Blog, Live Events November 29, 2022

Goal Setting for Pediatric Chiropractic Care Erik Kowalke DC

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Welcome to ChiroSecure’s. Look to the Children. December episode. My name’s Dr. Erik Kowalke I’m a chiropractor in Michigan Grand Rapids, Michigan. We run a high volume pediatric and family wellness, lifetime wellness based practice. You just actually look the other week. We see over 2,400 different unique individuals every single month in and out of our practice.

And we love it. We serve a ton of people and it’s a ton of fun. We’ve been doing this for over 11 years. I also run a software company called, that helps chiropractors grow their business through technology. But thanks to ChiroSecure for hosting this show, this is all about kid and family practices.

Look to the children. How do we see more kids? How do we effectively grow a pediatric chiropractic clinic? And one of the things we should be focusing on now, so if you’re a chiropractor and you wanna see more kids, or you wanna see kids in a better way or you just wanna get better at being a pediatric chiropractor, this shows for you.

The first Thursday of every single month is the show that I’m hosting the third Thursday of every single month. Dr. Mod Berg is hosting that show and does a fantastic job. So today we really wanna focus on expectations, agreements, and goals. Specifically for moms, dads and kids coming into the practice.

So the worst scenario that can happen is unclear agreements and then uncommunicated expectations where they expect something that they’re not going to get. Like I didn’t expect Ivan to come walking into the show today. my three year old and when parents have unclear expectations, That you didn’t agree to from your side as the provider, then you can’t provide them.

I’ll give you an example. If they expect that they’re gonna bring their child in and their child’s gonna get adjusted on the first day, and your process isn’t to adjust on the first day, and that’s not clearly communicated with a proper agreement, and they’re gonna be frustrated and probably not commit to care and maybe not tell other people to come into your office.

So you really have to avoid unclear expectations. And sometimes as chiropractors of let that we avoid confrontation and by avoiding confrontation, we don’t say the things we should say. We don’t address the elephant in the room, and we know people are expecting something that we didn’t agree to, but we’re afraid that they’re gonna say no.

If I clarify the agreement. And then I’m not gonna meet their, expectations. So it’s just a, creates this bad scenario. But that’s how you get bad review. That’s how you get people not referring people. So you wanna avoid that. So I would say creating clear agreements on the front end is probably the most important thing you can do.

And in our office, we do that with pediatrics through goal setting. We set immediate goals, short term goals, long term goals. And so the first one immediately is, what is the parent looking for that’s bringing their child? What is the main goal they’re trying to achieve? And this is really important cause if you have a kid with ear infections and are up all night long and they’re screaming, And the parent can’t get any sleep.

Then the immediate goal is the parents wanna sleep . They want this address. And maybe that’s not what you do as a chiropractor is I can’t guarantee you that your kid’s gonna sleep through the night tomorrow night. Clarifying that. And they’re like, okay, that’s good to know because that’s what I was hoping for.

They’re used to the medical paradigm. They’re used to reactionary alo. They come in and it’s, something’s done to them or to their child and then, it’s better. So there’s a lot of education has to go there, but very clearly communicating the immediate goal and what your plan is to get to that immediate goal is step one.

Step two is short term goals. So short term is now taking their mind out of the immediate I want my kid to not have ear infections tonight to. It would be great if we got to the root cause of these ear infections and we could go four weeks without any problems. Okay, that’s a great objective.

Short-term goal. Long-term goal is really where you start the process of converting people into lifetime Family wellness, thought process, and becoming a lifetime family wellness chiropractic. And that’s where we start talking about preventative health. Instead of reactionary health, we talk about preventative health and we’re talking about this.

So opening the door to that conversation for a parent on day one is really difficult if you don’t use a goal process because their mindset is, Immediate goals. The only thing they’re thinking about is immediate goals. The only reason they even came into your office was immediate goals. They’re not even thinking about short-term or long-term goals and trying to talk about lifetime family wellness care when their kid can’t even sleep through tonight is like, why are you talking about this right now if you don’t put it in the right context?

