Many team meetings are spent trying to figure out why a particular patient went AWOL. Was it the cost? Waiting times? Something you forgot to say or do?
These are handy, however a more likely explanation is that the patient was actually delighted, getting the relief they wanted and believing that their spinal problem was now permanently fixed.
They weren't told that they likely have a permanent spinal weakness predisposing them to a relapse. Later, their, "I tried chiropractic but it didn't work," may prompt them to go elsewhere rather than returning to see you.
However, the missed reactivation isn't the real tragedy.
Because you cared so much, they were afraid to share their intention by announcing their last visit. They made future appointments but had no interest in honoring them.
At your next team meeting, brainstorm ways to make it safe for patients to tell you the truth.
Bill Esteb has been a chiropractic patient and advocate since 1981. He is the creative director of Patient Media and the co-founder of Perfect Patients. He’s been a regular speaker at Parker Seminars and other chiropractic gatherings since 1985. He is the author of 12 books that explore the doctor/patient relationship from a patient’s point of view. His chiropractic blog, in-office consultations, patient focus groups and consulting calls have helped hundreds of chiropractors around the world. His Monday Morning Motivation is emailed to over 10,000 chiropractors each week.