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Balancing Spring Challenges
As the winter months come to a close and warmer spring weather appears, patients may begin to present with new challenging pattern presentations.
News in Brief
ACA Adopts New Governance Model; ACA 2017 Awards; CCA Helps Calif. DCs "Share the Love"; $1 Million to Help Advance the Profession; D'Youville Raises the Bar on Anatomy Education; ErRatum.
Women's Hormones: A Western & Eastern Perspective
Sometimes it may seem that you require a degree in medicine to understand hormones and how they function.
Creating Good Business Buzz
What do patients really think about working with you? Rarely do you hear the whole truth. Those who improve may be candid in their gratitude.
Why I Quit Doing House Calls
My father was a chiropractor who did house calls, so when I became a DC, I figured doing house calls was part of the job. My March article recalled my experience as a small boy, accompanying my dad while he went to patients' homes to treat them.
New Relationships, Old Trauma: AOM & Other Healing Strategies
Being in love is one the most beautiful and enjoyable experiences. Most of us are willing to pay almost any price to have that experience, and still often find it elusive or fleeting. Navigating the ups and downs of loving relationships are often challenging — even for the most psychologically balanced among us.
Clearing Blocks: A Way to Improve Cosmetic Acupuncture
As a Five Element acupuncturist who teaches facial acupuncture classes nationally, I was surprised to learn that one of the basic principles I was taught in school is unfamiliar to most acupuncturists.
Raditation & Your Smartphone: Is it Worth the Risk?
If radial arteries could talk (and in my experience they can to some extent), they would say, "Step away from the smartphone." At least that is the message I am receiving loud and clear as I feel the pulses of many patients.
Eczema & Acupuncture: A Sound Solution (Part 1)
Eczema affects approximately 3.5 percent of the global population and is one of the most common skin complaints seen by dermatologists.
Universal Design: Principles & Practice
In many respects, universal design serves as the core of ergonomics. It's also a good tool to use when designing a return-to-work program for injured and/or ill patients. Let's take a closer look at universal design and why it should matter to you and your patients.
Give Yourself the Digital Advantage
When you see this article in the print version of this issue and swear you read it already, don't be alarmed: you probably did. That's because by that time, the May issue will have been available online in digital format for three weeks.
A Major Role in Back Pain: The Multifidus
Back pain affects roughly 80 percent of the population at one time or another and is one of the leading causes of doctor visits.
Taking the Chiropractic Message to the Press
"There is no better place on earth to have a news event," the National Press Club boasts, and it's easy to understand why: Every year, the 108-year-old Washington, D.C.-based organization hosts countless press conferences on the hottest topics impacting America and often the world.
A Daily Strategy for Heavy-Metal Detox
In modern society, we are constantly exposed to heavy metals such as cadmium, lead and mercury. These heavy metals have no essential biochemical roles in our body, and conversely, can cause us a great deal of harm if they build up to toxic levels.
The Visual Error Scoring System: A Concussion Tool
Postural stability and oculomotor function are the most easily recognized physical indicators of neurologic motor dysfunction associated with concussions.
Is It Time to Rethink Mental Illness? (Pt. 1)
Invariably, patients will ask their chiropractor about depression or various mental illnesses. Some practitioners will reflexively offer a cervical adjustment, suggest St. John's wort or contemplate a referral to a specialist.
An Integrated Approach to Chronic Pain
Findings from a unique Medicaid pilot project in Rhode Island involving high-use Medicaid recipients from two health plans were recently presented to the state's Department of Health, demonstrating stellar outcomes with regard to medication use, ER visits, health care costs and patient satisfaction.
Is the New Medicare Reporting Exemption Right for You?
What you've heard is not a rumor – there will be exemptions for providers of Medicare patients, with no penalties assessed for offices that do not do Quality Payment Program (EHR, PQRS, MACRA and MIPS) reporting.
Bill With Confidence: Learn What to Collect
Q: I am trying to understand what I may collect from my patient when there is insurance. Do I have to accept the amount allowed by the plan or may I collect up to my billed amount? Please note, I am not a member of any insurance plan.
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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