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Practice Policy (Gone Bad): The Sign
Every once in a while, you see something and think to yourself, That's a really bad idea. Case in point: I went to see my medical doctor the other day. Just after being "roomed," as they say, the nurse checked my vital signs. Then she left.
Acupuncture Rising: From Acupuncture Anesthesia to Assisted-IVF, Part 1
Acupuncture's cultural and historical roots go back to the emergence of Chinese civilization. For more than 2,000 years, acupuncture needling has been continuously practiced on the largest population in the world.
Harvard Health References Flawed AHA Position Paper
In its special health report, "Stroke: Diagnosing, Treating, and Recovering From a 'Brain Attack,'" Harvard Health Publications includes information from the American Heart Association's 2014 position statement on cervical manipulation and cervical dissection – a statement the American Chiropractic Association emphasized in a letter to Harvard Health mixes "scientific facts with half-truths."
News in Brief
Call for Abstracts Announced - Parker Las Vegas 2016; Logan Adds Doctorate Degree; New Role for Dr. James Edwards.
Help: A Need at Every Level
One of the great gifts of training in acupuncture is the ability to take good care of oneself. I recently had a bout of frozen shoulder — an inflammatory syndrome which can be debilitatingly painful and take years to resolve.
Improving Communication Between AOM and Biomedical Providers
How comfortable do you feel talking to Western medical providers? If you are like me, you may not feel as comfortable as you would like. Some of my interactions with MD's haven't been the fruitful steps toward integrative medicine for which I had hoped.
The Short Leg Dilemma
When evaluating a new patient, it is common to note a relative shortening of one leg to the other. Some patients will even tell you they have one, and then pull out the store-bought heel lift they read about online.
Do Some Good and Grow Your Business with Cause Marketing
Cause marketing is truly one of the best ways that you can promote your services as a acupuncture professional. Cause marketing refers to a type of marketing where a business partners with a non-profit organization to help bring awareness to a charitable cause.
An Acupuncturist's View of Medicinal Marijuana
The use of cannabis for medical purposes is very controversial. Use as a panacea by physicians uninitiated to the proper application of herbal medicine, as well as an excuse for recreational use have greatly confused the issue.
The Zen Art of "One Point"
We were always told in our Zen Shiatsu training (by Japanese and Japanese American instructors) that our ultimate aim was to to find that "One Point." To be so focused we could touch just one point to transform Qi throughout a client's body.
Practicing with Authenticity
To extrapolate from the above quote, patients love healthcare providers they can trust. One way to earn the trust of your patients is by practicing with authenticity. What does that mean, exactly?
Surprising Reasons for Orthotic Efficacy
Clinical outcome studies show orthotics are effective in the management of a wide range of injuries, including plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis and patellofemoral pain syndrome.
Nuts Reduce Risk of Heart Disease, Cancer and Other Health Problems
Several recent studies suggest regular consumption of nuts may provide a significant degree of protection against certain types of cancer, heart disease, possibly type 2 diabetes and some neurodegenerative diseases.
Patient-Centered Care vs. Payer Restrictions: Your Ethical Obligation
Do you have an ethical obligation to evaluate your patients, make a diagnosis and provide evidence-based, patient-centered health care, irrelevant to the payer restrictions?
Getting a YES: An Effective Strategy for Overcoming Patient Objections
Patients make more excuses for declining care from an acupuncturist than perhaps any other type of doctor. Various reasons hold them back from making a commitment to care.
Modernization of Chinese Medicine
Language – written, spoken, signed, or otherwise is learned as a means to express our individualized perceptions about the world around us. Language is designed to communicate our personal experiences.
What's Chiropractic Research Worth to You?
The Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research (PCCR), in celebration of its 20th anniversary, has announced it is spearheading a fundraising campaign to support chiropractic research.
Dorsiflexion Dysfunction: Evaluation & Manipulation Techniques
Almost every condition from the foot to the hip can be attributed to the inability to dorsiflex the ankle mortice and other joints that participate in dorsiflexion. Let's start by understanding normal versus abnormal dorsiflexion.
Oriental Medicine on the World Stage
"Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt." This simple, yet powerful statement was lived out time and time again by so many of the athletes from around the world during the Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles.
More Chiropractors Required
An intriguing study published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine examines how "chiropractic care affects use of primary care physician (PCP) services."
Change Lives by Supporting Chiropractic Research: Are You In?
The Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research (PCCR), in celebration of its 20th anniversary, has announced it is spearheading a fund-raising campaign to support chiropractic research.
Fertility and Poly-Unsaturated Fatty Acids
Starting or expanding one's family is a major milestone. It's something that more and more people seek out health care advice and support for.
