Acupuncture Practice Management Software by Jasmine Software

Sunday, February 19, 2017

The Second Most Important Question At Your Acupuncture Business


As you know, running a business is hard. Damn, hard!

When starting any business, I think there are 2 most important questions that need to be figured out.

One is fairly straight forward, and the other not so much.

Below, I'll go through each of the questions and give you some information on how you can solve these questions for yourself.

"Will anyone buy my product and service?"


The first question is "Will anyone buy my product and service?"

For an acupuncture practice, this question is easier to answer because there are already established models in the market place.

You can point to a number of successful acupuncture practices just in your own city.

Which means, a market already exists and you're not starting for scratch, like a new whiz bang gizmo no one's ever heard of.

However, this still doesn't guarantee success.

Your product and service is not merely acupuncture. It's the whole package.

I think many people forget this.

Your product and service includes your presentation, how you dress and speak, the look of your office, and even minute details like the linens you use.

This is all on top of the acupuncture and health benefits you're providing to the patients.

Every little detail is part of your product and service. As they say, you're selling an experience.

"Where are my customers?"


The second question is harder to solve. And, not only is it harder to solve, it will constantly change throughout the lifecycle of your practice, which means you'll be forever, looking.

The second question is "Where are my customers?"

I would argue that this is the hardest question you will EVER have to solve for your business. It's a very personal question too.

What works for one practitioner and office might not work for you and vice versa.

I recently talked to an acupuncturist about how he grew his successful practice. He now performs acupuncture for pro-athletes, who demand to pay more for a higher level of attention and service.

As, many of you are probably asking right now, I asked, how did he get that job??? So how DID he get his name into this very select demographic?

In short, he had the opportunity to treat a patient with a popular blog that was read by this select group of athletes. The blogger had a wonderful experience and wrote about it.

It was purely by chance! Magic!

As a business owner, your job is to increase your chances of magic like this happening to you. While you can't control or predict when or how magic will happen, you can increase its likelihood.

I think there are 3 ways to increase your chances.

The first way is providing a great product and service.  That goes without saying.

Second, you have to survive long enough for magic to happen.

The final and "magic" ingredient, is getting your name known by as many people as possible!

(plus, lots of blood, sweat, tears, ulcers, etc...)

How do you get your name known?


In short, the answer is marketing.

There are many aspects of marketing. It's more than just ads.

Many people don't realize that there are many avenues for marketing yourself.  They're called marketing channels.

Many times, multiple marketing channels have to work together for you to be successful.

Like I mentioned before, what works for one practitioner and office might not work for you, which is why constantly testing and trying different channels is necessary.

If you're interested in learning more, here's a great book called Traction, which goes through each of the marketing channels and gives ideas on how to implement them.

(I do not make money off the book, just a fan.)



Questions? Let me know in the comments below. I'd love to hear from you.

Minto Tsai
Founder

P.S. If this helped you, please Like, Share, email... all the social network love you can give!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Reducing Friction At Your Acupuncture Practice


One of my pet peeves these days is when friction is introduced into a system and slow things down.

Most of the time we don't notice friction, because they have become second nature to us and we think it's just the way things are.

But, when you take a second to review the individual steps within an interaction, you realize that many things can be optimized and made better for yourself and your patient.

Now, I'm not saying to go out and over optimize every interaction. Sometimes friction in a system is a good thing and slowing things down can help situations.

But, many times, friction in a system is counterproductive to the goal and can hinder progress.

Friction in Appointment Scheduling


Let's look at a common scenario for many acupuncturists, the appointment scheduling phone call.

Patient: <Ring> <Ring>
Acupuncturist: Hello, you've reached Authentic Acupuncture!
Patient: Hi, is this Jane?
Acupuncturist: Yes, it is. Who am I speaking to?
Patient: This is John.
Acupuncturist: Hi John. How are you today?
Patient: I'm wonderful. How are you?
Acupuncturist: I'm great John!
Patient: That's great to hear!
Acupuncturist: How can I help you today, John?
Patient: I'm having some upper back pain and I'd love to come in.
Acupuncturist: I'm sorry to hear that, but we can get you in to take a look. What day are you interested in coming in?
Patient: Wednesday.
Acupuncturist: Great. Morning or Afternoon?
Patient: Afternoon.
Acupuncturist: Can you come in at 1pm?
Patient: No.
Acupuncturist: How does 3pm work for you?
Patient: 3pm sounds great.
Acupuncturist: Wonderful. I've got you down for Wednesday at 3pm. Anything else I can help you with?
Patient: No.
Acupuncturist: Great. See you on Wednesday. Have a great day!
Patient: Thank you!

