A Patient-Centric Acupuncture Practice
If you run a busy acupuncture clinic it can sometimes seem like bombardment by a million conflicting priorities. You have to monitor your financial outlay, keep tabs on staff, maintain your social media presence, and research new ways of growing your business. You have to consider your competition, undertake market research, and commit to ongoing education. You can’t neglect networking with fellow TCM practitioners, nor updating your acupuncture software, nor budgeting for new equipment.
It can be overwhelming, right?
Acupuncture practice management consumes time and mental energy. And often that means the most important consideration can drop far down that list of priorities.
What consideration am I talking about?
Your patients, of course.
It sounds obvious, and most of the time patient concerns are difficult to ignore. If your patient needs relief from chronic pain and is able to explain the nature of a complaint, you’ll know all about it. But sometimes the patient’s needs are not so immediately obvious and will only become evident with time and close attention.
It’s a great idea to stop, take a deep breath, and reassess the priorities of your acupuncture practice management. Because although you may be making sure your patients’ needs are properly addressed, there are always undiscovered ways to further enhance the patient’s experience.
One great way is to brainstorm new ways to create a positive, comfortable, and encouraging environment. It’s not just about providing a clean, safe, and professional place of business for your patients. It’s about using the ambience of your clinic to send the right message — some of it subliminal. That means careful consideration of music, scents, lighting, and textures. None of this should be accidental. Use this higher level of communication — the atmosphere of your clinic — to emphasize the type of healing you practice. Your patient should always feel comfortable and properly stimulated, but that little extra ambience can make the best impression.
It’s also a great idea to take every extra step to engage with your patients and their expectations for treatment. Build in the right amount of consultation time. What do your patients already know about acupuncture? What are their worries? What do they expect? Use one-on-one conversations to build the right kind of patient-practitioner relationship.
Patients also need close monitoring to make sure their immediate needs are being addressed throughout a treatment plan. That means going the extra mile to follow up on a session by phone or setting up a targeted email campaign to check the healing process is where it should be.
Of course, with so many demands on a practitioner’s time, it takes organization and efficiency to stay focused on your patients’ needs. Fortunately you can free up time for your patients with integrated acupuncture practice management software.
As a professional healer, you have a responsibility to make sure the patient is always comfortable, and be able to respond to changing situations. It is not easy to keep individual patient needs at the center of your attention all of the time. But it is unquestionably the best way to keep on track as a successful healer.
Patient-centric care. It’s why you invested yourself in healing in the first place.
Guest blog post by Matt Leask