Scheduling, getting it right

Managing people is not easy to let alone managing our patients.

The problem is, regardless of how great a practitioner you are, if you fail to enroll your clients into your treatment plan, you may as well stay home!

I’m Dr. Andrew Arnold (Chiropractor) from Million Dollar Wellness and in this article, I’m going to give you my 5 golden tips to creating better engagement, better enrolment and better outcomes in your practice.

  1. Confront
  2. Repeat, repeat, repeat.
  3. Follow-up
  4. Be consistent
  5. Make it easy.

Confront is not about aggression, the opposite. It’s about compassion and respect for the urgency of what’s presenting to you, your patient’s time and monetary investment and justifying the process. It’s about being crystal clear with your recommendations irrespective of what you assume you’re seeing or hearing from your patient. It’s about honoring your duty of care to show your clients what they need but simultaneously not be attached to whether or not they take you up on your offer or not. Don’t be too NICE! Don’t be too scared to show your clients exactly what they need to help them with what they presented to you in the first place.

They say in marketing, we need to see, hear and read a message several times before taking action. Your patients are distracted. They are in pain and only taking in a small fraction of what you are communicating to them. So, repeat your message in several formats: A poster, a computer graphic or animation, an information sheet, a patient scheduling form for the reception, a model… Repeat their schedule to their support person in the room and then again to reception. You can’t repeat the scheduling message enough!

Follow up. This is critical during the initial phase of treatment. Send texts and emails after the first and second visits. Check-in, ask questions, provide FAQ’s…re-enforce the importance of the next visit. Show you care by showing your commitment to their cause.

Be consistent. Make sure your foundational scheduling plan is the same for every patient and across your team within your practice, including reception. The slightest inconsistency and your patients will start to doubt your intentions and motives. Make sure your message is consistent.

And finally, make it easy. Some practices use self-scheduling appointment technology [1]. During initial care oftentimes patients need to come infrequently. Make sure you offer to pre-book, and additional time slots at peak times and offer a reminder service.

At the end of the day, our patients pay us to do a job. Part of that job is delivery and quoting this accurately is an art. Check in with your mentors, other experienced practitioners who are doing this well and above all, don’t give up. Your client retention will improve and so will your client satisfaction.

  1. <https://www.carecloud.com/continuum/8-patient-scheduling-best-practices/>

About the author:

Dr. Andrew Arnoldis a Chiropractor and Naturopath, and ACTP accredited Business Coach at Million Dollar Wellness.

Andrew believes for health practices to thrive, their owners need to, what he refers to as ‘step up into their power’.  Leadership is about leading. Sounds simple right?  So why are so many practice owners struggling to make a living, eventually burning out and giving up?

Andrew has successfully built 2 multi-disciplinary health practices to nearing a million pa. He has mentored many leading practice owners helping them reach this target and beyond.

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