If you’ve got children you’ll understand the importance of ground rules.

They need to be clear right from the outset right!

It’s the same with our patients.

Right from the email they receive prior to their first initial consultation, your practice rules need to clear and repeated often.

In my experience,  it takes 3-4 repetitions before this becomes ingrained.

So let’s talk about the variations in ground rules and the different ways to communicate them.

Ground rules are about payments, missed appointments and treatment expectations.

Your rules of engagement should be communicated in your new patient email prior to their initial appointment. This should explain what to expect and the sometimes, unpredictable nature of health care delivery. At the initial visit, your consent form should further elaborate on this latter point, in particular highlighting the nature or risk and potential adverse reactions from both physical therapy, supplement and posture / exercise aid prescriptions.

It should be made clear your intention is not absolution but rather, collaboration towards a mutually agreed end game.

This will take investment and commitment both financially and time wise.

There will be regular review appointments to ensure treatment is headed in the right direction.

There will be referral always in the best interest of the patients.

Your ground rules need to on your website, your social media, email and conveyed by both reception and your practitioner team. A consistent message is critical.

Clarity and consistency of your rules of engagement will greatly reduce the complainant patient and avoid damage control.

About the Author:

Dr. Andrew Arnold (Chiropractor) is Founder of the Practice Leverage Revolution, Principal Chiropractor and owner, Cranbourne Family Chiropractic and Wellness Centre; Wellness Coach and Founder of 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.

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