Dynamic Chiropractic - January 31, 1992, Volume 10, Issue 03

Page printed from:

"Chiropractic and Hospital Privileges"

Presented by -- The American Chiropractic Association

Workbook/Videotapes/Audio Tapes

Please see pages xx, Parts #J-315C for information on how to order

First and foremost you must ask yourself, "Do I really want to work in a hospital?" Personally, I have no real desire to do so, and I believe a majority feel the same way. Mine is a family practice built upon the failures of medicine, and I see no need to be involved in a web of medical contrivance. But, that's me, and I realize there is a growing number of chiropractic physicians who feel that the dimension of hospital privileges is important to their practice. It opens a reservoir of diagnostic modalities to the DC as well as acute care facilities that can only be obtained in a hospital environment.

For the preceding, and many more cogent reasons, the ACA has produced one of the most important and useful information kits on chiropractic and hospital protocols I have ever seen.

Attractively packaged, the kit contains a manual, a videotape, and an audio tape. My advice is that you listen to the audio tape first. It presents personal testimonies from doctors who have successfully entered hospital practice. In so doing it tells of the many valleys it might be necessary to cross before the acceptance of chiropractic in a hospital setting. Prejudice and lack of knowledge about chiropractic are just some of the obstacles that must be faced. You have to remember that to many MDs, the only face of chiropractic they might recognize is the one they might see in the yellow pages or on some idiotic freebie coupon received in the mail. To them, chiropractic is a murky pseudoprofession that gives away free dinners for business and cracks backs to cure everything from mental illness to cancer.

While this is wrong, some of the misconceptions are of our own doing. Therefore, the chiropractor seeking entrance into a hospital must be prepared to not only represent his own personal conduct but those of his colleagues as well, which can unfortunately turn into an odious task at best.

The next step is to form a group of like-minded DCs and study the workbook that's included in the kit. This manual is one of the most interesting and succinctly transcribed explanations of hospital structuring and management protocols that I have ever read. It's so good that I recommend reading it even if you have no desire to obtain hospital privileges.

The workbook is divided into five parts, six appendices, and a glossary. Part I is on hospital demographics, governance, and management. This is followed by hospital accreditation procedures, then medical staff governing protocols and privileges, hospital selection and application procedures, and finally Part V, addressing hospital protocol and physician responsibilities.

As with many volumes, the appendices can often be as informative as the main text and this manual is no exception: experimental studies of chiropractic manipulation, hospital bylaws, chiropractic service bylaws, amendments, and a protocol outline.

The videotape is a beautifully presented series of testimonials from hospital administrators and medical and chiropractic physicians already working successfully in the program. Also included is an excellent booklet which serves as an introduction to chiropractic for hospital administrators and medical staff doctors. While the latter is for medical personnel, it's important that the chiropractic physician study it carefully -- then both sides learn.

One DC recommends that before you approach the hospital administrator that you attempt to form social relationships with some of the hospital staff. Whatever you do -- do it right. Plan carefully with others before you make your first contact and be prepared to play some professional hardball.

Remember too that it's not all "hat in hand" for chiropractic. Most hospitals today need the revenue that chiropractic bodies can provide. This is something that should be tactfully presented during negotiations.

In my library at home I have books on surgery which I value highly -- not because I want to be a surgeon but because I believe it's important to understand what others have done or plan to do to a patient. While I haven't any personal plans for a hospital practice, I'm glad I have this splendid kit from the ACA. It's filled with information that can benefit everyone.

There's little doubt that more and more DCs will be on hospital staffs and "Chiropractic and Hospital Privileges" is a play book worthy of Super Bowl champions. It's something to make you proud.