Chiropractic Software Patient Education Promotes Compliance
Getting Past No
Can Dr. Ben get past the negativity and work out a solution for his patient education needs?
Carmen was helping Jonathan with his homework when Ben arrived home from work. He hadn’t expected kindergarten to have homework — but he also hadn’t expected the meeting at his practice to go so badly. Ben gave a feeble smile over Jonathan’s head as the little boy excitedly told him all about his day, and Carmen responded with a concerned look.
Ben was able to set aside the workday as Jonathan described the wonders of kindergarten to him, and the whole family finished up the homework and put it carefully into Jonathan’s backpack.
“He’s really enjoying school,” Ben observed as Jonathan ran outside to play.
“I know! It’s such a relief — I was worried that he wouldn’t like it,” said his wife. “And of course he’d have to go anyway.”
Ben nodded gravely.
“Looks like you didn’t really enjoy work today,” Carmen prodded.
“And I had to go anyway!” Ben chuckled. “Actually, it was great up until the meeting at the end of the day. I hate meetings.”
“You were so well prepared! How come it didn’t go well?”
“Actually, the partners had some good points,” Ben admitted. “I guess that’s why I’m so frustrated by it. Somehow when we get together, we just end up in one big negative group mood, listing all the reasons ideas won’t work. I left pretty convinced that my idea won’t wor
“So you went in and told them that patient education would increase compliance, and that you need some kind of tool that’s more versatile than a skeleton. Then what?”
Ben leaned in. “They said that the body is a very complex system, and we all went to school for years to know what we know. Our patients can’t expect to understand it more fully than they do, and no special tools are going to make it completely clear.”
Carmen frowned. “There’s a difference between being a doctor and being an informed patient. Just because patients don’t always fully understand the explanations they’re getting right now, that doesn’t mean that they couldn’t understand enough to help them see the value of adhering to their treatment plan. Especially with some kind of visual or hands-on support. I know those things make a difference when I’m training new workers.”
“That’s a good point,” said Ben. “I guess just deciding that it’s hopeless doesn’t make a lot of sense.”
“What else did they say?”
Ben sighed. “At one point someone said that our patients should just trust us, and that it was all the fault of the internet.”
“I know it sounds funny, but at the time, we were all getting into that discussion. Some of us are more committed to patient education than others, but even I joined that complaint fest. It does seem as though noncompliance is getting worse.”
“So patients with a little information are deciding that they don’t have to do what their doctors say?” Carmen scoffed. “Even if that’s true, the solution surely would be more education, and more accurate information. You can’t stop people from finding information online, but you can be the most trusted source of information.”
“You’re making a lot of sense here,” Ben said. He was feeling more cheerful. “I think I can go back with these points, once everyone has had a chance to think about it. I guess a lot of the negative reaction was just about change.”
“Change is stressful,” Carmen agreed. “Even if it’s going to be better, it’s more trouble to change than to keep doing what you’re doing.”
“What we’re doing isn’t working as well as it should,” Ben said. “I guess I went in with an idea and no real solution, and when everybody went into the usual naysaying, I got swept up in it.”
“That’s probably why you hate meetings,” Carmen suggested. “But sometimes people just automatically shoot down an idea even though, with more thought, they’d see the value. I think you should go ahead and identify the tools you need. Make sure they’ll fit into the practice’s regular routine, and bring it up again.”