Academy of Chiropractic

Quickie Podcast 1232
Office Systems 120 OS

From the Desk of Dr. Mark Studin
Academy of Chiropractic

Preamble: Many of the issues I bring to you are very small, yet each issue is just that, an issue. If you take care of the small issues, then you will be able to build and more importantly, focus on the bigger issues...a larger practice and more family time. -Mark Studin 2006

"Reporting patients findings - A critical step for lawyers as well"


Dr Studin: Dr Dan Rosner, we just finished recording the course on educating the attorney, but one of the things we talked about was communicating with your patients findings and from a doctor's perspective, it's important, but what is it from the legal perspective?

Guest Dr: the legal perspective it's critical on so many different levels, but specifically like if you send a patient out for an MRI and you instruct your patient to bring the MRI to you and then you have it in and you don't have time to really look at it because you want to get the patient in and out of the office, cause you got a million patients in your office, then the next time you see the patient, you don't talk about the MRI findings. Then what happens is eventually you may refer that patient to another specialist because of the MRI findings, but you never really sat down and showed the patient exactly what was wrong with them and why you were doing what you were doing and why you variated your treatment if you did so. And then the patient goes and testifies long before the doctor does in a deposition. And during the deposition, the kinds of questions the patient are asked along the lines are: I see you saw Dr Studin as your a primary treating chiropractor. Is that right? Yes. That's Dr Studin did for you? Well, he took care of me. He gave me treatments and…did he do anything else? No, not really. Did he send you to anybody? Well, no, not really. Well, didn't you have an MRI? Yeah, I did. You know the results of your MRI? Well, I didn't find it out from Dr Studin. How'd you find out the results of your MRI? well eventually I went to a pain management doctor and he started talking to me a little bit about that. Did you know what was wrong with you when you were at Dr Studin? I just knew I was sore, That's all I knew. So he send you for a film and he never wants to explain to you the meaning of the film or why he continued all that treatment with you? Is that what you're saying? No, he really, no, he's busy getting to see all these other patients. I'd be in there with 20 other patients. and that destroys a case, that type of an examination where the patient doesn't really know what's going on with them and why they're hurting It's problematic on so many levels. If you have a patient and you send them for a film, you get that film from the patient or from the radiology center itself and you show the patient not only explaining them with a model what's wrong with them, show them their film of their own body. Hey, this is the film you went, this is what you look like on film. Here's what's wrong with you and why you're having this pain. And that is so critical in communication with your patient. And it also keeps you on your toes so you don't make a mistake because you forgot to look at the film.

Dr Studin: And one of the things we talk about in office systems, which is section 6, I believe the first three consultations or report of findings, you have to show, and it's about show and tell, but you've got to sit with the patient and show them what's wrong with them. Not just the report but the images. You've got a really short reporting to your patient and showing them one, it'll help compliance number two, which is important for managing your case, but it'll also force you to see what's going on with your patient. You just don't read a report, look at one or two cryptic phrases and think you get it, look at the image, it'll help you make a better diagnosis and help you better manage your patients. So from being a better doctor from a medical legal perspective. It's just very critical step in health care. Is there anything else you want to answer?

Guest Dr: Our program that we're doing now about educating the lawyer and all of these things because of the bias against the chiropractic profession, we not only go over this little example that we just talked about, but so many other aspects of your everyday practice and how it effects your interaction both with insurance companies as well as with defense lawyers and most importantly your relationship with plaintiff lawyers. Because if you don't educate the lawyers on how well versed you are in your profession, then you're doing yourself and your profession that this service, because this bad vibes that are out there about chiropractic has spread throughout society. And our job is to fix that by helping you educate not only the public but the people you deal with in the everyday world such as the lawyers.

Dr Studin: And when you educate your patients and they go talk to that lawyers, I am the doctor Studin spent a lot of time, he explained everything. I understand that. Think about how the lawyer now is going to have just a little bit more respect for you. Maybe it's only a fraction, but if all of those fractions up, but all of a sudden you've just changed your reputation.

Guest Dr: not only that, but you've educated your own lawyer As a patient, a patient comes to me and says, I found out from Dr Studin, I have a herniated disc in my back here and now he's changing me and he's going to be sending me to some specialists, one of the first things I'll do is I'll get on the phone with my doctor that I have a good relationship with is, Hey, really what's going on? Patient tells me they got this and they've got that. And I just love it when I'm able to communicate with the doctor and find out accurate information on a fast basis because it helps me help them with not only their legal but also just in good communication all the way around With me, the doctors and us working together is the best possible outcome for the patient, both medically as well as legally.

Dr Studin: the program we're doing educating the lawyer right now, it's just taking on a whole Different perspective than I expected when we started, some of you might be listening to this podcast a year from now when it's already out there you can just go take it, you get into, but some of you are going to watch this before we've even finished, so just watch out for it. 

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