Pain vs pathology in your report of findings (part 3 of 3)

Inevitably most patients seek health care based on fear of their condition worsening or being inherently too serious to self-treat. In presenting your ROF there needs to be some ‘directing’ of the patient toward understanding the “worst-case-scenario”. We also need the ability (confrontational tolerance) to “enhance” the story of their ‘problem’ and our ‘solution’ when they falter at accepting care. I am certainly not recommending inappropriate falsifying or exaggerating either the problems “potential” or the potential “benefits” of treatment. The key is a sensible, forthright yet slightly tilted report toward the side of future trouble and the prevention of such and how the treatments offered will help win the battle by addressing both the pain/disability AND the structural “lesion” behind it. Patient retention is far cheaper than new patient acquisition…and unless you have virtually NO overhead and can afford to run a “triage” practice e.g. 1-3 treatments each patient, patient acceptance of a 10-20 treatment protocol (and a properly structured maintenance program) is a necessity. It is no coincidence that doctors who can convincingly add subtle but well intended intimidation are simply the most successful.

That most of our treatments lack true scientific proof of long-term outcomes (as demonstrated by the Cochrane collaboration studies) is of course not at all a bad thing for our businesses. In fact it affords us a certain amount of latitude and “product differentiation” i.e. IF a particular treatment was absolutely proven everyone would use it and it would be offered in innumerable places and price would be the only dictate. Our Decompression therapy, Laser, modalities, adjusting and rehab protocols are our individual choices, and their success or failure are dependent on both their effective implementation but also on our ability to “compel”, “convince” and “control” the patient and their perceptions regarding them and what they are intended to do…that is key in your ROF.

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