Academy of Chiropractic Personal Injury & Primary Spine Care Program

Quickie Consult 226

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.

“Techno-Phobes Beware”

One of the reasons I became successful at personal injury is the same reason that today I can run many successful businesses simultaneously: technology! As I get older, I am becoming more of a geek as I learn more about how technology enhances my businesses. When in practice, I always invested the time and money to have the correct technology. My support technician beat into me that technology is more important than most other areas when it comes to appreciating the idea that you get what you pay for! Beyond the money is your knowledge in how to use the technology. That knowledge is power, raw power to control your success.
That power over information is what will drive your ability to communicate and be seen in the medical-legal world. If you go to court today, you will see the vast majority of lawyers sitting with their laptops open, searching rulings during trials. They will be communicating with their staffs and their experts via e-mail, social networks and document attachments.Lawyers realize that the key to success is access to information in a timely manner. Understanding the language of the lawyers is also understanding what "timely" means to them. 
Timely usually means that they had a case for 2 years and they had a filing deadline with the courts and they first contacted their experts a few days before that deadline and then scrambled to meet that deadline. They had 2 years to gather information, but waited until the last minute. Most lawyers live in this world. As a result, they need stuff and much of the stuff they need at the last minute will come from your offices.
Lawyers, as well as other referral entities, will want to communicate with you and they have little time for the phone. E-mails, IMs, iChat, Gchat, SNF postings, SNF IMs and document attachments are only some of the methods they use to communicate. If a lawyer wants to talk to you, you had best be able to communicate with them gracefully. Gracefully means the way they want to talk to you, so you need to be able to simply hit the "easy button" for them. 
You don't know how to Gchat? Neither did my corporate lawyer and I simply informed him that my time was precariously short this past week and it was my preferred manner of communicating. I was in meetings for 3 solid days and couldn't pick up the phone and there were pressing issues that needed to be resolved. We had 3 successful exchanges on Gchat because he took the 10 minutes to learn how to do it and was able to both resolve my issue and, henceforth, keep me as a client.  
Over the past week, we have increased the traffic to the US Chiropractic Directory 281% with many of that traffic coming from your communities. Do you have a listing? Did you post your CV online? Do you have your patients and referral sources going to the site? The cost to you for getting an additional 281% is $0.00 and if you took the time to understand the technology and learn how to use the information, you could be getting many more referrals while spending NO additional money.
There are reasons why some seem to get all the patients and as a result, money, and I promise you, it is not luck! Are you afraid of technology? Do you have the mantra, "My staff will do it?" Plain and simple, are you too afraid and/or lazy to learn something new?
Success in 2011 is different from success in 2005 or 2000 or 1995 and it starts with technology. In 1995, I communicated with more lawyers via e-mail than I did on the phone. I sent more documents via e-mail attachments than through the mail and I constantly bought new equipment to stay on top. In fact, I had the first version of a high speed document scanner in the mid 1990's, as we used a note system requiring document scanning. It was 3 x 3 x 4 feet high and scanned 60 documents per minute at a cost of $25,000 that I took a 3 year lease to finance. Today, the same scanner is 9 inches wide, 3 inches deep, 4 inches high and cost $300. I use it multiple times a day as I save no paper.
You need to empower yourself and stay current with technology. You can't abdicate the ability to communicate or change documents because your budget doesn't allow you to have a full-time IT person or high-level executive secretary on staff; both positions cost approximately $100,000 a year. As a result, you need the knowledge, control and ability to create, communicate and fix in a timely manner. 
Be like my lawyer; take the time to learn and maintain your relationships. By the way, my lawyer is well into his 70's, so save the excuse that technology is for kids. In addition, my dad has the latest and greatest iPhone and when I need to figure something out on the phone, I call him. He is 82 years old. It's not your age, it's your willingness not to simply learn the technology, but to take full control of your success and do whatever it takes.

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