T he chiropractic profession has been blessed to offer drugless and non-surgical based care to millions and millions of people. People continue to benefit from our patient centered approach and communication skills. The stark reality, though, is that these millions and millions of patients only amount to 7% of the total population being under care. Why is that? Since the inception of modern practice management, one important number has been discussed over and over again and that is the Patient Visit Average or PVA. Everyone should know what it is but, if you do not, it is determined by taking the total number of new patients per year and dividing them into the total number of patient visits for the same year. That gives you the number of visits that the average patient is receiving in your office. Doctors of chiropractic have been focused on this number, as they should be; however, it only allows us to evaluate one aspect of practice building, and that is internal marketing.
The addition of another number to our arsenal will help to reflect the community effect of our practices and our success at external marketing efforts. In order to do that, we simply need to add another statistic to the analysis. This is called the Unique Patient Visit or UPV. This means exactly what it says…how many individual patients (regardless of treatment frequency) are in our offices on a weekly basis? This gives us a different look at the practice and shows us how well we are doing at finding NEW patients. When we look at internal marketing, we know that it centers on patient education and the Patient Report of Findings. The Patient Report of Findings is a critical part of chiropractic practice and is the most important method used to increase PVA. I have had the pleasure of helping to build two hospital based chiropractic clinics and have daily referrals into my private office from the medical community. Over the years it has become apparent that MD's do not refer, because they are uneducated and fear licensure repercussions, if a patient were to be handled improperly. It is easier to educate a single MD that sees thousands of patients, than it is to try to educate the non-chiropractic patient population as a whole. How we accomplish this is through the Medical Doctor Report of Findings. Once this happens on a large scale, we will go from 7% to 95% of the population under care.
The above chart will show you what I do on a daily basis in my office and how this part of building relationships in the medical community works. The Stage column represents the time frame that these items are introduced to the MD. The easiest way to imagine it is Stage 1 is the “first date” information, which is introductory research and clinical competence information, Stage 2 is when you have been co-treating patients for awhile and you will be showing the MD that your expertise is evolving and the research is getting more in-depth, and, finally, Stage 3 is where the MD is under care and you are now talking “real” chiropractic, including Subluxation complex and central nervous system concepts
The MD Report of Findings is a process that is done with every patient’s MD in your area. The key is to start with a few MD's and build from there. This easy concept, when properly implemented, has been generating 5-7 new patient referrals per week and, the fascinating point is, approximately 75% have never been to a chiropractor!
Dr. Owens has been working extensively with the medical and legal communities in his practice areas for the last 14 years. The MD Report of Findings is a foundational component of the MD Relationship Program at www.teachchiros.com. Dr. Owens uses these systems in his practice on a daily basis and continually updates and critiques their effectiveness. He can be contacted at
for more information.