If you've recently graduated from a chiropractic school and are in the process of putting together your first clinic, it can seem a bit daunting to overcome some of the challenges that stand in your way. As a medical professional, you already understand that attention to detail and thoroughness is important. As you create your business plan and move forward into the next chapter of your career, these specialized tips for new chiropractors will help to give your clinic a better shot at succeeding.
Choose the Right Location
Have you ever heard the adage, "Location, Location, Location"?
This is even more relevant for anyone who works with patients that may be mobility challenged.
Because chiropractic patients come to the office in many different conditions, you should take care to ensure that your building is equipped with ramps and other assistive devices. Someone with a herniated disk that requires adjusting isn't likely to be able to navigate steps, and they may have difficulty lifting their legs over a high door frame lip.
Having wheelchairs on hand is also a great way to show that you understand the pain and struggle that can come with musculoskeletal problems. If you choose to provide these, be sure that each entrance or exit is flush with the ramp outside.
Tip: The United States Access Board has an excellent overview of guidelines to use when creating accessible spaces. As chiropractic treatments lend themselves to mobility issues naturally, it is wise to implement these from the start.
Choosing the right location for your clinic is one of the most important steps you can take towards ensuring your success.
Get a Blog
If you haven't already developed a blog or practice website, there's no time like the present. Having an online presence is a must for any businesses today, but it is especially important for newly graduated medical professionals. A blog is an excellent way to educate the public about important musculoskeletal care points.
If you feel strongly about a certain area of chiropractic treatment, a blog can help you to share that with the public. This will also give you the space to share your own thoughts and feelings about relevant issues, like back pain or neurological conditions.
It's also a good place to share any specialties you may have developed along the way. If you offer treatment in Chiropractic Pediatrics, dedicate your blog to this. If you offer Occupational Health treatments, give condition management and care tips for both businesses and workers. Your information can go a long way towards educating the public about how valuable chiropractic treatments can be.
As you are a chiropractor, your information will naturally be authoritative, garnering trust from your readers. Share your blog locally on business cards, posters and other local marketing materials. Gaining readership will help to spread your information via shares and likes--growing your client list in a way that is very organic.
Get to Know Your Community
For many new chiropractors, moving to a brand new community is just a way of life. That means getting to know the people around you and finding out how it is you can be of service.
Consider getting involved with local social clubs, sports clubs or organizations that will help you to experience the community as naturally as possible. While you are not obligated to do so, offering charitable sessions to local non-profits can be an excellent way to spread your name. The key is in finding which local non-profits mean the most to you, personally, and the most to the community.
Local children's hospitals, nursing homes and even the United Way can make use of your time. There's no need to invest entire days if you aren't able to schedule them in--just a couple of chiropractic sessions a week can have immense value for the needy. These will provide valuable treatment to individuals who may not otherwise be able to access the care they need.
Becoming integrated into the community can also help to remove any false, negative stereotypes local individuals may have about chiropractic work. Building trust like this takes time, but it will result in long-term loyalty.
Invest in a Lawyer
It's also very useful to enlist the services of a lawyer who understands the potential risks and benefits of chiropractic treatments fully. While the majority of treatments are very safe, each patient is unique. Ensuring that your clients fully understand and agree to each session beforehand isn't just a good idea, it's vital.
Although it may seem strange, a good chiropractic injury lawyer can help you to prevent lawsuits. Their experience with chiropractic injury and lawsuits can help you to identify potential risk factors before they occur.
Consult with your lawyer on items like patient documents, waivers, billing information and systems and privacy measures. Make sure that the lawyer you hire is well-versed in HIPAA--as breaking these laws can be devastating for patients and providers.
Choose the Right Chiropractic EHR Software Program
It's tempting to open your new practice with just paper records, but this isn't ideal for a long list of reasons:
- Documents can be lost or damaged
- It's more difficult to organize paper files
- Records need to be copied and mailed for referrals and transfers--something that is all too common in chiropractic clinics
- Certain areas of the USA may require you to use electronic record-keeping
- It's more difficult to dig out information quickly with paper records
While choosing to use chiropractic EHR software is certainly an investment, it will streamline a lot of administration for you and your staff. That means more time to focus on getting treatment right and happier patients.
Tip: Chiropractic EHR software is designed especially for your unique medical specialty. It works well for clinics offering these treatments and is set up to streamline the specific tasks needed by them, like medical billing and coding. Avoid the temptation to use free software or general catch-all healthcare programs. These won't provide the same level of usefulness as chiropractic EHR software.
Starting a chiropractic clinic doesn't have to be difficult and overwhelming. By combining these tips with plenty of perseverance and the right local support, you'll be up and running a lengthy client list in just a year or two. If you have questions about how you can boost your office efficiency with software, contact your local provider today.