Moment of truth 11 of 13: the progress examination.
Many chiropractors simply don't conduct progress examinations. "Let sleeping dogs lie," they say to themselves.
However, reserving the 10th or 12th visit to conduct a brief follow-up exam can do two things:
1. Provide affirmation and encouragement by comparing where they were with where they are, and
2. Create a communication event to discuss a potential change in visit frequency and the value of some type of post-symptomatic care.
Which may be problematic if you rely solely on X-rays (which rarely show significant changes after four weeks of care), orthopedic findings (which can be negative even though subluxation patterns may still be present) or symptoms to justify your care.
Which has prompted many practices employ sEMG, thermography and other technology, or to document a patient's overall wellness.
The key is to use something other than their symptoms to measure their progress.
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 chiropractic gatherings since 1985. His 12 books 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. Since 1999 Monday Morning Motivation has been emailed to over 10,000 subscribers each week.