As chiropractors, many of you have embraced the latest state-of-the-art technologies in your practice that may include EHR software, cold lasers, massage guns, adjusting instruments, etc. There seems to always be some new gadget or gimmick out there that tries to hit us emotionally to make us purchase it. It’s crucial to know if a new piece of technology will be helpful and boost the success of our practice.
When Foot Levelers introduced the world’s first chiropractic foot scanner back in 2001, I was excited to learn about it and adopt it. Personally, I always gravitate towards new technology because it leads us into the future and keeps us on the cutting edge of knowledge. That original FAS SCAN was just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the digital scanning technology that would follow in the years to come. Foot Levelers introduced the 3D Kiosk in 2017 and they have continued to enhance it.
As a Foot Levelers speaker since 2014 and a frequent custom orthotic prescriber, I repeatedly hear the following statements from chiropractors about digital foot scanning:
“I don’t have time to use it”
“I don’t have space”
“It’s too complicated”
“Patients won’t understand it”
“My casting kit has always worked, why change?”
“I don’t need any fancy equipment to do a good job”.
I can counter all those questions with how easy the Foot Levelers Kiosk is to use, because the technology makes it so. Now, here are some questions for you:
- Are you someone who has never offered custom orthotics before and are thinking about offering digital foot scanning in your office for the first time?
- Are you a casting kit doctor and want to switch over to digital foot scanning?
- Do you have an older digital foot scanner and want to upgrade to the current 3D Kiosk?
- Are you someone who already has the Kiosk but you think you should be utilizing it more?
- Do you have the Kiosk, are using it pretty well and just want to make sure you’re utilizing everything it has to offer your patients and practice?
If I piqued your interest with any of these questions, I have answers for you.
To begin, please make sure you and your staff get scanned and they understand the value of wearing Foot Levelers custom orthotics. Any chiropractor who gets a scanner has access to training for themselves and their staff. Your staff will be the contact point for all the patients, and they will be asked if they wear the custom orthotics. How they answer can affect the success of your practice.
If you or your staff are not wearing the orthotics, then it may affect the impact of your recommendations. At my practice, I cover half the cost of each staff member’s first pair of custom orthotics. Then for subsequent pairs, my staff pays cost. The more pairs they have, the more powerful the message they will share with the patients about how custom stabilization has helped them.
How the Foot Levelers Kiosk makes life easier for chiropractors:
1. Scanning on the New Patient Visit with or without Staff Interaction:
The patient takes their shoes and socks off and simply stands on the 3D scanner. Each screen the patient advances through gives them directions on what to do. The screens have such good directions for the patient, they can easily navigate their way to the end.
If the Doctor or staff likes to run the patient through the process, then it’s about three minutes from start to finish so it does not take much time. I actually like to move the patient through the screens myself and do the Report of Findings right then and there.
Once the last step is completed and the scan is saved to the cloud, the front office staff can check through your Foot Levelers portal and verify the scan was taken and saved. An orthotic, flip flop or Shoethotic® or Sandalthotic® order can then be placed immediately.
2. Patient Education is provided as the patient moves through the screens.
Whenever someone steps on the scanner, the instructions guide them on a journey of foot education. It gets the patient thinking about the shoes they wear most often and what parts of their body are hurting them the most. The directions on the screen help them to perform a proper scan. Then the patient education information kicks in and they see color pictures of their feet compared to the optimal scan.
When they observe the colors in their foot scan they will notice the amount of red in the optimal scan compared to their scan. In my practice, I’ve observed that 77% of patients are moderate to severely pronating, so they will usually see more red (signifying pressure) under their feet than the optimal scan. For many patients, the amount of red is very sobering as most people are unaware how flat their arches truly are. Often, their feet themselves don’t hurt, so they would not have made the connection between the function of the three arches of the foot and the stability of their entire bodies.
The next section of that screen is the PSI (pronation stability index) score, and they will see the graphic move from optimal arch support to severe pronation. The score allows them to see on that continuum just how flat their feet are. This screen is an extremely efficient way to effectively capture and explain the arch issues the patient is having. You can then explain to them how each arch of the foot plays its own role in healthy movement and weight-bearing (It’s crucial to note that Foot Levelers custom orthotics are the only ones that support all three arches of the foot).
