resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Balancing Spring Challenges
As the winter months come to a close and warmer spring weather appears, patients may begin to present with new challenging pattern presentations.
An Unexpected Diagnosis: The Result of Lacking Communication
A couple years ago I had a case that showed me the importance of open communication between health practitioners. We need to show up with less fear, and let go of our judgments so we can do better for the patient.
New Relationships, Old Trauma: AOM & Other Healing Strategies
Being in love is one the most beautiful and enjoyable experiences. Most of us are willing to pay almost any price to have that experience, and still often find it elusive or fleeting. Navigating the ups and downs of loving relationships are often challenging — even for the most psychologically balanced among us.
An Integrated Approach to Chronic Pain
Findings from a unique Medicaid pilot project in Rhode Island involving high-use Medicaid recipients from two health plans were recently presented to the state's Department of Health, demonstrating stellar outcomes with regard to medication use, ER visits, health care costs and patient satisfaction.
Is the New Medicare Reporting Exemption Right for You?
What you've heard is not a rumor – there will be exemptions for providers of Medicare patients, with no penalties assessed for offices that do not do Quality Payment Program (EHR, PQRS, MACRA and MIPS) reporting.
Universal Design: Principles & Practice
In many respects, universal design serves as the core of ergonomics. It's also a good tool to use when designing a return-to-work program for injured and/or ill patients. Let's take a closer look at universal design and why it should matter to you and your patients.
Creating Good Business Buzz
What do patients really think about working with you? Rarely do you hear the whole truth. Those who improve may be candid in their gratitude.
News in Brief
ACA Adopts New Governance Model; ACA 2017 Awards; CCA Helps Calif. DCs "Share the Love"; $1 Million to Help Advance the Profession; D'Youville Raises the Bar on Anatomy Education; ErRatum.
Why I Quit Doing House Calls
My father was a chiropractor who did house calls, so when I became a DC, I figured doing house calls was part of the job. My March article recalled my experience as a small boy, accompanying my dad while he went to patients' homes to treat them.
Bill With Confidence: Learn What to Collect
Q: I am trying to understand what I may collect from my patient when there is insurance. Do I have to accept the amount allowed by the plan or may I collect up to my billed amount? Please note, I am not a member of any insurance plan.
Taking the Chiropractic Message to the Press
"There is no better place on earth to have a news event," the National Press Club boasts, and it's easy to understand why: Every year, the 108-year-old Washington, D.C.-based organization hosts countless press conferences on the hottest topics impacting America and often the world.
Eczema & Acupuncture: A Sound Solution (Part 1)
Eczema affects approximately 3.5 percent of the global population and is one of the most common skin complaints seen by dermatologists.
Raditation & Your Smartphone: Is it Worth the Risk?
If radial arteries could talk (and in my experience they can to some extent), they would say, "Step away from the smartphone." At least that is the message I am receiving loud and clear as I feel the pulses of many patients.
Is It Time to Rethink Mental Illness? (Pt. 1)
Invariably, patients will ask their chiropractor about depression or various mental illnesses. Some practitioners will reflexively offer a cervical adjustment, suggest St. John's wort or contemplate a referral to a specialist.
A Daily Strategy for Heavy-Metal Detox
In modern society, we are constantly exposed to heavy metals such as cadmium, lead and mercury. These heavy metals have no essential biochemical roles in our body, and conversely, can cause us a great deal of harm if they build up to toxic levels.
A Major Role in Back Pain: The Multifidus
Back pain affects roughly 80 percent of the population at one time or another and is one of the leading causes of doctor visits.
Women's Hormones: A Western & Eastern Perspective
Sometimes it may seem that you require a degree in medicine to understand hormones and how they function.
Clearing Blocks: A Way to Improve Cosmetic Acupuncture
As a Five Element acupuncturist who teaches facial acupuncture classes nationally, I was surprised to learn that one of the basic principles I was taught in school is unfamiliar to most acupuncturists.
Give Yourself the Digital Advantage
When you see this article in the print version of this issue and swear you read it already, don't be alarmed: you probably did. That's because by that time, the May issue will have been available online in digital format for three weeks.
March, 2016, Vol. 16, Issue 03
Asking Your Clients the Right Questions
By Kelley Mulhern, DC
When was the last time you asked a client a question? Maybe 30 seconds ago? But, are you asking the right questions to elicit valuable and useful information? As a healthcare provider, you've likely spent hundreds of hours learning to ask the right questions to gather critical health information from your clients. These questions allow you to deliver an accurate diagnosis, render appropriate care, and provide prompt referrals when necessary. Is that where your questioning ends? If so, you're missing out on a valuable source of business information for your practice.
When was the last time you asked your clients about their opinion of your practice? About your staff? About your marketing? If you're like many healthcare providers, the answer is "never" or "not lately." And that can be impacting your bottom line. Your clients are a treasure trove of information about your practice...what works, what doesn't work, what could stimulate growth, and much more. Further, most of them would love the opportunity to help you, all you have to do is ask.
How Do You Ask
One efficient way to ask questions of a group of people is to create a survey or questionnaire. A survey can take many formats and it doesn't have to be complicated. For example, you could have a two to three question survey for clients to complete as they check out. Alternatively, you could mail or email those same questions to your client base, or even ask via social media. If you want to take it up a notch, try using a website like SurveyMonkey to create your survey, send it out, and gather data. Whichever method you choose, remember to keep it brief – only three to five concise questions – to maximize response rates. Using checkboxes can help expedite the process. In addition, consider making replies anonymous as people may be more willing to share their true opinions that way.
Before you start bombarding your clients with questions or surveys, take some time to develop a strategy. How often do you plan to survey your patients? (Tip: I recommend reaching out to the same people no more than twice a year, otherwise they may get irritated or stop responding.) Given this limitation, what type of information (i.e.: regarding policies, products, services, marketing, staffing, etc.) is most important for you to obtain?
In addition to strategizing when and what you'll ask, think about who you're going to ask. The natural tendency is to elicit feedback from current clients. However, depending on the information you're trying to gather, a better source may be those people who came in for a consultation but didn't start care, or those who started care and stopped somewhere along the way.
Pre-frame the Questions
To increase participation and feedback, introduce your questions with a little background information to provide context. For example:
What to Ask
Here are some topic-specific questions you might consider asking:
The New Patient Experience
Those Who Didn't Start Care
Put it to Use!
Once you've taken the time and effort to ask your clients the right questions for your practice, do something constructive with their feedback. The whole point of this process is to learn and constantly improve your practice. And make sure to let your clients know when their feedback helped you to make a positive change. Send out a quick email, include it in the newsletter, add it to your website, or post it in your office with gratitude for all the clients who participated in the survey. For example, "As a result of a recent client survey, we're pleased to announce that we've expanded our massage therapy hours and added another massage therapist to our team. Thank you to everyone who took a few minutes to provide us with valuable feedback. We're here to serve you!"
Gathering information from your clients can be easy, enlightening, and transformative for your practice. Tap into this source of creativity and feedback to take your practice to new heights. Simply ask your clients the right questions to help you to better meet their needs, be more connected to them, and increase your practice success.
Dr. Kelley Mulhern (formerly Kelley Pendleton) is a chiropractor, healthcare marketing consultant, professional speaker, and the author of Community Connections! Relationship Marketing for Healthcare Professionals. For more information or to download free materials, please visit www.dr-kelley.com.
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