Blog

18
Jul

Less Paper, More Time with Patients

A paperless plastic surgery office is guaranteed to free up time for both you and your staff, as your productivity goes up and errors decline. While it might be tempting to cut back on staff hours with your newfound efficiency, there are better ways for your practice to make use of it. Consider ways in which you can enhance your patient’s experience with the extra time you now have to offer.

The Benefits of a Paperless Office

A paperless office is one that has fully employed all of the automated tools at its disposal to increase accuracy, efficiency and quality of patient care. Consider the benefits of going paperless:

  • Paperless files are easier to retrieve, share with other offices
  • Fewer risks of errors due to handwritten notes
  • File updates and reviews can be done from any location
  • More storage space within the office for other functions
  • Eliminate cost of paper and other supplies

The time savings with any of these benefits can be significant, particularly when you combine all these benefits into a single, effective office system. That time saved in paperwork can be better spent with your patients, to build your practice and your reputation.

The Customer Service Quotient

Your patients don’t want to feel like they become a part of an assembly line the moment they enter your office. They want to know you are tailoring your cosmetic procedures to their precise needs and expected outcomes. How do you ensure every patient feels like they are getting the individualized attention they deserve? By spending sufficient time with that individual every time she walks through your doors.

Some of the specific steps you can make to improve your patient experience include:

  • Ensuring patient calls get answered promptly by staggering staff so someone is always available to answer the phone
  • Lowering patient wait times in your office by creating an automated scheduling and reminder system to reduce no-shows and schedule your time more efficiently
  • Taking sufficient time to talk to patients at the initial consultation so they leave your office feeling comfortable with their procedure and confident with their decision
  • Following up with prospective and current patients to boost acquisition and retention numbers
  • Engaging patients through other channels, such as social media and your personal blog
  • Evaluating the experiences of your patients through surveys and other types of follow-up
  • Creating patient rewards programs to give your regular patients a reason to continue to return to your office and refer you to their friends

Plastic surgeons are tasked with a more challenging task of patient acquisition and retention due to the fact that insurance does not usually play a role in which patients contact them. Instead, they must rely on their presence online and in the community, as well as their reputation and quality of patient care. These goals can all be addressed more effectively when your office goes paperless and there is more time to spend directly with your patients.

Making the Grade

A paperless office works best when the automated system that is implemented can be customized to meet the unique needs of your practice. At PatientNOW, we offer software solutions designed by plastic surgeons for plastic surgeons, so you can rest assured the tools and features included in your product are created to work with offices just like yours. You can also further customize your software to meet your precise needs and the expectations of your patients. To learn more about PatientNOW or the solutions we offer, contact us today at 888-644-2987.

11
Jul

Is Yelp a Friend or Foe?

Whether people are on the hunt for a plumber or a plastic surgeon, Yelp is often a tool they use to find a professional in their area. This means that positive reviews about your practice on Yelp can build your patient base, while negative reviews may hurt your growth and revenue. Is Yelp a friend or foe of your practice? The answer to that question may depend on how well you use the website to your advantage.

Benefits of Yelp

There are a number of potential benefits Yelp can offer to your practice:

Traffic

According to Yelp, the website had more than 162 million visitors in the last month of 2016. More than 121 million reviews were posted during that same month. Around six percent of those reviews were related to the health field. That adds up to the potential for significant exposure for your practice and if your reviews are positive, many possible hits for your website.

Ease of Use

Yelp is a very easy platform to use, whether you are searching for reviews or posting one. You can encourage your patients to post positive reviews about you and your practice knowing they will be able to make their entry quickly and stress-free.

Additional Website Hits

As prospective patients read your reviews, Yelp makes it easy for them to contact your practice directly as well. All of your information will be listed, including the address for your website, your physical address and phone number, even your operating hours.

Prospective Patients Ready to Proceed

In most cases, customers and patients head to review sites like Yelp when they have already made their decision about a purchase. The advantage here is that the patients that are finding your practice are ready to move forward with a procedure, giving you the highest quality of prospects for the greatest number of conversions.

