Ep. 5: Simplifying Workflows and Automations for Dietitians in Private Practice

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Today’s episode of the Dietitian Turn Designer podcast has several sponsors.

First, we have Practice Better. Practice Better is the complete practice management platform for health and Wellness professionals. You can click the link in the show notes and try any paid plan free for 14 days.

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Hi and welcome back to the Dietitian Turn Designer Podcast. on this episode we’re going to be talking all about simplifying our workflows and automations.

And if you know me, this is something that I really nerd out about so. I’m going to try and keep it as simple as possible.

Today we’re going to be focusing specifically on practice better and the ways that you can simplify your automations and workflows within that system. We’re going to talk a little bit about Zapier and we’re also going to talk about schedulers and scheduling meetings and social media posts.

So let’s jump right in.

The first one we’re going to talk about is Practice Better. I have used Practice Better for almost three years now. And it does everything that I could ever want it to do. I am actually considering if it would be crazy to use it for my design studio because I have not found anything that does everything that Practice Better does. I just wanted to kind of go through some of my favorite features that I use on there.

The first one is the scheduling. Being able to schedule sessions and then integrate that with your Google Calendar. I always say if it’s not on my Google Calendar that it doesn’t exist. I have multiple calendars and they all tie back into my main Google Calendar – that’s family stuff, my University of Georgia stuff, my design studio, my private practice, all of it. All of it is on the Google Calendar and practice better integrates with that.

And then another automation that it does with scheduling is that it sends appointment reminders and you can personalize these and you can schedule when they’re going to be sent. You can make sure that their e-mail and text, which I think is really important these days because some people, you know, don’t check their e-mail as often or it might go to spam. Being able to text directly to their phone is really helpful and practice better does that for you.

And other things that you can automate within your system and your practice. You can go into the automation section of practice better and have it set up so that clients are automatically added to the portal based on the setting that you choose. If they buy a package or whatever the trigger is you want it to be, then it will automatically add them to the portal. You don’t have to do that manually. Then if you use practice better, you know that there are journals that they can have access to. There’s a lifestyle journal and also a food record journal and you can control number one.

I work with eating disorders, so I can control the fact that they cannot see calorie counts or anything like that on their side and I can control who gets access when and I can automate that.

Let’s say they buy the first session from me and I want them to immediately have access to the journal, then I can automate that. Let’s say they schedule a discovery call and I don’t want them to have access to the journal yet. It won’t give it to them until they buy that first session.

So there’s lots of different ways you can do that.

And then it also has tags. I use these to kind of differentiate who I’m seeing weekly or every other week or who has joined a group or bought a course. You know, just having those tags keeps things organized so that you can really see how people are purchasing from you. Are they working with you one-on-one or are they buying a product or doing a group? Another thing I love to do in practice better is automate sending forms. I do this a couple of different ways. All clients get a 24-hour before their session check-in form and I find it just really helpful because it gives them a minute to be able to sit and think about you know, how things really go and what I really want to talk about without being put on the spot just gives them some time to really sit and reflect on that before the session the next day.

Other ways I use this – since I work with eating disorders, a lot of clients may not want to do a food journal or just may not be appropriate for that client. A lot of times I’ll make a custom form or adjust a template that I have and it can be either a daily check-in or a weekly check-in or I can customize it to be however I need it to be for that client.

So I’m thinking of some specific clients. You know, I might ask them, you know, what was your mood like today? And then that form gets sent to them and it’s a reminder for them instead of them having to remind themselves to go into practice better and fill out the journal. And also it asks them specific questions so they don’t have to sit there and think, well, what should I put in here?

So those are some of the many ways I use the forms, It also helps automate the forms that people need to sign when they sign up with you.

So if you have your terms and conditions, your privacy policy, your HIPAA policy, you can automate that to automatically either be attached to the service where they do it right there, or you could have it automatically sent to their portal as something they need to do before the session.

