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The Pertinent Negative
We all have to perform evaluations on patients. Most of us don't like doing it – exams take time, and worse it takes even more time after the evaluation to put together a narrative summary of the findings. Sometimes, this process becomes downright tedious.
Three Tips to Help You Analyze the Acupuncture Case Studies of the NCCAOM Exam
Confirm the answer quickly by the elimination method. Case study:
After two treatments for back pain, a patient presents for a third
session complaining of rapid breathing and wheezing that is made worse
during cold weather.
Insuring Quality Control in Herb Importation: An Interview with Wilson Lau
Wilson Lau is the vice president of Nuherbs, a Chinese herb importation company based in San Leandro, California. Before joining Nuherbs, he trained as a lawyer specializing in FDA law.
Tai Chi Documentary Premier
First Run Features recently announced the world theatrical premiere of Barry Strugatz's documentary The Professor: Tai Chi's Journey West, which premiered last month at the Laemmle Music Hall in Los Angeles.
Treating Hip & Groin Pain With Abdominal Release of Upper Lumbar Nerve Impingements
Have you encountered patients with groin and hip pain you can't seem to solve? You know it's not a worn-out hip; you suspect the pain is somehow connected to the spine. But somehow, you just can't help them break through.
Introducing the Acupuncture Today Digital Edition
In response to the changing habits of our readers, Acupuncture Today will introduce a digital edition of the publication (in addition to our print edition) beginning with the August 2016 issue.
Sit or Stand? Analyzing a Mixed Message
I'm more than a bit confused. At my age, that seems to be a rather common occurrence. However, today more than ever, I'm getting a mixed message.
Multivitamin Supplement May Reduce Breast Cancer Recurrence
There is a great deal of controversy regarding the value of multiple vitamin supplements in cancer prevention.
Acupuncture Muscle Trigger Point and Oriental Medicine Sports Therapy
It is difficult to ascertain the internal condition of professional basketball player Lebron James during game one of the 2014 NBA finals, in which he developed debilitating muscle cramps that led to his premature removal from the game.
A Long-Overdue Win for Oregon Medicaid Patients - and the Implications for Other States
Beginning July 1, 2016, Oregon Medicaid patients with spinal pain (cervical, thoracic, lumbar, pelvic) who are determined to be low risk based on a biopsychosocial assessment tool (STarT Back – Keele University) can receive four chiropractic visits per episode.
What's New in Phytonutrition: Mangifera Indica, "The King of Fruits"
One hundred percent pure Indian green mango fruit (mangifera indica), harvested at a special degree of ripeness for efficacy and taste, can now be concentrated as a phytonutrient nutraceutical powder.
An MD Who Understands the Opioid Epidemic
Doctors of chiropractic have an important role to play in ending the opioid epidemic and dealing with chronic pain by conservative means (see our top story in this issue) – but who's to blame for opioid dependence and abuse in the first place?
What You Say Isn't Always What Patients Hear
A few years ago, my aunt Edna (name changed for the purpose of this story) suffered a stroke. After a short hospital stay, she was transferred to a nursing home for rehabilitation. When she arrived at the nursing home, Edna requested a private room.
Adventures with the San Jiao
Those of us who have been in practice for several decades relish the way meridians and points reveal new diagnostic clues and new insights. I love to encourage my students to see this as an adventure that goes way beyond the textbooks.
Chronic Pain: Become Part of the Solution
I have lectured to more than 7,000 chiropractic physicians over the past five years regarding the chronic pain and opioid epidemic in this country.
Increasing the Value of Spine Care: CMS Approves New Low Back Pain Registry
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has approved the Spine IQ Low Back Pain Registry as a qualified clinical data registry for the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) in 2016.
AOM Hospital-Based Practice: A Future Reality?
The natural evolution of health care on the planet is integrative health. We may have some challenges ahead, but based on my research, all indicators are pointing in a positive direction. There seems to be an evolving consciousness among our patient population that is "getting it."
Beating the Odds: Interview With Para-Powerlifter Adeline Dumapong-Ancheta
Since October 2015, the FICS Foundation, the charitable organization affiliated with the International Federation of Sports Chiropractic (FICS), has been supporting disabled athletes internationally.
Acupuncture's Impact on the World
For several years, I have been hearing about the town of Rothenburg, Germany. It seemed just a dot on a map until I arrived. It is the home of the TCM Kongress which began in 1968. It has been held annually for 47 years and it has only missed one year.
Kansas Achieves Licensing Law
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed House Bill 2615 into law on Friday, May 13, 2016. HB2615 includes provisions for the licensure of acupuncturists in the state of Kansas.
Believe it or not, an estimated one-third of your patients have eaten some form of fast food within 24 hours of their appointment with you.
An Emerging Partnership Model
Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH) has educated integrative health and wellness practitioners for the last 40 years, originally as an acupuncture clinic and school. The institution's transformative, relationship-centered programs integrate traditional wisdom with contemporary science
March, 2016, Vol. 16, Issue 03
Seeing the Mess Right in Front of You: A Spring Cleaning Checklist
By Angie Patrick
We have all done it. When left to our own devices in waiting rooms, exam rooms, massage rooms, gyms and other healthcare-related locations, we all either consciously or subconsciously do a mental sweep for cleanliness. We all want to believe the place in which we visit and choose to place our trust keeps an orderly household and is free from cross contaminating issues. And whether we are aware of it or not, a mis-step here by staff or the proprietor can color your thinking of the practice or facility. We hold these providers to a higher standard of cleanliness than we often do within our own homes. Finding something that goes against your expectations for cleanliness can indeed sour your confidence in the provider a bit. Depending on the offending infraction, it may even result in you leaving the provider in search of cleaner grounds.
