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Up Close & Personal with Dr Matt Kan

GC gets up close & personal with Dr Matt Kan, Senior Consultant and Founder of Chiropractic First Group of Clinics.

By GC Editor

The last year and a half have been a real pain in the back, quite literally! Thanks to the WFH culture we Malaysians have adopted, many of us have unfortunately experienced backaches and bodily pains due to poor posture and being sedentary for long periods of time - especially for those in the 25 - 40 age group who spend long hours in front of devices and screens.

During those times, we’ve all probably wished for a quick fix or a long term solution to rid us of those horrible backaches - that is where Chiropractic care comes into the picture. Once a relatively unknown segment of medical care, it has spiked in prominence over the past decade, especially the last two years. In fact, it is so important that only just recently the Malaysian government recognised Chiropractic care as an essential service - allowing the over 100 Chiropractic outlets in the nation to operate and thankfully allowing us to get some much-needed care for our backs.

When it comes to chiropractic care, there isn't a more recognisable brand than Chiropractic First Group (CFG). They are Malaysia’s leading chiropractic brand with a 20-year track record of delivering comprehensive, safe, and effective chiropractic care for close to 30,000 patients. With 12 outlets across Malaysia and plans for another 18 outlets by 2022, CFG is looking to shift the chiropractic industry landscape bringing in innovative practices, making it more accessible and applicable to everyday aches and pains as well as moving away from the more conventional single proprietor business model of the industry.

At the forefront of the CFG’s push for industry dominance and the paradigm shift is Dr Matt Kan, Founder and Senior Consultant chiropractor of CFG, who opened his first clinic, Kan Chiropractic in Bandar Utama Centrepoint in 1999. Since then, he has watched the industry grow and shaped its growth across decades and will look to spearhead its future through CFG.

We get up close & personal with Dr Matt Kan to understand CFG’s growth story, his vision for the future of the brand, and his gentleman's code.

What one word sums up the essence of CFG?

The essence of CFG can be summed up in a relatively short sentence; maximum health potential.

We want to allow our patients to perform at their best without being held back by any sort of bodily issues.

What is your vision for the future of the brand and how do you intend to achieve these goals?

Our vision is to be the leading and trusted spine and nerve clinics locally and globally, who helps individual in our community reach their full health potential.  

This can be achieved by having (1) a reliable team of chiropractors; chiropractic assistant, operation, and management; (2) consistent and persistent training and coaching; (3) capitalise the use of technology.

Can you share the CFG’s journey and the challenges you and your team faced along the way?

I started my own practice known as Kan Chiropractic in Bandar Utama Centrepoint in 1999.  From a one-man clinic through the use of dedicated systems, high-end technology, proven methods and specialisation, we grew to become a Group with a presence in 6 countries, 32 clinics and 50 certified chiropractors.  

While it wasn’t all smooth sailing, maintaining a highly trained team of doctors and staff while standardising best practices certainly allowed us to deliver our brand promise in a consistent manner throughout the globe.

How CFG is changing the traditional business model?

I had led many unprecedented ways of business operation and business model in many chiropractic practices worldwide.

(i) Technology

While most chiropractic clinic owners will purchase ‘off-the-shelf applications’ or systems which are local server-based to manage patient care,  I realized that a robust and scalable Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system is critical for the continued growth and expansion of the business through my time with Andersen Consulting. 

In 2011, I commissioned a project with an IT consulting firm to develop CFG’s own proprietary ERP system. This system integrates all aspects of the business from lead acquisition, CRM, care management and finances of each patient under our care in different countries. Being cloud-based, it was easily implemented into all CFG clinics worldwide. In 2018, I decided to upgrade the ERP even further so that business data and analytics can be collected effortlessly in real-time.

Besides that, we have also developed a mobile application for patients. Through the app, patients can view, change, and get reminders for their appointments. Furthermore, they can track, monitor their subsidy plan balances, view their visit history, just to name a few. 

(ii) Systemising our Process and Procedure

As a service-oriented company, I realized early on that our business is highly dependent on human touch and patient experience. In 2013, I led the development and implementation of a customised training curriculum for both Chiropractors and Chiropractic Assistants (Patient Care Ambassador) and set up the CF Training Academy. 

This is an important milestone for CFG as it enabled us to fast track our expansion into the region very quickly and efficiently while being able to monitor, measure, control and grow the business with the same consistency and quality.  Instead of a ‘one-man show’, middle management was developed focusing on the best practices and professionalism.

Congratulations on achieving the milestone! Can you share with us some of the unique approaches CFG employs to ensure effective and safe treatment?

i. We use imaging (e.g. MRI & x-ray) to best determine our patients’ condition(s); besides pregnant women and babies, we send almost all of our clients for imaging, we will then analyse the results and present our recommendation of care before performing any chiropractic adjustments

ii. Continuous training and coaching for chiropractors and staff

iii. Secured communication platform for DC (doctor of chiropractic) sharing site to discuss patient cases 

What is your observation on the awareness level of Malaysians towards the Chiropractic care industry?

Awareness of chiropractic practice has improved over the years and chiropractors are now perceived as modern science spine specialists. Moreover, with the recent announcement from the government that chiropractic clinics are now considered as essential services, which allowed our clinics to operate late in the recent FMCO. I’d predict that the industry will keep getting the acknowledgement and recognition it deserves. 

That said, there are still many who do not have an accurate understanding of chiropractic practices. Many might still confuse tit-tar practitioners AKA bone-settlers with chiropractors. This is far from the truth as they are 2 completely different practices. 

In your view, in what way the government can do to help the masses get the treatment they require since chiropractic help is needed more than ever?

First off, the masses would require general awareness and education on our spine. Education and awareness on the importance of our spine, best practices, and precautions should be raised. Once the public has a better understanding of the topic, then they will be able to get the necessary treatments to best combat their conditions.

Besides that, early spine screening programmes should be made available for children in school, this will bolster their knowledge of the subject and will serve as a lifelong lesson for them to maintain a healthy spine and nerve health for the rest of their lives.

What is your view on the future of the industry as a whole?

Over the past 2 years, people have become more health-conscious due to the pandemic. As a result, they will seek out methods to deal with their body aches and pains more actively. 

While working from home allows us to maintain productivity and spend more time with our loved ones, our sedentary lifestyle has unfortunately created a lot of ergonomic issues such as neck, shoulder, and back pain.

In the very near future, it will no longer be just pain management. It’ll be about returning our body to full function and achieving peak performance.

"Returning our full body to full function" wow that is astonishing. Next, at GC we believe that there are certain codes that are part of a Gentleman. What is the first rule for a Gentleman according to you?

One adage that I hold close to my heart is “Money can’t buy health”. Regardless of how much time we spend in front of our screens working and earning a living, our health should always be the top priority. If we neglect our health, it doesn’t matter how much money we’ve made, it’ll all be used to fix problems that could be easily prevented in the first place. 

In the words of the Dalai Lama “Man sacrifices his health to make money.  Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health.”  

About Chiropractic First Group

Chiropractic First is a group of specialist clinics with more than 20 years of experience focusing on the spine and nerves. Our approach is to get to the root of the problem, resolve or reverse them. Thus, our purpose is to check and adjust every man, woman and child for subluxation frequently and constantly.


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