In an effort to provide chiropractors with helpful resources as restrictions begin to lift, we’ve decided to share our conversations with PulStar doctors about what they have done so far, and what they anticipate for their practices in the coming weeks.
In this second installment, we’ve compiled some of the best tips and ideas we received. We hope this will help, as business starts to bounce back.
Out of the four PulStar chiropractors we talked to, some saw lower patient volume, and one continues to operate at maximum capacity. The Chiropractors we interviewed would like to remain anonymous, but here are some details about where they are from:
- Resort Town: Was not hit hard by the virus, yet this DC’s business was down 40-50% in April, and it is only just returning to full strength.
- East Coast: Experienced healthy new patient growth through the pandemic, but overall patient load is down 35%.
- Midwest: Took a small hit in March and April, but is back to full speed.
- West: Was one of the least-affected states, so his business was also not affected much
Have you noticed people returning from isolation?
“Some older fearful patients have come out of isolation, but we expect to see more as the restrictions are lifted. Most of my patients are disgusted with the restrictions and the politics associated with them.”
“We’re finally back to decent patient volume, but unemployment has gotten very severe. Perhaps we’re seeing new patients who come directly to the chiropractor, skipping the exposure of the visit, and the payment, for a MD referral?”
What were your thoughts on being considered an “essential worker?”
“There was this big fear of overloaded hospitals, so we thought we could do our part to keep patients out of hospitals, and help reduce patient stress. But many of our patients didn’t realize we were allowed to stay open, so we had to make some calls to let them know” -Resort Town
What are your concerns about practicing going forward?
“There may be a legal issue that could come from going too far for safety. I’ve asked myself, if we turn away a patient who sneezes (but not because of COVID-19) do we open ourselves up for law suits?”
“We have two problems: 1) Infection and 2) Fear. And right now fear is winning out. We have to do something to change that, not just for our own patients, but everyone.” -Resort Town
How are you ensuring your patients feel safe?
“In addition to constant cleaning and disinfecting, we have installed an ozone machine in our 14×26 adjusting room. We have it facing toward the patient chairs, which are spaced 6 feet apart … you can also wait in your car if you want to, and our staff will come and get you when they are ready.”
“We created a handout that lists all the ways to kill the virus. Some of the items make the patients more comfortable about how we practice, but other items were included to help them keep the virus out of their homes.” -Resort Town
Are you wearing masks?
“We wear masks and use disinfectant, because we have noticed that it makes everyone feel more comfortable, including the staff.” -Resort Town
“They aren’t required in [my state], but we wear them. Patients seem to appreciate when we do.” -East Coast
Is it useful to have a PulStar during COVID-19?
“It’s useful to have a PulStar in general. We once used a different multipe impulse therapy device. But we came back from lunch one day, and it had died. We called them, but they wouldn’t even talk about overnighting us a new instrument. We’d be shut down without one … so we moved to the PulStar. Sense technology got us a trial unit right away, and we immediately found that the PulStar has more efficient force, was quieter and our patients commented that the impulses were more pleasant to receive.” -West
“The PulStar has helped us keep up with the increased volume, now that the world is returning to normal.” –Resort Town
“The Pulstar is very easy to clean. You just wipe the pad down, swipe the tips with an alcohol pad and move on to the next person. Or they can just sit in a chair. Hygienically, the instrument is a lot better. You’re still touching the patient, but the logistics of patient placement are much better.” -East Coast
So what does this mean for your practice?
After talking to these PulStar Chiropractors, we learned that there are many different ways to assure your patents that your practice is safe. It doesn’t matter what you do, you simply have to demonstrate it.
Also, now seems to be a unique time to attract new patients. Patients who are either laid off or are working from home now seem to be doing more things around the home. Many of our doctors are seeing new first time patients perhaps because potential patients have more time to visit a chiropractor; and, perhaps because they’ve overdone it on weekend projects that stretch into the week, and now have need of chiropractic care; and, perhaps because they may want to reduce the exposure and cost of doctor visits, and are choosing chiropractic over other doctor options.
Finally, we learned that each state and region is different. And the places that were least affected by the virus aren’t necessarily the same places where chiropractors are thriving. It all depends on the political climate of your area and the extent to which the virus has taken hold.