An amputee talks about her experience with P&O Care and what it's like to be a shoe-shopper and a mother of two.
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Healthcare practices are very busy, and you might be resented if you contribute to making patients wait to see their practitioner. It’s fine to show up unannounced; sometimes you can visit more places in less time this way. But if you don’t have an appointment, you must be willing to leave something behind, ask graciously for a call-back number, or try to find out when would be a good time to return. If your contact has time to talk, don’t stick around for more than a friendly hello and 15-20 second summary of why you are there this time. Bring a newsletter or brochure with you, maybe some pens or tape measures, and ask if he or she has any questions or feedback. If you want, see if there might be a better time to come back and give a more thorough presentation. If you can get in and out in less than 1 minute, more power to you. In the unlikely event that your contact isn’t busy, chewing the fat a little while won’t hurt at all.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Have you ever wondered what it's like to film a commercial? Check out this authentic behind-the-scenes peek at the filming of our two-minute news clip that appeared on KMOV4's "American Healthfront" September 6, 2007. It might make you laugh.
Monday, October 29, 2007
Monday, October 22, 2007
- Getting Ready for an Amputation
- Body Image, Relationships, and Sexuality after Amputation
- About Depression
- Do you Suffer in Silence? It Could Hurt Your Health
- How Physical Therapy Can Help in Your Recovery after Amputation
- When a Parent Loses a Limb: Helping Children Cope,
Cuando un padre pierde una extremidad: Cómo ayudar a los hijos a entenderlo
- National and regional support groups reach out to new amputees
- Pain Management and the Amputee
Control del dolor y el amputado
- Ways Children Adjust to Limb Loss
Cómo se adaptan los niños a la pérdida de extremidades
- Going Public: Moving Beyond the Barriers That Keep You Inside
Mostrarse en público: Cómo derribar las barreras que nos impiden salir
Some sales advice will tell you to only focus on VITO, or the Very Important Top Officer, such as a physician. That’s crazy. Yes, many times doctors will be very involved in where their patients receive allied health care services, but many will also defer to their nurses or medical assistants. Receptionists have very important jobs but get very little respect, and they know it; so if you respect them, learn their names, and maybe even ask them about themselves once in a while, you are much more likely to get the meetings you need with the people they serve. Good professionals respect the opinions and first impressions of their assistants. If you come across as arrogant, smug, or condescending, forget about it!
Over the next few weeks, I will be periodically publishing my top ten tips on how to personally promote your allied health care practice. Here is a preview:
- There is no little guy.
- Don't waste anyone's time.
- Be a valuable resource.
- Don't talk negatively about your competitors.
- Don't be pushy.
- Don't ever treat people like they owe you.
- Emphasize quality and accountability.
- Gather information.
- Keep your loyal users happy.
These tips will also appear in the weekly e-newsletter of Outsource Marketing Solutions.
I have found two articles by marketing consultant Elizabeth Mansfield incredibly helpful in provoking new ideas for promoting P&O Care. I think many of these tips could easily be adapted by any health care practice seeking to increase the number of people they can serve. In "Marketing 101" in the O&P Almanac, Mansfield gives her "Top Ten Marketing Tips." In "Diabetes and Niche Marketing," in O&P Business News, Mansfield recomends that any group serving large numbers of diabetics tailor some of their literature and programs specifically for this sizable demographic.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Over the past ten years or so, the increasing prevalence of type 2 diabetes in our society has led to more resources being devoted to research and development of better below-the-knee prostheses. Not so with the field of arm prosthetics. Too few people across the United States loose their arms, compared with those who loose legs, to make significant investment profitable.
Now, prompted by veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, a government agency known as DARPA within the Pentagon has begun funding new initiatives to make natural, lighter weight, more versatile prosthetic arms.
There is an excellent article in The Boston Globe on one of these new arms still in development. Here is an excerpt about the inventor:
Kamen hopes the market for the product won't get too big. But he's gratified to see the arms being used by patients, and he brags like a proud parent about what they can do with them. For example, one patient shows off by picking up individual M&Ms, and another can use a power drill. "We've given them a new perspective on life," Kamen said.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Early in 2007, Prosthetic and Orthotic Care, Inc., launched a new blog, The Care Digest. Winner of a Gold Star awarded by the popular marketing consultant Elizabeth Mansfield, this blog is an electronic version of P&O Care’s popular print newsletter by the same name, available for download on their website at http://pandocare.com/news.html.
The Care Digest’s frequent blog posts profile patients and practitioners, and it allows anyone to rate their experience with the clinical practice. It also summarizes news and provides commentary with a personal perspective on the P&O industry here in St. Louis and around the world. Together, the blog and newsletter reach over 1,100 people in St. Louis and enable P&O Care to connect better with their patients and referring health care professionals. “We hope patients take the opportunity to upload their own commentary, pictures, video and unique stories,” says blog creator Bill McLellan.
Both versions of The Care Digest form part of an innovative outreach campaign begun just over a year ago. Since August 2006, the successful plan has enabled P&O Care to grow from five prosthetists and orthotists to eight, and from twelve to twenty employees. Prosthetists Manny Rivera and Dan Luitjohan came on in 2006, and Orthotists John Lartonoix and Shawn McAdams started this year. The practice also added orthotic intern Luke Brewer and prosthetic resident Maggie Ware-Smith in June and July. With the addition of Bill McLellan as Director of Sales and Marketing a year ago, P&O Care has a dedicated liaison coordinating the crucial relationships among patients and their doctors, nurses, therapists, prosthetists and orthotists.
“We don’t want to be the biggest P&O practice in town, just the best,” says CEO Jim Weber. “This business is all about providing a superior clinical service, not just manufacturing limbs and braces. Though not widely utilized by health care practitioners, good marketing ensures that competition works the way it’s supposed to. Patients get more for their money, such as fast, quality service and complementary home visits.” McLellan adds, "Turning a quality newsletter into a blog is easy and fun. It's a good idea for any professional practice, whether in health care or other fields of specialized service. Blogs are interactive and easily updated with stories, pictures, and online video; and they provide an excellent way to stay connected with patients and colleagues."
To sign up for the e-mail or snail mail versions of The Care Digest, or to become a contributor on this blog, contact Bill McLellan at BMcLellan@PandOCare.com. P&O Care is a team of health care professionals with a common goal of creating innovative prosthetic and orthotic solutions to help people live their lives to the fullest by regaining their mobility, strength and independence. Their care centers are located in Des Peres, MO, and Fairview Heights, IL.
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
This is exactly how we laminate our prosthetic sockets, too. The infrared oven heats the plastic; and the vacuum pump, that thing making all the noise, pulls the plastic down smooth and tight over the carbon fiber, which usually has some kind of fabric over it.