Happy Nurse Practitioner Week!

More and more people are choosing Nurse Practitioners (NPs) as their healthcare provider. In addition to being a top-notch healthcare provider, an NP is Your Partner in Health, delivering a unique blend of nursing and medical care.

NPs assist patients in making better lifestyle and healthcare decisions. NPs have differentiated themselves from other healthcare providers by focusing on the whole person when treating specific health problems, as well as educating their patients on the effects those problems will have on them, their loved ones and their communities. By providing both high-quality care and health counseling, NPs can lower the cost of healthcare for patients.

For example, patients with NPs as their primary care providers have fewer instances of emergency room visits, shorter hospital stays and often have lower medication costs. This can be attributed to the fact that NPs partner with patients for their health and provide essential information so patients know when early intervention is needed

Med-Ped Health Care, LLC and Express Healthcare, LLC employ four nurse practitioners: Patti Hayden, Perpetua Johnson, Twila Starosciak and Kim Quang.

Patti Hayden & Perpetua Johnson, Twila Starosciak

“I’m sorry, the Doctor is unavailable but you can see the Physician Assistant!”

The Physician Assistant? What is that, you ask? Physician Assistants (PAs) are health care professionals who practice medicine with physician supervision. They conduct physical exams, diagnose and treat illnesses, order and interpret tests, counsel on preventive health care, assist in surgery, and write prescriptions just as a Doctor would.

Typically, their schooling involves a year or two of academics and then follows a rigorous year of internships, or clinicals. The education they receive follows a medical model, with emphasis on data gathering, diagnosis and treatment. After they pass their national board certification exam, they are licensed to practice under a supervising doctor. PAs do not need to specialize, they can work in any field including Primary Care, Urgent Care, Emergency Medicine, Surgery or Pediatrics. PAs are known to be passionate and take the time to listen their patients as well as treat them in a safe and efficient manner.

So the next time the receptionist tells you, “I’m sorry, the Doctor is unavailable but you can see the PA,” you know you can now be confident saying, “okay!” Click here to read a more on why seeing a PA is a great idea!

Physician Assistant

Watch out for that Poison Ivy!

Way too often do I have patients coming in with poison ivy or poison oak rashes. These plants can be found surrounding many of our yards, parks or paths during hikes. They cause an extremely itchy, oozing and blistering rash. The best way to prevent getting in contact with these plants is to know what to look for and how to avoid them. An easy way to distinguish Poison ivy and Poison Oak from other plants is that they have 3 leaves, so remember “leaves of three, let it be!

Here is a link with pictures and more descriptions of the plants. It is important to know that the oils that come from the plants are what make our skin react. If you know you have come in contact with the plant immediately wash your clothes and clean your skin thoroughly with soap and water. If the oils come in contact with anything like your shoes, sheets, or couches, the oils can then touch a new area of your body or someone else’s and spread the rash. So make sure to clean quickly and thoroughly! If you start to notice an unusual rash on your body make sure to come in to our office so we can treat you if necessary. To learn more tips about poisonous plants click on the link!

Why Your Medical Clinic Need A Real-Time Officer?

Urgent Message: Chief Experience Officer is not a title for another CEO. It’s a job that handles the most important responsibility in today’s experience economy, the responsibility to: manage your daily patients’ service problems, contribute to build strong corporate culture, and to full-fill your brand’s promise.

It was a clear beautiful morning that you can smell the breeze, with a few cars in the street, It was the Labor Day. I reached the office by 8:05am and I saw a patient standing outside the office, both receptionists were late however I never expected someone to show-up that early. When I opened the door and we both entered, she signed-in and said: “Your website said your office open at 8:00am!”

In today’s real time and transparent media, you can say whatever you want on any communication medium you like. If you don’t like a product or a restaurant, you can review it online in seconds. One day; I got a tweet from a patient complaining about the long waiting time in our office. In a minute, I spoke with the doctor to keep an eye on the flow, I called the nurse practitioner to help and I apologized to the patient at the checkout.