While many will look at this interaction as a perfectly fine example of scheduling an appointment. To those who do a lot of appointment scheduling, this can be painful.

The inefficiencies of this interaction becomes especially pronounced when interacted through email.

As a business owner and healthcare professional, one of your jobs is to make the patient experience as simple and pleasant as possible.

So what might a better interaction look like? Let's take a look.

Patient: <Ring> <Ring>
Acupuncturist: Hello. Thank you for calling Authentic Acupuncture. This is Jane. How can I help you?
Patient: Hi, Jane. This is John. I'm having some upper back pain and I'd love to come in.
Acupuncturist: I'm sorry to hear that, John, but we can get you in to take a look. At the earliest, I can get you in on Wednesday at 1pm or 3pm. Will one of those times work for you?
Patient: 3pm sounds great.
Acupuncturist: Wonderful. I've got you down for Wednesday at 3pm. Anything else I can help you with?
Patient: No.
Acupuncturist: Great. See you on Wednesday. Have a great day!
Patient: Thank you!

See how we've been able to combine steps and interactions to reduce friction and create a more pleasant patient experience?

Also, note that we're not rushing the patient. We're still giving the same attention and care, only in a more compact and efficient way.

The Goal


Why is all this important? The quicker you can complete your goals with the least amount of friction, the more pleasant it will be on you and your patients. The more money you can make.

In my own experience, I've had appointments fall apart because of the back and forth of emails. Due to this, I've learned to decrease the number of interactions to a minimum.

You may have experienced something similar in your practice.

Your goal as a business and healthcare professional is to get people in the door to help them, not to be exchanging emails or talking on the phone.

But, don't over optimize and make your interactions less human!

A better patient experience will lead to better patient outcomes!


Questions? Let me know in the comments below. I'd love to hear from you.

Minto Tsai
Founder

P.S. If this helped you, please Like, Share, email... all the social network love you can give!

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Introducing: Acupuncture Patient Satisfaction Surveys


As an acupuncturist, how do you know you're getting better?

Imagine, a patient just walked in the door with one of the most difficult problems you've ever faced. You reach deep into your many years of experience and learnings and pull out an obscure rarely used set of needle points. You're ecstatic that those brain cells still exist!

After the hour treatment, your patient gets up feeling great! And that stiff right hand is swinging like he's Muhammad Ali!

The praises start flowing and you get showered with a barrage of "Thank you's!"

But then, you never hear from the patient. Did she get better? Were the praises sincere?

As you might know, most feedback is useless. Most practices will leave it up to chance that a patient sends you the occasional critical and useful feedback that you can actually take action on.

Some of you might have even had that "oh shit" moment where a patient goes on Yelp or Facebook and wrote a critical comment for the world to see.

One of the most powerful systems that any acupuncturist and clinic can implement is a continuous feedback loop.

Continuous Feedback Loop


A continuous feedback loop is, as the name suggests, a proactive system you put in place to elicit comments from patients about you and your services.

It's proactive in that you are actively seeking the advice.

It's a system, meaning that, it's a routine and required step built into your patient lifecycle management as a practitioner and business.

Patient Satisfaction Survey


A patient satisfaction survey is an easy way to implement a continuous feedback loop into your practice.

After every appointment, ask your patients to fill out a quick survey with one or two questions asking about their experience at the practice.

One of the best questions to ask is "How likely are you to recommend us to a friend or family member?"

This question is an NPS score (Net Promoter Score) and it measures the willingness of customers to recommend your product or services.

With this simple question, you can unpack a lot about your patient's experience at your practice.

The Ego


What may be the hardest thing about implementing a continuous feedback loop, is yourself and your ego.

As a society, we rarely ask for critical feedback. Mainly because we don't want to face our own inadequacies or failures. It hurts!

But the opposite hurts even more in the long term, which is never knowing that you're doing something wrong.

Once you're willing to suspend the Ego and start learning from your mistakes, is when you and the practice will improve.