3. The Report of Findings (ROF) helps you bring it all together.
The ROF has a nice table on the top summarizing:
- The Pronation Stability Index (PSI) score
- The difference between the medial arch heights from right to left
- The left to right balance
- The recommendation for orthotics
The pictures of what was summarized in the ROF table is just underneath. Furthermore, the Kinetic “Chain Reaction” figure on the right teaches the patients how custom orthotics can help support the entire body. The foot-spine connection is well illustrated by all the information in this section and the patient can really understand how their feet can be a major contributing factor to pain in other areas of their bodies like the lower back. This information help patients make the connection between foot dysfunction and the health and stability of their entire bodies.
Furthermore, utilizing the information gleaned about the medial arch heights and the left to right balance, correlations with leg length inequality can be made from what you observe in the patient. I find that the functional short leg is usually on the side of worse pronation, lower medial arch height and more pressure (red color).
The second page of the ROF illustrates the postural stress on the body from the ground up and how this changes when a pair of the custom orthotics are placed under their feet. The scanning technology does all the heavy lifting, so you just have to come in and go over a few select points that you want to emphasize to the patient.
4. The Kiosk provides the “Wow Factor”
The Kiosk in a prominent place in your office, the colors on the scans, the PSI score, and the ROF all come together to “Wow” your patient. Foot Levelers has learned over the many years of their scanners being in chiropractor’s offices that patients respond to colors and specific wording. They have chosen the text and messages on each screen carefully to carry maximum impact for your clinic.
5. The Recommendations made help the patient understand why multiple pairs will help the patient stay supported in their different types of shoes.
The Kiosk technology recommends orthotics for work and play so that the patient understands that different shoes will need different orthotics. Work shoes may require a ¾ or ⅞ length dress orthotic while your athletic or shoes with a fully removable insole will benefit from a full length orthotic. This also stimulates discussion further for flip flops, Sandalthotics or Shoethotics. The key takeaway is that the patient requires stabilization around the clock, for all their activities. Like a pair of prescription eyeglasses, the orthotics must be in place for the correction to occur.
6. Place the Kiosk in an obvious location. This lets your patients know that foot stabilization is a key element in your care
If you place your Kiosk in a high traffic zone of your office, you will have many eyeballs on it. I encourage doctors to put it in the front entry area of the office so everyone sees it. Some of you have a small front reception area and this makes it hard to put the Kiosk out there. If you can’t put it in the waiting room, put it in a hallway, room or an area that everyone has to pass by.
The more people see the Kiosk the more curious they become, and they will either ask you or your staff about it or just hop on and start pressing the buttons and get scanned. When you tell them this is a state-of-the-art scanner of the feet, most appreciate the fact you are staying up with technology in order to give them the best possible care. Patients know when a doctor’s office is stagnant or stuck using older equipment.
Why I Use the Scanner:
As someone who has utilized every piece of scanning equipment Foot Levelers has released in practice, I am proud to see how advanced the technology has become. I find the digital scanner is a much faster way of obtaining the information needed to educate my patients and make their custom orthotics. I love how easy it is to use and how much the patients enjoy learning from it. I am grateful for what the scanners have done for my patients and the financial health of my practice. As good as I was with my prior methods, the scanner is much faster, easier to use and more efficient. It also enhances patient communication and education, to strengthen our partnership in their overall health.
Dr. Kevin M. Wong, DC is a graduate of the University of California, Davis, and a 1996 Summa Cum Laude graduate of Palmer College of Chiropractic West. He has been in practice for over 25 years and is the owner of Orinda Chiropractic & Laser Center in Orinda, CA.
As a member of Foot Levelers Speakers Bureau since 2004, Dr. Wong travels the country speaking on extremity and spinal adjusting. See upcoming events with Dr. Wong and other Foot Levelers speakers at footlevelers.com/seminars. Check out his monthly blogs with proven practice tips to help you achieve optimal patient outcomes.