RAPPORT – relationships, awareness, purpose, perception, opportunity, respect and trust. For the last several months, we have extensively discussed the aspects of RAPPORT, and I would now like to take the time to explain why the second “r,” respect, is so imperative to the doctor-patient relationship. It sounds obvious to hear that you should show your patients respect, but a lot of chiropractors I have worked with miss the mark on this one. Because it is not just about being polite to patients, it is also about understanding, acknowledging and appropriately responding to their personal thoughts when it comes to their health.
Don’t Make Your Patient Feel Dumb
Patients have their reasons and opinions just like anyone else, and it is important for chiropractors to listen to those reasons. I once had a patient who experienced severe migraines, and in an effort to relieve the pressure and pain, she had a procedure that drilled holes in her head. It was my job to explain to this person that this was not the correct way to treat pain, but I did not go about this by telling the patient she was crazy. Instead, I had to place myself in her position to understand what might cause someone to go to that extreme to relieve pain was more important. You can understand that a patient is wrong for self-diagnosing or doing something that is counterproductive to their health, but what you do not want to do is make them feel less superior to you.
Acknowledge them and Express Compassion
When you have a new patient or one who feels like their pain or discomfort cannot be managed, you need to reassure them that they are in the right place. It is very possible that a patient has not had success with chiropractic because of how a previous D.C. treated them. The minute a patient is disrespected or thinks that their health is not in proper care, they will leave. As a chiropractor you can demonstrate respect by showing compassion for your patients’ ailments. Speak to patients and try to best understand them on a personal level. Guide your patient and explain to them that the best way to improve their health is by following your chiropractic regimen. The more respect and understanding that you show your patient, the more likely they are to refer you to their friends and family.
If you have questions about RAPPORT or if you want to learn more about how In8Coach can improve patient retention through implementing these communication strategies, reach out to us. I would love to set up a free consultation with you. Give us a call at (831) 899-5900.