Plastic Surgery management in the virtual space
More and more medical practices are making the jump from having full-time employees to those who function both in-office and via virtual office. For some plastic surgery practices, this could look like a practice manager who is in-office 3 days a week and working remotely 2 days a week to focus on admin duties, strategic planning, and business forecasting. For med spas, this might look like having an employee at home to field calls, answer email inquiries, and book follow-up appointments.
Virtual practice management is not a one-size-fits-all arrangement, and whether it’s a virtual receptionist, triage nurse, or full-time practice manager, giving your team the ability to function in and out of the office produces greater percentages of productivity and efficiency, not to mention employee satisfaction and retention. It also positions your practice to continue to function in the event of unforeseeable staffing issues, inclement weather, and unpredictable pandemics like covid-19.
Today we’re reviewing ways that EHR and practice management technology position your practice manager and team to efficiently function offsite so that your practice flow and patient experience remain seamless and personal.
remote communication about patient care
It should be mentioned that all communication around patient care should be secured and encrypted.
makes it easy to communicate with your patients from anywhere at any time of day. Our secure 2-way communication via HIPAA-compliant Patient App provides a safe space for sharing details on everything from incision sites, prescription dosing, and post-operative care. Your nursing team and office staff are prepared to handle patient questions and concerns from any location, they’ve got our technology set up to do so. Should a patient have an emergent need, virtual telehealth appointments can be arranged in a snap, directly from the Patient App or the patient’s health record on cloud-based application on an .
Patient Communication Includes:
- Video: video documentation, encrypted video tele-health, and virtual meetings
- Pics: treatment plans, medical education, post-procedure pictures, patient concerns
- Chat Messaging: 1:1 on-demand communication for anything concerning patient care.
- Patient App: centralized hub in the virtual space for your patients to collaborate with you concerning their care; houses their communication and media data as part of their complete medical record.
If you were to ask a small business plastic surgery office about their breast implant consignment or medical-grade skincare or even back bar supplies, they’d tell you that inventory management is like a four-letter word for the ones in charge of making sure the numbers are accurate. Tracking minimum and maximum quantities and expiration dates get tricky, and processes for ordering can feel endless. Some cosmetic surgery practices tell us that Inventory ordering takes anywhere from 1-3 days depending on the number of vendors and SKUs.
Here are some ways Inventory Management can shave time off your processes:
- Ensure current inventory levels match ever-changing sales volume. Keep a “virtual eye” on quantities and adjust mins/max order levels so your team doesn’t run out of patient favorites while ensuring surplus stock doesn’t expire.
- Virtual inventory makes it easier to focus on reordering products remotely. At the tap of a screen, spot-check sales levels for items that need reordering will save the team time on physically touching and counting every product SKU before placing orders.
- Mappable product dosage to treatment records to ensure that injectables like Botox Cosmetic or dermal fillers are properly accounted for and reordered so your cosmetic injectors never run out.
reporting and dashboards
With time away from the office to focus on clinical practice growth strategies, your practice director can review key performance indicators that matter most to you by setting up fully customized detailed reports and at-a-glance performance dashboards through .
also includes our popular User Audit Report, which allows management to drill down to every single activity performed by any practice user, including invoices, surgical estimates, and payment history. Alleviate worry about inconsistencies in transactions and keep a close eye on your staff and your financials from any location with cellular service and/or .
The Patient Demographic Report allows you to view closed/won and closed/lost opportunities to identify gaps in sales and training processes.
PRACTICE MANAGEMENT MADE EASIER WITH SYMPLAST
Creating a 5-star patient experience
If you own or operate a plastic surgery or med spa practice, you know the role Google Business Reviews and online reviews in general play in your medical practice. If you’re trying to become known in your local market, gathering 5-star patient reviews will help you rise in the local ranks of Google to appear in more searches for the procedures and services you offer. Sounds easy enough, right?
The truth is, collecting 5-star reviews from your patients is no easy task. Patient expectations have significantly increased thanks to the rise of social media, paid influencers, and technology use in general. It’s why it’s most important to consider the steps to create a 5-star patient experience so that your patients will want to rave about you, your team, and their results to everyone.
Wow Your Patients
Cultivating a positive patient journey and experience is the most important new patient conversion tool. As more treatments and procedures enter mainstream practice, patients expect a complete package. Medical aesthetics providers must ensure that every aspect of the treatment is designed to provide the best possible outcome for each patient. From the initial consultation through postoperative care, medical aesthetic providers should strive to create an environment that encourages patients to return for follow-ups and repeat visits, while also providing them with the highest quality services available.
