officer finds a drunk man crawling around on his hands and knees under a streetlight. The officer asks what he’s doing. So the drunk man explains that he’s looking for his wallet. Now the officer starts helping him search, but to no avail.
So after a few minutes, the officer asks, if you sure that this is where he’s dropped his wallet. So the man replies, well, he thinks he actually dropped it in the side alley. So of course the officer asks him then why are you looking over here? And the drunk replied because the light is better here. Now, the reason I wanted to start with that story is because the streetlight effect is exactly why so many chiropractic assistants and office managers end up making the wrong decisions when running the practice. It’s because they’re looking for answers in the wrong place. So let’s face it. You know, when a practice question comes up, holiday office hours, dress code, staff, compensation, network, participation, procedures, patient education fee plans, you name it, where do most CA’s look that’s right. They ask other offices, whether that’s on a Facebook group or they call another office or they phone a Cairo friend and I get it CAS.
We have a Gillian task to juggle. So asking others for input seems like a quick and easy solution. So when it happens to be a supplier recommendation, you know who to use for, or a factual question like, Hey, what’s the code for? That’s absolutely fine. It makes sense. However, the problem is when you use that approach for decision making it, every practice is different. So what works for one office won’t work for another office in less. They happen to have the same practice, vision, mission, and core values, which as you can imagine, you can imagine is probably not the case. So because CA’s are busy attending to those Gillian details, it’s easy to sometimes overlook that big picture. You know, as a CA we’re always focused on dotting those I’s and crossing those T’s that sometimes we forget about the why’s. So to quote, BJ Palmer, get the big idea and all else follows, you know, CAS are not mind readers, you know, especially when you work with your spouse, you know, it doesn’t really matter, but you know, there is no crystal ball, at least not one that works, you know, but guess what we really do want
And the doctors. So doctors, if you start out by investing the time to create and then communicate that critical foundation, then you and your team are going to be able to make the right decisions for your practice. You know, the ones that are in alignment with your philosophy, your vision, your mission, your core values, your goals, and your purpose. Now in a previous, uh, Kara secure show, I have shared how important this is. And if you missed it, you can download the tools firstname.lastname@example.org slash mission. But today I want to show you how that foundation is so critical in helping both you and your team run your practice with ease and that’s by making decisions congruent with your why, you know, no doubt you’ve seen the same ads I have in chiropractic magazines. You know, there’s actually a software program that advertises its benefit as replacing your front desk CA and therefore all the money that your practice would save.
Now, that’s certainly a system, but as being greeted by a computer congruent with the vision you have of your practice, I mean, in our office, we have kiosks for each client to enter subjective notes on each visit, but we also have smiling faces who positively greet each and every client by name at our front desk. Or think about if an automated phone system fits your eye, your ideal image of customer service. You know, when you yourself call somewhere, what would you rather talk to a friendly, skilled person who can help you, or would you rather sit there and waste your time, listening to the voice prompts, you know, attempting to navigate to where you want to go? You know, I know personally when I call an insurance company to track a claim and I need actual answers, those automated systems drive me crazy, you know, say, Oh, so you want to speak to a representative.
Well, before I transfer you, and then there’s a bunch more hoops to jump through, you know, hoop after hoop. Again, it doesn’t matter how well your practice fits our vision and our core values while this important is that your practice and your procedures, your equipment, you name, it fits yours. So when there’s questions about, say office dress code, does your team post a question on Facebook to find out what other offices do or do you stop consider first? What your ideal images for your practice? You know, if you want to emulate a sterile allopathic office, then scrubs would be a very congruent choice. Otherwise not so much. I happen to recommend that your dress code be congruent with whatever ideal new patient that you’d like to attract. So think how they dress or think who that is. And if your ideal new patient happens to be kids, then you’d want to dress casually and bright colors.
If it’s athletes, then sports sportswear, sportswear, it might be appropriate. If it’s professionals, then you want to dress at least as well as they do. Now. What about your new patient education? Do you hold an orientation or a late lecture or healthcare class? If so, how often? Once a week, once a month now, because education happens to be part of our office mission. When we held our new patient orientation in a group class format, we call it five times every week. That was a mixture that it was convenient for all of our new patients to come on their second visit. But a few years ago we transitioned to a video version and then we were able to condense dr. Tom’s 35 minute talk into a 10 minute video, making it even more convenient for patients to understand what care prejudice truly is before their first adjustment.
Now also evaluate your care programs. You know, how well are they working for you? Are you charging enough to be profitable? Then do your patients that drop out when there are one month or 12 visit program has expired. Are the options confusing for you or the doctor or the patient knew your care programs need to be congruent with whatever the doctor’s best recommendations are now, how do you decide whether or not to accept insurance or even to bill it now again, in our office, we choose to bill insurance gives more people access to care, I should say. Plus it’s congruent with our core value of providing exceptional service. You know, I actually switched pediatric dentist for my daughter, just because I didn’t want to deal with the hassle of submitting that claim to insurance. And I know how to bill. So again, we want to be in alignment with our core values.
What about whether or not to x-ray, you know, how you decide what views to take? Well, point of pain would make sense if your objective is to treat the patient’s symptom again, in our practice, we happen to take full spine x-rays with flection and extension views. That’s because we want to see a history of their body’s ability to adapt to stress. Now, what about when a lapsed patient calls your office and says, Oh, yes. I realize it’s been over a year since my last visit, but I just need a quick adjustment. Now at that point, do you wait the exam on that update patient? Well, in our practice, we don’t, because there’s obviously some change that has spurred them to decide that they need an adjustment. So again, that’s why you want to stop and think about your why before making a decision. Do you happen to have specific time slots for new patients?
