Chiropractic Patient Education: Why You Need It and 5 Ways to Do It
- Patient education helps people understand the cause of their symptoms so they can plan for long-term treatment.
- A patient who understands what their chiropractor is doing for their body is more likely to respect them and follow their recommendations.
- You can educate patients with visual, auditory, and tactile learning opportunities.
- Consider hosting seminars, increasing patient interaction times, sending out email campaigns, or handing out informative reading materials.
- ChiroTouch is a useful tool for engaging patients and educating them about your practice.
Chiropractors are a crucial aspect of wellness programs for athletes, kids, adults, and people suffering from accidental injuries. However, available data suggests that despite seeking chiropractic treatment for their pain or injuries, up to 70% of patients do not adhere to the exercises recommended by a chiropractor.
Patients often don’t understand the complexity of this type of care, resulting in poor retention rates. It’s critical to educate them on available services, causes of their symptoms, and the rationale behind their treatment plan to improve their health long-term and improve their relationship with your practice.
Why is Patient Education Important?
Reframing the patient experience is critical to success in your chiropractic practice. There are a few reasons why patient education is so important.
To Help Them Understand Symptoms
When you take the time to educate your patients about their symptoms, they can understand the cause of the discomfort they’re experiencing. For example, if a patient sees you because of lower back pain, they may think that a simple adjustment is all they need to treat the symptom, and when it happens again, they’ll come back for another adjustment.
60% of Americans who have seen a chiropractor in the last five years only book an appointment when they are already experiencing pain. In reality, treatment is more effective if the patient understands why they are experiencing lower back pain in the first place and works to prevent it.
Understanding the causes of their discomfort allows them to take steps and make lifestyle changes to mitigate the strain on their lower back, improving their health long-term. They are also more likely to work with you to determine what’s causing the issue, rather than simply visiting once for an adjustment and moving on with their lives.
Many people don’t realize that visiting a chiropractor regularly can reduce their pharmaceutical costs by up to 85%.
Changing the Way Patients Think of Chiropractors
Many people think of chiropractors as a subset of medicine, a doctor who treats their symptoms. However, they should think of a chiropractor as someone who works with the nervous system and improves its communication throughout the body.
In the United States, it takes 7+ years of post-secondary education and training to become a chiropractor, but 67% of people believe it takes 6 years or less. When patients realize the scale of what a chiropractor does and the education it requires, they gain more respect for their treatment methods.
Understanding what a chiropractor does sets a realistic expectation for what they can achieve. A patient who is not educated about these services may book an appointment and expect to receive medication or even a massage, resulting in disappointment or frustration.
A report from the Palmer College of Chiropractic shows that 54% of those surveyed would visit a medical doctor for back and neck pain before a chiropractor.
A patient who comes to their appointment with a clear idea of what type of treatment they’ll receive and how it can help is more likely to be satisfied and recommend your practice to others.
They’re More Likely to Follow Directions
Patients often have busy lives and may forget or fail to prioritize their prescribed exercises. Though it may not seem like a big deal, a patient who doesn’t follow your recommendations isn’t going to progress and will probably lose faith and drop out of treatment.
When chiropractic patients understand why they’re doing specific exercises and see how they benefit their bodies, they will stick with them and attain better results.
Improve Patient Retention and Referral Rates
Patients who understand your methods and have realistic goals for improvement will continue booking appointments at your practice. When they see favorable results or appreciate your transparency, they’re more likely to refer their friends and family.
5 Ways to Educate Your Chiropractic Patients
Educating your patients is integral to the success of your chiropractic practice. You can share useful information in several creative ways, but the key is to appeal to all types of learners. Consider how you can engage auditory, visual, and tactile learners in your education strategies.
1. Increase Patient Interaction in Sessions
When you are talking and interacting with patients, you are educating them. But conventional charting often means spending up to 15 minutes filling out charts and SOAP notes, cutting into the time you spend with patients.
ChiroTouch offers SOAP notes in seconds, which frees up time for higher-quality interactions with patients. This allows you to discuss symptoms, diagnoses, and treatments in-depth.
2. Host Virtual Seminars
Patients new to chiropractic treatment often have numerous questions they want answered before they feel comfortable booking an appointment. You can appeal to this audience by hosting informative virtual seminars on a monthly or semi-annual basis.
Attract new patients and get current patients interested by choosing a theme for the seminar, such as “Improving Posture and Performance” or “Rehabilitation Methods for Lower Back Injuries.”
With a new discussion topic each time, you’ll hold patients’ interest and give them a reason to tune in and engage by asking questions. With an integrated EHR system like ChiroTouch, you can also send reminders and updates to existing patients about seminar dates to learn more about the topic of discussion.
3. Provide Pamphlets and Educational Reading Materials
For people who are visual learners, educational reading materials may be most effective. You can include helpful information about your range of services, the benefits of regular chiropractic treatment, and your chiropractic mission. You may decide to deliver these pieces digitally or as physical handouts available at your practice.
4. Conduct eMail Campaigns
Email campaigns can be an excellent marketing opportunity to expand your practice. Research suggests you can increase revenue by 760% with a dedicated email marketing campaign. However, this broad-reaching tactic also offers you a platform to provide better patient education.
Email campaigns can deliver digital educational materials to patients, whether an eBook, brochure, monthly newsletter, or link to an online seminar.
ChiroTouch’s patient communication tool CT Engage allows you to customize templates and schedule your email posts so that you can generate patient interest in your educational materials.
5. Send SMS Blasts
Broadcasting short message service (SMS) texts via CT Engage can offer quick informative facts to keep patients engaged with your practice. You can use the system to post invitations to your entire patient list to chiropractic technologies, educational events, or webinars that you are hosting.
The system is multimedia messaging service (MMS) compatible, so you can send easy-to-read infographics or images in addition to text for bite-sized educational opportunities that patients can read on the go.
The program also allows you to target individual patients via two-way communication. This will enable you to send gentle reminders to continue with their at-home exercise protocols, along with tips on correct techniques.
Why You Need ChiroTouch For Your Patient Education Program
ChiroTouch not only streamlines your day-to-day tasks, but it’s also a valuable tool for boosting your patient education program. With ChiroTouch’s fully integrated system, you can:
- Use the all-in-one dashboard to create actionable insights and reports. These can assess your practice performance and tailor your educational materials to the patients using your services.
- Create SOAP notes in seconds using touchscreen documentation and customizable macros to speed up charting. This allows you to spend more time with patients.
- Have peace of mind and reassure your patients with state-of-the-art Amazon Web Services infrastructure for automated updates and backup. This can improve customer trust and retention.
Use ChiroTouch for Patient Education
Educating your patients about chiropractic care is made easier when you’re working with a fully integrated EHR system like ChiroTouch. Communicate with patients using CT Engage and quickly answer their questions with convenient access to SOAP notes on the all-in-one dashboard.
Book a demo today to see how switching to ChiroTouch can benefit your practice and your patients.