I remember watching Star Trek when I was growing up and marveling at many of the high tech devices that were used on the show. They were using cell phone-like gadgets, hand held diagnostic devices, and computers, way ahead of their time. All those amazing things that they had dreamed up then are now part of our everyday lives. Modern marvels are daily becoming mainstream tools, and we need to be aware of these innovations in order to keep up with the times. Spending money on technology is always an investment and should never be seen as an expense.
If you are not yet convinced that technology makes a dramatic impact and impression on current and prospective clients, go to any store or mall and observe which areas have the greatest traffic. It seems natural for us to be attracted to the latest and greatest digital toys and there is an assumption that high tech means better. What tools are designers dreaming up that you will see your competitor down the block using in the up-coming months or year that may give them a more competitive edge in the marketplace? Here is some general wisdom for those of you that are not technophiles:
Get clear about what makes your practice unique and which technologies will complement that.
Don’t be intimidated by the glut of information that is out there. Talk to your peers and find out what they know.
Don’t feel you have to have it all at once. Create a graduated plan where you purchase items in a specific progression.
Create an online presence. This is as necessary as a business card and stationery was 20 years ago. Without a website you are lacking a powerful business tool. There are some free tools that you can use to get started if you need to.
Tap into social networks such as MySpace, Linked-In, Face-Book, YouTube, and others. These are great places for you to network with other people.
The right investments in technology will save you time and money and will help you grow your business. Seeing your business as an institution that will be around for years to come helps you to establish your vision of how you want to position yourself. There are many areas where you may already be behind if you have not taken action. Here are some examples tools that are already out there:
In-office functional testing – SEMG, thermography, range of motion, heart rate variability, biometric testing, video fluoroscopy, postural software, digital x-ray, etc.
Educational tools – visual display screens, interactive monitors, online webinars, teleconferencing, compact discs, pod casts, websites, email, texting, etc.
Practice management software – scheduling, billing, documentation, sign in, announcer, inter office communication, etc.
The business of Chiropractic requires that you be a visionary. Staying on top of all the latest cultural changes and seeing opportunities where others don’t are the skills that create success in any field. How would you feel visiting a dentist that was using drills and devices that he had purchased in the 1950’s to care for you and your family? Don’t get left behind. Your clients are watching.
Dr. Meinhofer is a customer sales representative for Integrated Practice Solutions, the makers of the ChiroTouch Chiropractic Software; a complete practice management software system designed to make your job easier and your patients' experience better.