He called his big idea the “Certain Way”.

About 100 years ago, Wallace Wattles warned those aspiring to make better lives for themselves to ignore politicians, naysayers and media. He called his big idea the “Certain Way”. Focusing endlessly only upon your desired outcomes with continuous gratitude being your dominant thought.

Doing everything with the utmost care and attitude of devout service.

I believe he was right. It’s a fact; politically self-serving agendas have been a part of history for centuries. Even back in Ancient Rome and Greece, elders warned about the expansion of self-perpetuating plutocracies. Right now though the constant injection into the media is fear from politicians who we entrust to be leaders.

Rather than reassurance this trash talk about the wealthy is destructive, and controlling.

Too often, the very criticisms our politicians hurl at others, mirror habits that exist in their own lives, a fact too many of their constituents and certainly the paparazzi ignore.

It’s the deeper message though, most recently not so hidden, that in my opinion is the most dangerous to private healthcare, especially for our student doctors.

That message is that being wealthy and ultra successful is somehow bad. That because you did well through your own efforts, your results must now be penalized.

Never has such a more dangerous notion been put forth with unquestioning by the mainstream media.

It’s NOT wealthy successful people that bring the economy to it’s knees.

It’s now many years of bad decisions and top down government and corporate corruption that transcends political parties and international boundaries, fueled by incredible greed. Unfortunately, these basic facts are too often conspicuously absent from the daily media banter.

It’s the wealthy and most successful (not the greedy and corrupt) that pay the bulk of taxes already. It’s the wealthy that are the philanthropists and benefactors in a free society.

For those younger than I, this attitude is nothing new.

The problem is, in our current world, this trash talk about success is today again everywhere. This only serves to perpetuate dangerous myths, especially to our young and inexperienced citizens.

In fact, the greatest minds in history have warned about the dangers of unbridled political banter.

So what can you do?

First of all, have the guts to acknowledge media BS as just that.

Don’t focus and dwell on what’s wrong with the world.

Instead, focus on improving it, one patient visit at a time.

Yes, a lot has changed in practice! It’s changed in your patient’s lives too. And some have been enormous.

So, what have you done lately to help deal with their changes and how they utilize your care, or not?

And what about their own fears and concerns? Are you like a deer in the headlights, or a pillar of community strength?

When is the last time you and your team took actions that can make their days brighter, and their futures even healthier? The possibilities for practice expansion with this one are huge!

But, most importantly, make sure your daily actions and decisions are ultimately putting you in charge of your life. Take full responsibility for your own results.

Work a little harder, maybe a whole lot smarter to develop your own future choices and flexibility.

Always remember, no matter how ineffective prior decisions may have been, or how bad things may have been this is a brand new day.

Completely new opportunities abound.

But only if you decide to be fully engaged.

Tough or not, there is no better time to make your mark than right now.

I would also assert that is this the very best time to refocus, and reorganize. Learn new systems. Invest in your business skills development. Reorganize. Rebuild if you must!

Be sure you are limiting your media exposure. Focus on your new business and personal goals. Plan now to be reaping the rewards, without guilt.

Ready to change the way you look at practice and maybe your entire life?
Have your entire team trained for you by experts? Come away with an entirely new vision?

Learn More HERE:

Decisions we make every day

My wife and daughter recently brought me home a copy of “I Me Mine“, which is as close to an autobiography of George Harrison as you can get. It’s a great read. I have always respected his strong faith, as well as his music.
Some passages really shed light on how he applied ancient philosophies to modern life. In reality, its all about decisions we make every day.

At the start of our “Perfect Practice Platform” training, I spoke at length about the “Gita”, and the pertinence of its philosophy 5000 years after it was written in Sanskrit. George was immersed in the Gita, and its related teachings.

This passage from George will help to remind us all of the daily application of something so basic to our professional lives, but too often forgotten.

“The problems start when you get attached to the problems! That’s when the mind gets involved in too much thinking of whether one is supposed to go here, do this or that: you know-the bullshit…The biggest thing that screws us up in life is the mind, it plays tricks on us and can trip you over”.

So, the lesson here is detachment from outcome. Make your decisions, let go and move forward after each decision, vowing only to make better decisions as you mature. This is so true in healthcare, being called upon to continually make decisions after dealing with one problem after another.

Those docs who never get this have a real hard time moving forward in life and practice especially.

To learn more, grab your copy of the “Living and Practicing By Design”  HERE 

How to give your practice a jump start…

The Just Do It 10 Step Private Practice “Jump Start” 

Every practice has less productive periods. If you are following our advice, you know where you are at and what’s next to implement in private practice each week.  

Sometimes though, the regular things with some added help can really give your practice a BIG boost.

Consider the following “Jump Start” all of which you CAN you can implement today.

1.     Mail Thank You cards and gifts to all referrers, professional and patients.
2.     Phone patients that are acute, or just had treatment for the first day.
3.     Name badge all staff.
4.     Decorate the office for the season.
5.     Post your weekly newsletter. (You should be emailing your enite practice weekly anyways!) Put copies at the front desk too.
6.     Call and schedule your local club, Spa or fitness center for a workshop.
7.     Rearrange the reception room. Dress it upscale a bit!
8.     Place a “Profit Center” and it’s marketing materials in your reception area.
9.     Be the picture of health in your patients mind. And dress like you ARE the best in town!
10. Say thank you, to your staff and patients at every opportunity!

 The Cost? Just a little time.

The rewards?


 If you really want to move the energy up a notch, (for short money), throw a party in your office by next Friday, just because you care about your practice, and it shows.

Want to really grow your practice into a powerful business?

Consider working more closely with our practice development and specialty practice programs!

Call 781-659-7989 or go to http://PefectPracticeWeb.com

The Whole Package – Nutrition Planning for Your Post-Chemotherapy Patients

Treating patients in the recovery stage of cancer, the post-chemotherapy patient, can be incredibly rewarding.

They’ve already been through the fire.

Now they’re looking for your help in dealing with issues of recovery – coming to terms with the side effects from

∙           Chemotherapy

∙           Radiation

∙           Experimental treatments including possible hormone therapy

Chances are your post-chemotherapy patients are suffering from

∙           Loss of appetite

∙           Nausea and other digestive issues

∙           Post chemotherapy peripheral neuropathy

∙           Dry mouth

Or some combination of these post-chemotherapy symptoms.

One of the most important pieces of the post-chemotherapy recovery puzzle is nutritional support.

If you’re not already offering diet and nutrition counseling to your post-chemotherapy patients, it’s time to start. More and more research is confirming that proper nutrition is key in successful recovery from chemotherapy and other cancer treatments, as well as recovering from the cancer itself.

The body requires essential materials, vitamins and nutrients, to heal.  Without them, no medical treatment has any hope of succeeding.

Helping your post-chemotherapy patients with planning their diet and making food appealing again will work wonders for the success rate of your treatment in this patient population.

Here are some things to think about when designing a cancer recovery nutrition program:

Basic Cancer Nutrition Tips[1]

The post-chemotherapy patient’s body (or even the patient preparing to start chemotherapy) needs increased support for the immune system.  The best option for doing that is a diet rich in whole foods that are easy on the digestive system.  Make sure your patients’ cancer recovery diet includes foods that are high in anti-oxidants and protein.  Your post-chemotherapy patient diet plan should include foods rich in vitamins, especially vitamins C, D and E and nutrients like soy isoflavones, amino acids, folic acid, l-glutamine, calcium and carotenoids.  Encourage your patients to drink as much water as possible and don’t worry about keeping their calorie count low.  This is the time to take in all the calories they need, as long as the calories come from beneficial foods.

Chemotherapy and radiation may affect your post-chemotherapy patients’ ability to digest foods so encourage them to invest in a good food processor and/or juicer.  Both of these tools will allow them to prepare foods that are easy to ingest and digest while still getting the nutrition they need.

Foods To Rebuild The Post-Chemotherapy Patient’s Body

It’s easy to say “eat foods that are high in vitamins” but your post-chemotherapy patients may not know exactly which foods they need.  Here are some suggestions for foods to aid in cancer recovery and fighting chemotherapy symptoms[2]:

Vitamin C

∙           Red cabbage

∙           Kiwi fruit

∙           Oranges

∙           Red and Green Bell Peppers

∙           Potatoes

Vitamin D

∙           Salmon and tuna

Vitamin E

∙           Nuts, including almonds and peanuts

∙           Avocados

∙           Broccoli


∙           Apricots

∙           Carrots

∙           Greens, especially collard greens and spinach

∙           Sweet potatoes

Soy Isoflavones

∙           Soybeans

∙           Tofu

∙           Soy milk – this could also be helpful if you need to go lactose-free

Folic Acid

∙           Asparagus

∙           Dried beans

∙           Beets

∙           Brussels sprouts

∙           Garbanzo beans

∙           Lentils

∙           Turkey

These are just a few examples.  If you’re unsure about other nutrition recommendations, talk to us.  We can help assist you in devising diet plans that will help rebuild their immune systems.