Drawbacks to Yelp

While there are plenty of advantages to gain, there are also a few drawbacks to be aware of as well:

The Algorithm Dilemma

Probably the biggest drawback to Yelp is the algorithm the website uses to filter reviews. This tool may knock out some of your positive reviews, which in turn could affect your star rating. This requires you to keep a watchful eye on your reviews to ensure any changes to your rating can be addressed promptly. Keep in mind, the reviews are still there, but you have to scroll down to the bottom of the page and know where to click to find them.

No Control over Reviews

While you can monitor the reviews you receive on Yelp, you can’t do anything to change them. If a negative review crops up, it is up to you to address the information in a way that shows publically you are committed to making things right for unhappy patients. However, you cannot remove that review or change the fact that the negative review is impacting your star rating.

Making Yelp Work for You

While there are both pros and cons to Yelp, one thing is certain: Yelp is an online force, at least for now. You can use this to your advantage by encouraging your patients to post positive reviews about your practice and monitoring your review history regularly. In addition to managing your online reputation, these reviews can also let you know if there are aspects of your office that can be changed to improve your patient experience.

You can also employ the right software to enhance patient engagement and the patient experience within your practice to increase your number of positive reviews on Yelp and other websites. PatientNOW offers software designed by plastic surgeons for plastic surgeons, so you can rest assured the tools included will fit your practice perfectly. To learn more about our products, contact PatientNOW today at 800-436-3150.

5
Jul

Maintaining Your Patient Relationships in the Digital Age

The world of plastic surgery has evolved considerably in the last decade, as digital solutions have largely replaced paper filing systems and even the telephone. The digital age has changed the expectations for the doctor-patient relationship today in a variety of ways. Check out these tips from PatientNOW to help you maintain positive relationships with your patients even as technology permeates every aspect of your practice.

Establishing a Patient-Centered Culture

While your patient files may be transferred to an electronic filing system and your internet presence becomes critical to building a patient base, the focus of your practice must continue to be on your patient. There are many benefits you and your staff will reap from going digital, but there are advantages to your patients as well. Keep your focus on your patients as you establish your electronic system, ensuring they will be as happy with the changes as you are.

Where is Your Focus?

The creation of electronic patient files makes retrieval of information much faster and easier than ever before. Incorporating the latest technology into your treatments increases precision, patient comfort and positive outcomes. However, if you are more focused on your technology than your patient, your practice may end up suffering in the long run. Your patient always needs to be the center of your attention. Use the technology to make consultations and examinations more efficient, but don’t spend more time looking at your computer than at the patient sitting across from you.

Make Digital Work for You

An automated office is a more efficient operation. You and your staff will be spending less time on administrative tasks and more time to interact with your patients. An electronic office also makes information retrieval faster and easier than ever before, which you can use to enhance your patient’s experience as you discuss procedures or the patient’s individual cosmetic goals. As you continue to automate your daily processes, focus on those benefits that will provide the greatest value to your practice.

Make Digital Work for Your Patients

At the same time, an automated office means greater convenience for your patients as they have more options for communicating with you and educating themselves on the procedures they might be interested in pursuing. Patients are now expecting those options to make their lives easier as well. Incorporate your technology with your patient’s experience in mind to ensure the technology you utilize will also help you increase patient acquisition and retention.

Choosing the Right Software

When establishing your electronic office, it is critical that you select software that will improve processes for both you and your patients. PatientNOW features products designed to increase patient engagement, even while improving office efficiency. Built-in features in our software packages will enhance your patient’s experience from their first contact with your practice and throughout their procedure process. Tools that are easy for you and your staff to use ensure that you can set up your systems quickly and customize them to your specific needs.
Let PatientNOW help you improve your office operations and your relationships with your patients at the same time. To learn more about our software options, contact PatientNOW at 800-436-3150.

27
Jun

Benefits of EMR with PatientNOW

Electronic medical records (EMR) has become the trend for all types of doctors’ offices today. For plastic surgeons, a paperless office means more time with patients to build trust and a positive relationship. It is understandable that some physicians are hesitant to move to EMR due to concerns over how difficult the transition will be. However, the benefits of using PatientNOW software far outweigh the possible drawbacks of making the switch.

