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Medical Spa MD is a world-wide physician community for clinicians in skin clinics, laser centers and medspas with thousands of physician members around the world. By using this site you agree to our terms of service and fine print.

For Physicians In Cosmetic MedicineMedical Spa MD is the premier physician community for dermatologists, plastic surgeons and clinicians practicing in skin clinics, laser centers, and medspas with thousands of physician members around the world. Why should you join Medical Spa MD? Learn More > Join Now For Instant Access To Members Content & Downloads. It's free!
 
Wednesday
Sep242014

Telemedicine Startups: TruClinic

TruClinic is delivering on the promise that telemedicine can finally get to work in health care.

I've mentioned TruClinic before and my guess is that you'll be hearing more about them since they look like they're starting to gain traction with larger providers who need to become more efficient in delivering care without lowering their standards or running afoul of compliance issues. TruClinic lets them do that by taking many patient interactions onine.

TruClinic has just been awarded a $50,000 prize as a "health venture with business solutions to challenges faced by patients and healthcare systems".

Here's the press release.

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Sep242014

Laser & IPL Hair Removal Regulations In Dubai

As in other places in the world where regulatory bodies aren't keeping up with advancing technology, the Dubai Health Authority saw that cosmetic lasers and IPLs were being purchased by hair salons and spas and being used to treat patients.

It's interesting to see how different countries deal with regulation and just how much they use the regulatory bodies of the US, Canada and Europe as base lines to implement their own regulation.

Here's a link to the Dubai Health Authorities regulations for Laser and IPL hair removal wich is interesting both for what it includes, and what it doesn't:

The number of facilities offering to remove unwanted hair through the use of lasers or similar medical devices is growing in the Emirates of Dubai.

By adding non-invasive and minimally invasive therapies to the beauty saloons services, beauty saloons start to treat patients instead of treating clients. This regulation is intended to be the fundamental regulation that will govern patient safety in any facility providing laser or similar medical devices hair removal services in the Emirate of Dubai.

The persons, establishment, public or private facility shall cease laser hair removal services with effect from August 31st, 2011 if the facility did not meet the laser hair removal regulation requirements.

Sunday
Sep212014

5 Ways To Turn Negative Reviews Of Your Medical Spa Around

If you're a dermatologist, plastic surgeon or medspa you've probably and you've been in business for a while, you've probably had some comments or reviews posted about you online that are less than flattering.

Cosmetic medicine seems to suffer from 'perfection expectations' more than other practices and with the advent of the internet and patients increasingly savvy use of it, it's easy for a less than perfect outcome or lapse in customer service to become a public event that's driving away new patients and tarnishing your online reputation. 

It's important to remember that even when 20% of all medical spa reviews are fake, that these are actually opportunities that you can use to both expand your reach and come across as a real person (which can actually help you considerably), but before you start penning a groveling apology let's take a look at how we can do some comment-judo and see if we can't turn these hurtful words to our advantage.

Here are 7 things that you can do turn around negative reviews of your clinic or medspa.

1. If the criticism has merit, apologize fast and accept responsibility.

We've all dropped the ball in some way. The more 'real person' and human you seem the more forgiving others are. Respond quickly and mean it, then outline what you're going to do to fix it now and in the future. Getting this right will position you as a clinician who cares rather than a defensive and patronizing jerk.

Had to wait too long to see someone? Wouldn't match the other local medspa's pricing? Couldn't use a Groupon after the expiration date? Admitting a negative has a strong psychological association with the truth, and you can use a small admission to actually increase your trustworthiness. Just be sure to do it fast, completely, and without that hint of sarcasm or patronizing tone that can often creep in.

2: Use it as real feedback and an opportunity to improve.

The worst reviews are the middling reviews of three thats that don't illicit enough emoitional response to even let you know where you're falling short. At least a one star review and an outpouring of profanity lets you know that you have a real problem that you can address rather than a festering wound that goes unnoticed but is continually costing you patients and damaging your reputation. So, if you get lampooned, take it as an opportunity to track down the real issue.

