We spoke with Debbie, a Registered Dietitian and Licensed Nutritionist, whose specialty areas of practice include bariatric surgery, weight management/associated weight conditions, and gastrointestinal issues, all under the umbrella of improving lifestyle and wellness.
Debbie’s career has included private practice, clinical care, research, and supporting hospitals and practices with implementing bariatric programs while training hundreds of healthcare professionals. She also worked with teams to create patient engagement tools to ensure quality and best outcomes. Debbie realized her greatest desire was to engage with patients directly and she returned to private practice in 2019. In January 2021, Debbie launched VIP Nutrition Coach.
Let’s jump into our chat with Debbie to learn more about building a solid infrastructure for your business!
Why are you passionate about having a solid infrastructure in place for your practice?
Throughout my career, there were teams supporting sales, marketing, accounting, IT, customer support, administrative and I had to face the reality that I was starting as a one-person operation. Therefore, I needed a way to have these critical components as a strong part of my infrastructure to support the scalability and growth of a successful company. This infrastructure allows me to fulfill my desire to provide an inquisitive, fresh, motivating, and individualized patient experience.
You have a background working with a variety of patient management systems. What did this experience teach you and how did it ultimately lead you to Practice Better?
I have experience working with client relationship management (CRM) software and electronic medical records (EMR). And I knew that many CRM platforms are not EMRs and vice versa. As a startup company, I needed to find a strong system that combines both. When I saw PB, I was impressed. When I started to dig into the features, I was sure. PB was the exact infrastructure system I would need. I also knew when I started, I had a vision for growth and the system allows me to hire staff which in 2022 will be an asset.
In your first year of practice, you worked with over 500 patients! How did having a solid infrastructure in place support this business growth, as well as client experience/outcomes?
The infrastructure gives me the flexibility to approach a multitude of referring providers and support their patients as an extension of their team.
The infrastructure gives me the efficiency to conduct my ‘style’ of meaningful and engaging patient appointments which leads to ongoing care as well as their referrals of friends and family.
The infrastructure gives me the confidence to leverage social media, referring providers, and promotions to expand my patient volume.
What are your favorite Practice Better features that have helped drive your success and grow your practice to over 500 patients in just a year?
The features I use are automations, tags, branded service pages, appointment calendar, event scheduling, email/text confirmations, and reminders, branded marketing/ promotions/ handouts, patient documentation, HIPAA compliance, integrated Zoom platform, group capabilities, programs, protocols, chat/broadcast messaging, accounting, mobile access, journals, payment processing with Stripe, invoicing & billing, insurance/superbills, integrated fax, and robust reports to keep my finger on the pulse of my business in real-time.
What advice would you share with other practitioners who are looking to acquire new clients?
- Prepare your solid infrastructure. You want to be sure you are ready for the volume before you market. If your system is not organized and too many patient prospects arrive, you may do negative marketing if you can’t handle the volume of calls/inquiries.
- Know your audience and your brand. In order to attract new patients, be sure you understand your niche as well as their needs. You will want to have a brand that resonates with your unique patient audience.
- Quality is the key. Commit to being a lifelong learner in order to ensure you provide well-researched, best practice guidelines sprinkled with your own unique personality to enhance your patients’ experiences and outcomes. To acquire volume, know your expertise and limitations so you don’t take patients outside of your specialty.
- Follow your passion. Have a vision of what you want to achieve and don’t let anything get in your way. I had a vision in 2019 and now I love waking up every day to meet my next new patient as well as welcoming back my patient community.
Do you have anything coming up that you’d like to share with the PB community? Where can our community go to learn more about you?
In 2022, I am launching group educational classes for bariatric programs for those who want to outsource this important component of patient engagement. I am still providing consultative work to BariMD for bariatric programs to support patient engagement and program improvements.
Thank you so much for sharing your story with us Debbie!
You can learn more about Debbie by visiting her website, Facebook, and Instagram.
Practice Better is the complete practice management platform for nutritionists, dietitians, and wellness professionals. Streamline your practice and begin your 14-day free trial today.
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