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You Had Me at "Hello"

First impressions are just as important in chiropractic care as in any other field. That's when patients really make up their minds whether they're going to like you and trust you. It is the start of creating a long-term trusting bond that may head off a future board complaint or malpractice lawsuit.

That’s why going the extra mile when first meeting a patient and during the final minutes of every visit making sure each patient is completely satisfied goes a long way toward creating a long-term trusting bond—and possibly heading off a board complaint or malpractice lawsuit.

Better communication = happier patients

Here are a few tips for improving interactions with patients and families right off the bat that may help keep you out of court:

  • Everyone likes to feel special. One way to do that is to greet your patients by their surname.
  • Maintain eye contact when talking with your patients.
  • Avoid using clinical terms whenever possible. Think like a patient when talking, not like a doctor.
  • Treat each patient as an individual, not just another number or “the next one.” Think about how you’d like someone treating your parents, and then go a step above.
  • Knowledge is empowering, so be sure to inform your patients about what you’re going to do before you do it. Describe any treatments you administer and what the patient can expect following the treatments the next day or a few days later. Ask whether they understand and give them a chance to ask questions.

The little extra time it may take to show a patient you truly have their best interests at heart is far less than it will take to replace a disgruntled former patient—and certainly a malpractice suit.

See NCMIC’s library of articles for more information on avoiding a malpractice suit or board allegation.

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