ASAPS 2011: The Road to Practice Growth
By Wendy Lewis and Jeffrey Frentzen from Plastic Surgery Practice
At the 2011 meeting of the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS), only a few sessions are dedicated to marketing and practice management. An in-depth, full morning session is scheduled to take place from 8 am until noon on Wednesday, May 11, 2011, and features a group of practice marketing experts. The half-day session is free to all meeting registrants and all staff of aesthetic society members and candidates (employment verification letter required).
"Our goal is not only to make our national meeting the best we can as far as education, but also to provide resources and information to our colleagues that helps benefit their practices. In today's age of rapid information exchange and digital communications, we want to help our members navigate through this evolving area," says ASAPS Annual Meeting Chairman and Commissioner for Education Jack Fisher, MD, FACS.
The world has changed, says session organizer W. Grant Stevens, MD, FACS. "Marketing today requires a comprehensive, long-term plan that includes search engine optimization, social media strategy, public relations, as well as systems to monitor and track performance," he notes. "Our overriding goal was to assemble a faculty of leading experts in marketing and financial management to present their insights across a wide range of critical components to any successful plastic surgery practice."
The opening session, moderated by Stevens, will cover the benefits and pitfalls of social media platforms and engagement, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and blogging. The panel includes Tom Seery, founder of Realself.com, and Keith C. Humes, CEO of the medical Web site design firm Rosemont Media. Attendees will learn how to get started with social media, formulate a forward-thinking strategy, and maximize the rewards while maintaining ASAPS standards and staying within HIPAA guidelines.
"This comprehensive, interactive program covers the most important issues facing plastic surgeons, and offers tangible advice and tips that can be implemented immediately. Registrants will be able to return to their practices armed with an increased understanding of best practices and new techniques to add to their marketing strategy," Stevens says.
Web Marketing Sessions
The second session covers Web marketing and optimization, as well as reputation management. Stevens moderates a panel of Internet gurus including Ryan Miller and Brent Foster. Jeff Segal, MD, JD, of Medical Justice will discuss how plastic surgeons can protect their reputations online and effectively manage patient reviews and negative posts.
To round out the program, James C. Grotting, MD, FACS, ASAPS Annual Meeting co-chairman and vice-commissioner of education, will moderate a panel featuring the vital aspects of financial management. The panel includes G. Don Barbo, MD, JD; Michael Byrd, Esq; and Constantine Mendieta, MD. The speakers will discuss buying and selling a practice, increasing profits, paying attention to the bottom line, and techniques for maintaining a high closing ratio from your consultations.
"It is no longer enough for a plastic surgeon to just be good in the operating room to achieve success in his or her practice. The discriminating patient comes into your office already well educated about surgical procedures, surgeon's credentials, and the latest alternative techniques, and equipped with the questions to ask," Grotting says.
"Plastic surgeons need to know about the business side of medicine and the opportunities that exist to communicate with established as well as new patients through well-planned social networking," he continues. "This vital session will cover the most effective ways for plastic surgeons to solidify their online presence and avoid some of the pitfalls that can negatively impact the doctor-patient relationship. It is a message every plastic surgeon needs to hear, so much so that we have opened it up to office staff at no additional charge."
Other Practice Management Highlights at the ASAPS Meeting
"How to be a Successful Patient Coordinator"
Sunday, May 8, 9 am to 4:30 pm
Instructor: Karen Zupko
Assess your personal effectiveness in helping patients move from "prospects" to "schedule patient" status. Avoid five common mistakes that sabotage the schedule, reduce no-shows, and implement fees for consultations. Space is limited. Lunch will be provided.
"Research & Innovative Technology Luncheon"
Sunday, May 8, 12:30 pm to 2 pm
Co-chairs: William P. Adams, Jr, MD, and Joe M. Gryskiewicz, MD
This session covers new modalities for enhancing patient care in cosmetic surgery, an analysis of current research to determine scientific basis and application to aesthetic plastic surgery, and a discussion of new technology and how to implement the technology into a plastic surgery practice.
"Understanding Evidence-Based Medicine – It WILL Affect Your Practice"
Monday, May 9, 11:15 am
A presentation to be given by Mohit Bhandari, MD, MSc, FRCSC. In addition to being associate professor, department of surgery at McMaster University in Toronto, Bhandari is section editor of the journal Evidence-Based Orthopaedic Surgery.
Wendy Lewis is president of Wendy Lewis & Co Ltd, Global Aesthetics Consultancy, and author of 11 books. She can be reached at [email protected] Jeffrey Frentzen is the editor of PSP and can be reached at [email protected]