Use Herbs and Spices to Give Your Food More Flavor

Herbs and spices are a natural way to flavor food without adding man-made chemicals.  And many herbs have natural medicinal properties of their own.  Suggest these herbs and spices to help your post-chemotherapy patients make their food taste better.  If it tastes better, they’ll eat more:

∙           Cinnamon

∙           Basil

∙           Coriander

∙           Cumin

∙           Ginger (natural anti-inflammatory properties, too)

∙           Garlic

∙           Mint (great for fighting nausea as well)

∙           Fennel

∙           Turmeric

We hope this gives you some insight into diet planning and nutrition counseling for your post chemotherapy patients. Offering these services to your cancer patient population can be the missing piece in the puzzle of successfully treating the patients in this growing specialty and help you build a successful medical practice as well.  The combination of your medical expertise and proper nutrition support and counseling is a win/win for doctor and patient.

When you are ready, let them know you’re there to help them.

For more tips on growing a successful chiropractic, physical therapy or pain management practice, log on to http://perfectpractice web.com to download a FREE E-Book Copy of my 5 star Amazon  “Living and Practicing by Design” at http://perfectpracticeweb.com.

[1] www.cancer.org/Treatment/SurvivorshipDuringandAfterTreatment

[2] www.mayoclinic.com/health/cancer-survivor

The Post-Chemotherapy Cancer Patient – A Growing Chiropractic Patient Population

A cancer diagnosis is terrifying.

The questions, the fear and the concept of facing their own mortality are enough to paralyze even the strongest individual.

In the not so distant past, the standard was surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation or some combination of the three and that was it.

Then the patient played the waiting game to see what, if anything, worked.

What people didn’t realize was that the end of a course of chemotherapy was not the end of the healing process.  They would be dealing with the lasting effects of chemotherapy long after their hair returned and the nausea ended.

And one of those lasting effects is post-chemotherapy peripheral neuropathy.

Fortunately for the chiropractic community, cancer patients are quickly learning that chiropractic, nutrition and often the correct forms of nerve stimulation when combined in the hands of a skilled chiropractor can help alleviate the symptoms of their post-chemotherapy peripheral neuropathy.

The post-chemotherapy peripheral neuropathy patient is becoming an enlightened consumer of complementary therapies that go beyond traditional medications and standard medical treatments.

A new-enlightened approach to treating their peripheral neuropathy symptoms gives the chiropractic community an ever-expanding patient population to serve.  Treating these patients who have already walked through an experience most people live in fear of can be incredibly rewarding.

To get them in your office though, you need to show them exactly how your chiropractic and specialty care can improve their quality of life.  It’s not just about marketing the traditional chiropractic care that people associate with whiplash or sports injuries.  It’s about educating the potential post-chemotherapy peripheral neuropathy patient on a three-pronged approach to their medical issues:

First, Chiropractic- It’s Not Just About Adjustments

Chances are that your potential post-chemotherapy peripheral neuropathy patients have never been treated by a chiropractor.  They may think they know what a chiropractor does but they may not understand everything that chiropractic can do for managing their condition.

Traditionally, chiropractors have been associated with treatment of injuries and illnesses affecting the bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons and joints.  In educating the post-chemotherapy peripheral neuropathy patient, recognize that they can be dealing with gait problems, muscular weakness or even issues caused by radiation.  The stress of dealing with any of these conditions cannot always be addressed by standard chiropractic techniques. 1

Chiropractic by itself cannot prevent or cure cancer, but it can help the post-chemotherapy neuropathy patient deal with the symptoms and pain associated both with their cancer and their course of treatment.  Often, by carefully mobilizing the spine and related tissues, we stimulate a healthier nervous system and that’s a basic building block for regaining their pre-cancer health and alleviating their nerve pain.


Chemotherapy and other cancer medications can wreck a patient’s digestive system.  In the process of killing cancer cells, it can also damage healthy cells and that’s what brings on the side effects of chemotherapy.  This can affect not only affect their ability to eat but also prevent the body from getting the nutrients it needs.