Then within the forms that they fill out, you can also set up mapping so that it imports and maps that information from those forms or questionnaires that they filled out to anywhere else you need them to be. for example, in my initial session note template, which I actually sell that template on RD2RD and on my website, if you’re interested, I have it where it maps the information from their intake questionnaire into that first session note template so I don’t have to go back and look and see, you know, what medication are they on, et cetera.

It automatically populates that from the form that they filled out already. Another thing that I really like and you can automate this is assigning tasks to yourself or your client. for my clients, I have it where it automatically assigns a task to them when they sign up, that they need to fill out the paperwork, and that they need to submit their any recent lab work that they’ve done. And that way again, it’s just one less thing for you to have to remember and think, Oh my gosh, did I tell that client that I needed this or go to that session and be thinking, you know, oh, I didn’t tell them, I forgot. It’s just one less thing that you need to use your brain power for.

And then outside of actual automations, I’ve mentioned the templates, but there are templates that you can create. They have some versions that are, you know, simple in there. But since I work specifically with eating disorders and with an intuitive eating weight-inclusive approach. I have created my own versions of these things.

So I have note templates for the first session that are structured exactly how I do the first initial session. And then I have a note template for the follow-up sessions, again structured how I do the follow-up sessions. And it also includes all the information that you would need from a clinical note standpoint. And then outside of notes, again I’ve mentioned the forms.

So those are also templates. You know those can be again the terms and conditions, the privacy policy, et cetera.

And then the last thing I’ll say for now on practice better is that you can also do payment plans. I did this a lot when I did packages, if they purchased the first month of the package, then it was set up so that it automatically pulled the remaining payments each month on a set time and day. So that was really helpful because again, you’re not having to hunt people down and say hey, you forgot to pay this invoice, etc. It’s already automated for you.

So I will stop fangirling about, practice better and move on to some other things I wanted to talk about. Zapier, if you have not heard of it, it is a system that basically acts like glue between almost any software you can think of. And they have these things where they call them zaps and it automates things that you want to happen that you don’t want to have to go do yourself.

So I will give you some examples of how I use that. my favorite way to use it is when I am trying to collect data and track, performance indicators and track leads and where they’re coming from. one thing that I have done, for example, right now I’m on a waitlist for my nutrition practice and I have a Google form that they. Fill out to be put on the waitlist and that Google form then automatically populates into a spreadsheet and then it also goes ahead and it creates.

I have a chart in there that’s a pie chart and it shows me the percentage of you know where these lead sources are coming from. Like I think about 60% of my Inquiries for my private practice are from Google, so I can see that immediately in my pie chart. I don’t have to sit there and calculate or wonder. And even if you weren’t using the Google spreadsheet you could still set that up. (And I do wanna make a note here that I am using HIPAA compliant the Google suite, so that means that my. Google Drive, my Gmail, all of those things. I’ve signed the BAA and it is HIPAA compliant and I strongly encourage you to do that. I am not a lawyer, definitely talk to your lawyer, but that is just an extra level of protection that I definitely recommend. It’s worth paying for).

So if you were using practice better, here we are again using practice better as say the form to fill out to work with you. For an inquiry, you could set up a zap where. The information goes to your Google Drive spreadsheet we just mentioned, so it doesn’t have to be attached to a Google Drive form. You could use Zapier to connect the two and then still have a way of easily tracking those lead sources and also being able to see, how many Discovery calls did I have and how many actually signed up for nutrition counseling. So what’s my conversion rate? That’s just one really simple example of how I use Zapier.

I have several different ones set up, you know, I also have one set up that I use Click up for my task management. Again, I love software and I love automation, so I use Notion as sort of my brain, but like a notebook basically. And I use click up as my task management because I have found that if I try to use notion for task management, I get lost in the weeds of all this information that I have in Notion.

Whereas on click up I just have my task and I have zaps set up there, for example, where if someone pays for their nutrition counseling session.

There is a zap that is set up between Stripe, which is where I do my payment processing and practice better, and it speaks to click up and it doesn’t have their information. It is still anonymous because I don’t. Again, we’re talking about HIPAA compliance here. It does not have their name or any identifying information. This is literally just the amount that they paid. So that I can keep a running tally of what my finances are looking like and you can do the same thing in your Google Drive sheet too.

