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Partners in Practice

February 23, 2017

5 Steps to Incorporate Nutrition Into Your Practice

By: Kimberly A. Besuden, DC, CFMP

To become a chiropractor, I spent four years in chiropractic school. My trade was learned well. For those of us who have been in practice for 20 years or more, remember the minimal training we had on practice management? Unless you had a business background, this was one of the biggest challenges in the start of your new career.

One of the greatest struggles with a practice is managing it, especially when we add services like nutrition.

Here are five easy steps to become successful at the addition of what I like to call “new-trition” into your established practice:

Step 1: Sign up for a website account with Standard Process. With this great perk, you can attend live webinars and view an expansive library of on-demand webinars. If you don’t already know who your local independent Standard Process sales representative or distributor is, you can find out on the Standard Process website. These knowledgeable representatives host a variety of free or reasonably priced educational opportunities, many of which are approved for continuing education credits. I also highly recommend opening a Patient Direct by Standard ProcessTM account to enable your patients to place online orders that will be delivered directly to their homes, all under your guidance.

Step 2: Establish yourself with the American Clinical Board of Nutrition, a national accrediting agency for nutrition.

Step 3: Purchase a good digital scale and a hand-held body fat analyzer. Use these office must-haves to record vital signs for nutrition patients. These items are inexpensive and provide a great deal of information. In our office, we have a rubber stamp with fields for date, height, weight, body fat percentage, body mass index (BMI), and blood pressure. Patients need to know where they are beginning in those categories to establish a base line and create a plan for getting where they need to be. These simple stats are taken at each subsequent nutrition appointment.

Step 4: Create a procedural flow for your nutrition consultation. Our nutrition consultation requires:

  • The patient to have bloodwork (If patients don’t already have current bloodwork, we send them out for a complete blood chemistry, metabolic, lipid, and thyroid panel.)
  • Completion of a seven-day record of food intake, which you can order free from Standard Process
  • Completion of a toxicity questionnaire, which you can order from Standard Process or have patients complete online

In our office, all initial nutrition appointments are scheduled two weeks out. This is done for a couple of reasons. The first is to ensure patients have time to complete the seven-day food log and systems survey and to get bloodwork results from their primary care doctor or have blood drawn. The other reason is that scheduling a ways out can create the impression that your nutrition schedule is full and your nutrition services are in demand.

Step 5: Create a 21-day Standard Process Purification Program class for your practice, to be held in either January or May. Ask your sales representative for help. In our practice, we offer a four-week class to support patients during the purification program. Teaching the weekly class presents you as the nutrition authority. It is also an ideal way to get patients accustomed to following a protocol so that when you create an individualized protocol, following it will be a familiar process. The class also gives me a chance to explain the products and how whole food supplementation benefits a person compared to isolated or synthetic vitamins. At the end of the course, we present each patient with a voucher for an initial nutrition consultation as a reward for completion of the program.

These are the steps that will help you incorporate “new-trition” into your practice. This is a starting point. Once you have created interest and trained your staff (and of course yourself), you will be able to start quickly. After you get some experience and education under your belt, you can incorporate other skills, for example, some type of muscle testing.

My clinical experience has demonstrated the necessity of keeping it simple. Don’t overwhelm the patient with a protocol of six products three times per day. Try three products twice a day to foster compliance. I would rather have the patient follow a simple protocol and be compliant than give up because there are too many supplements to take.

One very special note to keep in mind is: Practice what you preach! If you are not following a protocol or maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle, how do you expect your patients to do so? If you create the “new you” first, the rest will be easy.

Tagged in: Chiropractic

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*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.