“Social Authority” is developed when an individual or organization is recognized as an expert in a given field or topic. So what does that mean for Chiropractors? As experts in the field of Chiropractic, Chiropractors have social authority with their patients. So what does that mean and what do you do with it? Social authority can be used to help patients comply with your treatment plan and recommendations.
The doctor’s “Social Authority” is used when providing recommendations for a particular treatment plan and/or product (e.g. “Making an Offer”). When making the offer for treatment, please know patients are not looking for multiple choice options regarding their care, but limited and specific recommendations instead, so keep it brief and simple.
Ideally, once the “offer” has been made and the patient accepts the treatment recommendations, the clinic staff then takes over. The clinic staff is now responsible for carrying the doctor’s recommendations forward by further educating the patient on the details of their care and implementation. The clinic staff will also follow up periodically with patient as to whether he/she is having any success or has any questions. The recommendations, education and follow up information should all be properly documented within the patient’s record so the doctor can monitor the patient’s compliance and progress.
Within this process, it is essential for the staff to be on the same page as the doctor when communicating with the patients to avoid any confusion on the patient’s part. If the patient is confused anywhere within the process, it creates a barrier to compliance. Your ultimate goal is to get the patient actively involved in their health care and to follow through on the recommendations you provide.
Properly trained staff, clear communication and standard processes are key to making this process work. In future blogs we will look further at communication, clinic processes as well as delegation. Why delegation? It is very important for doctors to be able to effectively delegate processes that are outside your expertise and focus your time and energy on your strengths and priorities in order to have a successful and thriving practice.
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