Streamline Your Acupuncture Practice | Jasmine Software: 2017

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Download the 2018 Marketing Calendar for Acupuncturists!

Have you started thinking about your 2018 marketing plans?

The New Year brings new opportunities to grow your practice! And, marketing is the way you create those opportunities.

This year, you might think about trying a new marketing channel you've never tried before.

To get your creative juices flowing, here are some marketing channel ideas acupuncturists are talking about:
  • Email marketing
  • Print ads
  • Facebook ads
  • Meetups
  • Blogging
  • Podcasting
  • YouTube videos
  • Instagram

In addition to choosing a marketing channel, marketing around special events and dates in the year gives you the benefit of riding on the coattails of the marketing buzz already around those events.

This is where the marketing calendar comes in. To help you organize your marketing plan around these yearly events for maximum impact!

I hope this helps your 2018 marketing plans!

Happy New Year!

Minto Tsai

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

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Are you hiring an associate acupuncturist?

Have you thought about bringing on another acupuncturist into your practice?

Lately, several Jasmine clients have been expanding their practice by bringing on associate acupuncturists, massage therapists, and receptionists.

These stories brighten up my day because it means that the acupuncture ecosystem is thriving and growing.

And, I'd like to think that Jasmine has had some hand in helping the ecosystem.

Bringing on an associate acupuncturist also poses a huge issue, the need to keep certain aspects about the practice private, like the your patient list.

Your Patient List is Money

Many practice owners tell me that one of their biggest fears when bringing on an associate acupuncturist or massage therapist, is that the employee will take their patient/client list when they leave the practice.

As a practice owner, this is a legitimate fear, I hear stories about this all the time.

The patient list is literally money!

It's another matter if the acupuncturist is just renting a room from you, operating as a separate entity, and finding their own clients. In this case, there's very little cross over and a very clear line of separation.

Not much to worry about.

But as your employee, the clients and patients that you've acquired by spending your own time and money to market and build your brand is the result of your hard work and that patient list belongs to you.

So how do you keep it safe?

Protecting Your Patient List

As, the practice owner, one way to protect yourself is separation of duties.

Separation of duties means that the associate acupuncturist is given a narrowly scoped set of jobs or tasks within the practice and never has access to your patient list.

In the old paper and pencil world, separation of duties was easier because things were physical and you knew when someone took your contact book or patient notes.

However, in the digital world, where your contact list is electronic, your patient list is as easy as the click of a download button.

So putting safe guards in place to protect your data and your patient's data is important in today's digital world.

How Jasmine Helps

Jasmine helps you in several ways. Here are some of the ways and described in more detail below:
  • Field level security
  • Object permissions
  • Disable data export

In Jasmine, a user can be associated with a profile, which allows you to control all the access for that user within the system.

One of the finest level's of access is Field Level Security, which allows you to control the field that the user has access to. For example, if you want to disable access to a patient's email address or phone number, you can.

The next level would be Object Permissions, which allows you to disable access to a complete type of data. An example would be to completely disable access to your invoices or patient list.

In this case, the user would be unable to create, update, delete, and view a specified object.

And finally, the Data Export functionality can be disabled for a particular user, so that she's unable to easily extract information from your Jasmine database.

Are you planning on bringing on a new associate acupuncturist or employee to your practice? Love to hear about it in the comments below!

Minto Tsai

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

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Easily Create a PDF Document

Have you ever found yourself needing to quickly create a PDF file for your acupuncture practice?

Several times a year, I find myself having to create a PDF file for various reasons, like a quick invoice, contract, etc... any document that looks good and can be easily shared.

PDF documents are good for when you need to share information and don't want the document to be editable by someone else.

In this post, we'll go over the benefits of PDF files, why you would use them, and how to easily create them!

Benefits of PDF Documents

  • Formatting is preserved
  • Readable on almost every device. Free tools available.
  • Not easily editable
  • It's Free

What can you do with PDF files

  • Marketing collateral
  • Contracts
  • Invoices
  • Patient intake forms
  • Signed forms (ie. Informed Consents & Privacy Policies)

Create a PDF with Google Docs

  • Create a New Google Doc
  • Write out your document
  • Download as PDF Document

That's it!

Creating PDF documents are easy and fun!

Another added benefit is that a PDF file feels "official", especially if it's nicely formatted and looks great.

