By Freddie Ulan, DC, CCN
If you’re running a practice in which you’re not doing nutrition yet, how to introduce your patient to nutrition is an important question. The Ulan Nutritional Patient Management system uses a two-day intake procedure. As a chiropractor I used a three-day intake procedure and always had a big successful practice because I knew how to take patients in. But the key to every successful practice I’ve ever seen and the key to every successful practice management system I’ve ever seen is the one everyone hates the most until they start doing it and actually get over their bias against it. It’s a written Report of Findings.
This is so important for anybody who’s trying to figure out how to convert chiropractic (or other modality) patients to nutrition. If you put in your chiropractic written report of findings the fact that they may need some additional modality, then you’re creating that agreement right up-front without enforcing that on them. Because if a guy comes in for acupuncture or chiropractic for example, and you look at him and see that this guy needs some nutrition, it’s almost like a bait and switch, they don’t like it. But if you actually do it on a gradient, then they more readily accept your recommendation.
There was a practitioner in Portland who was always telling me how he was having a horrible time of converting his acupuncture patients to nutrition. I got him to do the Patient Management Workshop and gave him the concept of actually using a report of findings for his acupuncture patients, which he had never done. He implemented this by examining them one day and having them come back for a report of findings.
He put a clause in his write-up, which can be used by any one of you, that said: “Our long-term experience in a wide variety of cases tells us the first thing we must determine is whether acupuncture is the only modality you’ll need to get well. Oriental medicine has been used as the basis for treating conditions like yours for thousands of years, but besides acupuncture, other modalities like diet, nutrition, massage, physical manipulation, exercise and relaxation techniques can also be employed to get the best results. Based on our review of your complaints, history and clinical findings, we feel that you will require at least acupuncture and a nutrition evaluation.”
He would start them on their acupuncture treatment and make an appointment for them to get a totally separate nutrition evaluation, using the system that I teach. As a result he went from a 20% to 30% conversion rate to a 90% conversion rate. That’s an impressive statistic.
If you give the person the potential of seeing that it’s a possibility then you have a much higher acceptance rate, because then they can see it. You say, “We’re going to set up a separate nutritional evaluation for you to see what we need to do to improve the results you’re going to get from the chiropractic treatments, etc.” That’s the way you handle new patients. What you need to do with your new patients when they come in is do the chiropractic examination and in your report of findings open the door to them possibly needing a nutrition evaluation and then set that up as a separate activity. I’ve had guys who say to me, “How will I ever possibly do that?” That’s the way to do it. You know how you do it? You just do it.
We had one gal who was resisting it so much that one of our consultants set up a consulting program for her to do it only when the new patients came in on Mondays. And then compare the results of those patients to the results of any of the other patients who came in on any other day. After three weeks she called it off, she said, “Can I do this on the rest of the days now?” She was getting eight out of ten of her patients wanting the nutritional evaluation and preparing for it, without any selling, because of the way the report of findings was set up.
We don’t ever want to be in the position of having to “sell.” Our job is education and education requires communication. Communication requires what it takes to get it across from me to you. I’ve got to get this idea across – that’s communication. Separating these things out to understand them better is an important part of introducing new patients to nutrition.
For more information on Nutrition Response Testing call 866-418-4801 or email us at [email protected]. You can also download our FREE Nutrition Response Testing E-Book here.