Healing Trauma: Cultivating Resilience and Presence Through Mindfulness, Part 2
In the last issue of Acupuncture Today, the first part of this article introduced the topic of trauma and resilience, and their relationship to the autonomic nervous system response and the concept of the spirit being grounded in the body, and suggested the importance of mindfulness as a tool for healing.
The Food Conversation: Nutrition and Your Practice
It's morning and your first patient rolls in with a triple espresso steaming in one hand and a frazzled, desperate look in her eye. "You gotta help me, doc, I am constipated unless I drink one of these, and I am exhausted and anxious all the time."
A Chiropractor's Guide to Yoga
"Doctor, can I continue to do yoga while undergoing your care?" "Is it OK for me to go back to yoga while I'm getting my back treated?" "It is safe to start my yoga classes again after my neck pain improves?"
Fish Oil: A Key Component of Positive Clinical Outcomes
Patients seem to be presenting with more complex problems, and many are responding to care more slowly or have completely unexpected results. Why?
November, 2011, Vol. 11, Issue 11
Service is Not an Antiquated Word
By Angie Patrick
Let's face it, we have seen far better economic times. We have seen recessions come and go, and we have seen boom times. We have watched the stock markets skyrocket, and then looked on in horror as they crashed just as quickly.There is no way around it, no sugar coating it and no way to make it something it isn't. Our economy is tough, period. But for some, using the economy as justification to under-deliver your goods or services to your clients can make an already tough situation even tougher.
Have you walked into big-box retail stores equipped with 35 check out lines only to have two registers open because of personnel cutbacks to save costs. Who does this ultimately hurt? Well, first the customer, because they feel their time is not as important as the store's. Also, this hurts the store, because I can tell you I would actively avoid making purchases in that store because I know the wait times are ridiculous and I can go right down the street and get the services and products I need and not spend my hard-to-find free time in queue. The store has lost my business, so being penny wise and pound foolish is not a smart move for anyone in business.
To help you get through this interesting economic landscape, there are some basic things you need to remember about your clients. Below are some of the things you should consider before you begin to slice service levels to compensate for slower cash flow.
They EXPECT excellence. It really is not a negotiable expectation. Regardless of whether they have purchased a discount through Groupon or another service, they expect the very best you have to give, each and every time. Keep in mind, they too are short on funds, and times are just as hard in their household if not more so. That being said, the money they spend to visit you is money they must now work harder to justify spending. Providing them an excuse to cut you from their budget by providing reduced or less than stellar service is a sure way to send your clients on an expedition to find someone who will meet their expectations.
They EXPECT you to be on time, every time. Even when they are not. This is not a two way street. The customer will not wait long before they begin to wonder if this is time well spent. Conversely, the customer should also understand should THEY run late, you have allotted a certain time frame and they will have to give up massage time to compensate. Having this conversation when the customer is late for the first time, however, is not the time to enforce this rule. Be sure you have a mutual agreement to respect one another's time and have a conversation with them about your policy on late appointments BEFORE you begin to work with them is far more effective than springing a short massage on them because they are late. Doing this will likely result in a certainty that you will lose a client. A CLEAR AND DEFINED policy for both parties should be made clear before hand to avoid any controversy.
Follow up with your clients and go the extra mile to call them a day before to confirm your appointment. Doing this can allow you time to reschedule another client in the event your first client has been called away or cannot make it. Having a back-up plan is great because you will not lose revenue and your client sees this as being proactive in their care. This costs nothing but time, and is a great way to budget your time and income by allowing yourself a bit of recovery time in the event of a cancellation. The time to try to book another client is not 30 minutes before the appointment time. Having just a little heads up can do wonders for you and for the client's loyalty.
Do not take short cuts for your supplies. Remember, your clients are expecting excellence, and if you change something they have become accustomed to, they will most assuredly recognize that. Even though the economic temptation is strong to find lesser quality products or worse yet, buy from mainstream retail, the client will notice a change. If you are using a product they can buy anywhere, you are making it more difficult for them to see you as a health care professional. They might instead see you as a lesser therapist.
Providing service also includes seeing to their needs for home care as well. This means retailing goods you in which you have confidence in and personal experience with and that can be used easily at home for clients to manage pain, do a home exfoliation, an aromatherapy bath, or any other item you believe in and feel good about retailing. This can actually ADD to your bottom line, which is not a bad think when money is tight.
Service is not antiquated, just not as prevalent as it once was. It is just as appreciated now as it was when our parents were growing up. Imagine how we would feel in this day and time pulling into a service station and four employees were to run out, shine our windows and mirrors, check the oil, check the tires, and fill your tank. We would be over the moon! Your clients will be also if you work diligently to provide consistently great treatment, service and homecare. You will be assisting them in more ways than you know and you can fill many of their needs in one place. While I know your practice is not a gas station, the same basic principles apply for meeting customer/client expectations: Exceed them, and you have a customer for life.
Click here for more information about Angie Patrick.
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