When communicating with your Patients there are lots of options out there. In this blog post I’m going to focus on SMS and the advantages of using it for urgent/time-sensitive communication as well as for marketing purposes.
The first thing to note is when choosing to contact your patients via SMS v Email, email open rates are around 21%. That is not very high. Especially if you’re trying to give them important information or try to upsell products or services. You want to make sure your Patients are seeing this information. On the other hand, open rates of texts are around 99%, AND 97% opening within 15 minutes. That is a real stark difference when we’re looking at how we communicate with Patients/potential Patients on a daily basis.
One of the main things you need to consider when you’re choosing how to communicate with your patients is the security of those messages, especially if you’re going to include sensitive data. There are platforms out there (like F365) that can send appointment reminders directly from the platform via text to your patient, securly! It’s best when establishing communication channels to ask the right question - IS THIS CHANNEL SECURE?
Opt in - Why?
Giving your patients the ability to opt-in and opt-out of email communication isn’t just polity, it’s now the law. Most people choose to have this as an optional checkbox during sign up - it is absolutely recommended to do this or you could find yourself in a little bit of trouble. This isn’t just for email, this is for any form of communication. Inside F365 you can easily set your marketing communication preferences during your setup of the platform.
When and how often?
This is a difficult question. If we’re talking about time sensitive information, as soon as possible and by text and email however when we’re talking about marketing it’s a very thin line to tread. Too often and you could find your Patients opting-out of marketing communication from you but not often enough and you could be missing out on lots of opportunities for business growth. My best advice is to put yourself in the patient's shoes and ask how often you think is reasonable to get texts/emails from a business? You know your patients and client base the best.
Choosing the right communication channel that is secure and fulfils its purpose of actively growing your business and providing exceptional customer service really is the cornerstone to success in Private Healthcare. If you want to know more about the options available to you inside F365, get in touch with us today!
When it comes to meeting people in your industry, who doesn’t love getting to bounce ideas and share the latest industry information and trends? But today we’re going to explore if going to a networking event is worth it and is a valuable use of your time.
On one hand, research has shown that your networking may not be as advantageous as we once thought. Research shows that people actually spend a large amount of time with people that they already know. On average, if a participant knew around ⅓ of the people in the room they would spend 50% more of their time with the person they already know. Despite the fact they were there to network and meet new people from the industry.
So from this can we deduce that networking events are ineffective?
Not so fast! Lots of people go to networking events each week so if they’re ‘ineffective’ why are they still happening? Well the simple answer is this. They do actually work!!!
The people who get the most out of networking events are people who treat them for what they are. A chance to meet new people or connect with people they may have lost touch with. If there are speakers at the event they will usually do a bit of research beforehand to understand the speaker and the subject matter and then be able to engage others in great conversation about the topics being discussed in the evening.
There’s nothing worse than being in a room full of people and having nothing to say!
In Private Medical Practice, it’s great to know people and have friends in the industry. If nothing else, they’re on the same journey as you (even if they’re in a different field). They’re navigating the same choppy waters of running their own Private Practice and you may be able to help each other to grow and succeed. That is what networking is truly about. Finding like minded people who can support each other and build relationships with people you can take advice from (and give advice) in times of struggle.
What else can you get from networking events? Lots of time, there will be speakers at these events and generally these are really interesting. If you pick networking events where you will enjoy the speaker content, you’ll actually get something from the networking event - not just the chance to meet people. It’s a bonus if you’re being offered CPD credits too so always look out for those.
“I’ve been invited to my first networking event and I’m not sure what to expect, I won't know anyone.”
This is a quote I hear time and time again. It’s like the first day at a new school. I don’t know many people who would choose to put themselves out there HOWEVER getting actively involved in the networking community will allow you to make relationships with peers and potential partners, learn and grow as a practitioner and a business owner but most importantly of all it will mean that you’re continually able to move in circles of people who are on that journey with you.
My advice is to take every opportunity that comes your way! If you get invited to a networking event, give it a try! I find networking events really fun and engaging and it’s really refreshing to feel like I’m not alone in a world that can feel quite lonely sometimes as a business owner!
Setting up in Private Practice is hard, there’s no doubt about it.
Your Practice Management System should be the heart of your practice and ensure everything from initial contact with the potential customer all the way through to them receiving care with you runs smoothly. Whilst also ensuring that you don’t have to do everything manually every, single, time.
You know what I’m talking about, those tasks that take hours and hours every week that you just can’t seem to shake off? Those are the ones that any GOOD Practice Management Software Company will have already identified, solved and mean they’re no longer taking up your valuable time!
So where to start? Same place as most people in the market for any product or service I guess, Google. If you google Practice Management Software you get something that looks a little like this:
Just a quick point to note here - ALL of these are ads. This isn’t a problem, just be aware of it when you’re searching. You can tell they’re ads because before the text, top left corner of each link is an ‘Ad’ symbol letting you know.