The Waiting Room
Let's start with the waiting room. You may be thinking, "How much could possibly go wrong there?" Well, it is more than you think! The waiting room is the very first impression the client gets of what may lay ahead. Consider your clients sitting idly by, waiting for you to be clear of a previous client. What are they doing while they wait? Some are looking at their phones, checking email or web surfing. Some may be looking at magazines you have placed in your waiting area. Others may have nothing else to occupy them besides looking at your room and inspecting the elements within it.
Have you looked at the corners both high and low? Are there dust bunnies or cobwebs? Sometimes, behind the door can be easily missed by staff and cleaning crews and may well need attention. If you have artwork hanging, have you looked at the glass and frame for accumulated dust? Are your tables, shelves and counter tops free of clutter and dust? Are the plants healthy and watered? Do your retail offerings look tired and old? Does your retail display have gaps or need replenishing? If you have magazines, are they current or are they 6 to 12 months old? Missing these key areas can give your client the mental image of your practice being one that pays little attention to detail. If that is not the impression you would like to leave in the mind of your client, take some time to look at your waiting area with fresh eyes and work to declutter and cleanse the space.
The Treatment Room
Next, let's discuss the treatment room. In this space, your client may disrobe, place personal items someplace within the room, and avail themselves to the comforts of your table. Beginning from the moment they enter the space, what are the first impressions? Does it smell clean or of essential oils, or does it smell like the breakroom with lunchtime leftovers from the previous night's dinner? If you work in your home, does your cat box or other pet odor greet your clients upon entering? Does your space please the olfactory senses, or are there any faint unpleasant odors? If you cannot tell, ask a friend to check this for you periodically, as you may no longer be able to detect any unpleasant scents.
Visually, inspect your treatment room for many of the same issue we inspected the waiting room. However, in this case, you are going to go a step or two further. Consider what the client sees in your room from several perspectives, first being standing upright and walking into the room. What do they see at eye level and on the floor? When they look up, are your light bulbs all operable? Is there adequate lighting for them to complete tasks involved in preparing for treatment? Is there a place for them to place their personal effects with care, and not have them simply tossed on a chair? Is the place for their personal items something that can be wiped clean between clients?
The second place of inspection should be from a table perspective. The client will be spending a great deal of time here, and unless you get on your table and take a look, you may be missing some cleaning issues. Are the shelves, cubbies, counters and table tops seen from this angle free of dust, prints and debris? Are your chair legs free of dust and webs? As you will be able to see the underside of tables and carts, are there cob webs there that need to be removed? Look at the carpeting or flooring directly under the face cradle. Is it clean and debris free, or can the ghosts of salt or sugar granules from previous body scrubs be seen? Look at the waste baskets and specifically under toe kick plates of cabinetry for any gum wrappers, cough drop wrappers, or other trash lurking there.
Since we are discussing impressions from the table perspective, let's objectively examine the table additives you use daily. Starting with your table warmer, look at it closely and inspect the wiring to be sure you have no signs of stress. Further, touch it yourself and insure you have no hot or cool spots. Consider your table warmer as a consumable product, because it truly is. Given its use day in, day out, for hours a day, you can rest assured these will eventually need replacing.
The same will hold true of your linens. With fresh eyes, take a long look at the linens your clients encounter. These linens are likely washed daily, or at a minimum several times weekly. This is as much as three to five times more often than your household bed linens, and with this much use and laundering, these too will begin to show signs of wear. Beyond visual inspection, touch and smell them and determine if they are fresh, soft and comfy, or if they have begun to pill and shed. Sheets are also a consumable product, and should be replaced once they become worn and no longer convey the image you wish to project of your practice. While these linens may no longer have a place in your practice, consider donating them to homeless shelters. If you have no homeless shelter in your area, consider these as a gift to your local animal shelter. They still have life remaining in them, so put them to great use.
Lastly, take in a visual evaluation of your treatment space from chair level. If the client uses a chair to re-dress following a treatment session, look at what they see from this seated perspective. If you have supplies on counters or carts, are they organized and housed in a sanitary way? If you have plants, again check to be sure they are not dry or dying. If you have chair rails, have they been wiped free of dust? If you have a mirror in the room for the client to use when re-dressing, is it free of smudges and prints? Has your waste basket been emptied prior to each client? If a client sees the same trash twice in separate visits, you may never see the client again and have no reason why they left. Unless you inspect from each and every angle you may not catch it all.
These suggestions are to coincide with your regular disinfecting and cross contamination prevention. Be sure you utilize the proper cleaners and adhere to all your national, state, county, province or city regulations regarding the sanitation of your space and the spread of germs and pathogens. While you may well be diligent in the disinfecting of your space, some of the items mentioned in this piece are easy to overlook, and can lead to the client having misconceptions about your practice. Taking a little extra time in making sure every item and every space your client encounters is free of any trace of previous clients is paramount to a positive impression being left in the mind of the client. They will feel well cared for, protected, and confident in your ability to provide quality treatment in a clean and well-kept environment.
Click here for more information about Angie Patrick.
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