Practitioner Spotlight: Jake Behrens, MD, Pursing Private Practice

In our Practitioner Spotlight posts, we want to highlight all of the wonderful ways that our practitioners are using Practice Better to reach their business goals, whether those goals are to gain more clients, scale without burnout, or simply reduce time-consuming admin tasks. This month, we’re showcasing how a Psychiatrist uses Practice Better to reduce administrative overhead, automate his processes and efficiently optimize lead magnets and marketing funnels.

This month, we chatted with Dr. Jake Behrens, who decided that in 2016 he would pursue his dream of Envision ADHD, his practice in Milwaukee, WI. 

Following residency, Jake continued as an Assistant Clinical Professor in the UW Psychiatry Department and developed a niche in Adult ADHD and the use of technology in clinical assessment and outcome tracking. Throughout the years of treating busy working adults, he witnessed how in-person meetings and monthly paper refills negatively affected individuals’ home and work life and saw how technology and alternative treatment models may benefit them. 

After years of observing the pain points of traditional practice, Jake decided to leave behind his corner office, city, house, and academic clinical role to design and build a new model of psychiatric practice. He believes this new way of practicing is a better fit for the often unique and demanding needs of busy professionals with ADHD. Jake describes himself as an impatient, tech-minded, workflow-obsessed psychiatrist in Wisconsin who believes that the right software allows more time for the patient-practitioner relationship and reduces the need for additional staff. 

Let’s learn more from Jake about his practice and how he uses Practice Better to automate his processes and optimize the use of his time.

— A Conversation with Jake —

How did you come to be a Practice Better Customer?

After demoing roughly 20-30 different electronic health records and other software, I was able to get started but have been on a continuous journey towards an ideal system ever since (and hope to always be as this is half the fun!) I came across Practice Better not through any general medical software searches or recommendations but from following leads from other forms of practice. In this case, it came from seeing what other software Fullscript happened to integrate with. I appreciated seeing transparent pricing on the website and the ability to dive right in and play from within using a free account. I was intrigued by the customizations, integrations, patient mobile app and high-touch features characteristic of non-medical fields that facilitate closer connections between patient and provider outside of appointments.

I decided to take a weekend and try building out my practice on Practice Better to learn from the inside out. I came to find just how different the platform was from those available in the general medical EHR [Electronic Health Record] space, yet with a few tweaks and the use of outside software for a few things, this has the potential to bridge both worlds. After a few weeks of playing and debating about making the transition to PB, I pulled the cord, updated my website’s scheduling page for new patients, and have been basically A/B split testing PB versus my prior EHR for the past two years.

What is your signature package, program, or offering?

Here are the options I have available for working with me:

  1. Initial Online Evaluation
    • 2 hr comprehensive psychiatric evaluation including:
      • Standardized rating scales
      • Online cognitive testing
      • Psychoeducation (screen sharing and whiteboard) on:
        • Possible diagnoses
        • Treatment options including:
          • Prescription medications
          • Therapy/coaching
          • Further testing evaluation (genetics, labs, etc.)
          • Supplement options

2. 1 x “in-person” medication startup appointment (required for prescribing certain types of medications). This appointment also allows me to show the patient how to use a blood pressure cuff and provide them with a new one for home monitoring.

3. Ongoing monthly Treatment. Like a Netflix subscription, patients can binge on me when they need me. This package is available to be as effective, yet convenient as possible.

    • All-inclusive monthly membership including:
      • Expert ADHD medication management and fine-tuning
      • Unlimited online follow-up appointments (no late cancel or no-show fees)
      • Direct messaging with your doctor
      • Options for medication delivery services
      • Physician discounts on supplements, labs, additional testing

What is your workflow in Practice Better that allows you to facilitate your offering?

