One of the “success philosophies” we have in our clinic is:
“Get patients healthy, but also, educate them on what they should be doing outside your clinic to help them reach their goals.”
Sometimes that second part gets lost in diagnosis codes, billing codes, authorization, number of visits… but ultimately many times it proves to be the most important part of the process. Our success is in large part determined by what a patient does when they walk out our door.
We sometimes have 30 minutes to an hour with someone…and then they have 23 more hours in the day to either help improve the process, or undo everything you just did to help get them healthy. Whether that’s…
- Sitting at their desk for the next 8 hours without stretching
- Sleeping on their stomach with their low back hyperextended and their neck cranked to the side
- Or eating an inflammatory diet
The decisions they make effect both of you.
One of the keys we’ve found with educating and informing patients is that, WITH PROPER INSTRUCTION and information, a patient can be trained to not only help with the active phase of care, but also with the “maintenance” care as well.
But you must educate them on what they should and shouldn’t be doing, and it’s important to give specific instructions and then document these instructions. There’s a lot of room for error and you want these patients coming back to you saying “thank you” not, “why am I worse?” or “what am I supposed to be doing again?”
Here are a few suggestions to help patients help you both:
SELF-MYOFASCIAL RELEASE OFFERS SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE…
We are big on foam rolling to help increase mobility and gain the flexibility needed for rehab and recovery. It’s also a great activity they can do ON THEIR OWN. We even have foam rolling classes so patients can get really good at SMR.
At a later time I can fill you in on how to make those classes successful, but if you want to get more progressive, you can utilize items like:
The Vyper by HyperIce which is a fun, techy way to add the benefits of vibration to foam rolling.
For anyone who just doesn’t want to get down on the ground or for those who need to roll out muscle groups that are hard to hit with a standard roller, we like to use a great device called the “Doc N Roll”. It allows patients that do not have the ability to get on and off the floor easily, to foam roll standing. There are also great protocols for even your best athlete with this device.
GIVE PATIENTS INSTRUCTIONS THEY CAN UNDERSTAND
When it comes to SMR or other rehab exercises or stretches, no matter whether you recommend a lacrosse ball or tennis ball, personalized…easy to understand instruction is key.
If you hand out old, dated photocopies of your recommendations or draw stick figures, there may be a lot that gets lost in translation. Try WebExercises online platform with over 3,000 exercises (with video and high res images) to choose from, to help remind your clients exactly what they should be doing between their next visit. You can email their program with ease and they can pull it up on their phone or tablet anywhere they go.
KEEP IT SIMPLE
Last but not least…and most importantly, make it easy and progress slowly. Every patient is different, but you’ll have more success if you progress at a rate they can keep up with, rather than throwing everything at them all at once.
Have them work on one stretch or one healthy tip at a time and see how they do. Then follow up with more if they can easily demonstrate during their next visit they’ve got it and understand.
For more info on any products or specials mentioned in this article, please contact your MeyerPT Account Manager. If you don’t know who your Account Manager is, please call us and find out: 800.472.4221