How Online Questionnaires Help Your Informed Consent
Med spa scheduling apps can serve a number of purposes. A personalized appointment confirmation message followed up by an online questionnaire and information packet is an easy way to tie-in branding and start building trust.
Think about the last time you researched something, really dug in and pulled out the information you needed. What was your process?
For the average person seeking aesthetic treatment, research looks something like this:
- Gather up data from some of the sources you trust online (for your clients, this will likely be websites akin to Realself, WebMD etc…)
- Ask for personal experiences and opinions from friends and trusted colleagues
- Create a basic framework of facts and stories, then build an opinion on it
Online questionnaires are more than a simple time-saving exercise, they can play a critical role in your clients ability to make good decisions.
Keep Online Communications Clean and Strategic
Avoid sending too much glossy advertising, instead send solid information about treatments they’ve scheduled. Many practices find value in branding a few pieces of content from online templates or using freelancers to make professional media.
*Bonus-people love to share information from experts
You know what clients are likely to ask when they walk in for treatment, answer those questions in your client information packet. Stick with the most common questions. Too much information can be worse for some people than too little.
Give them a foundation that aligns with all of your current knowledge on treatments. If you do it well these people will be your advocates.
Make Education Your Goal
Imagine youre teaching a brand new practitioner about the treatments you offer, what are the most important things they need to know? Share this information with your clients during their initial consultations.Theyll find a flood of advice online.They need to know that you are now their trusted resource.
One Pubmed posted study showed that only 33% of patients achieve actual informed consent, even with a combination of online resources and provider input. Study author, Dr. Theresa OLonergan points out,
Informed consent for clinical treatment has become a vital part of contemporary medical practice, it means different things in different contexts is variably practiced and rarely achieves the theoretical ideal
Invite Clients to Call if They Have Additional Questions
When online questionnaires and informative emails go out use a small space to remind clients that you’re there if they have second thoughts. Calls from nervous or curious clients can feel like an irritation, and most providers have had experiences with needy people.Though these can seem like a time-vacuum, try to keep in mind that they’re a small percentage, most clients want to integrate treatments into an already busy lifestyle. Dont let a few bad experiences leave you jaded to the client education process.
Informed consent also demands maturity and self-awareness on the providers part to resist the temptation to abandon (or subconsciously subvert) the difficult task of shared decision-making. Advises Dr. OLonergan.
When you do find yourself with an overly chatty client: Rather than send out more information, encourage them to take a day or two to write down their questions. This helps weed out the ones that are just calling to chat and gives them the opportunity to organize their thoughts. Just remember to use a little finesse if you do this.
Aesthetic medicine is one of the few specialties that allows providers a chance to actually implement best practices. Theres a reason that so many compassionate people are leaving traditional insurance-subsidized areas. You have a chance to contribute to the next generations approach to patient care.