Nearly 60% of chiropractic offices are owned by a sole-practitioner. That means you have to make extra arrangements when you need time off. There are many reasons why you may need to be away from your chiropractic practice:
- Maternity leave
- Family time
- Medical procedure or appointment
- Mental health
- National or state chiropractic convention
- Continuing education classes or seminars
So, you’ve made all the arrangements, but how do you prepare your patients to be treated by a fill-in or substitute chiropractor?
Prepare patients in the beginning
From the moment you prescribe a care plan for your patient, convey the value and share the evidence of why regular chiropractic visits are necessary. Setting the tone from the beginning of the relationship with your patient will ensure they heed your recommendations down the line. From the moment you know you’re going to be out, reinforce the need for your patients to keep their appointments to ensure their health and healing. Your patients trust you to help them be well. By not closing your office, you are conveying you care about their health and well-being.
Explain what patients can expect
Assure your patients that you have taken great care to hire a competent cover chiropractor. Let them know the substitute doctor will continue the treatment plan you have prescribed. Inform them that your trusted staff will be there to answer any questions they may have in your absence.
Invite the cover chiropractor in to shadow you
This is especially important if you’ll be out for an extended period of time. Good chiropractic staffing agencies and independent contractors will give a free consultation to meet before the scheduled coverage. Along with meeting and being personally adjusted by the cover doctor, have him or her follow you on rounds with patients. Let your patients get a feel for the doctor and observe the interactions. Address any issues with the cover doctor or your patients before you leave.
Prepare your staff
It’s important to involve your staff in preparing patients for your absence. Make sure you have familiar faces who your patients recognize from reception to the exam room. Convey to the staff you have been personally adjusted by the fill-in chiropractor and you were completely satisfied. Your staff will be a great help in making your patients comfortable while you’re away.
Time off is necessary to recharge and avoid burn-out. By taking the steps above, you can ensure your business runs smoothly and patients continue to receive the care they deserve. Prioritizing patient health will go a long way in building last doctor/patient trust and goodwill.
This article references information from the Chiropractic Economics article, “How to Take a Worry-Free Vacation.”