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I often see clients in my practice that are struggling to cope with the changes that come with an injury. These can include loss of function, change of roles, thoughts of an injury or accident, or stress on relationships. There have been times when some of my clients have been waiting for professional counselling services to begin, and I have needed something in the meantime to help them - a tool that I can help them access to provide some interim support. Well, I found something and I was very excited.

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It is important to have knowledge of how you are progressing in your practice and one of the best ways to gain information on this is via your clients.  It is vital that we understand the needs and expectations of our clients and it can be easily obtained via a survey.  Clients are such a valuable source of information and can help you improve the quality of your practice by learning more about the strengths and weaknesses you have.  Here are some suggestions for how you can gain information from your clients on how you are progressing.

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With allied health services, consumer behaviour can be divided into three main stages. This is important to grasp as it can have implication for the way we communicate to our clients about our products and services. Understanding each stage means we can gain a better understanding of why consumers behave the way they do and allow you to deliver services that result in greater consumer satisfaction.

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There is a quote by Steve Jobs, “You can’t just ask customers what they want and then try and give that to them. By the time you get it built, they’ll want something new”.

This can be applied to our practice in allied healthcare and suggests that providing services and making decisions based solely on the feedback of your patients or clients is a recipe for failure.

But what are the reasons why this approach is not considered best practice?

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Providing handouts and information sheets to clients is a great way to compliment your one-on-one sessions. However, great handouts do not just happen! They require some planning, researching and coordinating. 

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I have worked clinically in the area of hand therapy for many years now and over time I have loved the new addition of technology and innovation to our profession. It allows us to work efficiently but there are also benefits for our clients who can do things online like map their pain journey, learn about anatomy, interact with programs that help improve their symptoms, and remember when and how to exercise.

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I want to share something with you today that is always in the back of my mind as an allied health small business owner. It is the question: Are any of my brand touchpoints letting me down? Let me explain.

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Last week, I shared some specific areas in your allied health business that influence consumer perceptions of your brand. Today, we continue exploring this topic by focusing on brand touchpoints following their appointment.

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Let’s face it, there might be a time when you receive a comment on a social media page that you don’t like. I have seen people do it on social media – writing horrible comments about a business or about a person. It can really make you feel deflated, angry or wishing you never started on the social media wagon.

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Last week, we thought about ways to gather client feedback on your service. One of the most popular ways is via surveys or questionnaires. I think this is a really great way to get feedback, however, we must remember to design them well to ensure they are completed and returned. Here are my 5 tips for planning your patient feedback surveys.

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One of the challenges I frequently hear from allied health practitioners is the ability to feel comfortable on the topic of client fees. Therapists (often those that are sole practitioners, or staff working in outreach, or satellite clinics) sometimes feel awkward when there is no ‘barrier’ between them and the patient in terms of cash handling; and when they have treated a client, to then take money and ask them to book in again. Can you relate to this?

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Have you ever had that heart-sinking moment when you receive a complaint about your practice? You hear the words and you just panic and wonder 'how did this occur?', 'where did things go wrong?'. Complaints about your practice or service can arise for many reasons, and while we obviously don’t want to receive a complaint, it’s vital that we are pragmatic and understand how to accept and manage complaints.

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Here in Wagga Wagga, harvesting is nearing completion. This means it’s nearly Christmas! Going into the New Year is a good time to reflect on your brand. Do we need a brand in healthcare? I believe we do. I really think branding in healthcare is underestimated.  We often brand ourselves to our referrers, but do we consider how we engage our clients, our business partners and the public? Branding can seem foreign to the healthcare worker, but I encourage you to get this unsung concept in private practice working more effectively.

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