Talk to your post-chemotherapy peripheral neuropathy patients about their nutrition issues.  They can be dealing with any number of symptoms ranging from nausea and loss of appetite to dry mouth and changes in their sense of taste and smell.  Offering nutrition information and dietary planning services is another way to serve this patient population.  Good nutrition will boost the immune system and let it do its job in fighting off illnesses brought on by chemotherapy.

Potential post-chemotherapy peripheral neuropathy patients may not realize that this is an area of their recovery you may help with. So, if you are trained in this specialty, make sure you include nutrition information in your patient education materials.  Post-chemotherapy peripheral neuropathy patients need to make sure they’re getting nutrients to prevent or reverse nutritional deficiencies, lessen the side effects of treatment and improve their quality of life.  Without appropriate, simultaneous nutrition, other treatment protocols have no chance of success.

Appropriate Nerve Stimulation

Once a course of treatment has been designed and a nutrition plan established, the final piece in the overall treatment of the post-chemotherapy peripheral neuropathy patient treatment plan is nerve stimulation.

There are some nerve stimulation techniques to help peripheral neuropathy patients.
But some are potentially harmful. Misapplication is dangerous. Learn the correct ways, and then educate your potential post-chemotherapy peripheral neuropathy patients on the options available to them.

Some patients may have adopted an attitude of “I went through chemotherapy and my cancer is gone.  I shouldn’t complain about nerve pain.  I should just be thankful to be alive”.

What they need to know is that they don’t always have to just live with sleeplessness, pain, and balance and walking issues secondary to their treatment. Your chiropractic practice, when specially trained and equipped can offer them hope for a more normal life without debilitating pain.  Yes, they survived cancer but they can beat their post-chemotherapy peripheral neuropathy, too. 2

Precise combinations of chiropractic, nutrition and often nerve stimulation are showing great promise in helping post-chemotherapy peripheral neuropathy patients return to a pain free life, without the debilitating effects of neuropathy.

Serving this courageous patient population can be incredibly rewarding. But it is a subspecialty that takes some study and time to learn.

When you are ready, let them know you’re there to help them.



For more tips on growing a successful chiropractic, physical therapy or pain management practice, log on to http://perfectpractice web.com to download a FREE E-Book Copy of my 5 star Amazon  “Living and Practicing by Design” at http://perfectpracticeweb.com.

Still Ignoring The Social Media Revolution?

Still Ignoring The Social Media Revolution?




Online articles…

Search Engine Optimization…

These terms are becoming as much a part of the modern chiropractic, medical or physical therapy practice as Preferred Providers and deductibles.

We all know that people are looking for everything online but chiropractors and physical therapists have been some of the last to join the Social Media Revolution.

But join they have and they’re using the internet like every other savvy business owner.

What Does This Mean To Your Chiropractic or Physical Therapy Practice?

Two studies conducted in 2008 showed that 41% of all the research medical professionals are doing is now done online (and that number was expected to double in 2009) and that the large pharmaceutical companies were gearing much of their marketing efforts to the online community as the best way to communicate with and educate their target audience – health care providers, including chiropractors and physical therapists.

Just take a look at some of the more popular social networking sites for medical professionals – Ozmosis, SocialMD and DoctorNetworking – each of these sites has literally thousands of members.

If you’re going to develop a presence online and reach your potential patient base, now is the time to do it if you haven’t already.

5 Trends In The Use Of Web & Social Media by Chiropractors and Physical Therapists

1. Increase in Social Networking.

There are a growing number of sites that give healthcare providers the opportunity to connect with other professionals in their specialty to share knowledge, network, and support each other. Most of these sites are protected and allow users to communicate and share opinions and results in a safe online environment.  Check out our own NeuropathyDR site as an example.

2. Scholarly Medical Journals Have a Presence Online

Newspapers are not the only print media suffering the effects of online information.  Many scholarly medical journals have opted for an online-only format to save printing costs and to reach a broader base of readers.  Even beyond the convenience of their information being a mouse click away, many of these sites are increasingly interactive with Q&A sessions and even online classes and seminars for CME credit, perfect for the busy chiropractor or physical therapist trying to build a practice.

