Practice Mastery: Stop the Leaks in Your Practice

Apr 13, 2024 | ANJC News & Updates

By George C. Scordilis, DC, CCSP, DMBPP

Do you ever feel like you’re on a continuous treadmill and can’t stop running?

As doctors and small business owners, we are always focused on welcoming new patients into our practice who can be helped through chiropractic care. While many tactics are used to educate the public on the benefits of chiropractic care, such as marketing campaigns, free dinners, and giveaways, it’s easy to become frustrated with the process.

If you welcome ten new patients this month but have 15 patients who have dropped out or discontinued their care, your practice will have five fewer patients, and the question becomes, “Why did we lose those patients?” Essentially, there is a “leak in the bucket,” and you may not understand how to identify where the leak is coming from and how to stop it.

Could the “leak in the bucket” be that you and your staff aren’t appropriately educating your patients? Is the office not presentable, or is it causing scheduling miscommunications? As the Captain of the Ship, the doctor is responsible for leading and organizing the office. You are responsible for training your staff on highlighting your office’s unique factors and expectations on follow-up regarding appointment scheduling, consultation, examination, and reporting. It’s crucial that you create a level of expectation to then direct and delegate those responsibilities.

There are some simple procedures you can put into place to ensure everyone understands their role in the success of the practice:

  • Have a plan and work your plan.
  • Delegate responsibilities appropriately.
  • Make sure there is a check-and-balance system in place.
  • Create short and long-term goals.
  • Develop a vision board and share it with your staff.
  • Schedule 15-minute team huddles each morning or afternoon before your first patient.
  • Schedule bi-monthly team meetings with an agenda focused on brainstorming solutions to challenges you face together.
  • Task a staff member with providing an end-of-the-day report to be shared daily.
  • Ask for a list of missed appointments and task a staff member with immediate follow-up to reschedule. Call patients who have missed two or more appointments directly and send a personal email or handwritten note.
  • Create a Reactivation Plan for patients who have not visited for six months or more. This could be a phone call or email asking how they are feeling and asking them if they’d like to schedule an appointment.
  • Celebrate wins! A positive affirmation naming those responsible is always appreciated.
  • Ensure staff members are adequately trained and have the opportunity to learn continuously, from working on the basics, answering the phone, processing a patient, to handling a disgruntled patient.

The nuts and bolts of a successful practice rely solely on you and your staff. Friendly greetings by name, on the phone, and at the front desk will help your patients feel comfortable. A buttoned-up process for everything from consultation to examination, reexaminations, and scheduling is key to stopping the “leak in the bucket.” Educate, educate, educate—so every patient understands the purpose and benefits of continued care. Be present in your time with patients. It’s not about politics, sports, or weather; it’s about them and their time with you.


Dr. George C. Scordilis is a member of the ANJC Membership Committee, a proud New York Chiropractic College graduate, and a founder of Patient Building Block Systems. He has dedicated over 40 years to providing exceptional chiropractic care to Passaic and Essex Counties residents.

Learn more about Dr. Scordilis and his practice at: