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Posted on 02-21-2016

What Do You Do During Your Lunch Breaks?

As many of my avid blog followers are aware, I am a Baltimore Chiropractor that spends the vast majority of my practice time (and life!) studying, treating, and writing reports about Baltimore auto accident injuries. The clinic hours that we have posted are strictly "clinic hours." That means that patients with scheduled appointments, and walk-in patients that do not mind waiting, can be seen and treated for their headaches, neck pain, back pain, and sciatica. In each given week my clinic is now open 40 hours. In order to help accommodate patients that want to be treated before work, during their lunch break, or after they get home from work in the evening the hours of the clinic are such that we are open four hours in the mornings, and another four hours in the evenings. That allows for a "lunch break" of about two hours each day.

I often get asked what I do during the lunch break. I am more than happy to share with those interested what happens during that period.

First I have to say, it is not really a lunch break. Technically it is in the middle of the day between 1:00 pm 3:00 pm and yes I usually eat lunch during that period, but I do not think of it as a lunch break. In fact, I like to think that I get more work accomplished during my "clinic intersession" than I do when patients are in the office.

The first thing that I try and do is return any phone calls that I got during the session that preceded the break. Often times I am returning phone calls for patients, attorneys, doctors, imaging centers, etc. These calls can last a matter of seconds or in some instances 10-20 minutes. Any private conversations that need to take place usually take place during this period. Many times patients are surprised that I call them back, but one of the hallmarks of this practice is that I pride myself on returning phone calls.

The second thing that I try and accomplish is coordination of care with other professionals. Maybe I am referring a patient for an MRI. I have to assemble the paperwork and documentation necessary to get that patient set up for imaging. Or, maybe I have referred a client to a specialist, I will usually try and speak to the specialist about the patient prior to their appointment so that we are "on the same page" regarding treatment progress.

The third thing that I do, and this seems to take up the most time, is PAPERWORK. Paperwork is a four letter word in this office, but it is a necessary evil in this day and age. Paperwork can take many forms - it can be FMLA paperwork for patients that are missing work due to injuries, disability slips for newly injured patients, and daily reports for patients. My office routinely generates about 3-4 hours worth of paperwork a day and this "clinic intersession" break affords us time in the middle of the day to knock some of it out.

The fourth thing that I do is try and keep up with referral sources of the clinic. If an attorney or medical provider is kind enough to refer my office patients, I usually follow up new referrals with a phone call to say thank you. While it is true that this office is busy and highly rated on social media sites such as facebook, google plus, and yelp, I also require active referrals from other professionals to continue to grow my business and to help other patients in need. You might be surprised how far a "thank you" can go to continuing to support an existing referral relationship or to create a new one. Even if the "thank you" does not result in more referrals, it is still the right thing to do and I think it goes a lot further than a simple text message.

The fifth and final thing that I do during this break is to be available for any new "emergency cases." Sometimes I get calls from people in town for the week and they need to come in right away to help with neck or back pain while they are supporting a loved one at Johns Hopkins Hospital, or before they fly back to California. When time permits I open the clinic outside of normal hours to offer these people treatment.

This clinic has been very fortunate to have been accepted by the community and to have grown to two providers and now over 2,100 square feet for treatment and back office support. Utilizing our "lunch period" to get more work done in the typical business day is what has helped set us apart and is what will help the clinic continue to grow.

So while I would like to kick my feet up and take a nap for a few hours between clinic sessions, that is not what happens. We are busy keeping the business moving in the right direction so that we can continue to help those in need.

If you, or someone you know, has been injured in a Baltimore auto accident and require treatment, please contact Mid-Atlantic Spinal Rehab & Chiropractic at (443) 842-5500. We would be happy to help!

Dr. Gulitz

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