Whether the waiting room is hot or cold; the TV channel is fun or boring; the carpet is clear or dirty. If you just started the day or night preparing to close, Chief Patient Experience Officer (CXO) or as I call it Real-Time Officer should be there to help resolve these problems to keep the patient’s expectations of your brand. Someone has to take the lead and manage your patient experience’s problems and everyone in your team has to be part of that solution.

Your Offline Customer Experience

Your patient experience started from the day the patient call your office or walk-in after seeing a signage. Let’s look at some of the details that can form an experience that is mostly not on the Internet.

-         Answering Phone Calls: A receptionist who picks the phone after one or two rings along with mentioning the company name and her/his has a name is good customer service. I asked one of my receptionist to say “How can I make you happy today?” instead of “How can I help you?”. She said “I felt all of the patients were smiling when I said that and they told me: this is so sweet.” Try to use healthy tips during the hold time, our center use Muzak.com with a different healthy tips every season. You want to add value to your customer whenever possible and at every interaction. Phone calls are not going soon so use smart strategies for first impression and as always smile when you greet!

-         Personalized Healthcare is the new marketing for your clinic. A medical center with small area for high tech patients supported by free Wi-Fi along with a desktop is good to have. Another play area for kids on the side, one area with comfortable chairs and easy to access toilet for seniors will be a waiting room patients could forget how much time they spent waiting. You need to market as person to person (P2P), you can’t treat all people the same anymore and so you have to create a unique experience for each patient.

Doctors in a hospital for children with cancer. Tries to ease the pain.

Doctors in a hospital for children with cancer. Tries to ease the pain.

Thank You for Your Business: Thanking your patients for their business is good. Handing your new patients appreciation gift is great; sending a written note to the patients for referring their friends and family members is awesome. There are many gift ideas at 4imprint.com, choose a gift the patient would love to keep and a reminder for the great experience at your center.

Whether your patient on hold, in the waiting room or in the exam room. As the patient enters your doorstep, it’s good to watch and reevaluate anything that doesn’t work.

Your Online Customer Experience

-         Website: Your website isn’t just a link that listed on your business card or advertising tools. Your website contents should reflect the season we are in and let the prospects take action. Try to update the contents on the social media networks every day. Monitor your pages analytics and blog on a daily basis. Giving prospects what they need about your clinic online will make them visit your website again or at least follow your social media networks.

-         Social Media: This is where prospects and your patients follow you. This is where you add value to your followers, this where you encourage discussions about health topics and here is your listening station. Social media networks are extension to your online brand presence and a place where you connect your fans emotionally to your brand. The patient could visit you one time but if patient follows you, the connection will mostly stay forever but remember to treat every social channel audience within its context.

-        Organic Search: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is not dead. SEO is one of the ways to optimize your website and to rank in the first page of Google. Your medical clinic  should rank first in the zip code and city you are in. Doctor offices are getting busier so people will click on what appears first and read about the services and office hours. Paid advertising such as Google Adwords Express, Yellow Pages or Facebook are effective tools for directing prospects to your website to increase the traffic and so the ranking. Google is working to make its algorithm an opportunity for good user experience design to rank first, all you have to do is to feed it with healthy contents.

The smart patient experience designer have to figure out a way to make patients enjoying offline experience go online and do something.

 Customer Experience in Real Time

The question is: How do you leverage the power of real-time in your customer experience strategy?

Real-time means reacting in real, or near-real time. It’s about relevant action to solve problem that could hurt your brand offline or online and it’s better to manage it offline before it escalated online. Remember, the longer and higher a client complaint lives in an organization, the more it grows.

Real-time is a mindset and in today’s media revolution, you need to have a team who can be part of real-time solutions.

Zappos.com views culture and brand as two sides of the same coin. Social media is an opportunity to build relationships with customers, the brand naturally is helped by the culture. To have a culture, you need a team, make sure they have real-time mindset.

