Is PVA BS for chiropractic?
A notable number of first time chiropractic patients never return for scheduled subsequent visits. This frequently occurs due to headaches, fatigue or even soreness perceived to be related to the initial visit. For this reason many chiropractors do not consider the initial visit the patient’s true first visit.
PVA (total patient visits divided by total new patients for a given period of time) allows a practice to measure successful patient relationship management. It only makes sense to include patient education as an important ingredient for improving this metric. Having a system in place to directly improve this trend can have a notable impact on a clinic’s overall profitability.
In today’s information age, more and more patients are taking an active role in their wellness education in hopes of better understanding their condition and the source of their discomfort or pain. Because of this many successful online resources catering to patient education across all medical specialties have come into existence such as WebMD, PostureCo and, on a more sinister note, misleading publications sourced from opposing medical specialties. Many patients have already googled their symptoms and researched any possible causes as well as solutions long before they actually set foot into your practice. Chiropractic, in general, faces more than its fair share of misguided opposition, generally sourced from “big pharma” and even the AMA. Because of this your clinic needs to be armed with compelling, easy-to-understand patient education of its own.
Nurturing this natural curiosity in a positive way via patient education can therefore, improve the chiropractor patient relationship, first visit conversions and the overall Patient Visit Average (PVA). Not only can a high PVA lead to exponential growth for the practice, but it will also improve profitability since it is notoriously cheaper to keep a patient than to attract a new one.
Patient education can be broken down into 3 major categories:
- Introduction to chiropractic, the clinic and the background of the doctor on practice website: New patients should generally gain an understanding of chiropractic as a whole and how it differs from medical treatment before they come to their first appointment. Featuring this information in a friendly and easy to digest way on your chiropractic website should help establish a basic understanding among new patients and reduce any misperceptions. It is also important to increase the level of comfort for new patients by showing them what the practice looks like, who works there and what the doctor’s area of expertise is in a brief intro video.
- Patient conditions & treatment via Posture Screen: When patients are shown educational graphics and videos about the cause of their pain and discomfort during their appointment they are much more likely to return for more treatments. Furthermore, patients will feel more motivated to follow a prescribed exercise plan via videos and clearly written instructions. As a result, these educational materials should also be emailed to patients via xDocs immediately after the appointment to reinforce patient compliance. Ultimately, these patient relationship management tools will also enhance a chiropractor’s credibility and built trust with his patients.
- Chiropractic lifestyle via blog, videos, newsletters, social media: Since chiropractors generally promote healthy lifestyles and injury prevention they can provide valuable information to specific patient personas in daily or weekly blogs, videos, newsletters, and social media posts. It is imperative to avoid sales pitches though and focus completely on educating patients. This may also lead to referrals when existing patients share this useful content with their family and friends.
Ultimately, patient education must be delivered across all 3 major categories to realize its full potential. This approach to PVA has been and will continue to be a game changer for those that embrace this patient education model in its entirety.