How Jasmine Helps


I'm excited to introduce a new feature in Jasmine that help you and your practice implement a continuous feedback loop and patient satisfaction surveys into your patient lifecycle management flow.

After a patient's appointment, Jasmine will automatically send a patient satisfaction survey to your patient to fill out.



The data and feedback is stored in Jasmine and can be viewed and reported on to improve yourself as a practitioner and business!

Questions? Let me know in the comments below. I'd love to hear from you.

Minto Tsai
Founder

P.S. If this helped you, please Like, Share, email... all the social network love you can give!

Sunday, January 29, 2017

How acupuncturists can be more fortunate this Chinese New Year!


Happy Chinese New Year! This is the year of the Fire Rooster. Cock-a-doodle-doo with some Cholula!

If you're a Rooster, may you have a most fortune filled and prosperous year.

Some famous Roosters include Bob Marley and Britney Spears. Some good company!

So, how can an acupuncturist be more fortunate in 2017?

In short, marketing. 

Putting yourself out into the world and saying, "Hey! I'm here!"

Like I say every year, holidays like these are a great time for you to do some marketing for your practice. Holidays give you a nice built in excuse to reach out!

Did you take advantage of this marketing opportunity this Chinese New Year?

If you missed it, it's not too late to whip up a blog post, social media and email campaign.

Even, putting together a Chinese New Year party at your practice! What a way to ring in the New Year!

Be creative. Have fun!

Also, I put together a list of health related events this year, which you can download using the link below!

There's literally health events every week and month of the year you can use for marketing.

Put the events in your Google calendar with reminders set for a week out, giving you time to setup your marketing campaigns.


Happy Chinese New Year and I hope you get all the red envelopes!

Minto Tsai
Founder

P.S. If this helped you, please Like, Share, email... all the social network love you can give!

Sunday, January 22, 2017

What can a Branded Clinic App do for your Acupuncture practice?


The smart phone has become ingrained into our daily lives. Smart phones are now extensions of ourselves. As, Steve Jobs said, "Computers are bicycles for our minds." 

We're all becoming more comfortable in using various apps on the phone to conduct business and now, even track our health.

As the technology of bits and atoms merge, in other words, the electronic and physical worlds come together, we'll be better able to track and plan our lives. Patient health and the delivery of health care will reap huge benefits.

A progressive acupuncture practice will be able to take advantage of technology to provide better health care and grow your practice.

A Branded Clinic App can offer many benefits for your practice, including instant access, direct patient communication, and patient health progress.

Instant Access


A mobile app would provide your patients with instant access to your clinic. Allowing them the ability to easily schedule appointments without calling or browsing to your website. In addition, they can browse notes and even pay for treatments.

With the myriad of healthcare options, having an app occupy valuable real estate on your patient's screen keeps your clinic at the top of their mind. It becomes an additional marketing channel for your practice.

Direct Patient Communication


Many clinics are already communicating with their patients through text messaging. We can agree or disagree whether this should be happening, the fact is, patients are becoming comfortable with the communication channel.

A mobile app would provide you and your practice a secure, HIPAA compliant way of direct patient communication.

Patient Health Progress


We're increasingly using apps to track our health from diet, exercise, even bowel movements.

The more data that is available, the better informed you, the practitioner will be of your patients' habits and the effects on their health. In turn, providing you with more information on how the patient should be treated.

What other benefits can you think of? I'd love to hear from you!

And if you are interested in being part of the private invite for the Branded Clinic App, sign up with the link below.



Questions? Let me know in the comments below. I'd love to hear from you.

Minto Tsai
Founder

P.S. If this helped you, please Like, Share, email... all the social network love you can give!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

How Acupuncturists can have Superpowers


Are you finding that there's just not enough time in the day to accomplish all that needs to be done in your acupuncture business?

Are you neglecting parts of your business because of the lack of time or expertise?

I'm going to talk about how to give yourself Superpowers to accomplish all your tasks.

I love what I do. Nothing is more rewarding to me than being able to "help people who are really helping people."

And as Jasmine grows, which I'm eternally grateful to my supporters for, the list of things to be done also grows. At times, I'll feel overwhelmed with the ever growing task list.

Especially, when I drop the ball on tasks that I know need to be done, but are neglected for either not having enough hours in the day or being low on the totem pole of tasks.

Have you felt like this? Don't you wish you had Superpowers?! I do.

