Saturday, May 27, 2006

Chiro Blog Hunting #3

I've decided to run a continuing series highlighting various chiropractic blogs. Hopefully this will further my goal of creating a great resource for chiropractic bloggers. You can see what others are blogging about and how they're doing it. I will put particularly outstanding blogs on my blogroll. Sort of a chiropractic blog wall of fame. I can't wait to find the first inductee.

Without further ado, I'd like to introduce you to Everett Chiropractic. The blog is maintained by Dr. Dennis Dilday of Everett, Washington. He updates it semi-regularly at a frequency of about once a week. His latest post is quite a good one regarding a particular back support that he carries at the clinic. I didn't find any pictures of the product and requested that he post some up. I browsed through the rest of the blog and Dr. Dilday is certainly practicing what I've been preaching. He's using the blog to introduce himself and his services and products. He uses it to update patient classes/seminars he's holding. He uses it to disseminate information.

I highly suggest that you add pictures whenever you discuss about a product in your office. It not only gives more information on the product, but it adds extra flavor to your post. There will definitely be a better chance of your reader remembering the product. It will also allow the reader to know instantly the topic of the post.

Dr. Dilday also links to his website which is a good looking site. Likewise, I see that he has a link to his blog on his website as well. I've always felt that if you place a link to your blog, it should be placed on a prominent page with the greatest web traffic. Where is the greatest web traffic? There are FREE online tools that will help you analyze your visitors' behaviors. But the simple answer of course is the FIRST PAGE!!

Friday, May 26, 2006

Attitude Change

Been having problems with my internet access the last few days, thus the semi-regular postings. I'll be posting this weekend to make up the slack.

Read an article today published in the latest issue of British Medical Journal. The article relates to the concept of social marketing. Social marketing applies commercial marketing concepts in order to change behaviors in a population. In our case, social marketing can be applied to changing the public's collective behavior towards visiting a chiropractor. Here are some parameters that has yet to be agreed upon within our own profession, let alone the general public.

Basic Issues to Unify:

1. When to visit a chiropractor?
2. Typical visit (service/time)?
3. Treatment frequency?
4. Length of treatment plan?

The answers to the above questions will not be settled by chiropractors alone. I think the profession itself has this illusion of power and control. We've already known that legislative changes can affect our profession quite swiftly. Despite the outcry within the profession, these limitations continue to threaten the business of chiropractic. Chiropractors must realize that these parameters will eventually be set, with or without aggressive involvement by the chiropractic community. Scientific findings and public opinion will have a bigger voice than the chiropractic community.

Agreeing on the above parameters will be a big step towards giving us the ability to affect the public's behavior regarding chiropractic care. Putting forth a clear and concise product will allow us to address the barriers to action within the population.

With more and more health insurance companies and governmental agencies allowing chiropractic visits, do you ever wonder why so few people seek chiropractic care?

It's not because only 10% of the population has access. It's not because the MD's hate us.

It is because of public opinion.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Public Trust

Do chiropractors wonder about the level of trust the public has with our profession? Various organizing bodies in the profession have been very vocal about cultivating continued growth in this area. But does this concern enter into the typical practioner's mind? If so, how often? To what degree?

An individual chiropractor will probably argue that he is doing his part in nurturing this trust by helping his patients. I have no arguements with that. But let's take a step back from the trees and look at the forest as a whole. If only 10% of the population are seeking care in a chiropractic office, then are the sentiments of the other 90% being changed? Not every single patient is going to be happy with your care. So among the 10% who's seeking care, how many will actually sing praise for the profession? How many are so ecstatic about your care that they will serve as your chiropractic ambassador? How many will crucify after a bad experience?

Here's something else I noticed. There are patients who are very vocal with their chiropractic support. They support the profession across the board. Any chiropractor they meet will be held in high esteem. They will refer anyone to any chiropractor they know. Just the "DC" behind your name is sufficient information. But is that a typical sentiment found amongst pro-chiropractic individuals?

I would guess that those individuals are an extreme few. The more typical chiropractic supporter goes about fanning the chiropractic message with these thoughts in mind:

I have a very good chiropractor, my chiropractor stands out above the rest. I would refer others to my chiropractor.

The difference in sentiment is subtle, but profound. Any and all goodwill this individual is helping to spread carries a caveat. The caveat is that the message carried by your ambassador applies to only one specific chiropractor. If this message is received by others, then a very subtle yet dishearteningly message is also passed along. If your ambassadors say you can be trusted above all other chiropractors, then the reverse of that statement must be true: Other chiropractors can not be trusted.

So the cycle continues, multiplied by the millions that visit chiropractic offices annually. This thought that only some chiropractors can be trusted lays in the subconsicous of the public. So is the public's trust in chiropractic as a whole growing under this method of chiropractic conversion? (I will spare you the chiropractic pun, but I'm tempted.) Will chiropractic services always be tagged with "Buyer Beware"?

I recommend reading an article by William Morgan, D.C. in the May issue of ACA News for more on the subject.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Breath Alcohol Testing

Are there any chiropractors out there currently performing breath alcohol testing? I worked at a bustling chiropractic office that performed such services throughout San Jose while I was attending chiropractic school. I don't know if it sounds complicated to implement such services into your office, but I can assure you that it is not. The most tedious portion of the implementation prcoess is going through the necessary training. It's only a few hours, we've all wasted more time in some seminar we just wanted to check out. There is very little hardware to obtain. It's similar to keeping an extra set of blood pressure cuffs in your office. No, "not having enough office space" is not an excuse. Typical visits were about 10 minutes and testing can be performed by your assistant as long as he is also certified. So it doesn't take very much of your business hours either. Performing breath alcohol testing provides four direct benefits to your office.

Benefits of Breath-Alcohol Testing in Your Office:

1. Provides supplementary income for your office.

2. Increase foot traffic into your office.

3. Your office will be seen in more listings.

4. Build relationships with other agencies and offices.

I can tell you that the office I worked at had regular chiropractic patients that first came to know the office through breath alcohol testing. It was mostly drivers who were required for tests, but others such as supervisors also came into contact with the office and eventually became patients.

As always, I welcome comments from anyone in the blogosphere. But I'd especially like to hear from anyone who's been performing this test.