Currents: Reboot Your Practice
A New Resource to Improve Your Practice
Thinking of starting your own practice or hoping to grow your existing one? From the editors of Practical Dermatology® magazine, Practice PATH MD is a new digital publication (PracticePathmd.com) designed to help you prepare for the future. Each edition of Practice PATH MD offers tips for residents and new physicians—and even established doctors—on a range of topics related to professional and practice development to help them Plan, Achieve, Thrive.
Pearls from the latest edition:
Boost your consult conversions with live video. Predictions hold that video content will represent 74 percent of all internet traffic for 2017. Do you sell products in your practice? Four times as many consumers would rather watch a video about a product than read about it. While the use of video may have originally required a hefty budget and employing an agency for the creation, you now have so many tools at your fingertips that allow you to get started with just your smartphone and good lighting.
Come to terms with the need to possibly terminate an employer. Doing what’s best for the business is not always easy for the leader. The financial bottom line is eventually impacted by those who require termination or reassignment. In short, it costs you sooner or later, so don’t delay the inevitable. It’s profoundly simple, yet simply profound.
Optimize your practice’s website for search engines. Unfortunately, it’s not enough to have a website with great content. Any attempt at an online presence must account for the role of the search engines. In other words, you need SEO. Short for Search Engine Optimization, SEO is activity that helps potential patients find information about you online. For instance, if your site isn’t mobile-friendly, it won’t achieve high rankings or traffic.
Redesign your practice website without destroying your SEO. In the business of aesthetic medicine and dermatology, image is important. The appearance of your website should reflect your specialty and your brand identity. Fortunately, visual elements are the simplest updates in terms of SEO. Changing images, colors, and page layout should have little, if any, impact. Search engines read text, metadata, and code. If these things are unaltered, your ranking will likely be unaffected.
Get more at practicepathmd.com
AMA Community: Support to Improve Practice, Combat Burnout, More
The American Medical Association (AMA) hosts a Running Your Practice Community group on its website for any physician. AMA members can join the community, “to connect with physician practice leaders and administrators like you to discuss practice management ideas, hear success stories and share thoughts with peers,” the association says.
Visit Run-your-practice.communities.ama-assn.org/ to connect with peers on issues including managing staff, physician burnout, and contract negotiation.
Buying a Device? Insider Tips
Don’t get caught up in purchasing the new device by the end of a trade show because of a “show special.” Vendors are constantly at a show, according to Jay A. Shorr, BA, MBM-C, CAC I-XI and Mara Shorr, BS, CAC II-XI. If you miss one show, the special will be there at the next one and the one after that. You may even get a better deal down the road. The best time to negotiate is at the end of a quarter or fiscal year, especially if the company is publically traded and needs to satisfy shareholders.
The Shorrs also have tips on what to negotiate:
Consumables. A reduced cost for tips, grounding pads, or other consumables results in a lower cost per procedure.
Marketing materials. Many vendors include marketing materials or marketing dollars in the purchase price. Some include additional external educational training at an offsite location, while others bring in third-party contractors to train staff.
Shipping. This is usually done through a third-party transportation company so it is more difficult to negotiate, but it’s not impossible. Your vendor may reduce the cost of the machine itself to compensate for the cost of the shipping.
Warranty. Try to negotiate for either an extended maintenance agreement above and beyond the standard terms or a discount on additional terms.
The Worst That Can Happen
Your initial contact is usually the salesperson who is either a manufacturer’s representative or an actual employee of the company, the Shorrs note. They are usually commission based, so it is not in their interest to give you the best deal. It’s OK to ask to speak with a supervisor at any time during the buying (negotiation) process.
It never hurts to low ball. The worst thing the seller can say is “No,” and then you are no worse off than when you first started. Don’t be afraid to walk away from the deal if you don’t feel like you are getting the best opportunity. You can always come back to the negotiating table.
If this type of negotiating isn’t in your blood, consider hiring a consultant who can help you get the best deal on that new device and more, the Shorrs suggest.
Get the full story in the July/August edition of Modern Aesthetics® magazine: ModernAesthetics.com/2017/08. And if you want to get rid of a device, Jay Shorr can help with that, too. Watch ModernAesthetics.com/series/to-be-shorr.