Meeting Patient Expectations

Patients are using technology to make their lives easier in any number of ways, and they want those same perks from their doctor’s office. If you are still using paper charts and requiring patients to phone in for appointments and other information, you are missing the mark with many tech-savvy patients today. Get your office onboard with the trend by going paperless, and your patients will assume your procedures and treatments are equally state-of-the-art.

Enhancing Patient Convenience

Your patients are busier today than ever before, and they need you to make the process of scheduling treatments and procedures as easy and convenient as possible. The ability to book appointments online allows patients to schedule treatments around their busy routines. Automated appointment reminders will improve your no-show numbers, and rescheduling appointments is much easier when your patients can simply log into your website and make the switch.

Improving Customer Service

When you are spending less time looking for and updating paper files, you have more time to sit down with your patients to answer questions and educate them about your procedures. Patients in search of plastic surgery want a surgeon that will take the time to discuss treatment options and help them feel comfortable and confident about their choices. They also want their surgeon to be available before and after surgery to answer questions and concerns. By freeing up the time you would typically spend on administrative duties, you can give your patients the time and attention they want and deserve.

Increasing Accessibility

With paper files, your patient’s information remains at your office, only to be accessed during business hours. With electronic records, you can access your patient’s records from any location and on any device. This also makes it easier to transfer information to other doctors when necessary, such as when you are collaborating with a medical team for a breast reconstruction patient. In addition to increased accessibility, electronic information also tends to be more accurate, since there is no concern over misreading someone’s handwriting.

Reducing Operational Costs

The bottom line on EMR is that it will improve your practice’s bottom line. Consider how much you are spending right now in storage and staffing to maintain your paper filing system. Those costs are eliminated when you go paperless. At the same time, your time will be free to see more patients daily, increasing revenue. Software from PatientNOW also includes acquisition and retention tools that will help you increase patient interest, conversions, subsequent treatments and referrals. All pluses when it comes to expanding your practice and boosting your bottom line.

 

There are many reasons why EMR from PatientNOW will be a positive addition to your practice. To learn more about the specifics of our products, contact a PatientNOW representative today at 800-436-3150.

20
Jun

Is Paper Hurting Your Practice?

Moving your office from a manual to an electronic system can seem overwhelming. However, the benefits of going paperless can far outweigh any obstacles that might greet you during the conversion process. If you are hanging onto your paper files, PatientNOW has a few ways that manual system may be hurting your practice.

Accessibility

There is no way around it; paper files are simply as not as accessible as electronic alternatives. In addition to the time spent pulling them out and putting them away, they can take longer to read through. They can also get misplaced, while electronic files are always available as long as you know where your laptop or tablet is. In addition, paper files can only be used by one person at a time in your office, which can considerably cut down on efficiency and patient care.  

Quality

Paper files are at the mercy of whoever is completing the information at any given time. If the handwriting is questionable, it can be very easy to misread the data. Paper can also get stained or torn, affecting your ability to accurately read the information inside. Electronic records eliminate these issues. It is also easier to standardize electronic files so that anyone reading the file in your office will have the same, accurate interpretation of the data provided.

Cost

On the surface, it likely appears that the transformation to an electronic system will be a pricey endeavor. However, consider the cost of creating and maintaining those paper files filling your office. In addition to the office space taken up with your filing system, you may be paying for a storage unit to hold old files you cannot eliminate. Even the price of the supplies for paper files will be eliminated through an electronic system, and there is no limit to the value you will gain in increased office efficiency.

Patient Relationships

Plastic surgery is a field where positive patient relationships are a necessity for building and maintaining your practice. If you are spending more time looking for files and staring at the many pieces of paper inside, you are not spending that time face-to-face with your patients. Your patients will also enjoy a higher level of service in your ability to collaborate with other physicians when necessary or even send their prescriptions directly to the pharmacy of choice.

Image

In today’s digital age, patients expect that same level wherever they go for service. If they arrive at your so-called “state-of-the-art” plastic surgery practice only to see you and your staff handling paper files, it could hurt your image. By fully automating your office, you will send the signal that you are committed to the latest technology in every aspect of your practice.

Automation can be a challenge for any medical office, but choosing the right software will go a long way in making the transition smoother and easier for everyone in your practice. PatientNOW features software products designed by plastic surgeons for plastic surgeons, allowing our software to fit seamlessly with your specific needs. From automated scheduling and EMR to improving your patient engagement, we have the tools you are looking for in your office. To learn more, contact PatientNOW at 800-436-3150.