So you know that just makes things easier when you want to look at the end of the month. Or I would suggest you look at it more often than that. But if you wanted to go and quickly be able to check and not have to sit there and calculate everything, having these zaps set up will save you so much time and I think you can do like 4 to 5 zaps for free. And honestly, that may be all you need. So you may not even need to pay for zap year and then some other things that I just wanted to point out that can make your life a little easier.

Of course you can use practice better for discovery calls, but if you kind of want to keep that separate, or if you’re on a plan and practice better that only allows for a certain number of clients, then you could use two options calendly if you only have that one type of session. That way it won’t have those people being put into your practice better account until they actually sign up with you, so you could use that. There’s also Tidy Cal which is $29.00 time forever and it’s a great deal and you can use that for your sessions as well And using Tidy Cal will give you more options for types of sessions in different links of sessions accepting payment if you wanted to do that.

And again that would just keep it to where you wouldn’t have so many people in your practice better account.

And the last thing I wanted to go over to save you some time and I may even end up doing a full video on this because I just think it is such good information that a lot of people aren’t aware of, but this is how I save time with social media. I would go ahead and have you know the week or the month planned out for what you want on the actual image of your post and not necessarily the caption if you want to just start with the image.

We’re talking about the image and there’s a way to create a template within Canva. And I would recommend having a set type of template for each type of post. You have a template design that you use for inspirational quotes. You have a template design that you use for testimonials from clients, you have a Canva template that you have for carousels. And then what you’re going to do is put all of the information that you need into a spreadsheet and you’re going to label.

Each section, each column of the information that’s going to go into the design and it will map itself into the design and Canva again, that’s something that’s really visual. I feel like that I would need to do a video, so if you would like that, please send me a message or send me an e-mail and let me know. And I’d be happy to, make a tutorial on that because it’s going to save you so much time because then you just already have them ready.

You might have to go in and like adjust some of the words if there’s you know they’re overlapping, if there’s too many words or something, but you just had the whole week or the whole month uploaded into the designs ready to go.

And then the next step is to use your scheduler for social media. If you use Facebook or Instagram, I know that they have the business suite that you can use. Personally, I always had issues with that one. I don’t know if anything has changed, but I just always had issues with the caption having some kind of typo or duplication going on.

I found a software called Radar RADAAR and it was a lifetime deal and their customer support is amazing. Their Facebook group is amazing, the owner is constantly making updates and very, very receptive to communication and suggestions. And so I use that because I can add in so many different channels for social media. So I have both of my businesses in that one account. I can see analytics, I can post stories, I can post posts, I can post carousels. It even has a content pool feature where you can just put all of your content into this pool or a folder basically so that you can pull it when you want it again. Another way to save time.

And then just using something like that to then make your post and again kind of batching it together so that it’s all done within a couple of hours versus. You know, I would sometimes I would wait until the day that I was going to post it and just get really stressed out because it’s just another thing I have to do that day.

Kind of think of it like meal planning, right? Like if you only meal plan, for a few days and then you find yourself having to do it again. It just kind of makes it more stressful because it’s happening more often in a way. And if you just kind of do it for the whole week, or I mean even sometimes the whole month, it just kind of makes things a little less stressful. And that’s kind of how I think about social media posting. So those are some of my favorite ways I could go on for days about this, but those are the top ones that I wanted to really focus on. Today so let me know what questions you have. Let me know what some of your favorite automations are that have made your life easier in private practice and I’ll see you next time.

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    courtney vickery dietitian website brand designer

    Hi, I'm Courtney

    I'm a Dietitian turned Designer who loves helping weight-inclusive private practices get more clients with designs that stay true to their values & mission.

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    Declet Designs offers website design, branding, and VIP Design Days for weight-inclusive small businesses. Located in Athens, GA, and serving small businesses and private practices nationally.

    Declet Designs is a welcoming and inclusive space for all people regardless of their race, ethnicity, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or national origin.