Patient Education for Chiropractic Practices
Does the complexity of Dr. Ben’s patient education needs require a complicated solution?
“It’s nice to be in someone else’s restaurant for a change,” Carmen remarked. “Someone else will have to do the cooking and the dishes!”
“Rough day at the pizzeria?”
“Not a bad day,” said Carmen, “but this time I’m being affected by new governmental medical regulations.”
“What?” Ben was taken aback. His chiropractic office dealt with medical regulations frequently, but he couldn’t see how they could affect his wife’s pizza parlor.
“We have to provide full nutritional information on our menus now.” Carmen sat back, waiting for Ben to share her outrage.
“That’s a good thing,” Ben said. “People should know what they’re doing when they order that sausage and pepperoni thick crust with extra cheese.”
“But that’s just the point! We don’t offer a couple dozen dishes the way this restaurant does. People can order their pizza with half a dozen different kinds of meat, twice that many vegetables, several different crust options, five different sauces, plus extra this or hold that — there are thousands of different combinations.”
Ben was taken aback. “I hadn’t thought of that. But the research I’ve been doing on patient education has me convinced that people really do need full health information presented to them. My patients have to understand their diagnosis or disease, plus the treatment options we’re considering, as they relate to the specific part of the body where the patient is having trouble. That might have as many permutations as your pizza ingredients.”
Their waiter arrived and Ben and Carmen ordered, pausing in their conversation to discuss their choice of dishes.
Carmen jumped back in as soon as the waiter turned away. “Most people don’t even look at the menus, anyway — they know what kind of pizza they like. And they know that pizza is a bit of an indulgence. Maybe they just had a salad for lunch and plan to go roller skating after dinner. How is it my responsibility to police their health choices?”“It’s not about policing,” Ben objected. “It’s about giving people the information they need to make good choices. I see that the nature of your product makes it hard to provide the information you’re being asked to provide, and that’s true for my patient education situation, too, but that doesn’t make it any less of a good idea.”
“Have you found a solution?” Carmen asked. “Maybe it’ll work for me, too.”
Ben smiled. “I’ve found this amazing library of 3-D medical images and animations. It’s in the cloud, so we can all access them from every room–”
“Unlike anatomical models or charts,” Carmen put in.
Ben nodded. “We can email patients custom reports to help them keep up at home — and it’s fully integrated with that new software system we’ve been planning to implement. That means that it’ll fit into the workflow instead of changing it — and I know the whole team will be happy about that. It’s a simple, elegant solution to a complicated problem.”
“It sounds perfect!”
“I think it will be. Ah, here’s our dinner. Now we can see about coming up with a solution for your health education issue.”
Disclaimer: For HIPAA compliance, all characters appearing in this post are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual persons or actual events is purely coincidental.