Patient education has been an important focus of chiropractic for many years. A majority of the population still does not fully understand what we do and how our natural approach to health is so effective – so we will always need to teach, to educate.
It’s graduation season and many proud students are walking across the stage to receive their diplomas. They received an education, but the more important question is, “what did they learn?”
The same holds true for our patients. They may attend a Spinal Health Class and nod affirmatively when we hand them our latest education brochure, but at the end of the day what have they really learned?
Here is a great quote I recently found that can give us direction,
“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.
~ Benjamin Franklin
What percentage of your patient education efforts fall into the “Tell Me” category only? As we “tell” our patients about their condition and how chiropractic can help them, some of what we say does become a “teachable” moment and the patient actually remembers. That’s a great first step!
It’s time to go to the next level. Think about how you can “involve” your patients in the healing process as much as possible – then they will learn.
- Have a defined Home Health Plan for every patient including exercises and new lifestyle habits. Recommend products they can use at home including TENS/EMS, portable ultrasound, pillows, supports etc.
- Ask patients to set one or two simple health goals for themselves. Create an easy way to for them to track health habits they have committed to – this provides added accountability.
- Give them a Homework Health assignment. Ask them to do research on a health topic or condition and report back to you. Suggest several respected health websites for them to search from.
- Ask patients to keep different forms of a Health Journal. Have them write down details about their pain levels, lifestyle habits, exercise sessions or food intake and give them feedback.
- Encourage patients to share as they learn from you. Anyone will learn more when they teach it themselves. Ask them to partner with you to “Share Good Health” by referring others.
It may be time to update your Patient Education plan. Find ways to involve your patients and it will add a new sense of Vitality To Your Practice.
Written by Mark Mandell, DC, MBA a third generation chiropractor, medical entrepreneur, motivational lecturer and author of “Spark Your Sales.” Currently, he is President of The Vitality Depot, where he brings innovative products and equipment to chiropractors at extraordinary value.