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Four Ways to Attract Patients
Acupuncturist A has been in practice for six years and has struggled since day one. She spends as much time and money on marketing as she can, but since her practice is slow, her budget isn't that big.
First Annual ICD-10 Updates Take Effect
Yes, there was an update to ICD-10 codes on Oct. 1. It was a regular update to the diagnosis coding system and will take place every Oct. 1, just as it did when the ICD-9 system was in place.
Natural Cancer Prevention: Pomegranate for the Prostate
In recent years, the ingestion of pure pomegranate juice (8 ounces per day) has been shown in clinical studies with human subjects to slow, and to some degree, reverse, the progression of prostate cancer – the second leading cause of cancer death in North American men.
National Board Apologizes for Testing Issues
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) has issued a formal apology following a series of computer-based testing malfunctions that impacted two separate examinations (March and June 2016) and caused "widespread confusion and frustration" to the nearly 1,500 examinees taking the tests.
Integrative Cancer Care: Chiropractic for Chemotherapy-Induced Hiccups
Hiccups (singultus) are a frequent occurrence during cancer treatment. The cause of the hiccups may be the chemotherapy drug itself, such as Cisplatin; or the prophylactic use of corticosteroids such as Decadron, which is used to prevent nausea and/or vomiting.
U.S. Olympians Have a DC in Their Corner
It's probably old news to you that doctors of chiropractic play an increasingly prominent role in treating athletes, from youth sports participants to weekend warriors, to elite / professional competitors.
Treatment Success at the Won Institute
According to the World Health Organization's 2003 report titled, "Acupuncture: Review and Analysis of Controlled Clinical Trials," acupuncture has been shown to improve many physical, emotional, and mental conditions.
Treating Peripheral Neuropathy: Multi-Faceted Approach Including Laser Therapy
Peripheral neuropathy affects at least 20 million people in the United States1 and nearly 60 percent of all people with diabetes suffer from diabetic neuropathy. Many suffer from the disorder without ever identifying the cause.
Getting Paid by Medicare Is Getting a Major Adjustment
The 2015 Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) was signed into law to implement a new approach to clinician payments and replace the Sustainable Growth Rate formula.
Going Beyond Just Feeling Good
We all know that most patients come to us for some pain complaint: neck pain, back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel, etc. We also all know that acupuncture is a great first-line care for these issues, as well as supporting overall health and wellness.
Update from the International AIDS Conference
The 21st International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa, brought together more than 15,000 of the world's leading scientists, activists, funders, policy makers, and consumers from 153 countries.
ITB Syndrome: Treat the Tensor Fascia Latae
Iliotibial band syndrome is usually the result of repetitive knee flexion, such as in runners or cyclists. Pain may be experienced in the knee and/or the hip. The patient may express a sense of the hip dislocating, popping or snapping.
Decoding the Mystery of Medical Insurance Acceptance
In the constantly evolving profession of acupuncture, one of the least understood areas is medical insurance acceptance. The profession is filled with controversy surrounding this topic: Is it ethical?
Workers' Back Pain: Causes, Costs & Solution
You will want to share two important papers published in the past several months. Why? When read separately, each provides valuable information relevant to your patients, community and practice; together, they tell a compelling story.
Pediatric Footwear: Function Over Fashion
As practitioners, it is not uncommon for parents to bring us their children to treat or ask us questions related to the pediatric population. Children's feet tend to be a perplexing region for parents and practitioners alike.
Six Things Every DC Should Know About the Zika Virus
The Zika outbreak continues to spread across the continental United States and U.S. territories. We offer this brief overview on this important public health problem for the practicing doctor of chiropractic.
Dysautonomia: The Medical Condition You May Already Be Treating
TCM practitioners have spent thousands of years healing patients without knowing or needing the names of their diseases as defined by allopathic medicine. We have syndrome names that are both poetic and efficient.
Pediatric Asthma: A Case Study
I have had very good success with pediatric asthma, combining acupuncture with Chinese herbal products. Treatment is given over four to eight months, twice monthly, with herbal formulas rotated every month.
Upgrade to "Parker 2.0" in Las Vegas
Continuing your education and refining your practice: two key elements of a successful chiropractic career. Parker Seminars promises both as it celebrates its 65th anniversary in Las Vegas next February, according to Parker University President, Dr. William Morgan, and seminar consultant Dr. Mark Sanna.
Using the Lens of Chinese Medicine
One of the most common medications I see in clinical practice on a daily basis is fluoxetine or Prozac. Consequently, I hear many complaints concerning the side effects of this medication and am frequently asked by patients to help manage these side effects with acupuncture and Chinese medicine.
Power to the Patient
Against a backdrop of splintered political parties, polarizations within nations, civil unrest, and distrust of established government (such as the growing anti-Washington, D.C. sentiment) comes the not-so-surprising finding that health care authorities and practitioners (with perhaps the exception of insurers) are turning over more and more powers to the individual patient.
March, 2004, Vol. 04, Issue 03
By Steve Capellini, LMT
Author's Note: The Spa Letters column features news, personality profiles, trends, and plenty of professional possibilities for LMTs in the spa industry. The style is epistolary, meaning the articles are letters to a fictional massage therapist friend of the author.
