Providers who focus on “excellence” are in high demand. Superb clinical service has four components: effectiveness, value, attention, and convenience. Keep reading for our top steps on how ChiroUp can help you incorporate these components into your daily care for maximum patient satisfaction.
Deliver Excellence in 3 Steps
Healthcare is changing, providers can soon expect to be paid based on their outcomes. The fee-for-outcomes reimbursement model requires that providers deliver 3 key metrics:
1) Timely clinical outcomes
2) Cost-effective management
3) High patient satisfaction
Each of these metrics are the focus of ChiroUp’s patient condition/exercise reports. We recommend creating a condition report for every new clinical presentation for new and existing patients.
💡 Pro-tip: Find out how the chiropractic profession ranks in terms of four key healthcare performance indicators HERE.
Set Staff Training & Expectations
One of the most important aspects of your patient’s satisfaction is their interaction with staff. Communicating your ofﬁce standards to everyone on your team ensures that your staff is on the same page and delivering the same quality experience.
Establish 3 key strategies into your practice:
1) Establish Open Communication Throughout Your Team with Monthly Staff Meetings
Consider holding a monthly staff meeting with lunch provide to recognize excellent workmanship & correct internal issues. Allowing for 2-way communication within our practice will cultivate an empowering environment. These meetings empower your staff by allowing them to have a say in the company so that they feel a sense of pride in their work.
2) Implement A Staff Uniform or Dress Code
Having a uniform appearance is an easy way to make your practice look professional & credible. Consider investing in ofﬁce scrubs for your staff with your company logo.
3) Set Communication Standards
Establishing a friendly and attentive environment is one easy way to make your patients feel comfortable in your practice. Make it mandatory for your staff to greet every person that walks into your ofﬁce. Remind your staff to maintain eye contact and to smile during interactions with your patients. Set friendly communication as a standard in your ofﬁce. Remember, your staff will be the ﬁrst and last people that your patient sees when in your ofﬁce.
BONUS TIME: Once you’ve deﬁned your strategic game plan and relayed it to all team members, consider using the following short books as fuel for ongoing monthly “customer service” discussions:
● Gung Ho
Ofﬁce Perception: Five Senses Survey
Have you ever been in a very familiar room where you no longer notice the ticking clock, or the unique smell, or even the furnishings? That familiar room is called your ofﬁce, and there is a group of highly trained people who notice every feature – they are called your patients.
The ﬁve senses survey is a potent tool to help you recognize nuances that you are overlooking, and see what your patients see. The process consists of imagining that you are a new patient who is observing every aspect of your ofﬁce. Start in the parking lot and work your way through each room - taking written note of anything that you could improve regarding sights, sounds, smells, touches, and yes, even tastes.
Is your carpet clean? Are pictures dated? Is there visible dust? Any nicks or stains on the walls? How does the bathroom smell? Are any patient ﬁles/data visible? Are your forms crisp and professional? Do multiple intake forms ask a patient for the same details? Are your magazines up to date? Any burnt-out lightbulbs? How about cobwebs or stains on the ceiling where supine patients stare? Are the chairs comfortable for someone with back pain? Do the Hydrocollator covers need to be cleaned or replaced? Is the music pleasing (to your target market)? Is your drinking water cool & pleasant, or rusty? Does…. well, you get the idea. The difference between having an ofﬁce that resembles a professional spa vs. a deteriorating strip mall massage parlor is directly related to the subtle details.
Include your whole staff in this drill at the next meeting. Imagine that in 3 months, CBS national news is ﬁlming a piece about the beneﬁts of chiropractic, and they have asked to use your ofﬁce as the model. Make a list of anything that needs attention, assign tasks, and do it!
Building Patient Relationships on the First Visit
Starting a relationship with new patients is the stepping stone to a long-term relationship. By showcasing your professional, friendly and helpful practice, your new patients will form a great ﬁrst impression, of which you can follow up with excellent treatment and follow-up.
The “ﬁrst impression” for your new patient will probably not have ANYTHING to do with you. More than likely, your new patient already has his/her ﬁrst impression of you – and that is why they chose to call your ofﬁce and set up an appointment. So – good work – your ﬁrst impression was successful and you have a prospect. Now, you need to make sure that your receptionist reinforces their choice and transforms that new prospect into a new patient.
Having a front desk person who is incapable of transitioning 100% of prospects into patients can be likened (ﬁnancially) to having an employee who is incapable of taking your $1000 deposit bag to the bank without losing it. The script used to schedule new patients is one of the most crucial initial interactions.
Please see the New patient scheduling script for suggested verbiage that converts prospects into patients. Modify the script to meet your needs, then train every front desk member to follow your deﬁned scheduling process.
New Patient Welcome & Tour
Consider implementing the following tools to help welcome your new patient, ease their concerns, and assure them that they have made the right choice.
Once a new patient schedules a visit, your staff should send a new patient conﬁrmation email conﬁrming their visit and welcoming the patient to your practice, while providing essential information about the ofﬁce and doctor.