13
Jun

Why Your Practice Needs Social Media

Social media has become a primary method of marketing today, which means there is no escaping the need for this tool in your plastic surgery practice. Social media is used by practices and businesses of all sizes because it is one of the most effective methods of patient engagement and referrals. With millions of people using social media channels today, there is almost no better way of getting your practice name into the public eye. Here are four good reasons to make social media part of your marketing strategy.

More Exposure

Your presence on the major social media channels like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram puts your practice name in front of the more potential patients than nearly any other medium. In fact, patients in search of a plastic surgeon today are likely to check those hotspots almost as quickly as Googling physician directory and review sites. By making it as easy as possible for patients to find you wherever they might search, you can grow your practice without paying exorbitant amounts of money for the exposure.

More Engagement

Social media is designed for interaction between physicians and patients, which allows you to build trust and confidence with current and prospective patients that may find you. This is a perfect opportunity to highlight your facility, your staff and your procedures in a casual way that your patients will easily be able to relate to and understand. Patients can also comment and like your postings to feel like they are a part of your inner circle of connections.

More Education

Social media is also another opportunity for you to educate your patients about the procedures and treatments that are currently available. Facebook and other channels provide you the chance to whet a patient’s appetite for a procedure you offer and then encourage them to click on your website to learn more. The social media channels are also an effective place to draw attention to the procedures you are offering as a special promotion for the month or to introduce new treatments when they arrive at your office.

More Website Links

While your Facebook or Instagram page can offer plenty of pertinent information about your practice, converting potential patients into real leads involves getting them to click on your website. With the right enticements on your social media pages, you can increase clicks on your website as prospective patients seek out the blogs and other information you hint at on your social networks. Once they have arrived at your website and see all you have to offer, those prospects can be transformed into current patients.

More Analytics

With any type of marketing, analytics are essential to know whether you are getting the biggest bang for your advertising buck. This makes social media especially attractive from a marketing standpoint because tracking is already built right in. The numbers gathered from your social media activity can be invaluable to discover how your website is performing, where weaknesses in your marketing efforts might be and where you need to go to market your practice more efficiently.
While social media is an effective marketing tool for plastic surgeons, it can be overwhelming to figure out how to use those channels to your fullest benefit. PatientNOW is ready to support you in your social media efforts with advantEDGE, our consulting service that provides you with the information and recommendations you need to make the most of your social media presence. To learn more about this service, contact PatientNOW today at 800-436-3150.

6
Jun

Paper vs. Electronic: Benefits of Transferring Your Office

There is little doubt the idea of moving from a paper to an electronic office is an overwhelming one. You and your staff have worked with those paper files for years and everyone is accustomed to and comfortable with that system. Moving to electronic filing often raises questions about what will happen if the technology doesn’t work the way it is supposed to function. Despite the understandable trepidation involved with making the switch, there are some significant benefits to transferring your plastic surgery office to a paperless system.

The Space Saving Solution

Think about the amount of space you are currently using to store your paper files. How could that space be utilized more effectively? Do you need more room for your administrative staff or another examination room? Have you been putting off the purchase of a new device due to lack of space in your current office? By removing your paper files, you will free up substantial office space that can now be put to good use to expand your practice and your patient experience.

Benefits to your Bottom Line

Reducing your storage needs can also benefit your bottom line as you eliminate additional space and staffing to maintain those files. Even the cost of the supplies to assemble the paper files will be eliminated as electronic maintenance becomes more efficient and cost-effective. A University of California study in 2003 found that some physicians saved as much as $20,000 per year by transferring to electronic records.

Working Smarter, Not Harder

Office efficiency is a primary benefit of transferring to EMR. Your staff will no longer have to spend time searching for patient files; instead, they will be able to pull them up on any office device. Patients will not be left waiting while you search out pertinent information from their medical history. Even sharing information with other physicians when necessary will be faster and easier through the electronic process.

