Medical and allied health practitioners are often reluctant to work with alternative health practitioners because traditionally they stem from different world views and many of the practices that are offered by alternative health practitioners don’t meet the evidence threshold.
That being said, more and more of these practices are beginning to be validated by the literature and often the consumer places a high value on the experience of their practice, even if the benefit is a placebo.
If you're considering working with alternative health practitioners, here are some of the benefits.
1. Referrals - more work!
It shouldn't come as a surprise, but working with other professionals in the health and wellness industry can lead to more work.
Working alongside others, or referring to other practitioners strengthens your connection to those professionals.
When you have a strong connection between your business and other health practitioners, mutual benefit is often the result. You may find that you gain an increase in referral to your own service from those professionals you have gotten to know.
Take advantage of opportunities to meet others in different fields from your own. Attend conferences, engage with others on LinkedIn and other online platforms. Get to know the other healthcare services located around you, and learn where they might fit in the services you currently offer. Introduce yourself. A little can go a long way!
2. Increased marketing opportunities
Give your business increased exposure by establishing a connection with a like-minded business. Oftentimes, these connections will allow you to have a marketing presence alongside their own.
It might be a flyer in a waiting room, or a link to your website. Regardless of form, this is a new opportunity for clients to discover your business through one they already have trust in. That trust will be extended to yourself as a result of the endorsement of who you’re connected to. Expand who your business is reaching by working alongside those who share your vision within the industry.
You’ll both reap the benefits!
3. Add to your services to meet demand
Consumer demand for alternative and complementary health services is at a high. Thanks to the internet, consumers now have greater awareness of what services and treatment are available to them.
While it’s impossible to meet the demands of all clients, you have the opportunity to assist your client. Help them to identify a practitioner who can offer a service you don’t currently offer. This meets the needs of clients who otherwise may become dissatisfied.
4. Focus on your businesses value
There is no need to feel as though you need to offer every service yourself. By collaborating with other professionals, you are able to focus on what you do offer.
By specializing you are able to offer value to your clients. You don’t have to be a jack of all trades. It’s often better to focus on what you want to offer and excel in that area. Become an expert on your service and consumers will recognize your value and trust your business.
Use your network of alternative health practitioners to cover those services that clients would like. Even if you can’t perform the service for them personally, your client will appreciate your knowledge and helpfulness in directing them to someone who can.
5. Develop a holistic approach to health and wellness
Working with other health and wellness professionals recognises the complexity of human health and wellness. Clients now, more than ever, are interested in exploring what alternative health has to offer them.
Through collaborating with alternative health professionals you are able to assist consumers in exploring the diverse range of treatment available. Guide them as they attempt to discern from the wealth of information online, what is most appropriate for their needs.
6. Shared goals across healthcare
Regardless of the method, all health practitioners aim to treat the range of health and wellbeing needs of their patients. While the method may change between healthcare professionals, the goal is the same.Collaborating with alternative health practitioners fosters a sense of unity and collaboration in patient care. It also enables a broader conversation between parties that have traditionally been opposed.Support the education and care of patients by engaging with a broad range of health professionals.
7. Learn new skills
Working with others is an opportunity for growth. Expose yourself, and your business, to new ideas and practices. You never know what you might learn!
Whether its a new technique, or an invoicing program - being on good terms with those in your industry allows you growth on a personal and professional level.
8. Complementary medicine - using the benefits of all methods
There may be advantages to the combined use of different healthcare approaches. Your clients may benefit from an alternative health care service that you do not offer.
Identify these areas and find professionals you trust to assist you in providing the best care possible to your clients.
9. Be in the loop
There may not yet be evidence for some treatments, but that’s not to say it will be developed. Referring cautiously can be great advantage. Consumers will appreciate your openness to new ideas and methods of promoting health that will benefit them.
By engaging with alternative health practitioners you have access to a broad range of ideas and research. While it’s important to still evaluate carefully, you have the opportunity to talk with professionals and develop new approaches to healthcare.
Engage in a meaningful conversation and grow the reputation of your business as one that is on the cutting edge of healthcare.
10. Save yourself time.
Trying to offer every service your clients are interested in is exhausting, and time-consuming. There will always be something new, or something different you could be offering.
Save yourself the time and effort needed to deliver some services by utilizing the professional expertise of others. You’ll save time, as well as your money, by focusing your efforts into the core services of your business.
11. Be a part of a community
Working with a diverse range of health and wellness practitioners offers the opportunity to be a part of a community. Engage with others who are just as excited about health and wellness as you are.
Have a voice in the alternative health space by working alongside those who work in the industry. Your business, practice, and clients will thank you.
A study of health service managers has confirmed the benefits of including alternative and complementary health practices within your business.
The study found that integrating alternative health practices is believed to broaden patient access to services, fill gaps in existing healthcare, and treat the patient as a whole person.
Alternative health practitioners who focus on chronic pain, psychological trauma, and chronic disease management, in particular, have been working alongside traditional health professionals for some time.
It is well worth considering how alternative health practitioners can assist your business to grow!