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Patient-Centered Care vs. Payer Restrictions: Your Ethical Obligation
Do you have an ethical obligation to evaluate your patients, make a diagnosis and provide evidence-based, patient-centered health care, irrelevant to the payer restrictions?
Fish Oil: A Key Component of Positive Clinical Outcomes
Patients seem to be presenting with more complex problems, and many are responding to care more slowly or have completely unexpected results. Why?
More Chiropractors Required
An intriguing study published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine examines how "chiropractic care affects use of primary care physician (PCP) services."
Acupuncture Rising: From Acupuncture Anesthesia to Assisted-IVF, Part 1
Acupuncture's cultural and historical roots go back to the emergence of Chinese civilization. For more than 2,000 years, acupuncture needling has been continuously practiced on the largest population in the world.
The Zen Art of "One Point"
We were always told in our Zen Shiatsu training (by Japanese and Japanese American instructors) that our ultimate aim was to to find that "One Point." To be so focused we could touch just one point to transform Qi throughout a client's body.
Change Lives by Supporting Chiropractic Research: Are You In?
The Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research (PCCR), in celebration of its 20th anniversary, has announced it is spearheading a fund-raising campaign to support chiropractic research.
An Acupuncturist's View of Medicinal Marijuana
The use of cannabis for medical purposes is very controversial. Use as a panacea by physicians uninitiated to the proper application of herbal medicine, as well as an excuse for recreational use have greatly confused the issue.
Fertility and Poly-Unsaturated Fatty Acids
Starting or expanding one's family is a major milestone. It's something that more and more people seek out health care advice and support for.
Oriental Medicine on the World Stage
"Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt." This simple, yet powerful statement was lived out time and time again by so many of the athletes from around the world during the Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles.
A Chiropractor's Guide to Yoga
"Doctor, can I continue to do yoga while undergoing your care?" "Is it OK for me to go back to yoga while I'm getting my back treated?" "It is safe to start my yoga classes again after my neck pain improves?"
What's Chiropractic Research Worth to You?
The Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research (PCCR), in celebration of its 20th anniversary, has announced it is spearheading a fundraising campaign to support chiropractic research.
Modernization of Chinese Medicine
Language – written, spoken, signed, or otherwise is learned as a means to express our individualized perceptions about the world around us. Language is designed to communicate our personal experiences.
Nuts Reduce Risk of Heart Disease, Cancer and Other Health Problems
Several recent studies suggest regular consumption of nuts may provide a significant degree of protection against certain types of cancer, heart disease, possibly type 2 diabetes and some neurodegenerative diseases.
Harvard Health References Flawed AHA Position Paper
In its special health report, "Stroke: Diagnosing, Treating, and Recovering From a 'Brain Attack,'" Harvard Health Publications includes information from the American Heart Association's 2014 position statement on cervical manipulation and cervical dissection – a statement the American Chiropractic Association emphasized in a letter to Harvard Health mixes "scientific facts with half-truths."
Dorsiflexion Dysfunction: Evaluation & Manipulation Techniques
Almost every condition from the foot to the hip can be attributed to the inability to dorsiflex the ankle mortice and other joints that participate in dorsiflexion. Let's start by understanding normal versus abnormal dorsiflexion.
Surprising Reasons for Orthotic Efficacy
Clinical outcome studies show orthotics are effective in the management of a wide range of injuries, including plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis and patellofemoral pain syndrome.
Do Some Good and Grow Your Business with Cause Marketing
Cause marketing is truly one of the best ways that you can promote your services as a acupuncture professional. Cause marketing refers to a type of marketing where a business partners with a non-profit organization to help bring awareness to a charitable cause.
The Short Leg Dilemma
When evaluating a new patient, it is common to note a relative shortening of one leg to the other. Some patients will even tell you they have one, and then pull out the store-bought heel lift they read about online.
News in Brief
Call for Abstracts Announced - Parker Las Vegas 2016; Logan Adds Doctorate Degree; New Role for Dr. James Edwards.
Practice Policy (Gone Bad): The Sign
Every once in a while, you see something and think to yourself, That's a really bad idea. Case in point: I went to see my medical doctor the other day. Just after being "roomed," as they say, the nurse checked my vital signs. Then she left.
Healing Trauma: Cultivating Resilience and Presence Through Mindfulness, Part 2
In the last issue of Acupuncture Today, the first part of this article introduced the topic of trauma and resilience, and their relationship to the autonomic nervous system response and the concept of the spirit being grounded in the body, and suggested the importance of mindfulness as a tool for healing.
Improving Communication Between AOM and Biomedical Providers
How comfortable do you feel talking to Western medical providers? If you are like me, you may not feel as comfortable as you would like. Some of my interactions with MD's haven't been the fruitful steps toward integrative medicine for which I had hoped.
Help: A Need at Every Level
One of the great gifts of training in acupuncture is the ability to take good care of oneself. I recently had a bout of frozen shoulder — an inflammatory syndrome which can be debilitatingly painful and take years to resolve.
Practicing with Authenticity
To extrapolate from the above quote, patients love healthcare providers they can trust. One way to earn the trust of your patients is by practicing with authenticity. What does that mean, exactly?
Getting a YES: An Effective Strategy for Overcoming Patient Objections
Patients make more excuses for declining care from an acupuncturist than perhaps any other type of doctor. Various reasons hold them back from making a commitment to care.
The New Age of Communication
In the age of technology, everyone, including the patient, is seeking faster, easier ways to communicate. With a wealth of social media, blogs, websites and videos, we are constantly barraged with information – to the point of overload.