Do you create PDF documents in your practice? Post a comment below!

Minto Tsai

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

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Being HIPAA Compliant with Gmail

As a continuation of exploring Gmail and HIPAA Compliance, this blog post will focus on using Gmail in a HIPAA Compliant way.

To read the previous blog post on this, click here for "Is Gmail HIPAA Compliant?"

To reiterate the core ideas from previous posts, first, email is inherently insecure, so do not sent PHI (Patient Health Information) through email.

Two, Gmail can be used in a HIPAA Compliant way, as mentioned in "Is Gmail HIPAA Compliant?"

Now, we're going to talk in detail about how to be HIPAA Compliant with Gmail.

Google Services covered by BAA

At the time of this post, only a subset of the Google Core Services are covered by the G Suite BAA.

This means, that only the apps in this first box are permitted to be used with PHI.

The following Core Services are not supported for PHI.

Signing the BAA

After signing up for Google's G Suite, you'll want to sign their BAA. The following steps show you how.
  1. Sign in to the Google Admin Console. Go to
  2. Click on Company Profile

  3. Click on Profile

  4. Scroll down to Security and Privacy Additional Terms

  5. Next, click Review and Accept

  6. Answer all three questions and click "Ok"

  7. Review the HIPAA Business Associate Agreement and click "I Accept"

How to send PHI through Gmail

As we've said before, email is inherently insecure. So, you don't want to directly include or attach PHI to your emails, even with Gmail.

The way to send PHI through email is to use Google Drive.

At a high level, you'll upload the PHI to Google Drive and follow the steps below to share with your patient.

  1. Right click on the file or folder to share to bring up the file menu

  2. Click on the Share menu item

  3. Click the Advanced link

  4. Ensure the sharing settings are set to "Specific people can access"

  5. Invite people by entering their email address and setting the correct permission for the file

Ask for Permission

As we mentioned in the post, "Is Gmail HIPAA Compliant?", you'll want to ask your patient's for permission to send HIPAA sensitive information through email.

Don't forget to get it in writing!

Further Reading

HIPAA Compliance with G Suite
G Suite HIPAA Implementation Guide
Opt in to the HIPAA Business Associate Amendment

Do you use Gmail in your practice? Post a comment below!

Minto Tsai

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

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Is Gmail HIPAA Compliant?

Do you use Gmail? Gmail is one of the best email services available. Almost everyone has a Gmail account.

I know many acupuncturists who use Gmail, so it seems like something worth digging into. Is Gmail HIPAA Compliant?

First some house keeping...

As, we all know, HIPAA is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act passed by Congress to regulate different aspects of healthcare.

As, part of HIPAA, the privacy rule regulates the handling of PHI (Patient Health Information) by "covered entities" (ie. you, the acupuncturist).

And, Gmail is a popular email service provided by Google.

Is email secure?

I say this all the time, and I'll say this again. EMAIL IS NOT INHERENTLY SECURE!

You do not want to be sending HIPAA sensitive information or PHI through email.

In the following blog post, I explained why email is insecure. Click on the link to learn why.

What makes email HIPAA Compliant?

We know email is inherently INSECURE. But can email be HIPAA Compliant?

There are a few things that need to be satisfied for email to be compliant.
  1. You must inform patients that email is insecure and get consent that it is ok to send PHI through email.

    Below is guidance from the HIPAA Omnibus Final Rule:

    We clarify that covered entities are permitted to send individuals unencrypted emails if they have advised the individual of the risk, and the individual still prefers the unencrypted email… If individuals are notified of the risks and still prefer unencrypted email, the individual has the right to receive protected health information in that way, and covered entities are not responsible for unauthorized access of protected health information while in transmission to the individual based on the individual’s request. Further, covered entities are not responsible for safeguarding information once delivered to the individual.
  2. The email service must have proper safeguards in place for handling HIPAA sensitive information.

    See HIPAA sections (45 CFR § 164.312(a)(2)(iv) and (e)(2)(ii)).

  3. You must sign a BAA (Business Associate Agreement) with the email provider.

Is Gmail HIPAA Compliant?

As you might know, Google offers 2 versions of Gmail. One is free. The other is a paid version as part of G-Suite.

ONLY the G-Suite version of Gmail is HIPAA Compliant.

And the reason is that only the G-Suite version of Gmail allows you to sign a BAA.

