Last Friday I was speaking with a doctor about his practice. He confided in me that his patient visits were down, as were his collections, and that he didn’t feel that things were moving in the right direction. Because of this,he didn’t feel that it was a good time to invest in his practice. I asked him what he felt his next steps were going to be and he said that he was planning on sitting still and waiting to see how it would play out.
I could really feel for this doctor and the situation that he was in, as I'm sure could most of you. However, I knew that sitting and waiting was not the best stance for him to take. Even though his knee jerk reaction may have been to hold on and ride out the storm, it is more prudent to take action.
The first thing that I advised this doctor to do was to increase his promotions. Increasing promotions both internally and externally is the only way to let people in the community know the value chiropractic has for keeping them well during these trying times. They need to know that he offers a viable solution for coping with the manifestations of the stresses they are dealing with in their lives.
Secondly, I helped him discover how switching over to a practice management software program would increase the quality of his service while at the same time creating new opportunities for him to better serve his community. Practice management software can do so many things to enhance a practice such as:
1. Lower overhead
2. Increase productivity
3. Increase accountability
4. Improve time management
5. Improve work flow
6. Increase patient volume
7. Improve communication
8. Increase retention
9. Improve collections
10. Increase compliance
Rather than being reactive and waiting for external forces to rock him off course, it is smart for him to follow the same advice that he gives to his patients and look to heal our problems from within. Being proactive is the only real solution for solving problems, not only for health, but also for dealing with life.
Just like our patients, many of us as doctors dread change. In our minds we associate change with a sensation of pain and discomfort, feelings which we hate—possibly due to some bad experience that we had in the past. The reality is that this does not stop change from happening. It instead limits our control over, it making us feel like a victim versus at cause.
If you need a lighthouse in a storm don’t hesitate to call for help. There are a great deal of resources available to us as chiropractors from mentors to equipment that can help get you back on course.
Dr. Meinhofer is a customer sales representative for Integrated Practice Solutions, the makers of the ChiroTouch Chiropratic Software; a complete practice management software system designed to make your job easier and your patients' experience better.