From Shmula: Henry David Thoreau said “There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil for every one striking at the root.”  His statement was a commentary on the human condition but, I believe, describes quite well the state of most companies: companies launch initiatives that don’t actually attack root causes of business problems, instead their aim is on the branches — we need to pay Taiichi Ohno’s 5-Why’s a visit and remember that surgically attacking statistically validated root causes is the only way to solve problems, improve the customer experience, and improve the enterprise.

Taiichi Ohno is known to have said that “having no problems is the biggest problem of all.”  He viewed problems not as a negative but as a “Kaizen opportunity in disguise.”  Whenever problems arose, he encouraged his staff to investigate the problem at the source and to as “ask ‘why’ five times about every matter. Here's one of his favorite examples:

1. “Why did the robot stop?”
The circuit has overloaded, causing a fuse to blow.
2. “Why is the circuit overloaded?”
There was insufficient lubrication on the bearings, so they locked up.
3. “Why was there insufficient lubrication on the bearings?”
The oil pump on the robot is not circulating sufficient oil.
4. “Why is the pump not circulating sufficient oil?”
The pump intake is clogged with metal shavings.
5. “Why is the intake clogged with metal shavings?”
Because there is no filter on the pump.

The purpose here is to follow through and discover what's going wrong with your processes that can be fixed or improved. in many cases it's easy and relatively simple.

1. “Why did this patient feel the need to post a negative review?”
She was upset that she couldn't book her regular appointment for Botox.
2. “Why couldn't she book her regular Botox appointment?”
The front desk couldn't schedule her treatment at the time she requested.
3. “Why couldn't the treament be scheduled?”
The front desk software showed that there were no available appointments.
4. “Why were there no avialable appointments?”
The software won't make appointments of less than 15 minutes and won't allow double-booking.
5. “Why can't we double-book in the software?”
Because we haven't taken the time to change the settings in the software.

Perhaps that example doesn't fit you but the idea is clear. Track your issues back to the root with purpose and take care of them.

3: Overcompensate with your response.

Going overboard in your response can position you as someone who will do almost anything to please your patients. If you do it right you'll come across as one of the good guys who, even in the face of a disgruntled or angry patient, can respond with level-headed care. Using Twitter or Facebook to reach out to a (justifiably) disgruntled patient and offering them a free product, service or treatment (or more) is worth far less than it would cost for all the free advertising and congratulatory press you can get. Remember to be reasonable and don't pinch pennies or go so far overboard that it feels contrived.

If you are successful with this tactic you can reuse it across the board. Publish photos of this patient being treated in your medspa along with a few sentances and perhaps a testimonial (if you can win them back).

4: Humor always wins if it's done well.

Humor is the great equalizer that can take the sting out of any attack, especially if the attackers go overboard. Take a look at this video published by Bodyform in response to criticism on Facebook about periods being over-hyped with beauty shots.

In 2012, Bodyform received a well written complaint on their Facebook page lamenting how tampon adverts always presented an idyllic lifestyle rather than the less pleasant experience of real life... and his post was racking up likes. Instead of taking it lying down, Bodyform responded with a well-produced sarcastic apology that generated over five million views and received an overwhelmingly positive response.

5: Never leave it alone.

Any of the tactics above can work depending upon the circumstances, but the primary thing you want to do is make sure that you respond appropriately as soon as you're aware there's an issue. Any response is better than no response at all.

More reading:

Friday
Sep192014

AMEC 2014: October 24-25 In Paris

The 2nd Aesthetic and Anti-aging Medicine European Congress will be held in Paris, 24–25 October 2014.

It's been the case for a while now that physicians in Canada, the US, and Austrailia have been benefitting from the advances in aesthetic treatments out of Europe. If you happen to be able to to make your way to Paris in October and would like to expense your trip you now have a great opportunity.

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Sep172014

Stunted Emotional Growth From Botox In The UK?

