Chiropractic videos for patient education were born on August 6, 1981 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. I was there as the Peter Graves video from Renaissance International had its worldwide debut. Since then, patient education videos have earned an important place in the education of new patients.
Chiropractic Video Benefits
The idea of using this new fangled thing called a VCR to educate patients was a new idea. No one had ever done it before. But upon closer inspection, chiropractic patient education videos made sense:
Avoid repetitious explanations. Most chiropractic report of findings consists of an orientation and anatomical background that applies to just about every patient.
Saves time. Obviously, if you’re not giving a radiographic seminar with every patient because they already saw it on video, it can free up five- to ten-minutes that you can do something more productive.
Consistent and complete. Some chiropractors will abridge their patient explanations if the reception room is backing up. Video is consistent. Same message every time.
High impact. With graphics, sound effects, music and other video effects, the chiropractic message can have a much greater impact than a verbal description.
Patient accepted. If you follow the guidelines below, you’ll discover that patients expect to watch a video when they are having a health care procedure performed, whether vision correction, dental implants or virtually any type of elective surgery.
Like any tool, the use of chiropractic videos can be abused. A chiropractor can quickly use up his or her limited social authority by imposing patient education videos that are inappropriate. In fact, choose the wrong chiropractic video and it can create more headaches than it solves!
Chiropractic Video Guidelines
Here are the most important considerations when contemplating the purchase of chiropractic videos for educating your patients:
Short. How short is short? Short. With the reduced attention spans of today’s new patient, you want to be sure that each video is no more than 7-8 minutes. Naturally, if you can secure videos that are spellbinding and keep patients on the edge of their seat (unlikely), you can go longer.
Relevant. Remember, patients want to consult a chiropractor, not become one! The key is to walk the line between what a patient wants to know, and what a patient needs to know. It’s a fine line. Who knows for sure what’s relevant to a patient? Patients. The key thing to remember is that the videos aren’t for you, they’re for patients. Consider having some of your better patients’ critique the available choices before you purchase.
Reassuring. Besides laying a foundation for your own chiropractic explanations, the videos you use should be perceived by patients as reassuring and hopeful. Including positive comments from actual patients can be instrumental in this. Also, avoid showing actual chiropractic adjustments. It often looks more violent to an observer than a participant and could actually undermine patient compliance.
Chiropractic Video Implementation
The best chiropractic patient education videos are the ones you create yourself. This can be difficult and time consuming. The next best is to purchase videos from one of the top three or four companies that provide patient education supplies. Regardless of which videos you choose, here are some implementation suggestions:
Staff introduction. Before showing video, your paraprofessional staff should introduce the video, explaining why it is being shown and how it benefits the patient. It might sound like this, “Before you see Dr. Smith, she would like you to watch this short, five-minute video that explains what you can expect on your visit today.”
Be consistent. Staff changes or an uncooperative new patient can cause an interruption in patients seeing the videos. This can interfere with patients having a complete orientation and is often the cause of poor follow through and even referrals.
Chiropractor follow up. It’s essential that the chiropractor acknowledge that the patient has seen the video and solicit their feedback. This communicates the importance you place on the videos and paves the way for patient acceptance of future videos. “What was the greatest surprise or new piece of information that you picked up from our video?”
Chiropractic videos will never replace a personal, knee-to-knee explanation of chiropractic principles. However, if you want to help a lot of people, it’s essential that you use technology where appropriate to save time, increase the impact of your communications and set the stage for long-term patient relationships.