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Tag Archives: Healthcare

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Podcast: Tips for hiring contractors on Upwork and Fiverr

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Need help creating a compelling landing page or blog post? Maybe you’d like ongoing help from a virtual assistant, graphic designer, or website expert — but don’t know where to look. If the hassles of finding competent contracting help have led you to put off the search, it might be time for you to give Upwork and Fiverr a look.

In this episode, I explain my favorite strategies for hiring contractors using Upwork and Fiverr. I share my top tips for saving time and money as well as best practices for using these sites to outsource graphics, writing, programming, or other projects in your practice.

This “highlight” is taken from Q&A calls with my Mastermind Gold group — a highly interactive, supportive group where people who have tons of questions and concerns about how to start, grow, or transition to a cash-based private practice get the answers, resources, and confidence they need to build the practice of their dreams. We have a group coaching call every week, and we occasionally use excerpts of those calls for this podcast.

More specifically, I discuss these topics related to hiring on Upwork and Fiverr:

  • How you can make sure the most-desirable candidates actually see your job posting on Upwork so they can apply for the job.
  • The key requirement you’ll want to set up for an hourly project so you can avoid paying a whole lot for very little.
  • Which types of projects are well-suited to the contractors you’ll find on Fiverr.
  • How to test a contractor for a long-term assignment to be sure they’ll be a good fit for your needs — before you invest a lot of time or money.
  • The tool that allows you to keep your passwords secure while still allowing contractors access to the accounts they need in order to work for you.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

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Infographic: The future of nursing homes

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Ever since the pandemic began impacting the United States directly, countless news articles have featured an industry that isn’t usually in the spotlight — nursing homes. Our seniors are an aging population that is among the most susceptible to the impact of the pandemic and must be cared for properly.

That said, many seniors have been lonely as they have been physically away from their loved ones. We’re at a critical juncture as the future of nursing homes is now before us. In what ways can nursing homes be set up for success?

Let’s start with making sure that nursing homes are as clean as possible. And if you’re going to live in a nursing home or place your loved ones there, you’re going to want to make sure that cleaning services are plentiful. Cleanliness in nursing homes makes a big difference in improving safety of facilities and that more people can visit and be at ease. These improvements are essential in clean and sanitized areas.

Infographic courtesy GBC Facility Services

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Podcast: Making a personal passion pay off in a profitable practice

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After finishing PT school, Chris Johnson spent a decade working as a therapist for a New York hospital in their cutting-edge sports medicine program. During that time, he also made house calls on the side and discovered he could earn as much or more money as he did at his “regular” job — but with about 10% as much work.

He eventually felt he could only reach his full potential as a therapist by going out on his own, which was daunting because of the costs associated with opening a practice in New York City. But his gamble paid off, and he quickly filled his schedule with patients who valued his sports-medicine expertise.

Eight years ago, he and his wife decided it would be better for their family to relocate to her hometown of Seattle. So, he closed his New York practice, moved across the country, and made the “torturous” transition to working in a staff therapy position.

In time, he gained enough traction to go out on his own once again, leveraging his therapy expertise and his passion for running. Today, Chris has a thriving sports-medicine practice that serves runners around the country with highly tailored therapy and information resources that help them continue to enjoy and excel at the sport they love.

In this episode, Chris shares what he’s learned from his experiences in building two cash-based practices in distinctly different markets. He explains how he uses content to drive his marketing efforts and how he ensures he can consistently deliver superb patient experiences that persuade customers to pay top dollar for his out-of-network services.

More specifically, we discuss these cash-based practice topics:

  • How Chris successfully made the transition from an employee in an insurance-based sports therapy program to a cash-based PT practice owner.
  • Which business model he believes would work best if he were to start a practice today.
  • Why his decision to specialize in a running niche made it easier to find sports medicine patients in a new city.
  • The personalized approach that enables him to attract patients via word-of-mouth despite being located in a heavily insurance-focused market.
  • How Chris fosters an environment of trust and transparency with his patients.
  • How he used online marketing to stay booked even during the pandemic.
  • Which specific types of content generate the greatest ROI on Instagram.
  • How to optimize your content so it won’t appear overwhelming to readers.
  • The digital products he’s developed to monetize content and grow a community.
  • Tips for delivering genuinely valuable patient experiences through telehealth.
  • Exactly what goes into a $300 consult that makes it an easy “yes” for his patients.
  • Why honestly sharing your own story can help you powerfully connect with your target market.
  • The two areas where a lot of clinicians get bottlenecked and how you can get past them.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

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Infographic: 8 tips to defeat work stress

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In today’s world, work often causes us stress. Especially now, with more people working from home, it can make it that much harder to stop worrying about work projects and issues and just enjoy your home life.

If work is starting to stress you out, you might be starting to notice some physical and health-related problems that have been caused by too much stress. You might find yourself getting more headaches, acne, or unable to sleep.

All these problems can be easily combatted by trying to perform some self-care activities even when you are stressed. In the infographic below, courtesy of The Derm Review, you will find eight different ways that you can use self-care to help combat work-related stress today.