These are the people who are actively looking to engage with you. So engage with them. Have a look around their sites - look at what they do, the price, and what they say they can do for YOU. That’s what it’s really about. If they just talk about themselves, they do not care enough about you - they just want you to sign up.
If we scroll a little further down these are now the ones that ‘organically’ come up and are not paying to be there. Have lots of authority with Google too because getting on the top page of google really isn’t easy to do! These are absolutely worth a look.
If we take a look at Function 365’s Practice Management Software for a moment, you’ll see a lot of what we do is geared around helping YOU make the right choice for your practice and for US to help you solve those persistent headache problems costing you valuable time each week.
It's time for a demo. I know, I know, no one wants to be sold to but how can you see how awesome someone's software is and if they’re actually going to be able to help you achieve those goals without looking at the software?
Schedule 3-5 demo’s and make sure you ask these 10 questions:
Question 1 is about your data and YOUR PATIENTS data. If they cannot, straight off the bat, tell you where the data is being stored and shout about how safe it is - RUN AWAY. Do you want to put your patients' data into the hands of someone who doesn’t even know where it’s going? ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!
Question 2 is all about them valuing you as a client, is there someone to speak with if I have a problem. Not just a knowledge base or video tutorials on how to do things, a real person on the end of a phone or video call to talk you through solving problems at a time you need it. Again if the answer is no, ask yourself, if the software is so good, why don’t they have the service to back these claims up?
Question 3 how much does it cost and how much will it cost me in future when I grow. SUPER IMPORTANT! If you want to run a successful practice with lots of practitioners you need to know how much this is going to cost you. Lots of companies out there will have no problem luring you in with an amazing introductory price but when it comes to adding on practitioners it jumps up A LOT. Do your homework and make sure that if you scale it can scale with you. That way you’ll avoid having to do a mass migration to a better piece of software further down the line.
QUestion 4 How long has the company been going? This one is more about what stage they’re at in their business. Some have just finished building this shiny new piece of software and haven’t properly tested it yet. Reality check - you’re probably the guinea pig here!!!
If they’re new, ask them how many clients they have, what teething issues they’ve come up against and what further developments they have planned. This will ensure you know the scale they’re working at and if they plan to make large changes - if everything changes overnight the software you initially signed up for might look very different in 12 months!
Question 5 is all about their goal in the industry. Most people won’t say it but it’s to earn money, of course, why else does anyone run a business? But there are lots of reasons people choose to develop and build a software company for the healthcare sector. Perhaps they’ve had first hand experience in the private healthcare space and know how hard it is and think they can make a difference? Whatever their reason, it’ll let you know a little more about the company and what drives them and ultimately will help you decide if they’re the right fit for your business.
There are plenty of other good questions you can ask when you’re looking for a Practice Management Software Company so take some time before any call and do your homework. If they’re the heart of your practice and that breaks, the body can’t work with a broken heart.
I’m hoping all of this has put you in a position to go out there and be confident that you’re trying to find the right fit for your company. If it has, awesome, we’d love to be on your list of demos too!
Book one with us here today: Book Now
Practice Management Software is used by Private Practices to simplify complex business processes and enable them to provide high quality, personalised care. If you’re looking for a platform or to change from one platform to another it’s important you look at what features are offered by the platform to ensure that it’s able to scale and grow as you do along with providing the essentials to keep your practice running smoothly.
This should be an obvious one but having the ability to schedule appointments across multiple rooms and practitioners is essential. Also being able to quickly change, amend, invoice and repeat appointments is extremely useful in ensuring that extra time isn’t spent on tasks unnecessarily.
Take Function 365 for example, Function 365 Practice Management Software allows you to have multiple rooms and practitioners. Amending appointments is simply done by dragging and dropping them to the new date and time. You can even send an SMS reminder once an appointment has changed to ensure nothing is missed.
First and foremost you have to ensure the Practice Management Software you choose is safe and secure. After all, you’re using it to store sensitive patient data which can’t be compromised.
A patient portal is where all the information about each patient is stored. Some Practice Management Systems offer a basic patient portal with the ability to see the patients details and for them to book appointments. Whilst this is handy, systems like Function 365 go further and allow the patient to take a hands-on role in their care. Once an appointment is booked the patient then provides all the information you, as the practice, need to do their appointment via a smart intake form (setup by you in the admin panel, tailored to your clinical offering). They’re also able to pay for appointments and even packages of care directly in their portal. Making it a real smooth and seamless experience for the patient and also for the practice and practitioners.
Life sometimes gets in the way and we forget things. This is only natural. Practice Management Software is there to mitigate the risk of patients forgetting or simply missing their appointments by sending out appointment reminders.
