A patientís progress

Published: 2011-03-31 19:38:48
Author: Kathy Mills Chang | ChiroEco | March 2011

You already know the amazing healing benefits of chiropractic care and you love to see a patient’s transformation from sickness to health. Sometimes it’s immediate. The moment he gets up off the adjusting table, you know you have made a miraculous, life-changing chiropractic adjustment.

Nothing is ever going to be the same for that patient. You’ve literally captured him with your healing hands, and he is in your pocket forever.

In the best-case scenario, the patient continues to improve through each phase of care and recovery because he has faithfully followed your recommended treatment plan. You and the patient are both delighted because you know the results are going to be long-lasting. What a great boost this patient’s case is going to be to your post-care clinical research data.

Sadly, experience says this is the exception rather than the rule. Often, you’ll see patients with myriad health problems who have come to you only after exhausting all other conventional treatments. Had the patient initiated care when the symptoms first appeared, you might have been able to do much more.

Now, you have the task of explaining that correction, recovery, and healing will occur over time. He must be patient — but can you expect this from your patients?

Results as fast as e-mail

Our fast-paced, technologically advanced society demands instant results. We race here, rush there, and run over anything that tries to slow us down. We want everything right now and we quickly lose patience when we don’t receive immediate gratification.

We may curse slow-moving traffic and even our computers when they don’t deliver results fast enough. Patients are no different. They want quick relief and instant results, too. After all, it’s become customary. Often, doctors can be just as guilty of this as their patients.

Rushing in and out of treatment rooms makes it easy to lose sight of reality and expect faster results and more far-reaching outcomes. But how can all of this be obtained if you don’t have systems in place to continually monitor the patient’s progress and recovery?

A new patient can be excited to begin treatment following the “report of findings.” After scheduling a care plan and settling financial matters, the patient enthusiastically begins her initial phase of treatment.

Within the first two weeks, the patient is not markedly improved, nothing has changed, her symptoms continue to come and go (or worsen). This is the most critical and crucial time for maintaining and reinforcing patient compliance.

Unless you revalidate your treatment plan at this pivotal point in the patient’s case, she may elect to discontinue care because she doesn’t know what she doesn’t know.

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