How to Help Patients Commit to a Laser Therapy Treatment Plan
Laser therapy is a dose-dependent treatment, so most often patients will need multiple treatments to receive the best outcomes. However, getting patients to commit to a treatment plan can be a struggle. Patients with inconsistent work hours, family responsibilities, or those working through major life events like making a big move or planning a wedding might have a difficult time committing to three or more laser therapy sessions per week for multiple weeks.
But you as the practitioner know that these treatments will help patients heal from their injuries or chronic concerns to give them better mobility, more confidence, and ultimately feel better.
Resolving issues that cause your patients pain will also likely improve other facets of their life that can cause them stress. We’ve got some tips to help you work with patients who may worry they can’t commit to a treatment plan.
Be Positive as well as Informative
If patients are worried about making a larger time commitment, it’s important to remain positive in helping patients to find a solution. Make sure they understand why laser therapy will take multiple appointments, but also reassure that those appointments are brief. Most of the time, your patients will be in and out of the office in under an hour, if not 30 minutes or less.
Remind patients that while receiving laser therapy, they can continue their regular activities. A busy parent trying to recover from a minor knee injury might be worried about downtime, but with laser therapy, they can still keep up with their kids.
Get to Know Your Patients’ Lifestyles
As you’ve likely discovered, time not spent at work can quickly become overrun with other obligations, whether they be to your friends, family, or your own wellbeing. We’re all busy, so scheduling appointments gets tough—especially when you’re scheduling more than one. If you have patients with inconsistent schedules, like college students, making appointments more than a week or two out can become a nightmare.
Getting to know your patients’ lifestyles will help you and your staff to work with them in creating an effective treatment plan. If you have a patient who can’t schedule every appointment in their plan at once, help them schedule what they can each time they’re in your office.
It’s not important for laser therapy treatments to occur exactly so many hours apart, so if a patient needs to come in during the afternoon one day and in the morning or evening the next time, the treatment will still be effective.
Recovery can take weeks or even months and, like most big pictures, it helps to break things into smaller pieces. Especially if a patient is combining laser therapy with physical or occupational therapies, setting milestones for their recovery can help keep patients motivated to the end of their treatment.
You have to run a mile before you can run a marathon, so sit down with patients and talk about what smaller goals they can set throughout that would help them. Each patient is unique, so what might be motivating for one might not be as exciting for another. You may also find it helpful to create progress reports just for patients to help remind them how far they’ve come. These could include some of the information you’re already collecting from a patient for their chart, like their pain level and range of motion for certain activities.
Treatment Plan Commitment Tips for Veterinarians
Pets and rescued animals can’t make decisions about their health for themselves, leaving the decision to their owners and good Samaritans who bring them in for veterinary care. For veterinarians, establishing the value and the cost of their services can be a huge issue, especially for those who work with shelters, trap-and-release cats, and wildlife.
You became a veterinarian to help animals, but there is a cost for those services, too. Turning away an animal, especially a homeless one, can be difficult, but giving away care for free quickly destroys your practice’s revenue—and ultimately, the ability to pay staff and the bills.
Payment plans and service packages are helpful for spacing out veterinary costs for pet parents. For homeless animals or injured wildlife brought in by a concerned individual, there are plenty of shelters, sanctuaries, and resources they can bring these animals. Having these resources on hand can help direct someone in the right way.
When it comes to laser therapy, pet parents and shelter volunteers may be hesitant to commit to regular visits for more reasons than cost. Some animals are easily distressed being placed in a carrier or having to ride in a vehicle, so a pet parent may feel that bringing their pet in multiple times will cause too much stress. Help pet owners by reminding them how most animals undergoing laser therapy can feel some of the results immediately and their pet can even come to enjoy the vet.
Additionally, owners may be hesitant or unable to take time out of their work day multiple times a week to bring animals in. Shelter volunteers may struggle to bring in animals regularly because they’re already volunteering on top of their regular job and they have many animals to care for. Scheduling appointments as far out as possible can help owners and volunteers secure times that work best for them. For volunteers, scheduling appointments for a couple shelter animals at a time can also relieve some stress by taking care of two or three (or more, if manageable) appointments back-to-back.
One of the keys to success with laser therapy is sticking to a regular treatment plan, and it’s important to work with patients, human and furry, to determine what will work best to keep them motivated. At Aspen Laser, we help practitioners educate and motivate their patients with customized marketing solutions. Click below to learn more about our patient marketing program.