Most MD's have 3 big hinderances when it comes to making a chiropractic referral (aside from safety, which is a topic for another day). At The Evidence Based Chiropractor, the guides in our Members Vault help chiropractors directly address and overcome these hinderances. In this blog post we will examine each of these hinderances.
1) The Patient Vortex- Many MD's are anxious about referring a patient to a chiropractor only to never see the patient again. Whether its a fear that the chiropractor may try to "talk them out of" medical care, or that the chiropractor is treating patients as a primary care physician would; there are many MD's who are scared of the "patient vortex".
2) Lack of Communication- Research shows us that between MD's and DO's, case notes are exchanged nearly 90% of the time. When a DC gets added to the equation the case notes drop to 60%. I would argue that its prudent in terms of service and case management to provide case notes for each and every patients PCP (within the law and with consent). The bottom line is that we, as chiropractors, need to improve our interdisciplinary communication.
3) The 500 Visit Care Plan- Almost everyone has heard a story of a patient entering a chiropractic office, being examined, and then subsequently being recommended years of care. While this is unfortunately true, it happens extremely infrequently. However, the story has scared off many MD's who are hesitant to refer when they are unsure if the patient will receive a trial course of care or a multi-decade treatment schedule.
As you can see, the 3 big hinderances to chiropractic referrals are mostly based on conjecture and myth. It is our task to make sure our potential referral partners know that 1) research shows that patients receive the best results when their primary care physician and chiropractor are working together, 2) we send case notes for every patient and provide timely communication, and 3) upon examination and evaluation we support a trial course of care. By addressing these topics up front you will ease the mind of your potential referral partner and further position your practice as a trusted asset for their patients healthcare.