Let me take you back to pre-internet days.
Our patients sought our services both for pain relief, but also information. As health professional’s we have studied long and hard and this information was not readily available to the general public. This was also the end of ‘Doctor is god’ period where our patients placed their entire trust in, usually the GP’s hands.
With the advent of the internet, our patients have teamed up with ‘Dr Google’.
This means they have now have, access to just about all the information they need, which is a scary thought.
Knowledge is power.
And with power comes responsibility. We’ve all heard this saying before.
Pre-internet, to sustain the God complex wave, health practitioners would bolster their egos by withholding information, metering it in ‘finite’ doses at a cost. This caused patients to never quite reach an independent, management place and rather, kept them coming back to deal with ever recurring pain. This of course then perpetuating the doctors ego and God complex and so the cycle went on.
In recent years our patients have matured and become far more discerning. GP’s are now realizing they need to offer more as their patients are ‘doctor shopping’. Our patients are getting on-line and learning more and more about their health care. The problem is they don’t know how to filter all the information, translate it and therefore, are unable to implement it.
So there has been a shift.
Your role as a health care professional is quite simply, to provide as much ‘free’ information as possible: Tips, advice, blogs, product information etc. to help feed your hungry patient population.
At the same time your job is to help them navigate the minefield of information, and let’s face it there is a dark side to the internet. Along with an abundance of information are product scams, false information, miss-leading claims etc.
And then there’s putting it all into action and creating a treatment plan.
So this is where you can help. Chunk it down into bite-size pieces; translate complex information into easy to understand morsels; create clear treatment plans based on solid evidence-based, and current information.
And finally, be that credible source. Google is both credible and incredible. You can be their shining light. Your patients will grow to trust you and this may mean calling you in-between patients to ‘run something past you’ for example.
As Robert De Niro once said in that awesome movie, the ‘Fockers’, ‘it’s all about the circle of trust’.
You need to be in your patient’s circle of trust, that’s how you attract and retain the post internet era patient.
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.