Integration, hooray!

| Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011 | No Comments »

Yesterday I got an email from one of my clients asking if  “I would be open to communicating” with her chiropractor.  I almost swooned with joy – okay, not really, I’m not much for swooning, but I was really excited.  This type of request doesn’t come very often but I am always happy to receive them.  

Most often we allied health professionals work in a bit of a vacuum.  We have only our clients recollections to inform us of what other treatments they are receiving.  Client feedback is helpful for understanding their feelings regarding progress and how their bodies experience and respond, but not so helpful in determining what another practitioner actually did, nor what they intended by doing it.

By habit. I always ask about other practitioners my client’s are seeing.  When they are receiving concurrent treatment I will often ask when they last saw that practitioner and what they work they did.  I have often determined my approach based on this feedback.  If I know their chiropractor has gotten a good re-alignment I won’t focus on my own tools for structural alignment, I will focus on soft tissue support.  If their physiotherapist has been working on nerve mobilization in the neck and shoulder I may choose supportive back work and joint mobilization to complement.  The problem is that some clients recollections don’t provide me with those insights – or I fail to inquire – and a chance to improve the quality of care I give my clients is lost.  Even worse, we practitioners may overwork an area by compounding treatments, which is as detrimental as not working the area at all.

I believe strongly in the need for increased communication between practitioners to improve the impact of all of our work and ensure that patients receive the most efficient and effective care.  Thanks to that client and I look forward to the collaboration.  I will use this reminder to increase my initiative in communication, so that I am walking my walk, not just talking my talk.

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