Patient retention for Chiropractors has long been a subject of conversation at nearly any event or conference. Is there a secret to keeping patients on treatment programs until the patient reaches the maximum benefit? YES…there is a secret and we’re sharing it with you in this article.
How is the patient retention rate at your practice…would you say it’s high…medium…or low? We’re not talking about the patients that come back every time they are in a pain for a few visits. We’re talking about keeping patients on 24, 30, or longer visit treatment programs.
Many Chiropractors tell us that they could easily double the size of the practice if patients would just stay on treatment programs until they reach the desired outcome of stabilization, or wellness. They also tell us that the patient outcomes would be much better!
How many times have patients stopped a treatment program because the symptoms are gone?
When does your typical patient drop off the care plan…in the first 5 visits…around visit 10…later? What percentage stayed for the entire treatment program? Why did they stop coming? Find the real reason why, fix it, and you can change your practice dramatically.
Would you agree that symptoms are typically relieved at about a 30% improvement for the patient?
Would you also agree that if the patient does not reach at least 85% improvement…the symptoms are probably coming back, and more likely sooner than later?
Stop for a moment and think about what it would mean for you personally if you could keep a high percentage of patients on your care program until they reached stabilization. How would things change if they stayed not just until the symptoms were gone, or the insurance coverage ran out… but until they reached maximum medical benefit?
We interviewed World-renowned Chiropractor, and Chiropractic consultant, Dr David Singer to find out how he built his practice to 1100 patients per week in less than one year from the date he began practicing. He told us it was all about patient retention. He also stated that most Chiropractors deliver great care, but many simply don’t know the secret to keeping patients on a care plan until they have reached the stage of stabilization, or maintenance. When patients reach stabilization, they are truly better and they love you for it, then they send friends and family to you.
How did he achieve such high patient retention numbers?
He did it with great patient education and proof of success. Patient education is more than using your report of findings to show the need for care. It should contain education about the difference in relief care and corrective care. The patient needs to understand that if they drop out of care before they finish corrective care, they may quickly find themselves right back at ground zero.
He developed a patient charting system that used a graph to show the patient the progress he or she is experiencing throughout the care program. This visual representation helps focus the patient on the overall care plan instead of symptom relief. It also shows the patient that you aren’t trying to get them to come to you for the rest of their lives, as many of them believe.
This is how he built such a large practice, and helped so many patients, in such a short period of time. This seemingly simple visual representation of progress along with a good report of findings and great communication skills enabled him to become one of the most successful and well-known figures in the entire world of Chiropractic.
He taught this system to Chiropractors for years and those that used it, saw great improvement. The system required that the practice invest a little time and do a little math to figure out the progress and then graph it. This was a small hinderance for some practices as time is often at a premium in a busy practice.
With Dr. Singers help, our team has automated the charting system to make it quick, affordable, and effective for all Chiropractors to use. It is so easy to use that it has become a very popular module in our automated report of findings program.
Here’s How Patient Charting Works!
We know that when a Chiropractor has a patient on a care plan, that re-exams every 3 or 4 weeks are normal. Patients typically fill out a form when they arrive for treatment that tells you his or her current pain level and perhaps some more data about his or her condition. We also know that beyond conversation with the patient, not much is often done with this data.
People forget most of what they hear in conversation. But it’s a proven fact that visual images increase learning at a rate of 400% and enable users to process the information faster and with better retention. Therefore, patient retention is more effective with visual media.
Now a staff member can spend 30 seconds after each monthly re-exam, input a few numbers, the system will create, or update, the graph, you add the target for the next re-exam and spend a few minutes with the patient going over progress as well as the target for next month. You have now focused the patient on his or her progression, his or her advancement through relief care to corrective care toward stabilization, and the progress target for next month. This simple process can help double your practice. Patient retention can now be this easy.
Does the extra 3 to 10 minutes per patient monthly pay off?
Research has shown that the average chiropractic visit has a value of $57.69 to the practice. It further tells us that the typical patient comes in for 6 visits. If using charting and our patient retention program can help patients stay on treatment programs to 24 visits, the case value would rise from $358.02 to $1384.56. That is an increase of $1024.54 per patient. This is how you maximize lifetime value of a patient.
The average Chiropractor sees 5 new patients weekly or around 20 monthly. If half stay on treatment to reach stabilization, or maintenance, you have increased your revenue by over $2,500 weekly or $10,000 monthly. If your practice is bigger so are your numbers.
The question to ask yourself – is it worth an extra few minutes per month to increase revenue significantly?