Hi, this is Dave Kats with Therapist Consultants and I have a tip for you.
There are a lot of ways to encourage patients to stay under your care but one of the best ways is to give them an occasional progress report. Here is what I mean by that. About every 10 visits you should sit down with your patient and before you start the counseling session you should simply say, “Let’s recap what we’ve accomplished in the last 10 visits.” Then you can do it in two different ways. You can use the plan of care that you gave them at the beginning of their care and say, “ Here is what our goals are. Here is the ones we’ve accomplished. Here’s the ones we have yet to accomplish.” And give them just a progress report. The other way I like to do it is just look at my daily notes for the last 10 visits and say, “Well, we had problems with this when you came in and that’s gone. Your anxiety level was at a nine. Now you say it’s at a two or three. We have this corrected, and this corrected.” And I go through all 10 visits and tell them how they’ve been responding and how they’ve been progressing. What’s the value of a progress report? The value of a progress report is this. It re-enthuses patients in their care. One of the things they say about therapists is, “Oh we just go there, and we talk about the same thing every time. I don't know if I’m making any progress or not.” Now you're showing them, “You're making progress.” and it re-enthuses them and their care. Something just as important that happens is, it re-enthuses you in their care. When you see how much good you’ve done with them and how much progress they made, you become re-enthused with their care. Because they say a long-term patient leaves you about two weeks or two visits after you left them. What does that mean? It means that you’ll be seeing this patient and be interested in this patient, but then maybe after 15 or 20 visits you say, “Trish, she’ll always come in, she’s a good old patient. She’ll always come in.” You don't treat them like you did at first. They take a back seat. You aren’t as prepared when they come in, and they sense it. And you kind of disconnect from them and aren’t just concerned about them anymore. They sense it, and then they disconnect from you. I’ll tell you, if you have a problem with your patients disconnecting from you and not following through with care, I would highly encourage you every 10 visits, to just stop and before you do your counseling session just sit down and say, “Let’s check the progress we’ve made over the last 10 visits.” Then read off all the things that you’ve accomplished according to your daily notes. You’ll find out that they become more enthused and that you become more enthused and as a result they stay with you until they get the care they needed.
Thanks for being with me.
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