In today’s society, image is everything. Public perception of a service or product can actually make or break a business. Lets face it…chiropractic has had a less than positive public perception for over 100 years. Do you ever contemplate your image? What does the public perceive when they are introduced to you and to your practice? What do they notice and remember about your office? It goes without saying that everyone has a first impression of an individual or a business. As a profession, we know that we have a good quality service to offer to the public. Chiropractors are very highly educated doctors with powerful abilities for healing as well as for promoting wellness and healthy lifestyles. What can you do as an individual to help change the public awareness of chiropractic? Now that chiropractic is gaining recognition as a viable alternative to medical care, it is more important than ever to emphasize the high quality of care that our profession provides. In other words, our profession must pull together and put ourselves out there in the public eye as the high quality health care providers that we are! Our time has come.
You cannot just be a good chiropractor and automatically have a successful practice…. The public desires a high quality health care provider. In this age of technology, people have the ability to choose their health care providers and, as a rule, they want the doctors who are the most current and progressive in their approaches to patient care. People tend to be ruthless in the pursuit of finding “the best” doctors. How do they find the “best doctors?” The answer is not just by word of mouth, but also through personal recommendations. Today, people are doing their own research via the Internet, which means they are using technology to help them to decide which healthcare provider to use.
How exactly does a chiropractor acquire and utilize a quality image both personally and for the practice? Projecting a high quality image can start with simply evaluating your personal appearance. It can be as simple as wearing quality clothing that fits well, and making sure your shoes are shined. Is your “look” as professional as you think it is? Also, is your staff dressed and groomed professionally? Are they practicing their smiles on a minute-to-minute basis? Your staff is an asset to your practice. Whether they are assisting with patient care or handling the bookkeeping, they are always projecting an image. Make sure it is the image you desire your patients to perceive.
The next thing to look at is the quality of your office surroundings. Is your landscaping neat? Does your front door work properly? Is the waiting room inviting and clean? Is your equipment up to date and working properly? It can be very helpful for the owner of a chiropractic practice to walk through his or her own front door at least weekly, to just have a look at the place through the eyes of a patient. Each office should have a monthly checklist that is inserted into the office calendar. An “image audit” may just catch some shortcoming that you or your staff would have otherwise missed.
Are you using up to date printed material? Are your intake forms poorly reproduced photocopies? Is your HIPAA notification readable? Are your brochures current? The expense of printing and graphic design is not insignificant; however remember, image is everything, and each and everything you give to or say to a patient reflects upon the perception of you as the doctor. The public wants high quality, colorful, easy to understand information given to them. How will you effectively deliver this?
One way to deliver the message of chiropractic in a high quality manner is with the new chiropractic magazines, such as Chiropractic Wellness and Fitness Magazine or Pro-Solutions for Healthy Living. These quality magazines allow your patients to receive a wealth of positive information in a format that will reflect positively upon you and the entire profession. These magazines are full of colorful photographs and articles that will educate and enlighten the readers, as well as encourage the readers (your patients) to share the information with others (potential new patients.)
The entire profession of chiropractic is currently undergoing a major transformation. The public perception of chiropractic has never been more positive and, therefore, it is critical that each and every chiropractor does his or her part in order to continue the momentum. As technological advancements continue, as research continues, as results continue, so does the enhancement of the profession. As the image of chiropractic improves, so, then, does the number of people who seek our care. Don’t be a spectator…. JOIN THE GAME! TAC
Dr. Maurice A. Pisciottano, CEO and founder of Pro-Solutions for Chiropractic, is a practicing chiropractor, noted lecturer, author, producer and research and development technologist. He is well known for his practice management expertise, as well as new patient development programs. He has devoted the past twelve years to the development of the instrumentation and the computerization of chiropractic treatment and documentation. Dr. Pisciottano regularly lectures at Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, IA, and at Logan College of Chiropractic in St. Louis, MO. He can be reached at Pro-Solutions for Chiropractic in Pittsburgh, PA, at 1-877-942-4284.