When you step in your car you usually know where you want to go. You may then set your destination in your Sat Nav and off you go. At this point not only do you know where you’re going, but also the most optimal route and the approximate time of arrival.
All makes good sense, right!
So it baffles me why more practitioners and patients don’t follow a similar way of thinking.
To put it simply if you don’t have plan then you probably don’t have a clear destination and therefore, will most likely end up where you or your patient doesn’t want to be.
So plan to plan.
Think about this. If you’re wandering down the beach, you’re probably not too fussed about where you end up as long it’s somewhere close to where you started. You still have an approximate destination and time frame but it’s pretty loose.
If, let’s say the previous day someone had placed a bright orange flag way up ahead and told you to walk to that flag taking the shortest route possible you would plan your strategy with the absolute intention of ending up at the flag. And guess what, that’s exactly what happens, you end up at the flag.
I think you’re getting my message here.
So let’s talk about treatment plans. The exact same process applies.
When you meet your new patient, you take a history, examine, offer an initial treatment, refer for a test, prescribe home-based care and recommend a follow-up.
At the follow up you might then recommend a treatment plan based on the patient and your experience managing similar patients.
As part of the consent process, you are in fact obligated to provide a clear treatment plan including anticipated duration of initial care, expected outcomes and costs involved.
For example, 2 visits per week for 3 weeks, at which time you schedule a progress exam to review.
You may also provide them with possible medium and long term scenarios.
In reality, a plan may change however, you need a plan at the start to then have something to change. More experienced practitioners will generally know 90% of the time what plan works and therefore, what to recommend.
When you plan to plan both you and your patient are much more likely to end up where you both want to be.
So be pro-active and lead your patient thru their initial care following a structured plan where they know exactly what’s going to happen every step of the way.
About the Author:
Dr. Andrew Arnold (Chiropractor) is the ‘Practice Leverage Expert’; Principal Chiropractor and owner, Cranbourne Family Chiropractic and Wellness Centre; Accredited Business Coach; Founder, Million Dollar Wellness Practice. Andrew is married to Dr. Linda Wilson, the Stress Specialist and has two children, Isaac and Bella. He lives in Melbourne, Australia.