Botox treatments on young patients (under 25) may retard their emotional growth and is "morally wrong" according to some UK clinicians.

At least that's a recent BBC headline that might be more link-baiting than actual research. 

According to the UK's Journal of Aesthetic Nursing, clinicians say there is a growing trend for under-25s to seek the wrinkle-smoothing injections but research suggests "frozen faces" could stop young people from learning how to express emotions fully. Additionally, a leading body of UK plastic surgeons says injecting teenagers for cosmetic reasons is "morally wrong".

What's going on here?

Nurse practitioner Helen Collier, who carried out the research, says reality TV shows and celebrity culture are driving young people to idealize the "inexpressive frozen face."

But she points to a well-known psychological theory, the facial feedback hypothesis, that suggests adolescents learn how best to relate to people by mimicking their facial expressions.

She says: "As a human being our ability to demonstrate a wide range of emotions is very dependent on facial expressions.

"Emotions such as empathy and sympathy help us to survive and grow into confident and communicative adults."

But she warns that a "growing generation of blank-faced" young people could be harming their ability to correctly convey their feelings.

"If you wipe those expressions out, this might stunt their emotional and social development," she says.

 

Dr Michael Lewis, a researcher in psychology at Cardiff University, says: "The expressions we make on our face affect the emotions we feel.

"We smile because we are happy, but smiling also makes us happy.

"Treatment with drugs like Botox prevents the patient from being able to make a particular expression and can therefore have an effect on our learning to feel emotions naturally."

Rajiv Grover, president of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, says: "Injecting teenagers with Botox for cosmetic purposes is morally wrong and something that no ethical practitioner would do.

Of course this might have been morea bout Ms Collier's presentation at the Clinical Cosmetic and Reconstructive Expo and generating a little visibility for both the presenter and the venue.

I tend to agree with many of the premises here in that cosmetic treatments simply to cater to perceived imperfections for younger patients just shouldn't be performed, but it seems a stretch to say that the Botox is the cause rather that the effect. In the patients that I've seen that fall into this age group and are looking for cosmetic treatments there are already many factors that are contributing to this behavior in the first place rather that flowing from previous treatments.

Body dysmporphic disorder in the young is something that every cosmetic practioner runs into from time to time. It's up to each clinician to understand what the patient psychology is and how best to address it. Blaming the actual treatments is overly simplistic in my view.

Saturday
Sep132014

Build Your Medical Spa Around Patient Experience & Your Patients Will Be Happier

Focusing on your patients experience in your medspa will result in happier patients, more positive word of mouth, and fewer headaches for you and your staff.

Physicians are often focused on outcomes, many times at the cost of a patients experience, but that's just bass-akwards in elective cosmetic medicine where the real outcome should be measured almost exclusively in long term patient satisfaction and not in visible results.

Unconvinced? Here are a couple of reasons that you'll want to focus on your patient's experience and how you might think about putting experience at the top of your patient interactions:

  1. There's new research that shows that purchases made on 'experiences' results in more happiness that spending money on tangible goods. Concert tickets, piano lessons, a fine dinner... all of these elicit more happiness than physical products and the effects last longer.

    "Purchasing things like televisions, clothes and coffee machines won't make you happier overall -- but buying experiences maximizes happiness," says Michael Norton in a CNN interview. (He's an associate professor of business administration at Harvard Business School and co-author of the book, "Happy Money: The Science of Smarter Spending.")
  2. We humans get additional pleasure from social interactions and bonding across the entire experience, starting with the anticipation and continuing on as positive memories. The difference is really one of degree with the social aspects having significant impact on how past experience are perceived. The result is that 'experiences' have additional reinforcement that happens over time adding to those positive feelings and acting as reminders.

 The focus on patient experience clearly explains how physicians or clinics who might not have nearly as significant outcomes are still able to compete, and in many cases dominate, clinics who focus entirely on the physical results their delivering. It's an important distinction and means real euros and dollars for your clinic.

