If you’re thinking about starting a medical weight management practice, or you’ve been running one for a while and feel like you could use some pointers, read on!
This article will cover everything from the basics of setting up your office to hiring the right staff and marketing your business.
We’ll also discuss what kind of products and services you can offer patients to help them reach their weight loss goals.
So whether you’re just starting out or looking to improve your current practice, this article is for you!
The first step in setting up a medical weight management practice is choosing an electronic medical record (EMR) system.
If you’re wondering what that means, it’s basically a software program that stores patient information electronically rather than on paper charts or spreadsheets- which can get lost easily! And because all data gets stored in one place, it’s easy to track patient progress over time.
There are a lot of different EMR systems on the market these days, so how do you decide which is right for your practice?
Well, start by considering what features are important to you. For example, does the system allow you to view lab results and other test results electronically?
Can you import them into your patient chart? Is there a way to schedule appointments from within the EMR or do patients still need to call in order make one?
Once you’ve chosen an EMR, it’s time to think about office protocols. What kind of patient flow do you want to have in your practice?
Do you want patients to check in with the front desk and then be seen by the physician? Or would you rather they see the nurse first for a consultation?
In our experience, a nurse should always be present for patient visits. This allows the physician to focus on diagnosing and prescribing medications while also giving them more time with each individual patient than if they were doing everything themselves!
It’s important that there are clear protocols in place though so everyone knows what their role is within the practice- from front desk staff to nurses and physicians alike.
Don’t forget about follow up! It’s important to have a system in place for following up with patients after their initial visit or consultation (whether it be via phone call, email, text message etc.).
This way they feel like they’re getting personalized care rather than just being left alone once you’ve seen them in the office.
Now that we’ve talked about some of the basics, let’s move on to hiring staff. One of the most important positions in any medical weight management practice is the nurse.
They’re the ones who will be working directly with patients and should have good patient care skills as well as a solid understanding of weight loss medications and their side effects.
When interviewing nurses for your practice, be sure to ask them about their experience with medical weight management patients.
You may also want to have them do a short assessment with one of your current patients so you can see how they interact with people and assess their knowledge base.
It’s also important that they understand your office protocols so everyone on staff is following them consistently- especially when it comes to patient follow up!
When you’re hiring your receptionist, remember, this person will often be the first person your patient ever talks to.
Make sure he or she understands the importance of having a friendly demeanor when speaking with patients and answering any questions they might have about your services.
Other staff members you’ll want to consider hiring include a medical assistant who can take vitals as well as draw blood during patient visits, an office manager (to keep track of finances) and someone in charge of marketing and social media.
Once you’ve hired the right people, it’s time to train them. If you’re already trained and certified in medical weight management, then one of the best ways to train the rest of your staff would be to have them shadow you.
This way they can see how you interact with patients, what kind of questions you ask and how you go about prescribing medications.
It’s also important to have them attend any continuing education courses related to medical weight management so they’re up-to-date on the latest advances in the field.
One of the most important things you can do for your patients is provide them with a patient package.
This should include information about your practice such as office hours, location and contact information, as well as educational materials about medical weight management.
It should outline exactly what the patient is receiving as part of their treatment from labs to consultations to support from your office.
And don’t forget to put a dollar value to everything in their package! You want to show your patient that they are getting even more value for their money than what they are paying for your medical weight loss program.
It’s also a good idea to have a section in the package that outlines your patient’s rights and responsibilities.
This can help to ensure that both you and your patients are on the same page when it comes to expectations and treatment plans.
Another great way to keep track of your patients’ progress is by using a patient log. This can be something as simple as a spreadsheet or a more sophisticated software program.
The log should include information such as patient’s name, date of visit, weight and any notes about their progress.
This will help you to track how well your patients are doing over time and make sure they’re on the right track to meeting their goals.
The IAPAM has ready-made patient guidebooks that providers who have taken our training can order to give to their patients. It answers all of the questions about the program for patients and includes helpful tips and even recipes!
There are a number of products you might want to consider stocking in your medical weight management practice. Here are just a few:
Having these products on hand can help your patients as they work to lose weight and keep it off. Offering them a variety of options will also show that you’re committed to helping them meet their goals!
Now that we’ve gone over the basics, you should be well on your way to starting or expanding your own medical weight management practice!
We hope that this post has been helpful in providing you with some ideas on how to successfully manage it and make money doing what you love.
In addition, we also recommend taking our Medical Weight Management Physician Training Program so that you can feel confident offering these services to patients.
It’s a great way to learn more about the field and stay up-to-date on the latest advances.
For more information, please visit our Aesthetic Medicine Symposium page or give us a call at 1-800-219-5108. We’re happy to answer any questions you may have!
Your “out-of-the-box” solution for medically-supervised weight management that you can follow step-by-step to start helping your patients TODAY!
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