Prior to your new patient’s arrival, prepare all necessary paperwork as well as a “welcome kit” containing key information about your office. The information should look clean and professional, preferably in a folder embossed with your clinic name and logo. The folder should contain the following:
● New patient welcome letter signed by the doctor
● Provider CV highlighting the doctor’s expertise in lay terms (see this sample)
● Practice brochure (see this sample)
● Initial visit survey with a return addressed envelope.
● Be sure to include a sticker or card with your office hours and a business card.
Team members can sometimes be overwhelmed by their multitude of responsibilities. It’s easy to become distracted with some frustrating, “urgent” issue and forget that serving the needs of the patient standing in front of us is always the most important job.
Upon arrival, patients should be recognized with immediate eye contact, a smile, and a ﬁrst name greeting:
“Welcome- Hi (patient) , I’m (receptionist). We’ve been expecting you. We’re glad you chose us. Thank you for completing the online intake forms and surveys we sent you. In a minute, I’ll introduce you to Dr. (provider).
Defining Moments: Building A Long-Term Relationship
In any relationship, there are moments that define potential.
First Treatment Follow Up & Call
At the end of the ﬁrst treatment, providers should set expectations for the patient.
“OK (patient) we’ll start here today – with a relatively light treatment. Nothing I do in the future would be more uncomfortable. You might feel some soreness following this initial treatment; kind of like you worked out for the ﬁrst time in a while. That’s not unusual. The soreness usually very manageable and will fade. It often takes a couple of treatments to start seeing progress, but things will pick up from there. Do you have any questions?”
You may also wish to take a business card and write your phone number on the back. This is given to the patient with the message: “If you ever have any questions or concerns after hours, here is my number, feel free to call.”
Providers should be sure to call patients following their initial treatment to let them know you are interested in how they are feeling.
You’ll want to be prepared for various patient responses to your opening question. Consider modifying the following script to suit your personal style:
Hi (patient), This is Dr. (provider). I was calling to see how you’re feeling after your ﬁrst treatment today?
● If feeling better: “That’s great! It’s an encouraging sign to see you feeling better this quickly. Now don’t be surprised if you feel soreness later, and don’t forget it usually takes a couple of treatments for lasting relief.”
● If feeling unchanged: “I just wanted to check in because sometimes patients feel a little sore after their ﬁrst treatment and I wanted to make sure you were OK. It’s not unusual that it takes a couple of treatments to start seeing relief, but things should speed up after that.”
● If feeling sore: “That’s not uncommon, and not a bad sign. This was the ﬁrst time you’ve had those muscles and joints stretched in a while, so some soreness would be expected. The next treatment should be more comfortable and then we can expect some relief.”
Don’t hesitate to call me if you have any questions before I see you again on (next appointment).
Any happy relationship requires ongoing communication. Consider the following opportunities:
● ChiroUp condition reports- patients who actively participate in their recoveries feel a part of the success. These reports make participation easy (& trackable.)
● Streaming education- Mounting a television or monitor in any waiting area is a high-tech way to display multiple messages. Consider creating an iMovie or Powerpoint presentation with dozens of messages. Follow this link to download a Sample Waiting room DVD.
● Consider hosting a genuine patient education class that beneﬁts the patient. Patient education class marketing campaigns are located in the Marketing campaigns library under Practice resources.
● Newsletter- Patient newsletters are valuable practice-building tools. By providing entertaining and informative content that’s likely to be read, a newsletter allows for gentle, consistent contact with your patient base and acquaintances. Check out the related Newsletter marketing campaign for details.
● Facebook posts– social media is the preferred form of communication for many patients. Don’t overlook this powerful tool for general information, but never disclose protected health information on a public platform. Check out the related social media marketing campaign for details.
Need help creating engaging content for your social media posts or patient newsletters? Check out our plus and premium plans that take the hassle out of communication.
Recognize Special Events
Teams should recognize important events in their patient’s lives like a graduation, wedding, new venture, achievement, or loss of a family member with a card and a hand-written note. Consider stocking blank note cards embossed with your practice logo for this purpose.
Birthdays are one of the best opportunities to connect with patients (after you’re 21 everyone else forgets your birthday.) Consider stocking a birthday-themed paper. Create a template message then import each staff member’s signature at the bottom. Assign a staff member to track birthdays and mail merge these documents biweekly. Check out the following sample texts:
Consider sending VIP patients a hand-written card acknowledging how much you appreciate their support. VIP patients are your patients that have referred patients or left an online review. Be sure to include your card with your home phone number and mobile number in case they ever have questions after hours. This does not necessarily need to be sent out “en masse”, but may be completed 1-2 per day, preferably after you’ve just seen the VIP.
Organization: The Key to Efﬁcient Scheduling
Now that you have the key to growing your practice, it’s important to know how to stay organized & on schedule—It’s less about ﬁnding new patients, but ﬁnding the time to treat all of those new patients. That creates excitement but can also lead to overbooked schedules and frustrated patients.