More Time, More Patients

Electronic medical records provide you with more face-to-face time with your patients, as information is readily accessible during consultations and other appointments. You may also find your electronic system provides you with additional time to see more patients, allowing you to grow your plastic surgery practice without compromising patient care. Your staff will be free to focus their attention on your patients as well, rather than tedious paperwork.

Enhancing Patient Care

Electronic record keeping can enhance patient care in a number of ways. A reduction of errors due to poor handwriting, elimination of lost files and the ability to see a patient’s medical history at a glance are just some of the improvements offered by EMR. Allowing you to spend more time directly with your patients also gives them greater confidence in the procedures they choose and comfort in the process. When your patients are receiving the highest level of care from your office, they are more likely to return for subsequent procedures and tell friends and family members about your practice.

At PatientNOW, we understand that EMR plays a key role in bringing your plastic surgery practice to the next level. Our software packages combine easy-to-use EMR with patient engagement tools that will help you build your practice and your reputation. To learn more about our products, contact PatientNOW today at 800-436-3150.

30
May

Do I Need to be “Tech-Savvy” to Use PatientNOW?

As you consider moving to a more automated plastic surgery practice, the change is sure to be met with more a than a little bit of trepidation. While an electronic office sounds more efficient, learning all the new programs also seems very overwhelming. Transitions can always be somewhat challenging, but by choosing a company like PatientNOW for your automation needs, you will have all the necessary support and guidance to make the transition as smooth as possible. Check out these reasons why even the least “tech-savvy” practices will benefit from implementing PatientNOW software.

Customized to Your Needs

PatientNOW software was designed by plastic surgeons for plastic surgeons. This means the software will be more intuitive than you might expect as it was created with your specific needs in mind. At the same time, you will likely find all the features of the software to provide value to your office, since they were customized to practices just like yours. The automated software will complement your office perfectly, increasing your efficiency without putting up more obstacles as you try to pick and choose the parts of the software that will fit your needs.

User-Friendly, Easy to Navigate

The user-friendly nature of the PatientNOW software makes it easy to navigate through the functions and set up your automated office just the way you want it. A practice like yours requires you to build relationships with your patients that will produce trust, confidence and referrals. By providing you with software that you can run with right from the start, we free up your time so you can spend it on your patients, rather than on learning complex technology.

Extensive Training Opportunities

PatientNOW doesn’t leave you hanging once your software is delivered. Remote training is included in the cost of your software package, which can be scheduled at a time that is convenient for you and your staff. A dedicated trainer will be assigned to your office to help with your initial configuration and your staff training. Training for a plastic surgery practice can be completed in just 24-32 hours and training for administrative tasks like scheduling, scanning and interoffice communications takes just two hours to finish.

Ongoing Support

We understand that problems or questions can arise once your software has gone live. We offer ongoing remote support through our website as well. In addition, there is plenty of helpful information right on our website to teach you how to make the most of all of your software features. We partner with you at the time of implementation and on down the road to ensure your experience with PatientNOW is a positive and productive one.

Reaping the Benefits

Once you have configured our easy-to-use software and it is a standard part of your practice, there are numerous benefits you will gain from your PatientNOW products:

  • Greater office efficiency means more time with your patients
  • Easy scheduling features reduce no-shows and increase revenue
  • Billing software allows for faster, more accurate billing procedures
  • Acquisition and retention software ensures no patient falls through the cracks
  • Enhance your patient experience to increase retention and referrals

PatientNOW has the products and features you need to take your plastic surgery practice to the next level. To learn more about our services, contact PatientNOW today at 800-436-3150.

23
May

The Importance of Customer Service in the Digital Age

It has likely been quite the process converting your office to the digital age. However, your efforts cannot stop with the automation – you also need to consider how you will best serve your patients with your new system in place. While the way we do any type of business has evolved considerably, the needs and expectations of our patients and our customers are distinctly the same. It is up to you to ensure your patients feel the same level of care and service from your office, even with the automation in place, to make your operation more efficient and convenient.

Improving Your Patient Experience

While an automated office offers considerable benefit to you and your staff, it can be used to improve the experience of your patients as well. The key is knowing how to adapt those tools in a service-oriented fashion. There are a few key benefits you will see as a result of this process:

You Can Be More Responsive

Automation through a variety of channels can allow you to respond to your patients much more efficiently. Customers no longer want to do business over the phone. They want to be able to access your practice through a variety of channels and they expect the response to be much faster. In fact, according to the consulting company Accenture, more than 80 percent of today’s consumers want to work with companies that make doing business easier. With today’s technology, you can accommodate all of your patients with the access to your practice they are seeking.

