The reality of the patient education you provide in the office may not be what you hope. Here are 5 ways to get to the heart of the problem, and why its critical to the healthcare revolution.
We have all heard the old adage, “If they knew what you knew they would do what you do.” Of course there is always a thread of truth to these sayings, but this one definitely deserves a deeper look. I recently came across a study that unfortunately proved what I had felt was true. They took over 700 chiropractors who claimed to be teaching a “vitalistic” healthcare model, the principle of chiropractic, ADIO if you will. They then interviewed over 1500 of their patients. Guess what the results were.
Less than 10% had any idea they were taught a new model of healthcare. They were clueless to a vitalistic approach for them or their family.
We absolutely must correct this. This is not the patients fault. This is our problem to correct.
Think of it like this, if you were a math teacher and they interviewed your students you would hope the students would have some level of understanding about math. If you were failing to deliver to over 90% of your students, you would likely and appropriately be fired. It would not be the students fault, it would be yours.
We as a profession must see our number one priority as vitalistic patient education. People must be actually getting it or we will continue to struggle with retention, market share and cultural influence. Think about this in the most basic sense, in order for healthcare to shift to a vitalistic model, the model we all desire to see, it will require lots of people understanding what that is and means. We are currently not doing that very well.
Theres hope. It can change. It must change.
5 Critical Areas for Addressing Patient Education:
Most of the time the issue is not that the patients don’t remember, its that never even had the chance to remember. The doctor was too afraid to tell the patient what they needed to know. You must have a specific system that teaches the “Big Idea” to every single person. Again, your job as teacher is to make sure they are all getting the information. Do you have this? Is it effective?
Often times I find doctors or staff have arrived at a state of “learned helplessness.” They just assume the patients won’t get it anyway, why even try. This is such a sad place to arrive, and devastating to the patients. What you often see at this stage is people blaming the patients for not getting it. It is crucial that you present the vitalistic message in a exciting, passionate way for the people that have never had the chance. Again, think of your favorite teacher, it was not the bored, monotoned professor reading from a powerpoint.
This is what was most evident in the study. The doctors believed they were teaching it, yet the patients had no idea. This is so critical to understand. Just because you said something does not mean they heard you, understand you, or agree with you. Just because you say “the body needs no help, just no interference” does not mean the patients have shifted their paradigm of health. There really is no shortcut to get better at this, but a good starting point is to ask your patients question. Most doctors are doing all the talking. Ask patients questions to see what they know. This is really the only way for you to see where they are at. ASK!
4. The WHY, not Wellness Tips.
This is a very slippery slope. It is very common to end up offering an endless list of health, nutrition, wellness tips but never actually teach the underlying principle behind it. For example, you may provide omega-3 in your office, or a patient may ask about them, and most often you may just tell them how much to take or where to get it. This is a miss. Our job is to explain WHY their body may (or may not) need omega-3 to function normally. Start with WHY.
5. You forgot how Big.
This is often at the very core of the issue. The doctor themselves has either forgotten or never knew how big the vitalistic principles are. They don’t see them as revolutionary, they don’t see the magnitude of the issue and the stakes. Think about how much the vitalistic, ADIO principles have transformed your own personal life. Well, remember someone taught you. If we want to make the impact we all talk about, then the people gotta get it!
BJ Palmer was asked if anyone ever got the “big idea” and lost it. His answer was “then they never had it.” We must be relentless in the teaching of the big idea. Your job is not offering wellness tips or “natural solutions”. The implications of this are unbelievable. As the real vitalistic awareness grows and people understand that there is in fact a better way to approach health, the demand will increase, the pressure for change will build, and the healthcare revolution can be realized – BUT ONLY IF THEY KNOW!