Chiropractic Software Patient Education Increases Compliance
Could patient education help reduce Dr. Ben’s exasperation with compliance?
Ben pulled a weed viciously. His wife looked at him with raised eyebrows. “What did that dandelion ever do to you?”
“I guess I’m just exasperated,” Ben said, tossing the weed into a wheelbarrow and starting in on another.
“You can take out all your exasperation on these weeds,” Carmen laughed. “But tell me what you’re upset about.”
“Another no-show this afternoon!” Ben said, pulling more weeds with more force than was absolutely necessary. “I’m just getting sick of it.”
“I thought you had worked out –”
“Oh, we have a good system in place now, as far as the practice is concerned. But I still hate it. This particular patient skips half her regular adjustments, and then comes in with pain and emergencies that she probably wouldn’t have if she just followed her treatment plan. It’s frustrating to know that I can’t do my best for her because she won’t cooperate and be in compliance.”
Carmen nodded sympathetically, digging out a stubborn root.
“I sometimes think,” Ben went on, sitting back on his heels, “that they don’t really get what we’re doing.”
“Maybe they don’t,” Carmen suggested. She reached across to help their son with a tough weed he was trying to pull. “They act like what you do is magic. They don’t know why it works, they just feel happy that it does.”
“But you see, that attitude means that they don’t follow through with my recommendations.”
“You explain things clearly, I know,” Carmen assured him. “I’ve heard you do it.”
“Better sometimes than at other times,” Ben admitted. “It depends how busy I am, and which room I’m in — some have better visual aids than others.”
Carmen laughed again. “I hadn’t thought of that, but it’s true. Plus, you’re not always the one giving the explanation. It’s not really systematic, is it?”
“I guess it’s not,” Ben agreed. “We all just answer questions and give explanations as needed — office staff, too. And of course we work together on patient cases, or with other health care professionals. There can be a lot of people involved in a single medical decision, and we don’t all end up sharing the same information.”
“I don’t do a lot of education in my business,” Carmen said, “but I know that anything that doesn’t use a good system ends up taking more work, more time, and more trouble than it needs to.”
“Hmm.” Ben stood up, brushing dirt from his knees, and hoisted the wheelbarrow. “It sounds like non-compliant patients are my fault.”
“That’s not how I meant it,” objected Carmen. Jonathan scrambled up into the wheelbarrow, shouting that he wanted a ride. “I’m just going with what you said — they don’t always get what you’re doing. Then they might not realize the importance of doing their part.”
“I’m doing my part,” Jonathan announced. His parents assured him that he was, and Carmen lifted him down from the wheelbarrow so Ben could tip the weeds onto the compost pile.
“A little patient education might do wonders,” Ben said. “I hadn’t really thought about it, but I’m sure the patients would be more cooperative if they understood the value of follow through.”