Do you use Gmail in your practice? Post a comment below!

Minto Tsai

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

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Patient Reactivation Emails

One of the best things for your acupuncture business is to have repeat patients. Repeat patients is a good metric that you're providing a good product or service, otherwise they wouldn't be coming back!

A nice side effect of having repeat patients is they make your practice more stable and profitable by providing a steady income source.

This is why selling packages are so powerful, but we'll talk about packages another day.

Today, I want to talk about patient reactivation emails.

Why do patient's disappear?

Have you ever asked yourself, why a patient disappeared? Understanding why a patient stays or leaves is important to increasing patient retention and creating the best patient retention strategy.

Some common reasons a patient might have disappeared are:

  • Life got busy
  • Moved
  • Job change
  • Had a bad experience
  • Got well

So, your patient disappeared, now what?

When your patient disappears, you can wait and hope they come back or you can be proactive and bring them back.

There are many strategies for patient retention and reactivation. Some include email newsletters, postcards, and phone calls.

Patient reactivation emails are a great low cost way of bring patients back into the practice.

You have been asking patients for email addresses like I told you too, right?

Writing a patient reactivation email

When writing your patient reactivation email, you'll want to remember the AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action) formula from copywriting.

Write an Attention grabbing email subject line. Grab their Interest in the first couple sentences. Create a Desire to come into the practice. And, most importantly, give them an Action to contact the practice.

Some ideas for a patient reactivation email might be:

  • Remind them of the benefits of routine acupuncture treatments
  • Offer an incentive to return
  • Offer your expertise and help to bettering their health

How Jasmine Helps

Jasmine now has a feature to help you with your patient reactivation emails. Jasmine automatically sends your patients reactivation emails every 30, 60, and 360 days to your lapsed patients.

Now you don't have to remember to send your reactivation emails, just let Jasmine do it!

To learn more, email me at to schedule a demo!

Minto Tsai

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

Sunday, May 21, 2017

AOMA Southwest Symposium 2017 Recap

Sarah, Denise, Lisa, Minto (Left to Right)

After a couple weeks, the dust from the weekend of what was the AOMA Southwest Symposium 2017 has finally settled.

So much happened that weekend, I'm still processing and reminiscing about it.

The one thing that stands out about the whole experience is how much I enjoy and love serving the wonderful people of this community.

Four years ago, when I attended my first AOMA Southwest Symposium, as an outsider, I was struck and left with the same feelings of community.

Being a vendor this year, reinforced those same feelings.

Thank You, AOMA!

Congratulations to the people at AOMA for running a smooth symposium. As an attendee looking on, the amount of preparation and coordination seems like it takes a herculean effort. And the AOMA crew made it look easy.

Special thanks to Cara Edmonds, the AOMA Symposium Coordinator, who guided me, answered countless questions, and made sure everything went smoothly.

Cara, Will, Minto (Left to Right)

The Branded Clinic App

At the Symposium, Jasmine Software launched The Branded Clinic App. As the name implies, this is a dedicated iPhone & Android mobile app branded for your acupuncture clinic. The app is for your patients to schedule appointments and contact your clinic.

Attn: Acupuncturists. Jasmine Software just launched a new branded mobile app for your clinic at this year's Symposium. Go check out their new app at! #SWSATX
Posted by Southwest Symposium on Sunday, May 7, 2017

To New and Old Friends

Finally, thank you to all the new friends of Jasmine Software made during the Symposium. And, to all the old friends who dropped by to say "hi" and help out at the booth!

Special thanks to Sarah Marie for helping out Saturday at the booth with me. 

And to two amazing acupuncturists, Denise Zamarripa (Revive Health Acupuncture) and Lisa Lapwing (Whole Health Acupuncture) for wearing the Jasmine Software t-shirts and helping spread the word!

And, finally, finally, this being the final Southwest Symposium as part of the free standing AOMA, which going forward will be part of Bastyr University, I'm soo glad Jasmine Software was in attendance!

Minto Tsai

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

Monday, May 8, 2017

Introducing: The Branded Clinic App

On Saturday, May 6, 2017, at the AOMA 2017 Southwest Symposium, we announced The Branded Clinic App for acupuncture practices.

The Branded Clinic App, as the name implies, is a dedicated iPhone and Android app for your practice with your logo.

The Branded Clinic App helps your practice build and develop your own brand image.

