Do you ever feel like you are saying the same things over and over to your weight loss surgery patients, yet have avoided streamlining your education and other functions of your practice because it may seem too impersonal? Here are some effective ways to streamline your education and patient care while improving engagement.
As a busy weight loss practitioner, your time is one of your greatest assets. This is also the case for your entire team. And, while education is an integral part of a successful outcome for your weight loss surgery patients, wouldn’t it be helpful if you could provide the perfectly timed education and accountability your patients need while saving you and your team time? It has never been as easy as it is today. This applies to streamlining your patient care process as well without losing your personal touch.
While it may take some time to set your system up, it is well worth it. Streamlining your patient care and education can improve patient outcomes, increase patient satisfaction, improve office efficiency, create predictability, and reduce your overall costs.
Below are five ways to streamline your patient care and education while maintaining your personal touch:
- 1. Create Educational Assets: Creating standardized educational assets for the education and guidance you and your team provide every day. This includes assets such as webinars, videos, e-books, PDF guides, purposeful automated e-mails or a combination. A great use of such assets is timed distribution to your patients at just the right time in their journey to keep them informed and your practice top of mind. It is also a great way to address commonly asked questions, while anticipating their needs every step of the way. You can even leverage your content by putting your pre-operative and post-operative education into an actual book and use helpful tips from your content in your social media marketing plan to attract new patients. Leveraging your content in such ways also saves you time, increases the consistency of your message, allows your patients to review the information when convenient for them, and allows you to track their progress – all while setting your practice apart from your competitors. Start with creation of one type of asset and if desired, you can create additional educational assets that can be available in various learning formats. Then present them electronically or in person to your patients at just the right time before or after surgery. Automation, mixed with personal contact has been found to be extremely helpful.
- 2. Maximize Use of Technology: Technology can be frustrating at times. However, when you find what works for you and maximize its use, it can transform your life and practice. Technology is also an expectation of most patients who have grown accustomed to the convenience of online scheduling, patient portals, engaging video education, prompt text support and everything in between. Finding a solution that combines everything in one, easy to use HIPAA compliant application, simplifies the process even further. Some specific technology applications you can find included in one integrated software solution includes:
- a. Patient Lead Tracking: Track the lifecycle of your patients from the moment they find out about you and your services. Keep them engaged and educated every step of the way.
- b. Telemedicine: Offer the convenience of telemedicine appointments for those who prefer this type of visit as appropriate. Telemedicine can also increase your reach and ensure your patients keep up with their follow-up appointments.
- c. Online Registration: Integrating online registration functionality helps improve demographic data accuracy, office efficiency and timely onboarding of new patients.
- d. Ongoing Communication in One Location: All of your communication is in one place so you aren’t looking for phone messages, texts and e-mails in more than one inbox. Keep your entire team up to date and follow-up with your patients more efficiently.
- e. KPI Tracking: You can monitor the progress of your patients with real-time dashboards and outcome tracking instead of multiple spreadsheets.
- f. Patient Education: You can augment your in-office education with automated (or fresh off the press) educational materials delivered to your patients in your portal, via a membership site, your educational app accessible from anywhere as well as conveniently via secure e-mail or text.
- 3. Optimize Use of Your Patient Portal: Patient portals are an excellent way to provide access to educational materials, appointment reminders, health records, and obtaining any required documentation prior to submitting authorization for surgery. It is also a great way to keep patients informed of updates and providing ongoing support or links to convenient applications you use.
- 4. Train Your Team: Include your team on selection and implementation of any new technology. Your team will likely be an integral part of your educational asset creation. They should be aware of – and assist with creation of – your communication plan. Maximize the use of team talents and let them help create and document your implementation systems.
- 5. Measure Outcomes: As mentioned earlier, streamlining your patient care and education creates data points that are easier to track. You will know where your patients come from, actions completed at every step of your patients journey and key performance metric reports. And you can find these real-time metrics in one convenient location.
Your patients want and need streamlined care and patient education. You and your team need added efficiency and a way to track key performance metrics for your practice and your patients. Creating such a system will benefit all involved while allowing more time for your ‘personal touch’.
If you are interested in learning more about an effective all-in-one software solution for your practice, it’s time to learn more and schedule a demo by clicking here.
About the Author: Karol Clark, MSN, RN, is a best-selling author who has a passion for helping physicians integrate effective, profitable weight loss services and retail sales into their practice while improving patient outcomes and enjoying the journey along the way. Her use of non-traditional (easy to implement) medical marketing strategies, along with her dedication to a positive ROI makes her a uniquely different and sought-after weight loss business consultant. Karol is the CEO of Weight Loss Practice Builder and the exclusive membership program for weight loss practitioners, www.BariatricBusinessAccelerator.com. She has more than 20 years of experience working with surgical and medical weight loss physicians and their teams helping them simplify creation of a profitable and enjoyable bariatric practice.