Anticipate YOur New Patients' Needs
When patients visit a practice for the first time, they can be preoccupied with thoughts about their cosmetic consult, the cost of their procedure, recovery timeline, etc. We have outlined some strategies for setting the tone for the patient experience and boosting patient satisfaction scores.
Serving as their helpful assistant, the plastic surgery team can text directions & parking instructions to minimize arrival friction to the clinic.
Sending a standardized welcome video with doctor communication to new patients allows them to experience the physician’s bedside manner, easing anxiety about their plastic surgeon for the first time in their plastic surgery consultation.
Digitalizing the patient intake forms provides patients with time to complete their documents when it’s convenient for them, rather than carving additional time out of their schedule to arrive early to complete paperwork.
1:1 text messaging about appointment reminders, patient financing links, and the secure HIPAA-compliant transmission of pictures and video assist in increasing patient and procedure conversion and minimize the time your team spends collecting the information at separate checkpoints in the patient journey
Collectively, these tips speak volumes about what the patient can expect from you and your team before setting foot in your practice. A seamless new patient encounter also allows your team to focus on greeting, rooming, and delighting patients during their visit to your practice and sets the foundation for a 5-star experience.
Make Your Team Available and Accessible
Customer service and the integrated use of customer technology will separate the leaders from the rest of the plastic surgery pack. It’s important to evaluate your practice’s use of existing technology as it relates to creating a Five-Star rating for your business. Some questions to ask yourself could include:
Is my staff readily accessible to my patients?
Is my staff responsive to patient requests within a reasonable amount of time?
Does the complete experience in my office make the patients want to return?
After taking an honest look at your team and tech, it’s time to evaluate strategies for optimizing the experience of care for your patients’ benefit.
By using a patient-centric platform you empower the patient, moving them from passenger status in their experience to being in the driver’s seat. Technology that offers on-demand scheduling for in-office visits and virtual telehealth consults, HIPAA-secure upload of goal photos, before and after pics, and real-time picture and video chat keeps the conversation going after the consultation and gives your patient a tool to communicate with you when it’s most convenient for them.
Turn Existing Patients into Loyal patients
It’s not uncommon for plastic surgery practices and medical spas to become so focused on new patient acquisition, that they forget to build retention strategies for existing patients. If you’re not convinced that retaining patients is valuable, research performed by Frederich Reichheld (n.d.) shows that increasing patient retention rates increases profits anywhere from 25-95%. It starts with understanding that your existing patients want and need to feel heard.
Educate and Inform Your Patients
Develop Incentives That Cultivate Loyalty To Your Practice
Once you’re keenly aware of the patient experience within your practice, you’ll want to reward your existing patients for continuing to do business with your practice. Creating patient referral programs, patient appreciation incentives, and even happy birthday messages via SMS and email marketing will make your existing patients feel remembered and valued. Take it one step further and evaluate patient purchase history to tailor a custom incentive for a product or service that is new to a particular patient.
Explore the possibilities & Secure more 5-star ratings for your practice
Getting Into the mind of your customer is a great place for your team to start brainstorming ways to elevate patient encounters and move your practice from being appointment-driven to experience-driven and generating more 5-star ratings for your practice.
Reichheld, F. (n.d.). Prescription for Cutting Costs. Https://Media.Bain.Com/Images/BB_Prescription_cutting_costs.Pdf. Retrieved June 12, 2022, from https://media.bain.com/Images/BB_Prescription_cutting_costs.pdf
What Are Workflows, and Why Do I Need Them?
Overloading your practice personnel with daily procedures and repetitive tasks can be a recipe for errors, not to mention job burnout and turnover. It’s a delicate balance between driving your team to continuously work hard to reach business goals, and knowing when it’s time to intervene on behalf of your team, especially when it’s hard to discern if they are being engulfed by job responsibilities and delivering a 5-star patient experience.
Creating a workflow starts with a simple question: "What's the most efficient way to get the work done?"
The daily redundant tasks that chip away at your team, slowly stealing time away from revenue-producing activities can be simplified and automated, so that your team can refocus their time and attention on improving the patient experience and selling: procedures, treatments, injections, skincare- everything.
What Is A Workflow?
A workflow is a process that is created to complete redundant tasks. In other words, it’s the sequence of tasks and business processes from start to finish. Workflows can be simple or more complex and can involve a single person or your entire team. Originally designed to organize a workforce to use complex machinery, creating a workflow starts with a simple question: “What’s the most efficient way to get the work done?” For most plastic surgery practices, the internal surgical booking process involves a series of repeated steps for each surgical patient, from collecting the patient’s surgical deposit to booking the operating room and anesthesiologist to scheduling pre-op appointments, medical clearance, and procedure consents, and collecting surgical balance.