Friday
Sep122014

2 New (And Free) Products For Medical Spas

Over the course of the next month we're going to release two new free products to address the needs of cosmetic physicians and medical spas.

You can see our current free deals for medical spas here.

We're getting some new parnters involved that are looking to address pain points that every clinic needs to address around increased clinic visibiliy, new patient leads, and clinic operations. Over the next few weeks we're going to realeas a couple of new (and free) services:

  1. A new and improved medical spa directory that incorporates the newest technologies to drive increased patient traffic. This new directory will tap in to existing networks and get you in front of potential clients where you can tell your story.
  2. A medical spa operations manuals that independent medical spas can use to train and manage their staff. This manual is excatly what you know that you need, but is usually unattainable. We've done a deal that will make the operations manual from one of the most successful multi-location medical spas to Members.

Both of these offerings will be free to Medical Spa MD Members so if you're not already a member make sure that you join to get the latest stuff.

Friday
Sep122014

New California Law Protects Patients From "Disparagement Clauses" That Some Medical Spas Are Using

A new California state law just signed by Gov. Jerry Brown makes reviews a lot safer for patients, and prevents medical spas or cosmetic practices from pursuing any legal action against patients who post negative reviews online.

This legislation is the first of it's kind and addresses so-called "disparagement clauses" that are sometimes used in a clinics patient forms that prohibit patients from posting negative comments about the services, staff, clinic or physician.

This new law effectively bans such clauses and any clinic that tries to enforce one could pay $2,500 for the first offense and $5,000 each additional time, with an extra $10k tacked on if the action is considered "willful, intentional, or reckless".

The First Amendment is only in the US of course, France is a different story. In July a French blogger was fined because her negative review of a restaurant was appearing too high in Google's search.

If you're in California, not only is any non-disparagement clause uninforcable, it's now illegal.

Here's the copy from the bill:

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Sep092014

Unintended Consequences Of Policies Inside Your Medical Spa

How do we keep track of new patient inquires? How do I get my staff to sell more products and services? How can I get my front desk to mention our newest IPL treatment or Botox pricing?

New policies and procedures are usually implemented to try and address a perceived (or real) problem, ut even the most carefully crafted procedures are very seldom realized when you throw human nature into the mix. Take a look at these famous examples from a Quora thread on unintended consequences:

A particularly famous example named the Cobra Effect:

The term cobra effect stems from an anecdote set at the time of British rule of colonial India. The British government was concerned about the number of venomous cobra snakes in Delhi. The government therefore offered a bounty for every dead cobra. Initially this was a successful strategy as large numbers of snakes were killed for the reward. Eventually, however, enterprising persons began to breed cobras for the income. When the government became aware of this, the reward program was scrapped, causing the cobra breeders to set the now-worthless snakes free. As a result, the wild cobra population further increased. The apparent solution for the problem made the situation even worse.

Here's a particularly relevant one around trying to improve service times that results in exactly the opposite:

My first job was as a crew member at a Burger King. To ensure speedy service in the drive thru, a timer was installed and hooked up to a pair of sensors so that it started when the car drove up to the speaker, and stopped when the car left the drive through window. The times were aggregated throughout the day and the times for each restaurant were reported back to the district supervisor.

As a result of this system, on days when we weren't meeting our goal time (generally 3 minutes), the managers would instruct us to have each car pull around to the front of the restaurant immediately after receiving payment if their order wasn't ready yet, causing the timer to stop counting. Then, rather than handing the food out the window, we would have to step out from behind the counter, walk up to the front, deliver the order and then walk back. So the customers ended up waiting longer for their food because we had to travel farther to deliver it, and also reduced the amount of time that we could spend productively handling other customers.