You Can Really Hear Them

It can be a challenge to get the feedback from customers you need to know what they really want. In fact, only three percent of customers believe that companies really hear their needs and requests. The right software makes it easy to record patient responses to your services and react to your patients’ messages. Those tools can make all the difference in your own patient management and promotion of your practice.

You Can Expand Their Options

Patients want a variety of ways to communicate with your practice today, and the digital age can really help in this regard. Few patients want to restrict their contact to phone calls when there are many more convenient ways to get in touch with you. It is your responsibility to provide those more convenient options to attract new patients and retain current ones. In addition to your standard website options, give your patients a feedback form that is easy to complete or submit. Access to social media channels is another way to make communication easier and more convenient for your patients.

You Can Offer What The Competition Can’t

It may seem like these offerings are fairly standard today, but not every plastic surgery or dermatology practice is offering them at this time. By getting your practice up to par, you may be the name that stands apart to your patients as the practice that is both accessible and up to date. This small effort can make a big difference in the perception of prospective patients, as well as your ability to engage with our patients directly on a different level than your competitors.

When it comes to automating your office with the patient experience in mind, the products offered by PatientNOW cannot be beat. We provide patient engagement at every step of the process, with the tools you need to keep your patients in the loop for all of your new developments. To learn more about our software tools, contact PatientNOW today at 888-644-2987.

17
May

The Importance of Patient Follow-Up

It may not seem as though you are building the same patient relationship in plastic surgery as you do in other areas of practice, but if you are serious about growing your patient base, relationship is a must. Patients that have one plastic surgery often come in for additional procedures over time and a good relationship with you is a key factor in ensuring your patients will return to your office for those subsequent treatments. There are a number of additional ways patients that have an ongoing relationship with you can impact the success of your practice.

Patient Reviews

Patients are more likely than ever before to share their experience with your practice on popular review sites like Yelp. At the same time, patients in search of a plastic surgeon may check Yelp for information about the doctor they are considering from a patient’s point of view. This knowledge can be concerning to physicians since it seems like there is no way to control the information that is shared by your patients on these channels. However, maintaining a positive relationship with your patient after a procedure can go far in ensuring any reviews that are posted about you and your practice will be a help rather than a hindrance.

The Social Media Exchange

Social media is another channel where patients might be inclined to share information about their experience with you. When you consider how many friends and friends-of-friends a single Facebook post or tweet can reach, maintaining positive information on these sites is essential as well. At the same time, you can use your own social media channels to engage your patients, providing you with additional exposure and the potential for new patient acquisition as well as current patient retention.

Word-of-Mouth Referrals

When your patients are happy with your service and the results of their procedures, they are more likely to share their experience with friends and family members. Maintaining a relationship with your patients ensures that your name is at the forefront of their minds when discussing procedures with family and friends. It also leaves a positive impression on previous patients that might send others to your practice through word-of-mouth referrals.

Patient Follow-Up Tips

There are a number of ways to boost your patient retention, which can increase your patient acquisition at the same time:

  • Offer a patient loyalty program that offers discounts for repeat visits
  • Establish a birthday club so your patient receives contact from your office every year
  • Utilize patient surveys to determine what your practice does well and where you can improve
  • Follow up on review sites, thanking patients for positive reviews and offering solutions when reviews are not as positive
  • Manage social media to ensure that any negative posts are handled by your practice quickly and effectively

Developing and maintaining positive patient relationships can be easier than you think, with the help of a few simple automation tools. PatientNOW specifically designs software products for plastic surgeons interested in keeping the patient engagement intact long after the first procedure. Our Patient Acquisition and Retention (PAR) software efficiently manages the patient life cycle, creating a positive experience through every step of the process.

Don’t allow patients to fall through the cracks any longer. With PatientNOW solutions, you can maintain positive patient relationships both now and in the future. To learn more, contact PatientNOW today at 888-644-2987.