When designing the clinic model, I wanted to utilize technology to simplify the overall process and to allow myself to be as lean as possible without having to rely on additional staff. I am all for efficiency and automation when it comes to such processes as it provides me more time to dive into psychoeducation and to connect with patients instead of spending time gathering data. There is nothing better than having most of your note thoroughly completed and reviewed before seeing the patient so that you can dive right into their main concerns.

These are my overall goals for patient experience:

  1. Easy-to-find and review website complete with transparent services and prices.
  2. Find available appointments, schedule, and pay directly (no need for phoning or following “business hours”).
  3. Automatic email and SMS appointment confirmations complete with Zoom links and the ability to sync appointments to their personal calendars.
  4. Automatic emails waiting for them to set up their patient portal and complete consents, rating scales, and history forms before the appointment.
  5. One-click from the portal or email to launch into their Zoom appointment at the scheduled time.
  6. Convenient patient portal linked from the website or from a dedicated mobile app for patients to schedule, message, complete forms/rating scales, log vitals, find instructions, etc.

These are my goals from a provider’s perspective:

  1. Patients can find available free times and schedule themselves directly with no need to involve me or other staff.
  2. All forms are completed before their appointment, with data automatically formatted into my note for review/editing.
  3. Use of one Zoom waiting room for patients to enter.
  4. Ability to screen-share and whiteboard with patients for psychoeducation.
  5. The “Instructions” section of my patient note is automatically shared with the patient upon completion.
  6. One secure location for regular messaging with patients between appointments.

Which PB features do you use in the promotion/selling/marketing stage?

A few things that I use and appreciate for marketing that have been lightyears ahead of other EHRs I’ve worked with:

  • Forms:
    • For lead magnets, I’ve replicated standardized rating scales that will auto-score and show scores. I am able to link these directly on my website or in marketing campaigns/posts to use as lead magnets and can use the “redirect option” to lead potential customers to targeted landing pages and include coupon codes as well to encourage them to book directly.
    • Feedback: I’ve been able to create feedback forms for patients to complete with hyperlinked text to allow patients to easily leave google reviews. With the help of automations, I am able to have these automatically sent to patients following our initial online appointments.
  • Scheduling Landing [Booking] Page:
    • I like being able to make custom links for calendars that offer certain courses or appointments so that I am able to easily link these offerings with different promotions, websites, landing pages, email signatures, for example. This way it is easy to promote my services.
  • Marketing Funnel: Here is how I convert my target audience to patients
    • I create a simple, free, educational evergreen program or form [questionnaire].
    • The form leads to a landing page with higher-order offerings:
      • Further assessments/rating scales, educational programs, purchases, scheduling appts, etc.
      • Can include coupon codes to further encourage conversion.
      • Start free and allow potential clients to progress at their speed throughout your offerings while also allowing them to download the Practice Better app so they can see all the benefits of working with you (messaging, scheduling, educational materials, journals, etc).

Which PB features do you use in the onboarding stage with clients?

A landing page for scheduling that I’ve linked in my Call to action buttons throughout my website and any other landing pages.

Two-way Google sync for appointments so that my single Google Calendar becomes the one up-to-date area for all of my personal and work-related needs. I only need to block out time in my personal calendar as well to automatically block out my work calendars.

Forms to create:

  • Custom consents that patients can electronically sign
  • Full medical and psychiatric history forms
  • Rating scales with the ability to auto score and store results

Automations to automatically add patients, approve their appointments, send out the required forms, and invite them to the Practice Better Portal. I can easily re-send reminders to their email. It is also easy and straightforward for patients to cancel or reschedule.

Form Mapping to send form data to various areas of the patient chart.

Note Templates to add my logo, hyperlinks, different formatting and fonts to fit the notes to my needs as well as the ability to easily select which sections can be shared with patients in their portal/app.

Stripe integration where patients input their credit card info and submit payment to Stripe directly upon booking. Their card information is also securely stored in the billing section for the future. Patients can update the information themselves which is rare among EHRs.

Which PB features do you use in the “working together” stage?

