10 Ways to Differentiate Your Practice
If you want your medical practice to stand out among the rest, making some changes internally is the first step, even before outward marketing efforts. You need to figure out what it is that you have to offer that others in your area do not. Then, you can focus your marketing strategy on what those differences are and how they can help patients see better outcomes.
In my Miami practice, I utilize the Skin Type Solutions system (STS) to educate staff, communicate with patients, and provide customized skincare that produces results. Using this system, you can differentiate your practice by highlighting these benefits.
1. Well-Trained Staff
Having well-trained staff not only makes your day-to-day practices run more smoothly and efficiently, but it also helps to improve the overall patient experience. Imagine this scenario: a patient walks into your office and speaks with an MA, who recommends one product for their acne-prone skin. Then, when that patient speaks to the doctor or goes to check out and purchase a product, they receive two different recommendations. To avoid confusion and frustration, invest in consistent staff education so you know everyone is on the same page.
With the STS system, you can choose which products you’d like to carry from over 40 brands. Then the software analyzes the skin type and automatically generates a regimen based on the products you have chosen to sell. That way, every staff member gives the exact same product advice. If one day you decide you want to retail a different eye cream, with the click of a button, your entire staff is on the same page.
2. Detailed Medical History
Understanding each patient’s detailed medical history helps to ensure an accurate skin type diagnosis and customized treatment plan. However, as physicians, we don’t have extra time to ask all the necessary questions to obtain this information in the exam room before making a recommendation. When using a standardized methodology like the STS system, your patients can answer these questions in the waiting room before even seeing a doctor. That way, you get the information you need to offer the most accurate skincare advice possible, yet don’t have to spend valuable time asking these questions yourself.
3. Diagnose Skin Type
Once a patient has completed the Digital Skin Type Questionnaire which asks questions about past medical history and current skin characteristics and lifestyle factors, the software will automatically match that patient with one of the 16 Baumann Skin Types®. This step is automatic. A skincare regimen will be automatically generated which will save you time in the exam room. You do not have to take the time to explain the details of what their skin type means and what they need to do to take care of it, because this educational material is generated automatically, and your staff will be able to answer these questions.
4. Customize Skincare
While there has been much debate regarding whether or not physicians should sell skincare in their practice, the bottom line is that your patients want to be able to buy skincare from you. The key to offering skincare in an ethical manner is to create a customized regimen based on your patient’s skin type and then provide detailed written instructions for how and when to use each product. That way, your patients have all the information they need to effectively use their prescribed regimen and are free to choose whether or not they would like to purchase the products from you or elsewhere.
5. Educate Prior to Visit
Every staff member should be equipped with the tools and knowledge to help your patients. Skin Type Solutions provides ongoing training to your staff on skin and cosmeceutical science.
6. Educate in Waiting Room
7. Give Written Instructions
Every patient who leaves your office should have a print-out with detailed instructions that outline their specific skincare regimen. It is impossible for patients to remember every little detail that you discussed with them during their appointment. Having written instructions ensures that patients know exactly which products to use, when to use them, and how to use them when they get home.
8. Educate After the Visit
Schedule a follow-up appointment around the four-week mark. This is usually around the time that patients start to lose interest in their treatment and might start to veer off course. So an earlier follow-up can help them to stay motivated, as well as clear up any confusion or concerns they might have about their regimen.
9. Communicate with Patients
Excellent patient communication is one of the best ways to improve compliance and outcomes. In addition to providing written instructions, utilizing automated text appointment reminders, online messaging platforms and apps, phone calls, and other helpful communication tools is key to making sure your patients have all the information they need to succeed.
10. Keep Patients Engaged
Keep patients engaged and motivated by scheduling regular follow-up visits, using before and after imaging, and being available to answer any questions or roadblocks they run into along the way. This is another area where having a well-educated staff is so important, since all members of your team should be able to provide your patients with the same answer to their question.
To learn more about how the Skin Type Solutions Franchise system works, or to share your own insights into how to differentiate your practice, please feel free to contact me directly at DrB@SkinTypeSolutions.com, fill out our secure online contact form, or call 305-714-5322.
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