Throughout the patient surgical journey, the patient’s chart will pass through many hands at different times, all with the goal of preparing for a positive patient experience and surgical result. In this instance, creating a custom workflow for your practice’s surgical booking processes would reduce the time and manpower needed to ensure tasks are completed by the patient’s surgery date.
How Can You Simplify A Workflow?
You might have heard the expression many hands make light work, but workflows built by aesthetic technology ultimately involve fewer hands and lighter work for your team. That’s right. Creating a workflow using a comprehensive and intuitive EHR and practice management tool like Symplast will simplify tasks for your team while seamlessly moving patients through their journey with your practice, from consult to close (booking surgeries and treatments), telehealth visits, and more.
“My practice’s ROI has skyrocketed thanks to Symplast. My staff and I work 10x faster now. We’re able to see more patients, expand our services, and be more efficient without working longer hours, which translates into more income for the practice.”
Workflow Software Reduces Margin of Error
Not only can workflow management software automate a series of tasks, but it also identifies opportunities to optimize your workflow steps and prevent bottle-necking in the entire process so that all steps are completed correctly. Your custom automations eliminate the hassle and the amount of time your team spends performing manual checks through patient charts and multiple systems to ensure documents like patient intake and photo and procedure consents and other project tasks are completed perfectly.
Tour Symplast's Workflow Features
Symplast is a comprehensive solution for plastic surgeons and med-spas. Our cloud-based software as a service (SaaS) is built to suit every step of your patients’ journeys, all while supporting your practice with media management, marketing, and practice management features like workflow automation. We’d love to walk through a comprehensive tour of our platform so that you can discover the Symplast difference.
4 Tips for Keeping Your Cosmetic Practice Busy During the Summer Months
Nearly every plastic surgery practice and medspa experiences downtime in the summer. As travel restrictions from Covid-19 continue to lift, people are getting back to making summer travel plans and spending more time outdoors with friends and family. Cosmetic practices are sure to notice changes to their appointment books and possibly a much lighter schedule from June to mid-August. While that can be an unsettling thought for small businesses, we encourage you to make a detailed evaluation of the steps you may or may not be taking to keep your appointment books full and implement these 5 tips to keep your business busy during the summer months.
You've probably heard the 80/20 rule: 80% of your business will come from 20% of your existing patients. Are you incentivizing your patients to continue to be loyal to you?
Start A Patient Loyalty Program
You’ve probably heard the 80/20 rule: 80% of your business will come from 20% of your existing patients. Are you incentivizing your patients to continue to be loyal to you?
What’s keeping your current customers from trying another practice or medspa down the street that’s offering a slightly better Botox deal on Instagram?
Here’s the good news: We are living in the age of digital. Before HIPPA-compliant digital charting software and encrypted text messaging, starting a patient loyalty program meant excel spreadsheets or buy 5, get 1 free card (you remember these from Subway and Blockbuster?) Technology now exists that enables you to incentivize your patients to keep coming back to you.
Studies on customer satisfaction report that 54% of consumers say that they would consider doing more business with a company for loyalty rewards.
- Your electronic medical records and point of sale system keep records of patient treatments and transactions and provide the foundations for what can become a robust patient rewards program. Symplast EMR software includes a Point-of-Sale system to eliminate the headache and integration issues for a seamless experience for plastic surgery and medspa businesses.
Follow Up with Those One-Time Treatment Patients
Do you have a lengthy list of patients who visited your business one time, only never to return? What is your practice strategy for follow-ups on initial appointments and cosmetic procedures?
Consider 1-to-1 text and video messaging follow-ups as a standard protocol for new and existing patients. Ask them meaningful questions that show that you’re invested in giving them the best results and experience:
- courtesy check and follow up on specific concerns with pics and video
- digital copies of post-care and recovery tips
- product recommendations with links to online POS
- gentle appointment and cancellation policy reminders
Utilize your EHR to create custom reports for your one-time patients and their treatment history and prepare a customized offer to woo them back into your cosmetic practice for additional therapies.
Symplast technology helps you build a relationship with your patients over a secure digital platform. We do this by providing your team with a HIPAA-compliant video and text messaging capability so that your team can craft unique messaging for individual patients.
Launch A Patient Referral Program
Bringing in new customers can cost up to 16 times as much as retaining existing customers, but if your existing patients are happy, why not ask for referrals? Word-of-mouth referrals are the strongest type of marketing that an organization can have.
