Chiropractors get a dose of business, practice management savvy at recent business forum

Mari-Len De Guzman
June 16, 2014
Written by
June 16, 2014 – When it comes to social media use, chiropractors should err on the side of caution or risk legal and regulatory repercussions. Toronto lawyer Allan Freedman issued this caution at a panel discussion on social media during the second annual Canadian Chiropractor Business and Professional Growth Forum, held at McMaster Innovation Park in Hamilton, Ont., on June 14, hosted by Canadian Chiropractor Magazine.
“Be careful, be careful, be careful,” Freedman said, pointing out that as regulated health professionals, it is difficult to separate the chiropractor from the person, especially when it comes to social media conduct.

Social media has become one of the biggest phenomena of this decade and a great tool for professionals and businesses to reach their audience. However, as regulated health-care professionals, chiropractors have a responsibility to conduct themselves in a professional manner, at all times, Freedman said.

Joining Freedman in the panel discussion on social media were chiropractors Dr. Ashley Worobec and Dr. Anthony Lombardi, and Rob Lindsay, vice-president of Search Engine People Inc., a digital marketing firm.

Worobec uses her own blog, Twitter and Facebook pages to reach out to her audience and advance her chiropractic practice. Lombardi makes use of Twitter and YouTube to connect with his audience and promote his practice.

Both Worobec and Lombardi admit their social media efforts seldom directly lead to new patients and referrals, but it has been a good way to raise their profile as chiropractors and experts in their fields.

Lindsay notes when engaging in social media, chiropractors need to provide quality, useful content for their audience on topics that they are an authority at. Original content is always a great way to earn the trust of your audience, and to increase one’s search rating in the eyes of Google. If using content from another source, remember to quote the content and attribute the excerpt to the source of the content.

Attendees to the Canadian Chiropractor Business and Professional Growth Forum also got some practical tips from veteran chiropractor Dr. David Leprich. Leprich discussed some strategies on how to develop long-term relationships that will sustain the chiropractic practice – such as holding “safety talks” at various organizations within the community and free health information sessions for the community.

Leprich says the most important thing for a chiropractor is to “get out there” and interact with the community and develop relationships.

Forum attendees also got some business management best practices from Lombardi, who emphasized the importance of having a system in place that provides the framework for the chiropractic practice.

He says whatever system the chiropractor adapts, they need to be consistent to achieve practice excellence. For Lombardi, his system involves providing “outstanding patient results” within the first two visits. He says it’s crucial that patients get immediate results from their initial visits because that can make or break the chiropractor’s ability to keep their patients and will open the doors for new patient referrals.

Lawyer Allan Freedman discussed risk management for chiropractors. He says as regulated health-care professionals, chiropractors need to be aware of all the rules and regulations that may apply to them and their practice, including privacy laws, occupational health and safety laws and Regulated Health Professions Act, just to name a few.

Sometimes it’s easy to overlook the risk management side of the practice, and Freedman said that could potentially end up costing a chiropractor in the long run. It is important to always be aware, ask the questions and seek professional advice, he said.

When it comes to risk management, Freedman said, “hope for the best, plan for the worst, expect the unexpected.”

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