Go With the Flow Increasing patient flow and revenue through your busy Podiatric office.
We all come to these meetings to find the “secret”, the “key” to running a successful practice while keeping patients happy and compliant, staff in check and referrals and reimbursements flowing.
Nothing worth working for comes easy and so. . . • Today we will show you how to • Treat your patients efficiently and effectively • Improve patient satisfaction and compliance • Increase practice revenue • AND, MOST IMPORTANTLY. . . . . .
Before we begin. . . • Let's discuss the importance of staff members (podiatric assistants) playing an essential role in your office as a “Doctor Extender.” • This should become a goal of every practitioner, whether a solo practice or large group.
“Good afternoon Mrs. Smith, have a seat, take off your shoes and socks and the doctor will be with you shortly.” Years ago, the role of the podiatric assistant was. . .
Podiatric Assistants can not only perform a multitude of tasks while “assisting” the doctor. They can be properly trained to become an integral part of the entire patient experience.
How many doctors have their assistants. . • Drawing injections • Setting up procedures • Reviewing and preparing surgical consents • Thoroughly evaluating patients • Performing diagnostic testing • Performing PT (ultrasound, TENS, etc.) • Performing vascular testing
There's more • Taking and developing X-rays • Casting and dispensing orthotics • Casting and ordering custom AFOs • Running your entire Diabetic shoe program • Dispensing all DME items • Managing compliance documents • Performing orthotic adjustments
Wait, there's still more. . . • Participating in and documenting your comprehensive diabetic foot exams • Assisting with office procedures • Foreseeing what will be needed (DME) to adhere to patient protocols. • Introducing appropriate IOD products before you step foot in the room. • DOING IT ALL WITH A SMILE!!!!
Train your assistants well, and they will become an extension of you and your practice. The list goes on and on, but the point remains the same.
Make sure you take the time to train your staff and allow them to shadow you, YES, “YOU”, the doctor. Shadowing is Key
Lead by example • Make sure protocols are set in place, understood and carried out by all the members of your staff. • Demonstrate how you want particular tasks done, procedures set up, and protocols followed through. • Explain the “science” behind the methods. • Allow your staff to practice a skill and perfect it before trying it out on your patients!
Teach, show and watch them go! In other words. . .
Respect and be respected • Treat each member of your staff with respect. • Acknowledge their accomplishments loudly and criticize their faults softly. • Make sure your staff feels appreciated and they will appreciate you in return.
Educated and well trained staff has many benefits to your practice. • Highly trained, well versed, confident staff influences your patients to • Be more compliant • Purchase more IOD products • Refer more friends and family members • Grow your practice
You are the steering wheel that financially drives your practice, but without a solid engine (your highly trained staff), you will never move forward. You are the captain of the ship
First impressions • What does your reception area, not “waiting room” say about your office? • Is it filled with outdated magazines and dead plants? OR • Does it give a proper representation of your practice?
Be aware of what your patients are seeing. • Reception area décor • Magazine selection • Television channel selection • Receptionists choice of attire and hairstyle • Cleanliness of treatment rooms • These all give your patients an idea of what your practice is all about.
Patient checks in • Have your patients fill out their New patient encounter forms ahead of time. • Ask them to go to your website (no matter what age) • OR • Mail out paperwork ahead of time so it's done prior to their arrival Only when their appointment is made within 1-2 days should they be wasting time filling out forms in your office.
Have your patients bring copies of medication lists, allergies, past medical history and surgeries. It saves time and assures that your staff is inputting accurate history upon evaluation.
“I don't see why my primary doc sent me over here. I can take care of my own nails with a good steady pair of pliers.” Have a seat and let's take off both your shoes and socks. . .
Educate and inform • The assistant can play a key role in “breaking the ice” for these skeptical patients. • Informational packets (like CDFE informational kits) educate patients while making them aware of complications that may arise from lack of podiatric care.
Products to discuss with your diabetic patients. Only offer medical grade or physician only formulas. . . .
IT'S ALL ABOUT THE PRESENTATION. So, don't “SELL” simply OFFER the products they need for all of their foot and ankle care.
How long has this condition existed? • Training staff to ask the right questions is essential. • “How long have your nails looked like this?” • “Are your nails painful?” • “Has there been any injury to the nails?” • “Do you have regular pedicures?”
The pick a color theory • Many women who complain of thickened, discolored or incurvated nails state that this condition began after going for regular pedicures. • “I thought they knew what they were doing, I pay $45 for my pedicure!” • Pick a color applies to everyone, and that's not always a good thing!
The assistant doesn't diagnose. • Patients will often ask “what do you think it is? Is it that fungal thing like on the commercials with that nasty little animal?” • The assistant should always state that we see this type of condition all the time, but only the doctor will be able to tell exactly what it is.
If the doctor does diagnose your condition as a fungal infection, we have all the products you need to treat your nails and prevent re infection right here in our office. The good news is. .
Time for the DPM. . . . The seed has already been planted
Explain the course of treatment • While treating the patient, the DPM has the opportunity to discuss the possible causes for infection, and the treatment options. • Give them the treatment options, discussing the importance of their involvement through use of your choice of topical or oral anti fungals as well as periodic debridement.