Modern Aesthetics | Editorial Board Forum: Technology Hacks
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Editorial Board Forum: Technology Hacks

How do you use technology to optimize your patient interactions?

Adam Schaffner, MD: Technology enables patients to contact the provider and practice at any time…Patients do not have to wait until business hours to send an inquiry. Providers and their staffs can respond to an inquiry received after hours if desired. This fosters more rapid exchange of information. Links to photos, videos, testimonials/reviews, and descriptions of procedures can serve as a resource for patients.

Shannon Humphrey, MD: One of my favorite and simplest technologies for patients to use in clinic is the selfie. A “half face/half way” selfie during filler treatment is a great way for patients to remember what they looked like before. It’s like a before and after photo but half way through.

Jason Emer, MD: With online review sites, the use of in-office EMR, and programs such as TouchMD that send patients information about procedures and videos of topics, we are in an age of contact...So our office has Apple watches to communicate internally. We use Salesforce for patient reengagement and lead tracking. We have a concierge team that speaks to patients about reviews and their experiences and reach out via phone, email, and text. We stay engaged. When patients come to my office we have videos they watch before seeing me that explain my practice and my philosophy.

Sabrina Fabi, MD: Today the consumer is used to apps like Uber and Lyft where waiting more than six minutes to be picked up at your doorstep is six minutes too long. Apps like this are slowly changing patient expectations. Waiting more than 10 minutes in a waiting room is unacceptable for most.

We use SmileReminder to remind patients of appointments; Once they leave we use it to send surveys to get their input on their visit experience. This way we can find ways to improve the experience for future patients and modify our behavior if necessary. It also allows us to capture patients who may have had a less than optimal experience and contact them to make it right.

What are your favorite technologies to simplify or improve practice?

Dr. Humphrey: The Voice memo application on my phone has streamlined communication with my team and my assistant. I use it to dictate emails, patient notes, and any communications that are longer than a couple of sentences.

Dr. Schaffner: Cloud-based technologies enable providers and staff to securely access EMR and practice management systems from computers, iPads, and smartphones.

Dr. Fabi: eRelevance has been helpful in reactivating patients. We also use our EMR system (Nextech) to run reports on patients who may be due for a particular treatment or have not been in for a while to run targeted marketing campaigns.

What technologies would you recommend to peers to improve your “you” time?

Dr. Fabi: Doordash and Postmates have saved me so much time when needing to grab or order food for lunch or dinner, and even pick up things at a convenient store when I can’t run out or am in a busy clinic.

Dr. Schaffner: Google calendar enables me to schedule efficiently. Basic iPhone functionality enables me to text, phone, and email friends, family, and colleagues. It also enables me to securely communicate with patients via HIPAA-compliant secure email system (via Rackspace) and via HIPAA compliant text (via Symplast).

Dr. Humphrey: I could not survive without my iCal. I have 12 different calendars within my iCal, each shared with different groups of people…my nanny, my family, my children, my husband, my assistant, my clinical team, research team, and various permutations therein. This allows us all to stay in the loop about complex scheduling.

When considering technologies (non-devices) for your practice, how do you vet them?

Dr. Emer: I have a social media team of three people (one does online posts and content/reputation; one does video creation and editing; one does digital marketing and coordinated/targeted posts, ads). They convene to decide on new technologies, ideas, interactive apps, etc.

Dr. Schaffner: I rely on staff and colleagues to provide feedback on new technologies when considering them for the practice. Due diligence is key to avoid making a bad investment.

Dr. Fabi: We ask colleagues what works. We also may see something that works in another service industry, then discuss them at our physician meetings. Once implemented, we track to see if incorporating the technology benefited us.