Give your happy patients a reason to tell others just how wonderful you are and give them an effortless way to do it.
Educate Your Patients
Providing value for your patients is a win-win. It gives your new and existing customers much-needed education to feel empowered about the products and services you offer while credentialing you as a helpful expert. Drive education about the therapy, address cosmetic trends and debunk myths about plastic surgery procedures.
- Use email marketing to create educational content. Symplast to pull a report on your services with low revenue generation and procedure inquiries might indicate that your audience needs more information.
- Evaluate your low-cost services and offer a compelling monthly special for single and multi-service treatments directly to your patients through Symplast’s Patient App.
Getting started with these tips will help you and your team think outside of the box on how to use your practice data and technology to attract, interest, convert and delight new and existing patients.
4 Tips for Preventing Workplace Burnout
Burnout is a condition that occurs when you feel emotionally exhausted and disconnected from your job. You’re unable to perform your job well, and finding the energy to complete even your most daily, repetitive tasks can drain what little energy reserves remain. But what are the causes and signs you can look for to stop workplace burnout before it starts? We’re reviewing the signs of workplace burnout and sharing 4 tips for preventing burnout in your practice.
Practices with engaged employees are 78% more profitable and 40% more productive. With support from management and collaboration with your team, your practice can resolve stressors leading to burnout.
Causes & Signs of Burnout
We live in a society where the lines have blurred between the work day and personal time, and keeping dedicated time to unplug from work is becoming more of a challenge with each passing year. In fact, the most common causes of workplace burnout are work overload, pressure, lack of feedback and support from management, and more. Burnout can lead to emotional and physical withdrawl from work and may manifest in some of the following ways:
• having a negative and critical attitude at work
• dreading going into work, and wanting to leave once you’re there
• trouble sleeping
• being absent from work
• feelings of mental exhaustion and depression & anxiety
• signs physical exhaustion and frequent illness
• losing your cool with your boss, coworkers, and patients
Prevent Workplace Burnout Before It Starts
When symptoms of job burnout start to occur, most people bandaid their problems rather than creating strategies to prevent and alleviate the symptoms associated with burnout. We want you to move beyond surviving work to thriving at work. These 4 tips will help you reduce your risk of emotional exhaustion and burnout
Review Your Job Role and Responsibilities
Work overload day in and day out can feel as though you’re climbing uphill with no end in sight. Performing a job analysis will help you clarify your role and job responsibilities, so that you can identify tasks and projects that need to be removed from your to-do list and delegated to others.
Schedule a meeting with your boss or team to review your workload. Bring solutions for shifting certain tasks to other employees, and simplifying practice processes by creating workflows. Together, you can troubleshoot ways to prevent burnout. It might be that you need to hire more help in the office to handle day-to-day tasks.
Create An Organized Work Culture
Creating an organized work culture is probably the most important step that will enable you to leave work at work at the end of the day. Whether at home or in the office, create a familiar and inviting workspace where you can focus on work without any interruptions. Keeping a calendar and other online productivity tools can help you allocate time to focus on deadlines so you don’t get overwhelmed and can pick up where you left off next business day.
Leverage Technology To Do The Work For You
In some cases, having the right technology in place can help your team work and communicate more efficiently, and prevent you from having to hire more hands, especially when money and resources are tight. Intuitive technology can eliminate the frustration that comes with missing patient charts, prescriptions, and endless “tag, you’re it” communication with patients. Don’t be afraid to ask questions like, “could a patient app eliminate patient miscommunication, treatment errors, and streamline scheduling so that I can focus on other projects?” Rather than running revenue pivot tables in Excel for your boss, consider creating dashboards that show high-level data on Revenue, Profit, and ROI.
Make Time To Have A Fulfilling Personal Life
With all that you’re responsible for it can be hard to do, but holding yourself accountable for implementing work life balance is essential to avoiding burnout. We recommend you pick a consistent end time to your business day so that you avoid working nights or weekends. Silence your email and text notifications from work, and limit your daily intake of news and social media altogether. When getting started, have a loved one help you keep you unplugged from work and focused on resting and living life by your own design.
Bring Balance Back to Your Work and Personal Life
Practices with engaged employees are 78% more profitable and 40% more productive. With support from management and collaboration with your tram, your practice can resolve stressors leading to burnout.
Let Us Help You Beat Burnout
Tune in as Christy Perry, our Senior Customer Success Liaison with over 30 years in medical aesthetics, reviews her strategies for beating burnout and how Symplast EHR technology helped Dr. Jennifer Walden optimize her practice needs.