Acupuncturists are a resourceful bunch with many different skill sets. I've seen acupuncturists take on tasks like designing their own logo, building their own website, etc...

Being a jack of all trades is one of the reasons why you took on the insane challenge of starting your own business. Mad props!

In the beginning, you need to be a DIY expert, especially for first time business owners. I did this. Starting out, you don't know what you don't know, so you need to learn every aspect of your business.

Once you learn what needs to be done in your business, your job as a business owner it to make yourself obsolete as quickly as possible. What I mean by that is that you need to start delegating low value tasks to free up your time to work on high value tasks, those that will grow the business.

If you don't do this, your business growth will stall.

Here's what I doing to start delegating my work and it might be useful for you too.

Value Your Time


First, put a dollar value on what an hour of your time is worth. The easiest way to do this is to use how much you charge for an hour with a patient.

This is the most important step, because it will help you distinguish between low value tasks and high value tasks.

You'll also realize that when you're doing low value tasks, you're devaluing your time.

Make a List. Check it Twice.


The next step is to spend the next week writing down a list of the different tasks you do. ie. scheduling appointments, treating patients, washing towels, etc...

After the week, then write down any additional tasks you know you should be doing but aren't. This could be stuff like, writing blog posts, social media, advertising, etc...

Once you're done, look through it and assign "high value" and "low value" next to each one. The low value tasks will become your list of possible things to delegate and outsource.

Another way to look at "high value" vs "low value" tasks is to distinguish between tasks that grow the business and those that don't. Or, the ones, you enjoy doing vs those you don't.

Outsource


Now we're ready to outsource! Pick a simple task that you feel comfortable having someone else do.

Mentally, letting go of tasks can be difficult, especially since you've been doing it for so long and the thought of paying someone to do it is uncomfortable.

This is where the first exercise of valuing your time is important. If your time is valuable, you'll be limiting your growth by spending time on low value tasks.

Now that you have your simple "low value" task, it's time to find someone to do it for you.

I've been using a freelancer website called Upwork.com, another well known one is freelancer.com. A Google search will give you a list of the different services.

Treat this as an experiment! Start slow with a freelancer on one simple task and expand as you become more comfortable.

If you're interested in how I've used Upwork.com, let me know and I'll write another blog post about it.


Questions? Let me know in the comments below. I'd love to hear from you.

Minto Tsai
Founder

P.S. If this helped you, please Like, Share, email... all the social network love you can give!


Sunday, January 8, 2017

3 things to consider when starting a mobile acupuncture business


When starting a mobile acupuncture business, there are many things to consider. (Heck, starting any business, there's many things to consider!) With a mobile acupuncture business, there's the added logistical considerations aka transportation.

First, you have to pack all your supplies with you, table, needles, biohazard boxes, etc. Oh my!

On top of that, you have to worry about traffic and arriving at the patient's location with time to setup for the treatment!

As Tom Cruise would say, "It's Risky Business!"

Here are some tips for your mobile acupuncture business!

Bake in time for driving to the patient


Since a mobile acupuncture business inverts the patient / practitioner transport model, as a mobile acupuncturist, you need to take into account the travel time to the patient.

In addition, while at the patient's house, you need to think about the amount of time it'll take for you to setup and pack up your gear.

Especially, if you have back to back appointments, you'll want to give yourself enough time to get to the next patient.

In Jasmine, for each of your services, you can set a setup time and teardown time. When patients schedule an appointment, the setup and teardown times are taken into account and scheduled on your calendar.


Ask for payment upfront


As a mobile acupuncturist , you're taking more initial risk and costs, so to minimize that risk and make sure you're compensated, you might think about asking for payment upfront.

In Jasmine, you can accept credit card payments at the time of booking. That way you can feel secure in knowing that you'll be PAID!


Accessible patient information


Another consideration of being mobile is that your car is now your office and all of your patient information and documents needs to go with you.

So instead of lugging around a filing cabinet every where you go, the ability to pull up your patient information from the cloud in any location, becomes immensely invaluable.

Think about getting a tablet (iPad/Android) with internet connection.


To all the mobile acupuncturists out there, we at Jasmine, salute you! Drive fast, but not too fast!

Questions? Let me know in the comments below. I'd love to hear from you.

Minto Tsai
Founder

P.S. If this helped you, please Like, Share, email... all the social network love you can give!