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Don’t Turn Your Staff or Yourself into Bots in Your Chiropractic Healthcare Practice


Goals First, Then Procedures in Your Chiropractic Healthcare Practice

I asked the office manager if I could review some of the staff’s job checklists.

I had observed a staff member training another on how to use a therapy device on patients. Their attention was on the equipment, how to position the patient and where to place the electrodes.

So, I looked with interest at the job description and checklists about placing patients on therapy. The therapy checklist listed all the procedures – what wire went where, what position the patient was to sit in, etc. But something was missing.

The goal, the outcome, of the checklist was not defined.

There was no mention anywhere about the purpose of the therapy, what it does, why to use it. And worse, there was nothing about the patient as a person. The checklist did not say how to introduce the patient to the procedures – and how to educate them on what it does. It might as well have been instructions on how to hook up jumper cables, wire a sump pump, or fill out tax forms.

I went over this with the practice manager and later was told that the staff were now spending more time with the patients explaining therapy procedures.


There’s a deeper principle here. Steven Covey has a great video on getting his son to take care of the lawn over the summer.

Rather than giving him procedures on what to do, he pointed to the neighbor’s lawn and had him notice that it was green and also clean. He then pointed to their lawn, which was becoming brown and littered. He told his son that all he had to do was keep their lawn Green and Clean. He didn’t care how he did it. He might want to use a hose and sprinkler or use buckets. The specific procedures were up to him. But the goal was --green and clean.

It is an entertaining story on video -- the link is below on our blog. The son finally got the idea and worked out how best to take care of the lawn.


Checklists are useful for training, agreeing on who does what, and preventing key procedures from being overlooked. Please use them. We’ve used them for 30 years. (If you need help please contact us!)

But they should always begin with the goal, the outcome of the sum of the procedures. What do these series of procedures produce – and what is their mission?

If you just focus on procedures, you and your team might as well be algorithms, computerized, and repetitive functions that occur electronically. Like an Internet robot or bot! By omitting goals first, you may minimize the innate creativity and power of everyone, including yourself.

On the other hand, if you challenge yourself and your team to define the WHY for each major and even minor procedure:

  • The procedures will be better applied.

  • You and your staff can find ways to improve the procedures.

  • You will be touching upon and rekindling the innate creative force we all have.

  • Your work will be more meaningful…

…and more fun.

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