3. Blogs and Online Articles.

Many chiropractors and physical therapists are now blogging and publishing online articles to reach potential patients and educate the public about their particular specialty.  Where it used to take months to be published in a medical journal, now you can set up your own blog, sit down and type a post (or have someone else do it for you), and you’re done.  This allows you to share a unique perspective about your specialty, local events, even the health care system. All from the vantage point of a practicing chiropractic or physical therapy professional.  Your patients and future patients see you as a human with particular expertise and a voice they recognize.

4. Twitter and Facebook.

Do you have a Twitter account? A Facebook page? If you don’t have at least one of these social media tools working for you, you’re missing a huge marketing opportunity that’s virtually free.  The only real cost is time.  If you don’t have the time to post to your own Facebook page or send regular “tweets”, we’ll  do it for you!  In fact, I can help you get all of this done, and even get an ezine in the hands of YOUR patients for just pennies a day, automatically. “Frequent, relevant content” as my friend Nitin Chhoda DPT says, will keep you in constant contact with your patient base.

That puts you first in their minds when they, or someone they know, needs your specialty.

But if you are doing it all yourself, an important thing to remember about either of these tools – don’t use “doctor speak” when posting your messages.  Imagine you’re talking to your next door neighbor at a barbecue and keep that tone in your social media message.  You’ll get your point across and impress rather than intimidate your patients.

When diving into the social media scene, the first thing to consider is exactly what you’re attempting to accomplish.  Don’t go in without a plan. You’ll do nothing but send mixed and scattered messages.

Post strategically, wherever you post, and you’ll be amazed at how quickly you profit from this new social interaction.  Join the Social Media Revolution and make this year the best your chiropractic or physical therapy practice has ever seen.

Don’t Delay! Download a FREE E-Book Copy of my 5 star Amazon “Living and Practicing by Design” at http://perfectpracticeweb.com.

New Year’s Resolutions for Your Private Practice – Part 5

And finally, the last two suggestions for making this the best year your practice has ever seen:

Be a perpetual student

You don’t have to break the bank on continuing education but you do have to continue to learn.  Business today is changing constantly – not just in the health care field but in marketing, technology, accounting, you name it.  Resolve to learn continuously to take advantage of the latest trends that will build your practice with the least effort.

10. Have Some Fun

Concentrate some of your marketing efforts on things you really enjoy.

If you’re a runner, sponsor a marathon.

A golfer? Sponsor a local tournament for a charity.

Have you dreamed of being a writer? Start that blog you’ve been thinking about and start expressing yourself.  Your audience is probably full of potential patients.

But, above all else, have a good time with whatever you do.  Your passion for it will come through and speak volumes to your current and prospective patients.

Marketing can be a pain but it doesn’t have to be.  You may think you don’t have time to devote to it but you’ll be pleasantly surprised how much time you find for it if you actually enjoy what you’re doing.

Right now, before you turn off your computer, write these resolutions down somewhere…

In the back of your Day Planner…your smartphone with alarms and reminders

Type them into Outlook…your ipad calendar…

Just the act of writing them down will place them in your subconscious mind and you’ll be amazed at how much you can actually accomplish.

Resolve to make 2011 the year that you really learn to live and practice by design.

New Year’s Resolutions for Your Private Practice – Part 4

We’ve been talking about resolutions you can make to build your private practice and make 2011 the best year you’ve ever had.  Two more suggestions are:

1.  Weekly business planning is a must

Success is not a “wing it” proposition.  In order to be consistently successful, you have to plan.  And you have to stick with your plan.  That doesn’t mean that it’s carved in stone.  A business plan is a living thing.  Work on it weekly to adapt to what’s actually going on in your business.

2.   Don’t skimp on things that will make you more productive

When you’re operating on a tight budget, it’s easy to just make do with what you have.  But ultimately, what you spend in using more efficient equipment will do nothing but strengthen your bottom line.  Keep that in mind when planning your capital expenditures for 2011.

Get a BIG Break on Some Tools That Will Increase Your Productivity HERE

New Year’s Resolutions for Your Private Practice – Part 3

Today, we’re adding to our list of New Year’s resolutions that will help you make this the best year your practice has ever seen.  Here are two more things you can do to build your success:

1. Promote your practice often and well

When you’re busy just being a private practice healthcare professional, it’s easy to forget that you have to promote your practice, too.  If you want to grow, you have to bring in new patients.  Sit down now and create a marketing plan for the New Year and then schedule it into your calendar so you follow through on it.

