CAN YOU REALLY MANAGE YOUR PRACTICE FROM YOUR SMART PHONE?
After working and teaching facial plastic surgery for over two decades at Stanford University, Dr. James Newman of Premier Plastic Surgery in Palo Alto, CA, says he has had the good fortune to work with some of the brightest minds in the world. Not only does Stanford offer superb medical teaching and training, but it is also a think tank for many up-and-coming new technology entrepreneurs from Silicon Valley. AestheticLink is one such company with roots in the Stanford University StartX program. AestheticLink has become a software solution of choice that helps Dr. Newman manage many of his needs across three aesthetic practices.
Does AestheticLlink Help You Easily Communicate Between Three Practices?
Yes. It can be quite a challenge to have more than one practice location. We strive to offer excellent service, and enjoy a personal connection with all of our patients. With three different geographic locations this was not always easy but with the addition of AestheticLink we are able to maintain the highest level of interaction and follow-up with our patients inside a HIPAA compliant, secure cloud-based technology. Within this portal, I can safely access patient information and communicate directly from my tablet, landline or smartphone. We have all information related to patients, not only their clinical history, but also photographs and all communication. So, it allows me to basically carry all three of my offices with me at all times.
What Do You Feel Is The Most Important Feature Of This Software?
There are many unique features but for me it is the ability to communicate with patients and provide follow-up care safely and securely. Many offices and staff are still texting and emailing patients through their phones and website which is not always secure or private. Internet hacking and phishing is dangerous, especially in healthcare, and privacy breaches can be costly to a practice. If you really look at the technology behind AestheticLink, it carries the highest level of encryption that is available and the company goes to great lengths to ensure its security. This makes me much more at ease when communicating with our patients, and our patients have peace of mind knowing that we’re not using a typical email server, text messaging, or regular email to communicate their personal and private information. Essentially what happens is that I log onto a secure server which is maintained by AestheticLink and the patient does the same thing. The communication we have is within this direct link or portal between the patient and me, or my staff. There is no other third party, or other mechanism, where somebody can hack into the technology. No matter what time it is during the day, or after hours, being available to our patients almost 24/7 really enables us to provide accurate up-to-date care.
Is It Necessary For A Medical Practice To Be Available 24/7?
I’m sure you’re wondering if we ever sleep at Premier Plastic Surgery but we actually do. Our out-of-state and overseas patients know what time zone we are in and generally do not abuse the access they have to my cell phone, or expect us to communicate with them outside of normal business hours. We typically respond to patients’ concerns within an hour. Even if I’m in surgery I have certain staff members that are high level patient consultants who are copied on communication and know that they can respond back to that patient and say, “thank you for your message, or video, or picture, Dr. Newman is in surgery currently, but he will get back to you shortly.” And usually we do within 24 hours.
Is It Possible To Conduct Post-Operative Follow Up From A Distance?
Yes. In fact, that is another of the superb features of this software. This past summer I was in Europe on vacation and my staff members know that if there is anything that is of a more sensitive or urgent nature, I want to know about it even though the practice is always covered by my associates and colleagues. The saying that a picture is worth a thousand words cannot be more emphasized than in the experience we’ve had by using AestheticLink. We had a patient who had undergone a fractional resurfacing procedure just before I left on vacation and she was concerned as to how she was healing. In a matter of seconds, I was able to log in to her records securely from my phone, take a look at the photos she had uploaded and make an immediate diagnosis. She was healing normally, but it helped for her to know that I had looked at her photos and could address her concerns almost immediately. Were she to have been experiencing any untoward difficulties, I could have immediately prescribed a course of healing solutions and instructions. Luckily I didn’t need to, but we all felt better knowing that I could see exactly what her concerns were and address them appropriately.
Does Distance Follow-Up Save Time?
It really cuts down on the amount of physical in-office visits that a patient would have to go through and that allows us to stay on top of every single aspect of the patient’s care. Prior to AestheticLink it was sometimes difficult for patients to be diligent about appointment keeping due to busy schedules. Now, it’s really easy. Of course, we insist that they come in immediately following a procedure but for longer term follow-up of a few weeks, and for post-op photos, this system is great. Not only does it save the practice time, but also the patient, so it is a win-win situation.
Do You Feel As Though You Are The CEO Of Your Company?
Absolutely. I feel like I’m a true CEO of my own company where I can really understand what is happening on a day-to-day, week-to-week, month-to-month basis and compare that with trends from the preceding year. And it’s that type of data that makes me not only run a business better, but be more responsive to our patients as well.
To learn more visit: www.aestheticlink.com
To listen to Dr. James Newman on Aesthetic Insider™ Radio CLICK HERE!