Productivity and Efficiency: 5 Simple Tips for Running a Smooth Workplace
It is a top question we get from our plastic surgery practices and med spas alike: “What tips do you have for helping my team work smarter, not harder?” And we get it. Every day we listen as our customers share the struggles that a small business must manage, all while trying to keep their employees, make happy patients, and stay profitable. Your business is a small operation, and each team member wears multiple hats. Your boundary lines for work-life balance are completely blurred. And you are tired of plugging holes with no end in sight.
We have put together workplace productivity tips to help you get back behind the driver’s seat for your business day, so you can focus on building your team and improving your practice!
1. Make Time on Your Schedule
Some research suggests that only around 17% of people can accurately estimate the passage of time. How many times have you walked into your office, settled into your workspace to check emails, only to receive an unexpected patient complaint, or receive a text from a staff member with a family emergency? Unexpected events can quickly take your daily plan from good intentions into full on crisis management mode. Before you know it, the day is over and everything you meant to do is now waiting for you (again) at the start of tomorrow.
Michael Hyatt said, “What gets scheduled gets done.” Scheduling your daily tasks including team meetings, marketing, budgeting, patient follow ups not only helps you measure and manage your time, but it helps give you peace of mind knowing that you’ve scheduled time for a task in the future. Just remember, once you’ve made a schedule, STICK TO IT!
We also recommend implementing the 2-minute rule which states: “If a task or action can be done in two minutes or less, do it right away. It actually takes less time than having to go back to the task later.”
Symplast’s scheduling tool is not only easy to use, it keeps you and you team on task with links to your patient notes, billing, and more. It also allows you to approve appointment requests right in the calendar!
2. Brainstorming Sessions with Your Team
Depending on the size of your team and practice, consider scheduling team huddles to devote a dedicated block of time especially for exchanging ideas on topics like product and service bundling, improving the patient experience, and perfecting practice flow. Look for areas that overlap and simplify redundant tasks and paperwork.
Remove your thought filters as a group and talk through your teams’ ideas. Brainstorming sessions provide many benefits for both you and your team:
• It supplies a dedicated time and space where your team can be heard.
• It gives your team a platform to share their viewpoints in a productive, solutions-oriented way.
• Enhances team productivity
• It inspires your team to search for ways to make the business better.
• It allows you the opportunity to think outside of the “manager’s box” with insight from different perspectives of your team.
Interested in more ways to stay in touch with your team? Symplast provides easy, communication tools for your team and your patients.
3. Leverage Technology
Conserving costs is a big concern when you are running a practice, and no one wants to spend money if they do not have to. But remember: In business, what matters isn’t what you spend now, but how much money you make later. It is worth taking an honest look at technology built to keep your team lean and mean. Oftentimes, creating a system for repetitive tasks (called a workflow) can help your team combine duties and accomplish more without hiring more hands to do it. Another way to leverage technology is to templatize your frequent tasks and notes, and to keep those templates handy so you can use them again and again.
4. Take Meaningful Measurements
Practice data is all around you, and it is easy to get overwhelmed by managing spreadsheets and calculating ROI statistics. But is the information you are collecting really helping to drive revenue for your practice? Schedule some time to reflect on your business objectives and goal setting for growth. After you have decided on your goals, create custom reports to help you evaluate how well your practice is performing.
Symplast’s Reporting extends beyond the basics and lets you take a deeper look at your practice to get a true understanding of your retail, overall business, and even patient demographics.
5. Look At Ways to Become More Mobile
Technology that provides instant “anywhere” access to your practice information positions your team for easy pivots when the office manager’s child is ill, or your patient care coordinator’s car breaks down. Beyond that, adopting mobile technology will free you from your workspace, meaning you can leave early to avoid the traffic, do your pre-appointment review anywhere, and lets you stay in-tune and in-touch with all aspects of your practice no matter where you are. Creating a better work/life balance and giving you peace of mind.
Symplast prides itself on being a true-cloud mobile software, for a deep look on how mobility helped one doctor excel at his practice and his hobbies take a look at THIS Case Study.
Create A More Productive Practice Today
Tim Ferriss said it best, “Focus on being productive instead of busy.” Creating a more productive and efficient workplace is possible with the right strategy and tools. We also love this quote that says, “If the plan doesn’t work, change the plan, but never the goal.” Every practice is different. We hope these workplace productivity tips for aesthetic businesses will inspire you to think of creative ways to build an effective workplace and encourage healthy team productivity.