This is really important especially if it’s not a chargeable appointment. The last thing you want is to waste practitioner time if a patient forgets an appointment.
Here at F365 we offer appointment reminders via email (like most practice management systems) but we go a step further and even offer the ability to send SMS reminders too.
Not every practice management system has a secure messaging system built in. So it’s really useful to look out for this when you’re searching for practice management software. This is vitally important if you need to send messages to your patients that relate to sensitive information.
Here at F365 we offer this feature built in as part of the system so you can always contact the patient but also, the patient can contact you - again, giving them the ability to really take a hands-on role in their care.
This is a pretty standard feature across most practice management systems however some of the metrics you’re able to see are pretty basic so it’s definitely worth checking what information you can report on and see to ensure you’re running your clinic as smoothly as possible.
This might sound simple, why wouldn’t my practice management system be suitable for me in a year's time if it’s suitable for me now? Well, if you plan to scale and grow your practice some practice management systems start out with a really low introductory rate and then bump the price up enormously if you start to scale up in future. At F365 we do not do this. We DO NOT limit features depending on your licence type. In real terms this means from the day you join us you will have access to all the amazing features we offer and as we develop more, these will automatically become available to you, you aren’t charged extra for these.
Ever been on a website or software and wanted to know how to do something but weren’t sure how? Some practice management systems have great knowledge bases and support out there and some don’t. Be sure to check before signing up what support there is if you hit a roadblock! The last thing you want is to be stuck and not sure where to turn.
There are lots of other things (some of which will be unique to your practice) you need to look for when choosing the right Practice Management System. Our best advice is to book a demo and see for yourself how the system works and ask as many questions as you can to ensure you’re making the right decision for your business.
If you’d like to book a 1-2-1 demo with Function 365 CLICK HERE
The back-to-back acquisitions by Nestle of Atrium Innovations, a supplement manufacturer of multiple well-known brands in 2017 for $2.3 billion and then of a patient data management system in 2020 (NOT Function 365) sent shockwaves in the private healthcare industry.
Anyone on the fence before about whether or not big-food was hungry to colonise the growing supplement market received a stark wake-up call. The new owner of thousands of patient data records has a clear profit-driven incentive to data-mine these newly acquired data. We can only hope that this is done carefully and in a fully anonymised way. To use an analogy, the brewery bought the biggest pub-chain, and unsurprisingly, you can probably guess what will be on tap and what all the customer satisfaction surveys that get published will show...
At Function 365 we are independent of any ties/ownership by supplement or product manufacturing. Our aim is to help patients get clear, unbiased advice from their practitioners who are best placed to assess them as a complete individual and make personalised care recommendations. Moreover, we are highly motivated to help practitioners using Function 365 to create and show completely anonymised metrics about their patient improvements under their care. To return to the pub analogy, Function 365 is similar to an independent Free House; practitioners using Function 365 can freely recommend any product they like, and independently monitor how that affects their clients.
By using quantifiable measures of your wellbeing, your practitioner can track your progress, adjust your personalised care as your body responds, or doesn’t respond, to care and lifestyle changes. Furthermore, your practitioner can look for patterns across multiple patients to better understand what has and has not been effective; this helps them make data-driven decisions about what to focus on in future. By measuring outcomes in their clinical practice, practitioners can continually assess and improve their standards of care.
The truth is gathering, storing and organising patient improvement data has such a high administrative cost and logistical overhead for most private clinics they simply don’t even attempt to do it.
When we take a deeper look at the competing demands on practitioner time and resources we can understand why this is the case. Most clinicians providing personalised care, spend 3 hours of unpaid time writing notes, doing research and administrative overhead for every paid hour they spend with you in consultation. Add to this the financial pressures of running a private company and the need to document their compliance to standards set by the CQC and other professional oversight bodies. Unfortunately, the priority to systematically gather quantifiable data about how you, the patient, is doing is a difficult one to have high up the list.
Without a system like Function 365 your doctor, health coach, nutritional therapist or psychotherapist simply doesn’t have the resources that the likes of Nestle does to quantitatively understand the changes in your health. For years big-food and big-pharma have been able to take to the bank that they are the only ones who can afford to gather data at the scale to show efficacy.
Function 365 brings to your practitioner’s fingertips the ability to work seamlessly with you to keep up to date with how you’re doing and understand how multifaceted protocols of care are working for you, and your epigenetic environment. Your practitioner is able to do this without needing to secure research funding, or spend countless hours managing forms and raw data. We believe that the answers to human health are in human ingenuity, with practitioners providing personalised care at scale and not just the next wonder tablet backed by billion-dollar multi-nationals.
So thank you, thank you, and thank you again for taking the time to tell your practitioner how you’re doing. You’re making a difference that will last a lifetime and can change the face of our broken healthcare industry for good.