Sending case notes is an important step towards building referral relationships with other providers. There are a few simple techniques that you can use to ensure your case notes are actionable and complete. Many chiropractors I know send pages and pages of test results, exam findings, and techniques choices which, believe it or not, can actually prevent another physician from reading your notes.
First, we need to look at how case notes are “processed”. When you send case notes over to another physician (electronically or through good ol’ fashioned paper) they are received by the support staff in that physicians office. Then they are entered into the chart. Those notes typically aren’t looked at until the patient is back in their office and the doctor is reviewing the chart in the hall before entering the exam room. This is why a long, complex note can have the exact opposite effect you would like to have. At a glance it can become too cumbersome to read in its entirety, so it’s completely skipped. This is a huge missed opportunity for you to showcase the great work you do as a chiropractor.
The counter-point to this is – a case note which is short, efficient, and has all of the relevant information in an easy to digest format.
We have narrowed those items down to a easy to follow list which can usually be exported directly from most EHR systems.
- Date of Service
- Patient Name/Information
- Treatment Plan
By providing the co-managing physician with the straightforward information listed above; he/she will be able to quickly look at the case note prior to entering the exam room and will have a great idea of “where” the patient is at in their care. Further, this will actually stimulate them to then ask the patient how they have been doing in your office – which is exactly what you want! When they ask the patient how they are doing, it gives the patient an opportunity to showcase the great results of your chiropractic care. This adds to the “social proof” of the care in your office and further emphasizes the co-management of future patients.
As you can see, case notes are one of the 3 primary pillars of interdisciplinary communication and referral relationships. The other two are Monthly Research Updates and Physicians Meetings, which we will dive into in further columns here at Circle of Docs.
About the Author:
Dr. Jeff Langmaid is an internationally recognized author, speaker, and chiropractor. He is the founder of The Evidence Based Chiropractor, the leading marketing system based on communication and research. He has also authored the #1 Amazon book in Chiropractic titled, “Marketing Chiropractic to Medical Doctors”. A thought-leader regarding interdisciplinary communication, practice, and marketing; he has been heralded as one of chiropractic’s new innovators. He has been featured on Yahoo Health, Prevention, and by CBS News. You can find him where chiropractic care, creative design, and Healthcare 2.0 meet. To get weekly chiropractic research updates and tips to build your practice join his free weekly newsletter.