Hello world!http://kaizenhealthcare.com/

Branding: Express your Brand by Developing your Own Website!

Karen Kiver Patalano, MBA, RD, LDN, CDE, NHA

Private Practice Specialty Group Chair

 

Your website is the easiest way to create your own unique brand for the world to see. I recently went through the process of how to get a new website up online. I started by calling some local web developers for information and pricing and was quoted $7,500 per page or $30,000 to $40,000. I would be responsible for writing the content of the website and choosing the graphics. Since I had to do most of the work I looked into what it would take for me to develop the website myself.

 

I simply asked Google how to develop a website and found a wonderful resource by Tyler Moore www.tyler.com. He has developed a YouTube video that walks you through the steps of developing your own Word Press website. Word Press was the tool that the web developers would have used to develop my website, so I knew I was on the right track.

 

I set up two computers, one to play the YouTube video “How to Make a Word Press Website by Tyler Moore and the other to follow through and complete the steps while watching the video. The video walks you through how to purchase a domain and website address. Once you have a domain and web address, you can install Word Press, then the Tesseract as the theme instead of the Word Press themes. The Tesseract theme was developed by Tyler Moore and has automated most of the processes via templates where you just have to change the text and the pictures.

 

I think that the pictures you choose are what supports your branding presence. The website I recommend for pictures is www.unsplash.com. Unsplash is a website dedicated to sharing copyright-free photography under the Unsplash license. The website has thousands of contributing photographers and generates an estimated 1 billion photo impressions per month.

 

It took me only two days to develop each of my two websites! Check them out www.kaizenhealthcare.com and www.kaizenrd.com. The hardest part is just getting started. The pictures are really fun to peruse and it is really easy to change them until you are satisfied with the look that you are trying to achieve. Since you have to write the text and choose the pictures, it makes sense to use the Tesseract theme and templates to develop your own website. The other advantage is that you can make changes to the text and photos yourself.

 

Give it a try! You have nothing to lose!

 

Karen Kiver Patalano, MBA, RD, LDN, CDE, NHA is the owner of KaiZenRD EMR. She has been running a running a successful software company and private practice since 2004. Karen is passionate about helping other dietitians initiate and grow successful private practices. She loves to run competitively and trail running is where she solves most of her most difficult intellectual challenges!

 

 

 

Customizing Accounting Software for your Private Practice.

Karen Kiver Patalano, MBA, RD, LDN, CDE, NHA

Private Practice Specialty Group Chair

 

Accounting is important if you are an entrepreneur. I often hear from dietitians that they use a spreadsheet to keep their books, which does not provide you with the information you need to be a successful entrepreneur. Customizing your accounting software for your private practice would provide you a way to track your Accounts Receivable, Profit and Loss and would make your accountant very happy at the end of the year!

 

What Accounting Software shall I use?

I can personally recommend Quickbooks as I have been using the software for over 10 years. They have a package that you can download onto your computer, which they refer to as the desktop system and they also offer an online version. I use the downloaded desktop system as I can keep both of my companies in the same version of Quickbooks. If you use the online version you would need to pay a monthly fee for each separate company or dietitian using the system. So, if you have more than one company or dietitian I would choose the downloadable desktop version. If you have only one dietitian or company, the advantage of the online version is that it is accessible via any computer.

 

Setting Up Your Accounting System for your Private Practice

Once you install your accounting package, you can set up your Chart of Accounts. This section can be populated with the names of the Insurance Companies, Copay, Private Pay and Deductible. The next step would be to set up the Items option under Lists. This is where you can add all of the Insurance Companies and their respective payment amounts. For example you would enter the Item Name ‘Initial Counseling w/$20 copay’ with the description as ‘Initial 1 hour 30 minute Office Visit’. The rate would be the actual amount due from the insurance company or patient. Repeat this process for all of the possible payments with the copays from this insurer and all possible copay amounts.

 

Your First Patient!

You are now ready to add your patient’s name in the Customer field. Enter the First and Last Name of your patient along with the name of the patients Insurance Company and the Copay amount.

 

Ready to Invoice!

You have done all the hard work so now you just open the Invoice, choose the patient name and the Insurance Company, Private Pay or Copay from the dropdowns. The dropdown in the center of the form will allow you to choose the insurance company and copay that you previously entered into your system, which populates the description and the rate. Be sure to create an invoice for both the Insurance Payment and the Copay.

 

Ready to Get Paid!

Once you receive payment in the form of a Copay or from the insurer, go to Receive Payments and from the dropdowns choose the Patient’s name and the Insurance Company. The outstanding invoice will populate so you can enter the amount paid and the payment method. If the amount paid is not the same as the invoice, edit the invoice to make the correction. Be sure to choose where you want your funds Deposited, for example choose ‘Checking Account’ from the dropdown. Hit Save and you are done!

 

Easy way to Track Accounts Receivable and Reconcile.

You can now track your Accounts Receivable easily in the Report section along with your Profit & Loss Statements. Be sure to make a paper copy of each check and/or Explanation of Benefit from the Insurance Company to make your monthly reconciliation a breeze!

 

Karen Kiver Patalano, MBA, RD, LDN, CDE, NHA is the owner of KaiZenRD EMR. She has been running a successful software company and private practice since 2004. Karen is passionate about helping other dietitians initiate and grow successful private practices. She loves to run competitively and trail running is where she solves her most difficult challenges!

 

 

 

 

Streamlining Business Practices: Technology for Dietitians in Private Practice…A Word of Caution!

Karen Kiver Patalano, MBA, RD, LDN, CDE, NHA

Private Practice Specialty Group Chair

 

I am not sure how many dietitians in private practice are still using paper charting, but I would assume with the many choices in electronic medical records (EMR) for dietitians that there are very few that have not made the conversion from paper.

 

An EMR streamlines your practice, saving a lot of time. If you are using an EMR such as KaiZenRD all the assessment forms, reports, patient notes, doctor’s notes (ADIME and SOAP), meal plans, HIPAA notice, receipts, invoices, 1500 form for electronic upload, and outcomes reports are created while you are seeing the patient in person or via HIPAA compliant Telehealth. There should be very little work to be done either prior to or after each patient visit. Think like a lawyer, once the clock is started you should be getting paid for your services until the clock is shut off.

 

I would like to offer a word of caution in the automation of your practice. Be sure to maintain a personal relationship with your patients. I am not in favor of automating any of the interactions with your patients. It is important to develop and maintain a relationship with your patient that is not hindered by technology.

 

Instead of automated reminders, I would recommend texting the appointment confirmation. The patient will know that it is you on the other end of the text so they would be more likely to let you know if they need to change the day or time of the visit. We want to make communication easier for them…not for us! Accommodating their needs for an appointment change will make you more profitable. If they are receiving automated reminders that require them to log in to make an appointment change they might cancel or just not show up.

 

The most important part of developing a relationship with the patient is during the initial assessment interview. I would recommend that the assessment interview be in person or over HIPAA compliant Telehealth. You are doing yourself and the patient a disservice sending forms via email or having the patient log into a system to complete the forms. The patient will tell you so much more than they will enter into a form and is the only way to develop a relationship with the patient, you must TALK to them. You will also have to spend non-billable hours sending forms or instructions then reviewing the completed forms. If you review the form in front of the patient why don’t you just talk to them to complete the assessment? Again the relationship building and communication with the patient is of utmost importance, it is not where you should be saving time! Relationship building will promote more follow up visits that will help your bottom line. Saving time is appropriate for producing documents and billing, not for relationship building and counseling.

 

I would also offer a work of caution with regard to EMR’s that have internet connections to patients and internet tracking tools as the more connections, the higher the risk of security issues. An EMR containing HIPAA compliant patient data should be accessed by the professional, it is not an electronic playground.

 

 

Karen Kiver Patalano, MBA, RD, LDN, CDE, NHA is the owner of KaiZenRD EMR. She has been running a running a successful software company and private practice since 2004. Karen is passionate about helping other dietitians initiate and grow successful private practices. She loves to run competitively and trail running is where she solves most of her most difficult intellectual challenges!

 

 

 

 

Moving Your Business Forward with Formal and Informal Educational Opportunities.

Karen Kiver Patalano, MBA, RD, LDN, CDE, NHA

Private Practice Specialty Group Chair

 

A graduate degree has now become a standard for RDN’s. Making the decision as to which path to take can sometimes be confusing as there are many options available to us. Think about what your interests might be and the job requirements for your ‘dream job’.

 

Advanced Degrees: Try a New Path

All RDN’s have dietitians or nutrition degrees, but if you are considering advancing your education, why not consider a graduate degree other than nutrition?

Seven years into my career as a dietitian I signed up for the MBA program at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in the Management of Technology, which changed how I viewed the world forever. It was focused on systems engineering which taught me to fix the system, not blame the worker for poor performance. Without this background, I could not have started a software company. My company is KaiZen®RD which means ‘Continuous Improvement’ or ‘Change for the Better’. As entrepreneurs, we need to keep moving forward and work to solve problems that may be holding us back.

If you are considering an MBA, be sure to look into all of the different focuses within the management programs to find the best fit.

 

Listen to Feedback

When you embark on a new venture or are developing a new product, don’t forget to listen to your clients feedback. In the process of developing my two software programs, I found comments and requests from the potential users invaluable. I was able to develop much better systems while working closely with nurses on my first product and dietitians on my second product, KaiZenRD EMR. I rely on my fellow dietitians to keep me aware of the cutting edge technology they need for their practices such as the additions of Electronic Billing, Telehealth Video Conferencing, and most recently a patient portal. Don’t be afraid to share everything you know and have learned with fellow dietitians. We are much stronger and more effective collectively when we share our knowledge and experiences that trying to protect our individual turf!

 

Live on the Edge Intellectually

I often say that I live on the edge intellectually, as I don’t always have the necessary skills, but I seek out people to ask. I am very fortunate to live near Cambridge, MA where I regularly attend Conferences at MIT (such as the Sloane Healthcare Conference and the MIT Sustainability Summit). I also take advantage of the Meetup Groups for programming and data analytics. These conferences confirm that I am moving in the right direction. Think big, find projects to start that you have no idea how to do. Trust your visions and ask for help from people outside of our profession.

 

 

Karen Kiver Patalano, MBA, RD, LDN, CDE, NHA is the owner of KaiZenRD EMR. She has been running a running a successful software company and private practice since 2004. Karen is passionate about helping other dietitians initiate and grow successful private practices. She loves to run competitively and trail running is where she solves most of her most difficult intellectual challenges!

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