“How to build your patient/client caseload- PART 1”

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First off, this is Shane Physiotherapy’s inaugural blog. In these blogs I will share what I’ve learned in my physiotherapy career.  I plan to find the latest articles, treatment techniques, and physiotherapy tools and bring them to you in these blogs.  Enjoy!

Let’s start of with a few questions.  Do you have a full caseload?  Do you have large gaps in your schedule?  Are you building a caseload?  If you answered yes to any of these questions than these techniques will help you to build your caseload, it worked for me!

Here goes:

1)   This is by far the most important tip.  After you’ve completed your new assessment, give a recommendation of how many sessions you believe it will take for the patient to get better AND book them for as many sessions as the patient can commit to on the first day.  Here’s why…it is way easier to retain a patient than to continually wait for another new assessment.  What I like to say to patients who present acutely is “Right now you’re in an acute phase/flared up.  I recommend booking 2x/week for the next week or two so as to control those symptoms.  After that, 1x/week for another 2 weeks.”  I find that most patients will book at least two sessions on the first day; especially if they want to guarantee they get the times that they want.

2)   Get outside the clinic and be proactive.  You have all these great skills that you’ve worked your butt off at school to learn…the problem is you can’t use them if people don’t know you exist.  A few places that I would recommend approaching to promote yourself are:

  1. a)Running clinics (they’re always looking for guest speakers on stretching and foam rolling)
  2. b)Sports teams.  I find a good way in with a sport team is with your current patients.  If you have a patient that plays on a team ask them if they or their coach would be interested in having you to come out.  You could tape ankles, provide sideline assessment, design a stretching program for the team, etc
  3. c)Join a recreational sports team yourself and let them know you’re a physiotherapist.  You’ll be surprised at how many of them will ask you “Can you take a look at (insert name of body part here)”

3)   This is almost as important as point number one…ALWAYS have business cards on you.  I have them in almost every one of my jackets, heck; my wife even bought me a business card holder for my birthday.  By having business cards on my I have given them out to and booked:

  1. a)The employee who hurt his hip at the pet store I buy my dog food at.  He was limping and I asked him what happened.
  2. b)One of my neighbours who’s an avid cyclist and sprained his Achilles downhill biking.
  3. c)The hair stylist where I get my hair cut (she complained of shoulder impingement issues)
  4. d)The fellow gym goer/bootcamp attendee/crossfitter.  There will always be someone talking about an area that is hurting.

4)   Lastly, if you want to ensure any of the people you meet outside the clinic book into see you…BOOK them yourself.  Many clinic scheduling programs can be accessed on your smartphone, book them then and there to get rid of one more barrier of them having to call or email you.

That’s it for PART 1.  Hope you’ve found some useful tips to building and growing your caseload.

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