When connecting in an appointment, I can use screen sharing to review data with patients, show them examples of resources, as well as whiteboard to illustrate how medications work and their therapeutic strategies.

Via the Patient Portal, I am just a message away for any questions, refills, and updates so that I can help to address any concerns a patient has. Then, we can follow up online when it best fits their schedule. All instructions, handouts, and protocols are easy to find to review.

Updated protocols will be pushed to patients with recommendations for routines, strategies, supplements, medication instructions, etc. so they do not need to take notes during sessions.

Which PB features do you use to help maintain client progress or communication after you’ve finished working together?

I use Protocols to communicate the following to my patients:

  • Routines/habits
  • Diet
  • Exercise
  • Supplements
  • Medications

I also use the Export Chart function to provide patients with their full documentation so that they may share this directly with their primary care provider or if transferring to a different provider.

Practice Better’s Fax is integrated electronically making it easy to receive faxes such as pharmacy refill requests, requests of records, prior authorization forms, and to then add to the given patient’s chart. It’s easy for me to fax to other doctor’s offices if needed (sadly, fax is still often the preferred method for communication for most doctors). Fortunately, I have no need for a fax machine or anything other than a web browser to have a fully functional clinic operation.

What makes Practice Better a great fit for you and your business?

I was petrified about starting my solo practice and building a different type of clinical model. After product testing roughly 20-30 electronic health records, I appreciate how vastly customizable and efficient Practice Better was over other more medically-focused platforms—all for one very reasonable and all-inclusive pricing structure.

The ability to continue to grow and think outside the box of typical medical practices by creating higher-touch content for patients caught my attention. I imagined new ways to interact and provide more scalable offerings to patients or even a broader audience—those interested to learn more about themselves.

How has using Practice Better allowed you to build a successful business?

When looking to potentially transfer from my prior EHR, I wanted to start small and learn the system in the real world before going through a full transition. I was able to easily change links on my website to the new Practice Better scheduling page and split tested patient onboarding between my prior EHR and into Practice Better and got feedback. Within a matter of weeks, two things became clear:

  1. The likelihood of new patients setting up their patient portal and completing all forms without the need for reminders or extra phone calls was significantly higher for those set up on Practice Better versus those on my prior system.
  2. Existing patients who wished to try the new system expressed how much easier it was to complete forms, schedule, and use from their mobile device.

Creating simple but helpful content such as self-scoring rating scales, general protocols, and educational programs to use as lead magnets allowed me to track and follow interactions on my website and think through new models of care. People can start on their own journey at any time and transition to higher levels of care as needed—all completed right from the app/portal they’re already familiar with.

I am by no means a marketer or influencer, but I am motivated to provide targeted and actionable resources for others to start their own health journeys.

What advice would you share with other Psychiatrists looking to build a successful business and run their practices using Practice Better?

  • Taking the leap into private practice need not be frightening from an overhead or technological standpoint.
  • Keep overhead low when starting. You can always add office space, staff, fancier software, marketing, etc., as needed.
  • I would recommend following lean model startup techniques and start small and lean and adjust as you go and learn.
  • You will learn more in two weeks of actual use of a software with live patients than in two years of planning.
  • Automate, automate, automate—with the right software. There is no reason that you should have to rely on staff. Let technology do things for you far more easily, cheaply, and likely, accurately.
  • If you get consistent questions from prospective clients, think “how can I make the answers easier to find or more obvious so people do not need to ask?” and put those answers on your website and in your marketing materials.

When trying any new EHR, I learn best by starting with 2 things:

  • I use a dummy email to make a fake patient account to test drive all functions from the patient perspective.
  • I go to the “settings” menu and click through each and every option to get an idea of what is possible and learn about new features to get my imagination flowing about how to use a software’s settings in creative ways.

Thank you so much for sharing your story with us, Jake!

Psychiatry practice management

 

 

 

You can learn more about Jake by visiting Envision ADHD and Telepsychiatry Startup.

 

 


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