2. Learn to Delegate

Resolve to let go of a little control.  Trust your staff or outside experts to do what you’re paying them to do.  You don’t have to do it all.  Delegation is the key to keeping your work life and your personal life in at least some sort of balance.

Marketing the Specialty Medical Practice – Part 3

When it comes to marketing your specialty medical practice, it’s easy to overlook a treasure trove of new business that is right before your eyes:

Don’t Forget The Power Of Referrals

Referrals can be an invaluable resource for building your practice.

The art of getting referrals from other professionals takes time to develop but if you learn to foster and develop relationships between your practice and referring practices, you will reap the benefits for years to come.

If you get referrals from another practice or specialty, always make those patients a top priority.  See them when it’s convenient for them and do it as quickly as possible.  If you develop a reputation for giving top notch care to the referrals you receive, your fellow practitioners won’t hesitate to send you more patients.

And always, always thank the referring doctor for every patient they send you.  And don’t forget your referring doctors’ staff members.  They are often overlooked but many of the referrals you receive will really come from a referring practitioner’s front desk staff.  They’re the ones who hand out your card, give people your web address, or even call to setup appointments.

It has taken years for you to become a specialist.  And you expended the time and effort in your particular specialty because you knew there were people out there who needed your help.

They are your target market.

You have a priceless opportunity to help your prospective patients and grow your practice into a thriving concern all at the same time.

Go where your patients are, show up in their web space and social media, at your live events be sure to tell them what’s in it for them, build your enormous referral network and you’ll be well on your way to living and practicing by design.

Marketing the Specialty Medical Practice – Part 2

When devising the marketing plan for your specialty medical practice, whether it’s chiropractic, physical therapy, pain management, whatever your specialty happens to be, always remember that the most important point to get across is…

What’s In It For The Patient?

When you get in front of your prospective market, don’t dwell on how great you are or how you’re an expert in whatever field.

Emphasize what’s in it for them.

Greater mobility, playing golf, or enjoying the grandchildren…

Less pain…

Literally, getting their freedom or their life back…

You have to sell the benefits of your treatment, not your expertise.  Always make sure that your top priority in marketing, initially, is answering the patients all important “What’s in it for me?”

Marketing the Specialty Medical Practice – Part 1

You know the issues…

Your chiropractic physical therapy or medical practice offers a myriad of special services…

•      For women to combat the effects of osteoporosis and/or hormonal issues

•      Sports rehabilitation services for the athlete

•      Recuperative and NeuropathyDR™ Treatments for seriously ill patients

Any of these specialties should be bringing in the kind of varied patient population that would not only keep your practice exciting but do great things for your bank balance as well.

Still, day after day, you treat the strained back from the construction worker or the sore knees of the weekend warrior.  And there’s nothing wrong with that.  You just know you could be doing more.

You know the demand for your real expertise and special services is out there but for some reason you’re not reaching them.

It’s not a lost cause…

Try these tips for reaching the kind of varied patients you know you can help:

Get In Front Of Your Prospects

You know you can help all these patients but if they don’t know you exist, you can’t help them.

You have to take your message to them.  Go where you know they are.

If you want to treat sport injuries or athletes, advertise with the local marathon organizers.

If you want to specialize in senior care, get your message out to the local senior centers and retirement communities.

For chiropractors and physical therapists:  If women are your target market, start networking with ob/gyn’s referrals or speak at local professional women’s clubs on the benefits of specialty care for common female complaints.

Stay tuned for more tips on growing your specialty practice and living and practicing by design.

Harnessing the Power of Private Practice Email – Part 3

The holiday season is a great time to utilize email to stay in touch with your patient list.  Here are a few suggestions:

1. Special Events or Happenings

If you’re going to be speaking at a particular event or you’re being recognized by your peers for a particular achievement, let your patients know about it.  Everyone likes to know that they’ve chosen well in choosing their medical practitioner.  If something exciting is going on with your practice, include your patients on the list of “who needs to know”.

And, if your practice is growing and you’ve added staff or even an additional location, make sure your patients get an email about it.  Your new place may be more convenient for them or, better yet, more convenient for the new patients they refer to you.

2. Confirming Appointments

When your patients call for an appointment, send them an automatic email confirming the appointment.  Then send them another email the week before their appointment and yet another one three days out.  Always include your office phone number so they can call to cancel, reschedule or get directions to your office.