Conclusion:

You could say it’s just a tweet or another Yelp review. You could say it’s just another patient complaint or a routine problem in your clinic. I tell you, your brand is a collection of your customer’s experiences. If you don’t take immediate action even to 140 character message then your brand will die soon.

You should never hope a problem will magically go away, or that someone else will deal with it. Deal with every issue head-on, no matter how small. It’s a tiny detail that separates your clinic from the rest so give your prospects a reason to try your service. The retail and urgent care competition are on the rise, you have to convoy the revolution and manage your business in real-time else someone else will.

Save Your Child’s Life With A Sports Physical Exam

As a parent you never want to see your child suffer. As a parent of an athlete you have to be prepared for injuries. Many people do not understand the importance of a sports physical. A sports physical is very important for your child to have before they start a new sport or exercise regimen because it can save your child from serious injury and even death. Imagine your high school student on the soccer field, playing the best game of his life, and all of a sudden he collapses. Everyone rushes to his side but he has already passed from cardiac arrest. This is happening more and more. This and other injuries can be avoided with a sports physicals.

Sports Physical Exam

Where can your child get a sports physicals? Med-Ped Healthcare has a team of medical experts who are dedicated to making sure that your child gets a thorough sports physical. The doctors at Med-Ped Health Care provide professionalism, education, and expertise at an affordable price. There are two parts to a sports physicals:

PHYSICAL EXAMINATION 
During a physical examination, your doctor will ask your child questions about use of street drugs, steroids, performance enhancers, supplements, and other medications that you child may be taking. Any medication that is taken has risks and benefits and it is important that your child is honest. The doctor can then recommend healthier options, explain risks and make sure that your child knows the damage that some of these drugs can have on the body. During the physical examination the doctor will measure your child’s weight and height to determine if they are in a healthy range. The doctor will make sure to check your child’s blood pressure, heart, ears, nose, throat, lungs, abdomen, vision and pulse. The doctor will also check reflexes, joints, posture, and strength. Most physicals are the same for both sexes and the doctor may ask questions on puberty. This is a good chance for your child to ask questions about the changes that may be happening to their body. If your child is a girl who is going through puberty the doctor may ask questions about her menstrual cycle to make sure that it is normal and she is not at risk for female athlete triad.

MEDICAL HISTORY
This part of the exam is to check your child’s medical history. You will be asked a series of questions about allergies, past injuries, family history of medical problems, surgeries, and medications for your child. The family medical history is very important. This part of the medical evaluation will help the doctor determine if your child is at risk for certain medical problems and if there is any further testing needed.

Why is a sports physicals important? A sport physical is highly important because it gives a healthcare professional a chance to make sure that your child will be able to play sports, stay healthy, and not be at risk for certain medical problems. Once you have a sports physical your doctor is able to follow your child and if any problems arise while your child is involved in sports they will make sure that your child is not at risk for further injury or harm. It gives a professional a chance to follow your child and make sure that they remain healthy. When the doctor goes over medications they can make sure that the medications your child is on are safe to take while being active. For example, if your child has asthma a doctor can prescribe an inhaler specifically made for athletics. It is important to have a doctor in place so he knows your child’s full sport physical results so that if your child gets injured playing sports they can determine the best route to get your child healthy again.

The doctors at Med-Ped Healthcare are dedicated towards making your child healthy and happy. If your child is injured playing sports their doctor will be able to refer them to PCP for the desired treatment. Communication is key during a sports injury and your child’s doctor will have full communication with the healthcare professional providing treatment at Med-Ped Health Care making sure that your child’s injury is treated properly and efficiently.

Our sister Express Healthcare is an Urgent Care Clinic in the Greenbelt and College Park area. Express open 7-days a week because they know the importance of sports physicals and that is why they extended their hours to make sure that your child remains healthy while active.

All healthcare professionals at Med-Ped Health Care and Express Healthcare want to make sure your child is always at their optimum health. Save your child’s life by stressing the importance of sports physicals and proper healthcare.