So, the Spa House is getting closer to its grand opening.Products, menu, pricing, staff and décor is falling into place, and you have freshly printed letterhead, business cards and brochures - your collateral materials - with the Spa House logo, ready to go. I predict that your logo - a child's drawing of a house with two figures holding hands out front - is going to have great success in the community. Remember, the root of logo is from the Greek word, logos, meaning "word" - not like a word in a sentence, but like "word of God." According to the American Heritage Dictionary, logos means, "the principle governing the cosmos, the source of this principle; the power of reason residing in the human soul; God's medium of communication with the human race." A logo has a profound, usually subliminal, impact. I'm glad to see you've used it to your advantage on all your collateral, and on a beautiful sign to hang out in front of the Spa House. Good job! What's next?
You've got a thousand things going on. Your spa consultant has done a good job of getting your products and equipment into place, and now she's getting busy with the opening-phase marketing plan. I can't wait to hear about it; in the meantime, you've got to focus yourself on the next important step: setting up a computer system for scheduling employees, booking appointments, selling products, and running promotional campaigns.
Let's face it, Lou: This is 2004. I know you consider yourself a non-geek (some would even call you a technophobe), but in order to be competitive, even at a "mom and pop" business like the Spa House, you've got to get computerized. This can be easier than you think. First of all, you don't have to know how computers work in order to get computers to work for you. Your partner, Barbara, is computer savvy. In addition, the company you choose for your spa software will provide a technician to bring the system up to speed. Some companies also offer a less expensive option of hooking up your computer through a phone line so they can set up your system remotely. That young receptionist you hired also has computer skills, as does almost everybody under the age of 25. So, don't worry! You don't want people calling you a Luddite behind your back. Get with it, Lou. Computers are hip. They're happening. They will help you. The only quation: Which one to choose?
Once you've gotten over your fear of technology, another problem arises: which technology to choose? As far as spas go, a lot depends on your size. Larger spas need computers and software with higher capacities and more capabilities. The Spa House will not - at least not at the beginning. So, which components are right for you?
First, start with the box - the actual physical computer that will sit at your reception counter. This does not need to be fancy. It does not need to have a brand name you recognize, though sometimes the support of a larger company is worth paying for. The most important aspect of this element, in my opinion, is how it looks. Your computer practically screams out your level of sophistication to guests as they walk through the door. Even though you consider the Spa House a "natural" business, believe me, it will look better with sleek technology. Old technology looks...well, old-not-natural. The main computer case will likely be hidden from view.
What matters most when purchasing a computer (and where you want to invest more money) is the monitor. The monitor, in case you don't know, is the TV-like screen you look at. These days, there is no reason not to purchase a flat-panel display monitor. They are not much more expensive than the old clunky CRT monitors. Get one in black or sleek silver. You might be enticed by the colorful displays offered by Apple, but beware that many spa software systems do not work on Apple (Mac) computers.
A practical note regarding your computer system: Your staff will need to stay informed about their bookings; if the only place to do that is on the main computer at your reception desk, guess what? Traffic jam. At the busiest time, when your receptionist is dealing with the flow of customers, your therapists will be craning their necks to see the screen. This is not good. To avoid this, many spas have tried printing out schedules at the beginning of the day, but you probably remember from your days working at the spa resort that schedules change throughout the day. Another option (which works well in my opinion) is to place a separate monitor in a back room. This can be a larger CRT and there is no need for a keyboard; it is just an "observation station" to quench your staff's curiosity. The hardware is only the tip of the iceberg, though. What really runs the show is the invisible software behind the scenes.
Though you can't see software, it will be responsible for making your spa run smoothly, which will keep your staff and guests happy; therefore, it is vital to choose the right brand. Where are you going to find it? You could browse through ads in spa magazines, visit a trade show and listen to "caffeinated" salespeople, or, alternatively, ask other spas what has worked for them. This is the best choice. Call a few places for some opinions from the trenches, then see how these fit with your needs. Qualities you want in the software you choose include:
Simplicity. You want the fewest keystrokes to enter and retrieve information so you don't have to spend all day clicking and tapping when you could be attending to guests.
Least complicated interface. You never know when you're going to get a less computer-literate person to cover your front desk; the easier the program is to use, the better.
Best service. Always ask about customer support, as there are bound to be occasional problems, no matter how good the software is. Most appropriate. Some software packages are made to handle huge resorts, which would be overkill for your small spa.
Price. This is always important, of course, but great support and features can outweigh a little extra cost sometimes.
The Road Ahead
You're coming down to the wire now, Lou. Your infrastructure is falling into place. Now, you've got to focus on your most valuable asset - your people. It's time for some last-minute training.
In answer to the question in your last letter, I'll say, "Yes, I would be glad to come help you with that training." In fact, it's going to be exciting to see the Spa House for myself after hearing so much about it.
Until next time,
Steve Capellini, LMT
Click here for previous articles by Steve Capellini, LMT.
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