3. And Last, But Not Least, The Holiday Email

The holidays are a perfect time of year to connect with your patients, engage them and let them know that you’re thinking about them.  And, even more importantly, to thank them once again for choosing your practice for their chiropractic, physical therapy or other medical care.

Any of these marketing strategies are cost effective, easy and fluid.  It’s easy to change or adapt an email campaign for specific treatment groups and let them know that they’re getting this email because you’re genuinely interested in their outcome and care.

REMINDER: TODAY is the time to be finalizing how you hit the ground running on January 3rd. This is the best time of year to institute office changes, especially fee structures. And if you love taking care of challenging cases and incredibly grateful patients, consider becoming a NeuropathyDR(TM) Treatment Center.

Harnessing the Power of Private Practice Email – Part 2

You can also use the power of email for:

1. Sharing Good News

When you have a patient with a particularly outstanding outcome, ask them for a testimonial and if they are willing to let you share their results with other patients.  Few things will ever build confidence in your practice faster than the timeless patient testimonial.  If you don’t want to send an email every time you have a great outcome, include them as part of a monthly newsletter to patients. These should ultimately end up on your blog and website too!

2. Special Events or Happenings

If you’re going to be speaking at a particular event or you’re being recognized by your peers for a particular achievement, let your patients know about it.  Everyone likes to know that they’ve chosen well in choosing their medical practitioner.  If something exciting is going on with your practice, include your patients on the list of “who needs to know”.

And, if your practice is growing and you’ve added staff or even an additional location, make sure your patients get an email about it.  Your new place may be more convenient for them or, better yet, more convenient for the new patients they refer to you.

Next time, we’ll give you two more final suggestions for creative ways to stay in touch with your patients.

Harnessing the Power of Private Practice Email – Part 1

In our last article, we talked about the importance of effective communication in growing your practice.

This week, we’ll talk about one of the most effective communication tools available to the chiropractic, physical therapy and medical practice…

The almighty email…

If you have a patient list (and who doesn’t?), you have at your disposal one of the most valuable marketing tools you could ever hope for.

Just by effectively using your patient list, you can reach out and interact with your patients on an ongoing basis and make sure that you remain first and foremost in their minds when they think of your specialty.

Here are a few suggestions on exactly how to harness the power of email to grow and market your practice:

1. The Welcome Email

When a new patient comes to you for chiropractic, physical therapy or other medical care, make sure that your patient information sheet collects their email. Immediately following their visit, have your staff send them an email thanking them for choosing you for their care.  This can be done as a part of entering their information into your computer system.  Make sure the email includes information about your office hours, your phone number for appointments, any particular information they need or steps they need to take in preparation for their appointment and an opt-out option of they don’t want to receive future information from your office.

2. Patient Education

Once you have your email list in place, you can use the list to educate your patients and let them know about any of the following:

•      Recalls on prescriptions they take

•      New chiropractic treatment options available to them

•      New drug approvals from the FDA

•      Results of physical therapy clinical trials or studies

•      Medical or health trends affecting your private practice

•      Diet tips or recipes for particular conditions

Next time, we’ll share more ideas on ways to use the power of email and access to your patients’  In box to pave the way to a thriving practice.

Communication is Key to Growing Your Practice – Part 3

The last piece in the communication puzzle:

How Do You Create A Strong Dialogue With Patients?

Treat creating effective patient communication as a step by step process.  This is another by-product of living and practicing by design.  Know what you want to achieve from the very beginning.  Think of the process along these lines:

First Impressions

As with any other initial meeting, you never get a second chance to make a first impression.  Start with a warm greeting and treat the patient like a personal friend.  Check your own attitude or mindset before you enter the treatment room and think about how you can best serve the patient.

Initial Consult

Your initial consultation with a patient will set the tone for the entire relationship. Really make an effort to connect with the patient and listen carefully to what they tell you about their current problems.  Ask questions in a way that encourages them to give you more information.

Designing Treatment

After you start treating the patient, communicate with them as thoroughly as possible.  Pay attention to body language and attitude.  The patient may be unhappy but not forthcoming about their complaints.  If you really pay attention, you may be able to address their concerns and salvage the treatment program.

Final Consult

At the end of the treatment program, it is vital to communicate with your patient about the success or failure of all portions of the treatment protocol.  This is an especially important time to listen to the patient.  Don’t just railroad them into agreeing with your perception of how the treatment went.  Pause and let them get a word in where they need to.

