NOV-DEC 2016

MedEsthetics—business education for medical practitioners—provides the latest noninvasive cosmetic procedures, treatment trends, product and equipment reviews, legal issues and medical aesthetics industry news.

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AUTOMATED MARKETING "Plastic surgeons kind of invented patient engagement," says Andrew Rosenthal, MD, a plastic surgeon in Boynton Beach and Boca Raton, Florida, and medical director of plastic surgery for electronic health record provider Modernizing Medicine. "We want patients to interact with and be drawn to our practices. It started with sending monthly newsletters to everyone and now has become more and more refi ned." Targeted Marketing Tools One of the key marketing benefi ts of incorporating electronic health records (EHR) and practice management (PM) software programs is they allow you to identify the demographics of your existing patient base and see which products and procedures they are purchasing. "The fi rst step in creating a more loyal client base and attracting new patients is utilizing your software to track procedures and purchases," says Alisha Rose Merlo, senior marketing director for ShoutMD and ShoutStore, part of ALPHAEON Corporation. "Virtually all EHR and PM systems allow you to run reports to see what patients are doing within your practice. This information helps you create more targeted marketing campaigns, and select products and equipment that will help you better serve your target base." These reports allow you to search your records through a variety of metrics, including procedures performed, date of most recent visit and—in more advanced systems—by patient interest or concern. "Modernizing Medicine is in the process of launch- ing ModMed Analytics, which allows you to analyze the structured data that you have within your EHR," says Dr. Rosenthal. "You'll be able to comb down and say, for example, 'Who did I see in the past six months who is fe- male, and had Botox and fi ller?' 'Who came in for a facelift consult, but only had Botox?' This data can then be used to create very targeted email messages." Plastic surgeon Gregory A. Buford, MD, of Beauty by Buford in Englewood, Colorado, has moved increasingly toward targeted content marketing in his practice and has found that taking the time to identify specifi c subsets of patients and craft content that speaks directly to their concerns pays dividends. "The most important thing with any outreach campaign is to identify who you want to reach. Without that, you're just throwing information out there blindly," he says. "You need to know the age of the person you are speaking to, their gender, their ethnicity or range of ethnicities, their education level and what they want. Once you understand these things, you can identify a specifi c voice that speaks to them directly, and this is really critical." Once you run your reports and identify specifi c groups you'd like to target, your PM system—either out of the box or through customized add-ons—can be used to automatically send out targeted email blasts. Some systems allow you to load multiple email campaigns in advance, select a target group of patients from your EHR, and then pick a date on which each campaign will automatically mail out to those select patients. If your system does not currently offer these tools, you can use the calendar function to set up reminders for staff, suggests Merlo. "You can create a trigger notifi cation within your system to automatically blast out an email or a calendar notifi cation for staff to alert them when it's time to reach out to a specifi c patient group," she says. Using an automated email marketing program offers the added benefi t of tracking. Throughout the year, you can run reports to see which email campaigns were most successful in terms of both open rates and bookings. It can even help you refi ne your campaigns further by showing on which days and times patients are most likely to read your communications. Streamlining Basic Functions In addition to helping you create and maintain more targeted marketing efforts, your PM software can also help you auto- mate day-to-day functions, such as booking and appointment reminders. "Previously, we would have a staff member call all clients 24 hours ahead of their appointments to remind them and confi rm the appointment. Now, we can send text or email reminders, which saves a lot of time and is just as 32 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016 | Med Esthetics PETER DAZELEY © GETTY IMAGES

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