So long-term goals is like assuming we get through the immediate goals and assuming we accomplish the short term goals, what would your long term goal for help be for your child? Makes them think okay I would want them to live a healthier life and not have to be reactionary with medications.

And you can lead ’em to that conclusion, but they’re already implanting oh, that’s an option. This is a place I would go to reach a long-term health goal for my child. Most parents do desire that they just don’t know to talk about it in the moment, and they didn’t know that chiropractor, a chiropractor or chiropractic was an option to reach long term health goals.

In a proactive way with their child, like they didn’t even know that was an option. So you are introducing that an initial day one process by going through immediate goals, short term goals, and long term goals, and then creating clear agreements around each phase of that goal process is step two. So step one, actually step zero is.

Don’t communicate expectations, uncommunicated expectations, and avoid us referring to something that may lead people to a conclusion that they’re not going to get. Step one is set goals. Immediate, short-term, long-term. Step two is create clear agreements around those goals. So immediate goal, maybe you need to see them twice a day for the next.

Can I count on you to bring them like you’re getting an agreement on them that they’re going to bring them into the office and do their part? And this is a done with you process, not a done for you process. , excuse me, done for you process. So by done with you, you have to show up and you have to do the things outside of the office that you need to do in order to improve as well.

So whatever your recommendations are outside the office, they need to commit to do that, and you need to get a verbal agreement on. So by verbal, they’re agreeing to doing that. And what you’re going to see, a lot of times your first step doing this, or if you’re new to practice, is you’ll create agreements and you’ll start doing one of these yep, does that sound good?

And they’re like yep. They’re not really agreeing to that if they don’t verbally say yes to that. So what I’m hearing you say is you’re gonna bring Ivan in tomorrow in the morning at 9:00 AM and in the afternoon at 3:00 PM and then on Friday. At this time and on Saturday morning at 8:00 AM we can’t do Saturday.

They’re gonna think about it. Cause they’re not gonna say yes to something that they can’t agree to. So you gotta take it all the way to that level with an agreement and then it’s clear on what are we gonna do, because they still might be in the mindset of you as the chiropractor are treating them, and you are going to get rid of whatever problem that their child is.

When the reality is you are removing nerve interference and you’re allowing their body to function at a higher state and a higher level, which in turn is probably going to result in their symptoms residing, but you’re not treating their symptoms. They have to understand that if it’s communicated in the right way, you want them to agree on that’s what you’re doing.

So you avoid the they didn’t get better. It’s Sunday and they still have an ear infection. We didn’t agree on I was gonna get rid of their infection by Sunday. I was starting on the process of removing nerve interference, which is step one to this, right? So this is really important for your team to understand as well, cuz a lot of time the team is communicating around the doctor and you want them to be clear with that too.

So providing hope is their number one number one job is really to provide hope in the office, but that has to be done, communicated, correct. Clear agreements on what are we accountable to and what are we actually doing, and what are the, what is the parent accountable to actually doing immediately.

And then a plan. So the step three is what is the plan to get there and when are we going to move into short term goals and what is that short term goal? And then I’d say step four is clearly documenting that. So you. Very quickly access that information within your ehr, your team, your doctors have quick access to that.

So you’re always referencing that. It becomes part of your table. Talk on immediate goals, short-term goals, long-term goals. Like I know you wanna, I know you wanted your child to become healthy. You’re like, so let’s say they get through immediate goal and now there’s no more symptoms. So the parent might be coming a little bit less frequently.

And this is where you can start to. Intervene with your table. Talk on what you found. Let’s say you found a sac subluxation. This is where you can educate on, I know one of your long-term goals was that Ivan was gonna grow up a healthy, happy, strong with a well-functioning nervous system.

The subluxations we corrected today and the sacrum are really good because they have separate sac bones right now. And as he gets older, that’s confused into one. So by, by you bringing him in here and committing to wellness care for Ivan, that allows us to give him the best care and keep his sacrum segments lined up properly and function at the highest level so that at the point when his body matures and that bone fus together, it’s in the best position and shape for his body in order for his body to grow and develop in the most healthy way.

So now you’re just edifying them. And what we’re doing right now is reaching the long term goal that you guys agreed. You’re reestablishing agreement on the long term goal outside of the one time talking about the long term goal. Super important. So step five would be just keep coming back to the goals, keep coming back.