Patients will be able to download and install the app on their mobile phones. They'll be able to schedule and view appointments, in addition to contact the office.

The Branded Clinic App will become your direct communication mechanism for your patients with your practice.

To learn more, check out The Branded Clinic App page:

Minto Tsai

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

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Jasmine is giving away an Amazon Echo Dot

Are you ready for the AOMA Southwest Symposium?! This year's Southwest Symposium is sure to be one of the best!

After doing a walk through of the venue the other day, I'm really excited to meet all of you!

If you're at the Southwest Symposium on May 6th, 2017, sign up for our live session at Booth #5 or with the following link.

Signing up for a live session will automatically enter you in our Amazon Echo Dot giveaway!

Only those present at the live session on Saturday can win, don't miss out!

Minto Tsai

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

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Want to find out what they're are saying about you and your acupuncture practice?

Have you ever wondered if people are talking about you and your practice? If a client said something unattractive about you online, would you know?

An easy way to keep up with what Google knows about you is to create Alerts.

When you create a Google Alert, you enter a keyword or phrase that tells Google, "When this keyword or phase comes up, let me know!"

And, when the keyword or phrase matches on an article or website, Google will send you an email. How cool is that!

Here's how to create your first Google Alert!

Go to Google Alerts

First, go to the Google Alerts page. Here's the link:

If you're logged in, you'll notice your account avatar on the top right hand corner. If you're not logged in, you'll want to log in with your Google account.

I use my business account, because I want my alerts to go to my business email.

Search for a Keyword

In the search box, type in the keyword you would like to create an alert for like your practice name or the keyword "acupuncture".

When you type in your keyword or phrase, Google will show you news and web sites matching that keyword or phrase in the Alert preview section.

Alert Options

When you have your keyword in, you'll want to tell Google, how often to send you alerts. To do that, click on the Show options twistie.

Voila! Options!

Create Alert

Once you've chosen your alert options, click the Create Alert button.

Create More Alerts

After creating one alert, go ahead and create other alerts for whatever you're interested in. Here are some ideas:
  • Acupuncture
  • Traditional Chinese Medicine
  • Your company name
  • Your web domain name
  • Your name

Alert Emails

After your alerts are created, you'll start getting emails for news containing those keywords.

Google Alerts are a great way to keep up with your field and brand. If you run a blog and email marketing, Google Alerts is a great way to get inspiration for topics!

How will you use Google Alerts in your practice? Post a comment below!

Minto Tsai

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

Monday, April 3, 2017

Jasmine at AOMA Southwest Symposium 2017

Jasmine Software is making a house call at AOMA Southwest Symposium 2017!

From May 5-7, Jasmine will be at the Southwest Symposium, the annual conference that provides informative and educational seminars for people in the health care profession.

The Southwest Symposium brings together a truly diverse set of healthcare professionals from acupuncturists, massage therapists, naturopaths, herbalists, and nurses.

We'll be at Booth #5. Come by and say "hi"!

You'll also have many opportunities to meet up. We'll be giving personalized demos as well as group demos.

Meet the Team

We want to meet you! Schedule one-on-one time for a personalized demo and get all your questions answered.

Click here to Request a meeting!

Live Demo

We'll be giving live demos at the symposium. Sign up to attend one of the sessions.

Click here to Register for the Live Demo!

Visit our website for complete details!

Minto Tsai

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

Sunday, March 19, 2017

3 Ways to Reduce Your "No Show" Problem

Are you sick of your patients not showing up for appointments? Wasting your time and money!

We all know the feeling.

You have an appointment in 10 minutes, so you're scrambling and rushing to get everything ready. Counting down the minutes to when the patient arrives.

As the clock ticks closer to the hour, your mind starts coming up with patterns between your interaction with the patient and you get this gut feeling that something was off.  Leading you to think she might not show.

The appointment time arrives and you start making excuses for the patient. Maybe she got stuck in traffic or she's about to walk in the door any time now.

Five minutes past the hour and your hopes start waning... Another "No Show" patient... You won't be treating a patient that hour... You won't be making money...

"No Shows" suck!

Could you have prevented this?

I'm going to give you 3 ways to reduce your "No Show" problem.


The idea is to give your patients the opportunity to make a commitment to you to show up for the appointment. The commitment doesn't need to be big. A small commitment will do.