Make sure that you have a scheduling system that maximizes and respects everyone’s greatest resource- time. Otherwise, your expensive marketing efforts will only serve to displace existing patients in a stressful environment. Our ﬂagship clinic employs a “points system” to maximize our schedule. We designate a certain point value to each patient, based upon condition(s) and type of visit. In our schedule, each point value is differentiated by a separate color font. Finally, we assign a maximum number of points per hour for each provider, based upon their capacity. This limits back-ups and keeps our patients excited about the way that we respect their time. While each clinic and provider have different limits, review the following example for inspiration.
Likelihood to Refer
Providers should never forget that satisﬁed patients show up, but excited patients refer. The number of referrals that you receive each month is a direct reﬂection of the quality of your services. We suggest completing the boost tasks for Patient satisfaction and 30-day average improvement before jumping into the following actions, as those two metrics have a direct impact on your Likelihood to Refer. And, when you’re ready, here’s the recipe for referrals:
Many times, patients assume that a provider is too busy for additional new patients, but that is not always the case! If you’re looking to grow your referrals, it’s critical that you let your patients know you are open & eager to care for their friends & family. Check out these sample signs that you can display around your ofﬁce to get that message across:
You should also consider adding the same referral-based messages to existing materials in your ChiroUp account. Here are a few samples that can be found under Marketing campaigns:
Educate With Reports, Brochures, & Rack Cards
Prescribing ChiroUp condition reports is an essential step toward increasing referrals for two reasons:
1) Reports educate your patients about their condition and how your care is aimed to help.
2) 30 days after a report is prescribed, the Outcome Tracker post-care survey is sent to your patient with the opportunity to rate you on Google.
As an active subscriber, you should already be prescribing reports for any new clinical presentation to improve your patient’s experience and ultimately boost the likelihood to refer. And although that’s an excellent step to take, sometimes patients fail to realize that you can manage more than just their presenting diagnosis. We recommend incorporating brochures and rack cards as an effective means to educate patients about what else you treat.
Brochures that highlight some of the other conditions you treat can serve as a referral tool for you and your ofﬁce. Literature display racks should be positioned in areas where patients wait. Here’s a sample rack card. The complete set of all 16 cards can be found within the Marketing Sample Library located in the Forms library.
💡 Pro Tip: Need help customizing rack cards or other promotions? No problem. Our graphic design team is now your graphic design team and can provide assistance as needed at an “employee” rate. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for a quote anytime.
Educate With A Waiting Room Video
Your patients may come in for back pain, but do they know you treat foot, hand, and even headache pain? Use a waiting room video to inform visitors of all the problems that you can successfully manage.
Mounting a smart TV in any waiting area is a way to display multiple messages. Consider creating a Powerpoint presentation with dozens of messages, then burning the presentation onto a thumb drive. Set your monitor to play a continuous loop and your patients will see dozens of messages each visit.
Check out this sample for inspiration. Then contact our design team email@example.com if you would like help customizing this video with your practice information or other personalized content.
Request Referrals- Personal Ask
One of the most opportune times to request a referral is the ﬁrst time a patient tells you that they’re feeling better. At that point, providers should ask for a referral with a message similar to this:
“Tom, I’d like to ask you for a favor. If you like what I have done for you, I’d like you to tell someone else who could beneﬁt from my care. They can come in, and I’ll do my best to ﬁgure out how to get them feeling better quickly. Would you do that for me?”
Providers may also consider a complimentary new patient consult card for patients to share with their family and friends. This card may be included with any verbal referral request and displayed as a “take one” for patients at the front desk.
Request Referrals- Personal Note
Another means of requesting referrals is through a personal note. This note may be handed to patients during a visit or mailed. Hand-written cards are likely to produce better results. Develop a habit to write at least one card per day.
Providers should carefully track the source of all new patients. Please see the ChiroUp marketing campaign New patient ROI tracking for details.
At a minimum, providers should have a line on their intake form: “Who referred you to our ofﬁce?”- to track referrals and stimulate thought.
Providers must personally acknowledge all referrals—that's a big deal! Patients are eager to please authority ﬁgures and will continue to do so if acknowledged. When someone refers a new patient, the provider should call the referrer that evening to let them know how much they appreciate their referral. See this template for a thank you call for inspiration.
Providers should also send a personally signed “thank you for referring” immediately following any referral.*Providers should avoid disclosing names or case details to avoid violating HIPPA laws in conversations and notes.
Some businesses choose to reward patients who refer with a small token of appreciation that changes regularly. Some practices choose to announce this “gift of the month” with a small sign or poster in the waiting room.
Potential gift ideas include**:
● Soft-sided cooler
● Insulated cup/ ﬂask
● Ball cap & T-shirt
** Be certain that you are aware of, and do not violate, State or Federal “anti-kickback” (AKS) and Federal Stark laws that regulate healthcare gifting and prohibit any form of remuneration that could be construed as payment in exchange for referrals of business. Anti-kickback laws prohibit giving anything more than “nominal” gifts. Unfortunately, “nominal” is undeﬁned by AKS law; however, the OIG has deﬁned “nominal as gifts that are not cash or cash equivalents, and they have a retail value of no more than $15 individually or an aggregate value of $75 per year, per patient. This advice is for informational purposes only- to alert subscribers of potential pitfalls. Providers should consult with a healthcare attorney for legal advice before implementing any reward system.