Following these communication guidelines will help you build patient trust and build your medical practice at the same time.  Your stiffest competition is doubt on the part of your patients.  Learning to effectively communicate with current and prospective patients will help you design effect marketing programs and address concerns before they become problems.

Communication is the Key to Growing Your Practice – Part 2

When we think of communication, we think of the positive side of a good “bedside manner”.  But there are some serious  consequences of failing to communicate with patients as well.

Poor Communication Can Destroy The Doctor/Patient Relationship

On the other hand, if you communicate poorly with your patients (i.e., lecture instead of listen, fail to explain the treatment program in a way that your patient can understand, don’t address patient concerns openly, etc.), the doctor/patient relationship may suffer irreparable damage.  You don’t get more than one chance to truly build trust with your patients.

Design your client communications with the end result of open dialogue and mutual trust in mind.  Approach your patients like you would any partnership, with respect, commitment and make sure you stay on the same page with the end result of treatment foremost in both your minds.

Communication is the Key to Growing Your Practice – Part 1

A great website…

Expensive patient brochures…

A direct mail campaign explaining the virtues of good chiropractic care…

These are all good options and they all serve to do the one thing that you need more than anything else to market your practice.

They communicate with both current and future patients.

Communication is vital to building patient trust and removing doubt from the minds of your patients.  If your patient information materials are too one-sided or unclear, your prospects may lose faith in your ability to treat them effectively.

But communication is about more than just educating your patients.  It’s about listening to them as well.

Here are some things to remember to enhance patient communication and further your efforts to live and practice by design:

What Exactly Is Effective Communication?

Effective communication is the cornerstone of a healthy practice and good patient outcomes.  Remember that good communication goes both ways.  While we normally think more along the lines of how we express ourselves and our ideas, good communication also involves being a good listener.  That’s especially important for doctors.  Effectively communicating with your patients determines:

  • Whether or not a patient will actually come back to you for treatment after the initial consultation
  • Your ability to properly diagnose the patient’s problem
  • Whether or not you can determine if the patient will actually follow the treatment program

Good communication skills build patient trust.  If the patient feels that you’re genuinely listening to them, they feel like you’re really working in their best interests.

Patients Are Customers, Too – Part 3

For our final installment on remembering that patients are customers, here are a few more tips to make your patients’ experience a winning one:

1.  Never talk about a patient where another patient can overhear.

As a general rule, the patients you see every day aren’t feeling well and that can make them less than pleasant.  Regardless of how the patient behaves, never express an unflattering opinion about them where other patients can hear it.

2. If what you’re about to do will be uncomfortable, warn the patient.

Your staff may perform a certain procedure 20 times a day but for your patient, it could be something totally new.  Remind them to be honest with the patient.  Letting them know ahead of time that something is going to be unpleasant, and how unpleasant it will be, will give them more of a comfort level with you and know what to expect.

3. Speak in plain terms.

Remind your staff that not everyone works for a doctor.  Don’t use medical jargon or abbreviations or other terms that the average person doesn’t understand.  Take the time to explain what’s happening and do it in terms that are clear.  Make sure the patient understands exactly what they’ve been told.

Just taking the time to treat your patients with respect and showing sensitivity and professionalism will pay benefits for your practice that are priceless.  All of these tips will go a long way toward keeping those referrals coming in from satisfied patients.

Patients Are Customers, Too – Part 2

Last time we talked about a few tips to make your patients’ experience a memorable one.  Here are a few more to pass on to your staff.

1.  Address patients as Mr., Mrs. or Ms.

Especially on the first few visits, address patients respectfully with the proper salutation.  Many elderly patients feel that being addressed by their first name is a sign of disrespect.  If in doubt, have your staff ask the patient what they prefer.

2. Be pleasant and friendly but not overly personal.

Remind your staff not to take liberties with patients that don’t exist.  Don’t assume that you have a friendly relationship unless they know the patient very well.  This can be as bad from a customer service perspective as ignoring them

3. Present the image you want your patients to see.

Never present a sloppy image to your patients.  To make sure your patients are seeing your practice in the way you want, walk in with fresh eyes the next time you pass through the door.  Enter your office and look at it as though you were a patient crossing the threshold the very first time.  If you don’t like what you see (messy workspaces, sloppily staff, food in the reception area, etc.), chances are your patients won’t be impressed either.

Stay tuned for more tips next time…