In the book, Pre-Suasion by Robert Cialdini, he talks about a British medical study which used commitments to reduce no shows.

“ A standard practice designed to reduce these no-shows involves calling patients the day before to remind them of the appointment. In a study led by my colleague Steve J. Martin and conducted in British medical clinics, such efforts reduced failures by 3.5 percent. But the reminder calls required time and money to deliver and didn't always reach their targets. Compare that to the wisdom of employing a commitment procedure. When making a future appointment after an office visit, we all know what happens. The receptionist writes down the time and date of the next appointment on a card and gives it to patients. If, instead, the patients are asked to fill in the card, that active step gets them more committed to keeping the appointment. When this costless procedure was tried in the British medical clinic study, the subsequent no-show rate dropped by 18 percent. ”

Just by asking the patient to fill out a card caused the no show rate to drop 18 percent! That's fascinating!


Peoples lives are busy these days. In addition, we're easily distracted

Look, a new cat video!

Much of our life is run on an interrupt basis. Unless something pops up to remind us, we easily forget about it.

Another way to reduce no shows is to give your patients a reminder, whether by phone, email, or text message.

This way, you bring the appointment at the top of their mind!


There are many ways to hold a patient accountable to showing up to their appointment.

One of the most common ways is to take a patients credit card when booking an appointment. Then, when they no show, you charge them full or partial payment.

Losing money is a hard and effective lesson to learn! The power of financial incentives is a tool many clinics use.

There you go... 3 ways to help you with your no show problem.

I hope this gives you a few ideas for how you can reduce them.

Jasmine provides several features to help you reduce no shows. To learn more, email me at to schedule a demo!

Minto Tsai

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

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Using Social Proof at Your Acupuncture Practice

As an acupuncturist and business owner, how can you stand out from your competition?

Acupuncturists in popular cities face a lot of competition.

If you're in a relatively large city, you're competing against hundreds of acupuncturist. You're also competing against all the other modalities that patients can choose from!

Just in Austin alone, a quick Yelp search resulted in 412 results! Holy Guacamole!

If you look at it from the patient's point of view, how do they choose?

In this post, I'll talk about a powerful tool you can use at your practice to help patients and customer choose YOUR practice.

The tool is a phenomena called Social Proof.

What is Social Proof?

Social proof is the idea that people will match their behavior to what other people are doing.

This is especially true in ambiguous situations where the correct behavior is difficult to determine.

We all do this. And, it makes sense.

In a world of endless information, we all look for signals to help us make a decision.

Types of Social Proof

According to Buffer, there are 5 different types of Social Proof.
  1. Expert social proof
    Expert social proof is when an industry thought leader endorses your product or service.

    An good example is the US Military using acupuncture.

  2. Celebrity social proof

    Celebrity social proof is when a celebrity endorses your product or service. This is especially powerful if the endorsement is unpaid.

    Kim Kardashian posting a picture of herself getting acupuncture is a good example.

  3. User social proof

    User social proof are endorsements from regular users of your product or service. They can be testimonials (text and video), Yelp reviews, and case studies.

    Below is an example of a Yelp review. What makes this powerful, is that it's on a 3rd party site and you see a name and face.

  4. "Wisdom of the Crowds" social proof

    This type of social proof is the idea that people tend to follow large groups.

    If lots of people are buying something, it's got to be good!

    Here's an article talking about the rise of acupuncture:

  5. "Wisdom of Your Friends" social proof

    "Wisdom of your friends" social proof is the idea that an endorsement from your friends is more trusted than an advertisement or promotion. This is because your friends wouldn't lie to you and don't benefit from the endorsement.

    A referral program for customers to invite friends is a great example!

How to use Social Proof at your practice

As you can see, there are many different types of Social Proof. And, many ways you can use this technique to convince patients and customers to choose your service over another.

A few quick ways you can use Social Proof right away at your practice:

  • Add patient testimonials with pictures to your website and newsletters
  • Write a blog post or newsletter talking about which celebrity is using acupuncture
  • Create a referral program for your customers
  • Automate follow-ups with patients asking for reviews and referrals
  • Write up a case study for difficult or common patient case you treated successfully
  • Create a Youtube video of a patient testimonial
As, you can see, there's an endless number of ideas. You just have to put a little thought and creativity into it!

How will you use social proof in your practice? Post a comment below and share with the community!

Minto Tsai

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

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

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

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

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

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

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