Again, our practice doesn’t. Um, the reason is, is that enables us to see most new patients on the same day that they call again, that’s in alignment with our core value of providing exceptional service, but here’s a timeline of our initial visit. And you can see it, our new patient alternates between the doctor and the CA, and that allows the doctor to adjust established clients for the vast majority of the time that the new patient is in our office. Now, I know that some doctors happen to have a, my way or a highway approach to care. In other words, if that new patient isn’t ready to accept their recommended care plan, it’s in its entirety too bad. Again, though, back to our core values, we respect where each client is in relation to their health goals. So we actually allow patients to choose the type of care that corresponds with whether they want to feel better function better or live better.
And that’s also the way that we’ve categorized our patient testimonials and our welcome booklet. We have ones that relate to feeling better. Those that relate to functioning better, and those that are about living better. And in addition, our doctor’s recommendations and our care program choices are also categories the same way with those three steps. So again, we want to be congruent with our why and our goals now, after educating a new patient about chiropractic and going over their care program choices, how long do you give them to decide? Well, we believe it’s in their best interest to commit to care before their first adjustment. And that’s because people forget half of the information they heard after just five minutes, half, and in an hour, they forget two thirds of the information they just heard. And by the next day they forgotten 90% of the information that they’ve heard from you.
So again, that’s our, why unexpecting our new clients to commit to care before their first adjustment. But what am I going? Internal marketing events, you know, as you can see, this is pretty old one actually it’s decades old, but we hosted what I was sure was going to be an amazing golf themed event. You know, we had the office all decked out with a putting green in our reception room. We had prizes, logo, golf, giveaways, you name it. However it turned out to be an absolute flop, pretty abysmal. Why? Because dr. Clef hates golf. So my point in bringing that up is you need to make sure that whatever internal marketing events you choose are the right fit for your practice and for your clients, not just checking to see, Hey, what are other offices doing? What about when your clients ask you to sponsor them in a run for some cure?
Now, first of all, let me say that I’m not suggesting that we should look for a cure for disease. It just comes back to where we look. So when we’re asked to participate in a condition based fundraising event, we tend to politely decline to donate to drug research, but decide if the messages that you’re sending out are congruent with your chiropractic philosophy. So the recall postcard on the left is great. If we want to continue to perpetuate that common misperception, that you only need to get chiropractic care. If you have a backache or think about your ongoing patient education, the example on the left reflects a symptom treatment approach. While the one on the right is more wellness based again, decide what fits your office. Do you allow clients to run a balance in your practice? Well, we help them to set a one visit threshold for our established clients in case they do have that unforeseen circumstance.
You know, they forgot their wallet. However, the reason that we otherwise insist on prepayment or at least payment at the time of service is because running a balanced increases stress for the client, which is obviously the antithesis of our objective. Plus it increases the chance of them not paying and not returning all negative situations that we don’t want, you know, in your practice, do you accept all forms of payments? Now, I often joke that we take everything but monopoly money in our office, because if you want people to pay, why would you put up any barriers to receiving payment? That means in our practice, we accept cash checks, visa, MasterCard, discover American express and CareCredit. And yes, I know the transaction fees for American express are high, but they are nothing in comparison with late payment or worse nonpayment. Plus personally, I hate when I can’t use the card, I want to get my miles or rewards, you know, and I want you to realize the longer it takes to collect a payment, the less chance you have of actually collecting, plus you lose out on, um, any interest, not that there’s much about right now, but you definitely incur additional billing expensive.
And if a patient asks you to waive a copayment or make a public safety exception, or wants a lower per visit fee, remember this short term thinking is the enemy of longterm success. So when a question comes up on what you should do in your practice, please go back to your why your core values and your chiropractic principle of vitalism to help you decide now that actually made it so much easier for our office to navigate the pandemic. You know, while we definitely didn’t want to focus on viruses or disease or death counts, we did realize the only way we could fulfill our mission was by remaining open. So it became imperative that we Institute all the protocols that would allow us to do that. So when there was a question about, you know, if we should decrease our office hours, well, we determined, well, not only would that be a disservice to our clients, but it would also make it more difficult for us to maintain the required physical distancing in our office.
So again, keep in mind the examples that I’ve shared relate to our office and how we handle things. Your decisions need to be congruent with your why, and every practice is different. And I never recommend adopting any information directly into your practice, but rather figuring out how to adapt it to your vision and your mission and in celebration. And this month of chiropractic is 125th birthday. You can enjoy a special $125 savings site-wide until September 20th. So congratulations. If you happen to be listening this week, hiring solutions, basic training for new CAS, excellent coaching for those proficiencies practice manuals, you name it. Now this month, the focus is of our excellence. Coaching is the doctor’s report and second visit strategies for amazing retention. Next month in October, we’ll be increasing patient payments and then appointments and recall systems. So if I can help you with any of the 14 topics that I teach, please visit my website, chiropracticassistants.com and click to call or email me directly. I would love to help your team retire levels of excellence. And again, thanks to ChiroSecure for providing this forum to increase chiropractic success. Next week, your host will be the amazing dr. Sherry McAllister from the foundation for chiropractic progress. So be sure to watch it.
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