Online Marketing Basics: Website Creation
The various online marketing options make it a challenge, especially when all you want to do is help your clients feel better. With such a broad topic, I'm going to share some basics you should know about website creation. Even though all therapists are taught the same basic strokes, if I pay for a one hour massage from 10 randomly selected therapists, my results may vary a little depending on the skill level and experience. It also depends if I pay for a deep tissue verses a relaxation massage. Each therapist will provide what I paid for, but how it is provided and how I feel afterwards will vary.
The same can be with website creation. When you are evaluating and comparing various website companies or individuals, the first things you need to realize is that not all websites are created equal. Website programmers/designers and graphic artists can both build you a website. Some have specialized training for on page SEO (search engine optimization) and a small number have a strong marketing background or content or copy writing skills. Remember to ask about their skill level and know what it is you are asking for. Not every website build includes on page SEO and almost all of them charge more for copy writing or content creation.
For example, if you hire a database programmer to build a website, but in your mind you envisioned them having a creative and artistic flare, most likely you will be disappointed. It isn't that they won't be able to build you a very good functioning website based on their skill level. But it doesn't meet what you had in mind. The definitions of what you are asking and what they can provide are not congruent. In their mind, you contracted to "build a website." What you feel you asked for was a website designer who could capture the artist meaning of your words. You asked for a website, they provided you a website. The gap was in the communication of expectations and deliverables. Understanding what you don't know and what the various parts of a website could be should save some heartache and frustration. If you want the best converting website, it should have elements of these five areas.
You want a solid outline of the purpose and functionality. Determine what is the purpose of the website, who are you talking directly to and what action do you want them to take when a visitor is on each of the pages of your website. Any website designer should start by asking you to define what is the general purpose of the website as a whole so they are clear on the functionality and how many pages you will need. It will help both of you to if you already have the action plan and target audience for each of the individual pages of your site. Start with the home page and work your way through each page. This will help your programmers to offer the best template or wire frame that is user friendly and will help get you the results you want. If you want it completed within a time frame, you want your programmer to be a strategist who will provide you with exactly what you asked for and not just be a tactical robot. You have to be very specific and this type of person is going to cost more.
You also need keyword research and on page SEO. Some website designers will not invest the time in meta tagging images for social shares and optimizing pages because if the clients do not ever plan on continuing to provide content or invest time into SEO, they consider it a waste of their time. The initial on page SEO does help to get the website indexed by the search engines, but in most cases without properly identifying the customers pain points and best words to rank and continuing to invest in ongoing SEO services, then the website will most likely never increase in ranking. So, unless you specifically pay them for on page SEO or keyword research, it won't be included in the website quote. If you want something done quickly but you are on a limited budget, then paying for the additional may not be the wisest choice. Most website companies will offer an SEO package upgrade offer. Ask about social share features and keyword research. Some of the packages are designed for mass use, meaning they are generalized ranking for local businesses that may not be your ideal target audience. So you end up with clients, but they aren't the type of clients you prefer to work with. That isn't to say these don't work or aren't experts in providing what they say they will do. The difference is in the perception of expectation. Most "mass" market packages are cheap and good and some of them even work fairly quickly, but you still might not be happy with the result because they aren't producing your perfect long-term client.
Content development is another key. Once you have the general purpose of each page outlined and a structure and you know what keywords best apply for that purpose for that page, now craft the content so the keywords flow naturally. Another item to consider is what is acceptable by the FDA, what is legal and ethical. That means understanding your city, county, state and federal guidelines. If you choose to hire someone to write content for you or you use pre-written content from a template site, keep in mind ignorance is not a defense. You are still liable for what is said about your practice. They could be the best writer, but if they aren't aware of your specific regulations and how your clients think it may not be the best use of time or investment. That isn't to say they aren't the expert, they just aren't the best choice for your situation. Most people in order to save money will write the content themselves. Which can work however, you need to write it from the client's perspective, it can't be about what your practice does, it has to be connecting with the visitors so they feel like you understand their problems. That takes a certain amount of finesse and artistry. Sometimes you can save money by creating it yourself then sending it to an expert in content development who then edits it. Editing and re-writing can sometimes cost you a lot less, but it may take you longer.
Creative design is another important step; these are the finishing touches, the icing on the cake so to speak. This is an important part because most of us are visual buyers. It is best if you can find a good marketer to help you with both the content and creative design, but most of the time people hire graphic artists excellent at creating something visually engaging but have not been trained on how to create it so it converts. Yet, creative design is where most people invest the majority of their time, money and effort. If you have defined your purpose, crafted your content with the right keywords and have all your pages with the right SEO and layout with a marketing perspective, it doesn't have to be pretty to produce numbers. My suggestion is to work with someone who is flexible and can take direction and be able to provide you with what you want – more clients.
The final key is marketing perspective, a combination of all the items previously discussed. Understanding what makes a good headline, sub-headline, and what are going to be the "hooks" that speak the visitors language that make them want to do business with you is certainly a specialized talent that many people claim they have but few really do. Knowing where the best place is to capture the eye, what needs to go above the fold and where to put the images and videos so they show up on all types of devices can be a combination of content creation and design. Keep in mind, making something "look pretty" to you, may not be the best marketing strategy for your clients. A well-trained, experienced marketing consultant can assist you with your outline and formulating a solid strategy for each of your pages. Some marketers are really good copywriters as well so they can help you with your content creation. They also have experience working with graphic artists so they can help guide them through the project. One thing you don't find as often is a website programmer that is also a good marketer.
So, the next time you are in the market for a new website, I hope you remember these elements and the varieties available. If you are in the market asking for a Jaguar but you have the budget for a Honda you are going to notice some differences in the result. Both vehicles can get you where you want to go but you have two completely different experiences when driving them.