Step six is, what you’re gonna find is somewhere through the short term goal process and long-term goal process. And this applies all the way to old people too. We’re talking about kids in pediatrics here, but this is could be applied anywhere even to. Individuals that are 60 years old, you’re gonna come back to an immediate goal.

So you don’t just get one immediate goal and when you achieve it, it goes away. You’ll come back to an immediate goal somewhere through a short term goal. Most stocks miss the boat here because we don’t we don’t build enough value or not value, but intensity around that. So let’s say. I haven’t had ear infection.

Short-term, immediate goal was get rid of the infections. Ear infections are gone now we’re on the short-term goal process. We’re leading to wellness. He’s coming once a week and something else happens let’s say he gets an ear infection again in six weeks. If I don’t make a decision at that point okay, are we still on short term goal here of something other than ear infections?

Is this just a one time fluke thing that’s gonna go away, or do I need to see him more frequent? And if it’s more frequently, it’s oh, this is starting to come back in. We don’t wanna let this get a whole, this is what I found subluxation pattern wise, this is similar to how it was six weeks ago.

We need to see him more visits reestablishing a short term goal of a, of removing a certain subluxation pattern by in, by justifying it with increased visits is so important. So you always go back to goals. If you just say, Hey, I need to see him more this week. You’re be like I’m busy.

I don’t know, but remember that immediate goal we had of ear infections? My goal as a doc was to remove the subluxation pattern that existed at the time which we were able to achieve, and allowed us to move into, achieving his short-term goals, short-term goals for him. I’m starting to see that again, and this is very common.

And when this happens, all we have to do is go back to that immediate goal. Remove, remove this pattern, which is. I need to see him two more times this week. He’ll be right back on track. And we can go back to the process of short-term goals where we were. Yeah, that’s what I want. So you’re getting agreement on Yeah.

That, that makes sense. That’s what I want do. And that goes into people that are on wellness care coming once a week or every other week, and they’re starting to get headaches again. You’re like, eh, I think we need an immediate goal getting rid of your headaches. Otherwise we’re just maintaining you at a state of subluxation that allows you to be symptom.

Which isn’t fun. So let’s set an immediate goal of this and here’s the plan to achieve that. Do you agree to that? And reestablishing those goals. So that’s what I would say you could focus on. One thing moving into December through the holiday seasons is being very clear with your goal setting and gold getting and clear agreements and just having the conversation around expectations and agreements with your team.

This is the easiest example for people is spousal relationships, When you have an expectation of your spouse that I expected you to get the kids and you expected me to get the kids. It creates an argument and frustration and friction. It’s the same thing with your practice members and the kids in your practice and the parents and the family.

So just being proactive and recognizing that where there could be friction. How do we be proactive as a team on training on how to set clear agreements and communicate something that might be difficult? The easiest way I found is ask your team. What situation do you fear handling the most? ? You’re gonna get a short list real quick on the areas in your practice that you might not be so clear at setting proper agreements and you might be unintentionally creating expectations of yourself that you didn’t agree to,

because they don’t like handling those scenarios because the person’s ticked off cuz they expected something that didn’t happen. And you need to be proactive as an office on not letting that expectation be set from the start. So hopefully that helps you guys. Again, thanks to ChiroSecure Dr. Stu Hoffman for hosting everything that he does for ChiroSecure. All of our docs in our office

use ChiroSecure to have a great success in, just love them as a company and their mission and what they stand for. You’re not gonna wanna miss January coming back first Thursday, alright you guys can see his head have been talking this whole time. There’s Ivan. Thanks to Ivan for joining in on this Look to the Children’s show.

And again, if you need to reach out to me any way connect on any of this stuff, Dr. Erik Kowalke can find me on Instagram, Facebook, Life. SKED.Life is our best way to find us and Higher Healthcare practice in Michigan, is how to look this up online. So I hope you guys have a fantastic holiday season with you and your family.

Happy December. We’ll see in January.

Today’s pediatric show Look to the Children was brought to you by ChiroSecure .