We hope to welcome you as a new patient into our office, but first of all, we would like to help you understand our new patient procedure. Initially, you will be asked to completely fill out some required forms regarding health history, financial information, etc. which is an important part of our new patient intake procedure. The new patient office visit will be your longest visit which averages between 1-2 hours depending on many physical factors, amount of Hx intake, etc. We invite you to check out the printable new patient intake information forms on our website which conveniently allow you to complete some of the paperwork at your leisure prior to your new patient appointment. The New Patient Intake Information forms are located under the “Patient Resources” tab at the top of our website’s home page (Note: make sure to choose the one that best fits your type of case), and please contact us should you have any technical difficulties, concerns, or questions.
We appreciate your cooperation & understanding during your new patient intake procedure, as no one really enjoys paperwork, but we try hard to keep our paperwork to a minimum and Dr. Long takes the time to be a thorough doctor. By providing us with this important information, we will be able to efficiently set up your electronic health record (EHR) and financial file, and Dr. Long will be able to review and prepare for your initial consultation in a timely manner.
Next, you will have an initial consultation “at no charge” with Dr. Lisa Long to discuss your health-related problems, concerns, potential treatment options, and even your financial concerns and insurance benefits, etc. This initial visit is designed for Dr. Long to learn more about you, your condition and expectations, and determine if she can offer assistance in resolving your pain & dysfunction.
If after your initial consultation, Dr. Lisa Long feels that she can help you, she will inform you that she will need to perform a thorough, physical examination based on your specific condition. This initial examination will consist of gathering vital signs, inspectiing posture & possibly even gait analysis to check for external biomechanical imbalances in your feet, etc., spinal and soft tissue palpation to determine areas of sensory irritation, range of motion testing to check your flexibility and any motion discomfort, and a number of other standard neurological and orthopedic tests, if indicated. However, no procedure will be performed in our office without first getting a signed informed consent and your verbal consent.
Plain Film X-ray & Other Diagnostic Studies
Are x-rays and other diagnostic studies necessary? Based on Dr. Long’s in depth radiology training at Logan College of Chiropractic, she was taught that x-rays and other diagnostic studies are an integral part of helping her confirm a diagnosis, rule out serious pathology such as pathological fractures & tumors, detect spinal misalignment and birth or developmental defects such as scoliosis, reconfirm findings from the initial examination, assess your postural & spinal biomechanics, and determine any conditions that might make manipulation inadvisable.
Another fact that influences Dr. Long’s diagnostic decision making process is her belief that diagnostic imaging should be used only when necessary as to minimize the amount of radiation exposure to the patient over time. For example, if you have already obtained recent plain film x-rays and/or other diagnostic studies from another healthcare facility, she will be happy to utilize them in your case, as long as the studies are of good quality and are appropriate for treating your presenting condition, which will further minimize additional radiation exposure to you. Otherwise, upon completion of your initial physical examination, Dr. Long will order the appropriate x-ray studies or other diagnostic studies she feels is necessary in order to treat your condition appropriately. Whether or not x-rays are ordered will also be dependent upon age and the specific condition at hand.
Most patients are amazed once they see their X-rays up close. In some cases, they can identify and point out on x-ray their own misalignment and degenerative change, etc. They also find it very interesting as to how the spine is put together and how the nervous system works with the spine in playing a major role in controlling and coordinating every function of their body.
Report of Findings
Once your health history, physical examination, x-rays and/or other diagnostic studies, radiology reports, etc. have been collected and analyzed, Dr. Lisa Long present detailed report of findings in which she will review & discuss your care plan, etc. either on the same day of your initial new patient visit or on another day that best suits your schedule. Dr. Long will also provide you a copy of your care plan, home care instruction, and any educational handouts that she deems pertinent to your case & future reference. She will also answer any questions or concerns you may have at that time.
Dr. Lisa Long will also discuss any recommendations that she deems necessary, if your condition requires care with other providers. Don’t worry, Dr. Long will provide the best treatment options and wellness program for your needs.
Dr. Long will explain throughout the treatment process what she is going to do so you will know what to expect. She welcomes any questions you may have at any time during the treatment process.
Treatment may include spinal adjustments, physiologic rehabilitative therapeutics, soft tissue massage, and/or review of recommended stretches & exercises. Treatment is interactive, so you can express concerns & expectations at anytime.
Regardless of whether you are a cash patient or an insurance patient, Dr. Long will perform a Progress Exam usually at the end of your care plan to answer an important question – “Has my treatment worked to achieve the best results expected in this patient’s case, in order for me to be able to discharge him/her from care at this time?”
Patient’s sometimes don’t realize the importance and value of a Progress Exam benefits them and their doctor, and believe it or not, also their insurance company. Yes, insurance companies do ask the question – “Is Dr. Long’s treatment working? Insurance companies always expect the doctor to prove the value of his/her treatment and care plan with periodic updates and assessment. So by allowing your doctor to perform a Progress Exam, you will certainly put yourself and your doctor into a position of strength to determine how much progress has been made, whether the course of treatment needs to be changed for any reason, and whether further care will be needed. Ultimately, the insurance company will have the answers to justify the care that your doctor recommended to you, along with the ability to determine the need for continued chiropractic care.
While under care, Dr. Long will discuss wellness and any plan she has tailored for you to incorporate outside of treatment. If you are in pain when you first come into our office, this plan may include instructions on how to apply ice, activities and exercises to perform or avoid, and if indicated, she may recommend that you bring your pillow into the office on your next visit for a “postural sleep analysis” to determine if your pillow is giving you the proper support you need and/or if you have good sleeping habits.
If you haven’t been paying attention to your bad habits or taking them seriously, now is the time to start. Bad habits play a major role as being aggravating factors in creating or adding to the already underlying problems in your spine and nervous system. Bad habits also will interfere with the treatment progress and your treatment outcome. Dr. Long may as the following questions in her process of educating you about prevention & wellness: Do you sleep on your stomach? Does your mattress provide you with firm support at night? Do you prop yourself up in bed to watch TV? Do find yourself sleeping with two pillows under your head at night, instead of just one pillow? Do you sleep with your arms above your head at night and wonder why your arms go to sleep or why you have shoulder pain in the morning? Do you over indulge in sweets? Do you drink too much caffeine? Do you find yourself having a negative outlook or do others notice your are irritable? Do you have chemical or emotional stresses in your life? The list can go on and on…Only you can make the decision to take control of your life and health. Only you can start the journey for better health, make it a reality, and live the life you deserve…Dr. Long can only recommend…
Again, don’t worry!…Dr. Long will be happy to work with you to create healthy habits and routines for your lifestyle, and will always be there to encourage you about prevention & wellness while you try to meet your goals. Every person is unique, therefore everyone requires a customized wellness plan. The purpose of our wellness program is for you to achieve and maintain good spinal alignment, engage in healthy eating habits, lose weight if needed, stretch & exercise regularly, and maintain a positive mental state now and in the future.
If you have any questions regarding your first visit, contact us today at (573) 760-1515.