If you're looking to implement a system or procedure to try and deal with a problem or need, make sure that you're not creating more work or building something that will cause unwanted behaviors in your staff. Your perception of what you need might actually be causing you more grief. Here are a couple of thoughts to remember:

  • Nothing you implement exists in a vacuum: If you're asking your staff to spend time talking to patients about your newest Botox or Restylane pricing, there's going to be less time to talk about your IPL or Thermage. If your focused on making sure that patients aren't taking advantage of your time by giving them only 10 minute consultations, your customer service will suffer.
  • Everyone acts in thier own 'perceived' best interest: If you're going to offer a discount for Botox treatments before noon and your nurse injector or front desk staff is bonused on total Botox revenue, don't expect them to be pushing this new program.
  • There's someting at work called Braess's Paradox: It states that "Adding extra capacity to a network when the moving entities selfishly choose their route, can in some cases reduce overall performance. This is because the Nash equilibrium of such a system is not necessarily optimal."

If you have any stories of something that you implemented that had unintended consequences in your clinic or medspa, leave them in the comments below.

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Sep072014

Download Medical Spa Embezzlement & Employee Theft Scams - It's Free

In a recent study, more than 82% of medical clinics reported at least one issue with employee theft or embezzlement... that they were aware of. This free guide to beating embezzlement and employee theft schemes uncovers the hidden tactics behind how these scams work, and how you can find them before they capsize your clinic.

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Download Medical Spa Embezzlement & Employee Thef Scams

_______________________________

Embezzlement and employee theft are an unfortunate fact in almost every business, and especially in cosmetic medical practices. If you haven't ever had to deal with this you're extremely lucky since it has taken place in every clinic I've been personally involved with and the stories that are told by physicians and business owners are legion.

If you think it can't happen in your business you';re just whistling past the graveyard. It can. It will.This report is designed to give you a fighting chance to identify how your business is at risk, to understand how these schemes work, and what you can do to minimize your risk and take action when you find a problem.

You're about to read the many stories that have been collected from clinics and physicians; from how a physician-employee put an extra account on a credit card terminal to deposit payments into his own checking account to how a NP would inject patients with straight saline and steal the Botox to use in her own side business. Some of the stories are almost beyond belief in their brazenness and the damage that was caused. In almost every case, the employee was a trusted team member.

Employees that are embezzling or stealing from you are enabled by ignorance and naivety. On the following pages you'll begin to remedy those issues.

I wish a report like this wasn't necessary, but it is.

If you don't read it you're a fool.

___________________________________________________

Download Medical Spa Embezzlement & Employee Thef Scams

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Here's what physicins are saying:

Great report! It should be required reading for 
all doctors — even for those of us who've 
been around!
Marguerite Barnett MD FACS PA, Mandala Medspa
A very eye-opening and sobering report.
This is a must read for everyone!
Windie Hayano, The Skin Inc. Dermatology and Laser Center
Opened my eyes! The information in this report is invaluable! I hadn't even thought of some of the scams mentioned in these testimonials!
Lori Robertson FNP, Skin Perfect Medical Rancho
Great! ...after reading others experiences I realize that you just cannot be too careful when it comes to the financial security of your business.
This report will help other centers avoid going through what we had to endure and overcome.
Brian Sidella, Founder, Forever Young Medspa
Sunday
Sep072014

Louisiana Cosmetic Laser & IPL Law Questions & Answers

Legal issues around who can own or use a cosmetic laser or IPL are among the most common questions asked by both physicians and non-physicians who are investigating the medical spa market.

Here's a question posted inside the Medical Spa MD LinkedIn Group

What is the best way to find out what the Louisiana Laws are for operating lasers at your spa? From what I have read, it seems as though you have to have a physician present, however, most of the medi spas around run lasers but do not have physicians present so I am very confused. Does anyone know a way to find out more information?

Saturday
Sep062014

Concierge Medicine: The First Insurance Company Moves To Reimburse Physicians For Online Care

Physicians just got a little bit of a boost towards the ability to use the power of the web to deliver services online, and be reimbursed for it.

Arches Health Plan has activated 30 new CPT codes specifically for telemedicine sessions conducted by physicians, PAs and nurses marking the first health insurance co-op and the first non-affilliated insurance company to provide reimbursment for both primary online care and primary specialty online care.

Here's the press release.

Click to read more ...

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