You take such great care of your weight loss patients. Now may be the time to give your weight loss practice an honest examination to see where you can update your operations for improved business health and longevity as well.
There are many choices and decision points for anyone losing weight as well as anyone running a successful business. These choices and decision points can become overwhelming – especially if you lack a clear vision of what you want most or – more commonly – have too many complicated tools and strategies at play. Yet this happens all the time both in life and in business.
What are the possible consequences? Inaction or implementing too many strategies at once, poor follow-through, lack of progress, wasted time and money, recurring daily chaos, and blurred vision regarding a solid strategy that will bring you the results you desire most.
In your weight loss practice, each of these potential consequences tend to cause frustration for you, your team, and often, your patients. For most weight loss practitioners, primary frustrations usually revolve around human resource issues, acquiring new patients, converting interested patients into established patients, improving patient engagement, payer mandates/decreasing reimbursement, overlapping technology with poor integration and/or obtaining meaningful metrics. Can you relate?
Some specific questions you may be asking when you experience such frustrations include:
- Is this marketing campaign working or is it a waste of time and money?
- Why do we have lots of leads and yet my schedule isn’t full?
- How many potential new patients do we have in the pipeline?
- What holds people back from scheduling their first appointment?
- Why do we have so many different software systems and data bases?
- Why don’t patients seem engaged, understand what their next step is, and feel educated about what to expect and next steps?
- Why don’t we have more online reviews?
- Why can’t I get a simple snapshot that shows who is interested in our services, how they found out about us, where they are in their approval process, who is ready for their consult, and who is falling through the cracks?
- Why are we so ‘busy’ and yet profitability isn’t what it should be?
If this sounds familiar, the best place to start is to stop or pause. Take inventory of what is working well and determine the root cause of your primary frustration(s). Beware though, because all too often, you may be tempted to double down on what really isn’t working because it seems like your only path or the only path you know. As a result, you may feel as if you just need to do more, hire new team members and work harder.
Yet, when you stop or pause long enough to take a fresh look, specifically at your ‘patient’s life cycle’, it usually becomes obvious where you need to focus your energy. This focus also tends to conveniently solve many issues or frustrations instead of just one. Fixing your patient life cycle improves overall efficiency (time and cost), ensures higher patient satisfaction (team satisfaction too), and creates greater profitability.
Your weight loss patient life cycle – which you need to create purposefully – includes a variety of important phases:
- Awareness: finding you and your practice in a very noisy marketing world
- Trust: learning more about you, what you offer and your expertise/authority; public proof of your outcomes in the form of online reviews and testimonials; and relatability/understanding of what makes you different from the many choices readily available
- Expressed Interest: reaching out to learn more and get to know you even better
- Conversion to Established Patient: deciding you are the right choice for them
- Engagement & Ongling Education: remaining engaged with your services (call, text, e-mail, opt-in, direct message online), education, content
- Transformation: attaining their desired outcome/transformation
- Lifetime Client & Referral Source: desire for more of your services/products and gladly providing online reviews, and referring others to you who desire a similar transformation
Bottom line – your patient life cycle is at the core of creating your successful weight loss practice. So, it is critical that you have the ability to track each and every step in one place (and even use as your EMR or integrate with your EMR). Sound too good to be true? It is possible with PatientFlow®. I know this because my team and I have experienced this firsthand and I see this transformational software product making a significant difference in many weight loss practices across the United States.
If you are on a never-ending hamster wheel with too many systems – or no systems – in place and are unable to efficiently track every step of your patient life cycle in one place, there is a better way.
PatientFlow® is an online application that helps you conveniently and efficiently guide and track your prospective new patients from expressed interest through every aspect of your customized patient experience (pipeline) outlined above. It provides you with a convenient way to securely communicate with your patients via all forms of communication (even directly from your website), track your marketing efforts; customize/streamline your workflow; engage, educate and track patient progress; and obtain real-time custom reports/metrics that matter most.
Here are three specific positive impacts PatientFlow® can have on your practice:
When you have every step of your customized weight loss patient workflow systematically delivered and tracked in one place with ability to automate personalized communication to keep your patients engaged and on track, efficiency sky rockets.
- Your team is no longer looking for ongoing patient communication as they ask questions or follow-through with pre-surgery requirements in separate e-mail, text and phone messages.
- Your team is no longer sharing and updating Google sheets or Excel spreadsheets trying to keep up with the hundreds of patients in your pipeline.
- You can systematize insurance requirements for all of the payers you accept and your patient can automatically receive a checklist that can be updated in real-time for them and your team to track.
- The number of calls to your office decreases because patients know what to expect and everyone can quickly communicate securely in one place rather than playing phone tag.
- You have everything in one place when it comes time to submit patient information for insurance authorization.
- Documents can be easily added to your EMR or integration is also possible for automated updates between systems.
- Your education can be in one place and shared automatically or personally with your patients.
- Reports are available real-time so you can identify any bottlenecks and understand the health of your patient pipeline at a glance.
When patients know exactly what to expect they tend to manage their own expectations better and feel more secure in their weight loss journey with you and your team. With less surprises and easy/open communication, you can anticipate their needs and more easily provide them with the WOW experience they appreciate and enjoy. Their satisfaction is higher and you have less complaints. All of this tends to improve team satisfaction as well. In fact, through PatientFlow® you can also obtain real time patient satisfaction reports and more easily obtain online reviews and testimonials.
When your practice is efficient and your patients are loving their journey and getting the results they desire most, profitability naturally increases. You are also not paying for multiple software solutions which makes a positive impact on your bottom line. Happy patients, more referrals, higher team productivity and lower costs all add up to more predictable profitability for you and your practice.
If you are looking for an all-in-one online (customizable) system that tracks everything in one place that you, your team and your patients will love, the ProNex, Inc. team can help. For more information or to schedule a free practice assessment, click 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.