Infographic courtesy The Derm Review

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Infographic: Changing nursing homes from the inside out

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After the world as we knew it shut down thanks to the pandemic, the nursing home industry was in the spotlight — and not in a good way. Nowadays, it is great to see that our elders, a vulnerable citizen population, are getting vaccinated quickly. As COVID outbreaks are now being better contained in such facilities, many will look to live in nursing homes.

People making such a life adjustment will want the comforts of home. Nursing homes will likely do a good deal more when upgrading their physical appearance. One such way to improve the physical setting and even to allow for better cleanliness is through investing in nursing home flooring.

Check out more on how to improve your nursing home look in the visual deep dive below:

Infographic courtesy Ritz Flooring

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Podcast: How to maximize word-of-mouth referrals for a cash-based practice

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Word-of-mouth referrals can be one of the easiest, lowest-cost ways to attract new patients to a cash-based practice. While this form of marketing can often be considered quite passive, there are a number of fairly easy things you can do that will improve your results. By employing these tactics, you’ll enhance your online credibility, powerfully connect with your target customer, and dramatically increase your word-of-mouth referrals.

In this podcast, I discuss specific strategies that will maximize your word-of-mouth referrals. You’ll hear how you can create a steady stream of patient reviews and how to make sure those reviews will highlight the best features of your practice and help you stand out in the marketplace.

More specifically, I discuss these topics related to word-of-mouth referrals:

  • How to make sure the reviews posted on your Google listing improve your online credibility.
  • The follow-up approach that will enable you to build a library of positive reviews that make your practice rise above the competition.
  • The simple trick that allows you to remove friction for patients who try to post a Google review.
  • The 4 specific questions you can send to patients that ensure your online reviews are stellar rather than just good.

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Podcast: The key traits of a successful cash-practice entrepreneur

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Jarod Carter is often asked what the key to success is as an entrepreneur. Based on what he’s observed in his own businesses as well as the many other practice owners he’s coached in his Mastermind group, the main factor governing your results is always the perspective you apply as you begin. By mastering the right mindset, you can create a fulfilling opportunity to serve your patients instead of turning yourself into a stressed-out workaholic.

In this week’s episode, he explains his own entrepreneurial background and walks you through the specific mindset shifts that he believes are critical to cultivating a business you will love to be a part of in the long term.

This “highlight” is taken from Q&A calls with his Mastermind Gold group — a highly interactive, supportive group where people who have tons of questions and concerns about how to start, grow, or transition to a cash-based private practice get the answers, resources, and confidence they need to build the practice of their dreams.

More specifically, he discusses these cash-based practice topics:

  • The perspective shift that will keep you from burning out early in the life of your new practice.
  • Why approaching your business with the right mindset will help keep your passion alive and allow you to enjoy the work for years to come.
  • The personal-development technique he used to become a dramatically more effective entrepreneur.
  • Why comparing your results to others who appear to be succeeding more quickly can make it difficult to create a thriving practice.
  • Some of the many places he has looked to find no-cost inspiration, information, and advice on his entrepreneurial adventures.

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Dreaming of international travel? You may need a vaccine passport

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Have you heard of the term “vaccine passport?” Well, if you plan to travel internationally in 2021 and perhaps for the foreseeable future, you may just have to get one. Travel-related businesses and international governments may soon ask for digital documentation that proves that passengers have been vaccinated or tested for the COVID-19 virus.

Denmark plans to roll out a digital passport in the next three to four months to allow citizens to show they have been vaccinated. The Biden administration has asked government agencies to determine how feasible it is to link COVID-19 vaccination and produce digital versions of vaccination documents.

As for businesses, Etihad Airways and Emirates have both announced that they will start using a digital travel pass soon. Developed by the International Air Transport Association, it will help provide governments and airlines documentation that passengers have been vaccinated or tested for the deadly virus.

So, when can you travel again? Will the vaccine passports help? Many countries are planning extensive campaigns to lure in international visitors, though the need for caution remains high. Governments worldwide suggest caution, but there is also pressure from the travel industry, which has suffered unprecedented losses during the pandemic. The result is the joint effort to open up with specific criteria like proving vaccination and negative results.

However, the World Health Organization and others are yet to endorse the idea of the digital health passports that carriers are pushing. The aim is to replace the mandatory quarantines with these documents and entice more people to book flights. Their caution is understandable. A negative test or vaccination does not entirely rule out the risk of COVID-19.

One thing is certain. There needs to be consistency and harmonization of rules when it comes to international travel. Unless there is consistency, the process may thwart passengers more than ever. The need of the hour is to establish global standards for digital vaccination certificates. Evidence of vaccination can serve as proof and eliminate the need for quarantine on arrival, a policy that is also standing in the way of the return of international tourism.

The process is not a new one, however. For decades, international travelers have had to show documentation proving that they have been vaccinated against diseases such as rubella, yellow fever, and cholera. Of course, not every country required it, but most did. However, the digital component proposed today is different from those past documents. The focus is on developing universal standards for the vaccine and making them accessible and equitable via apps.

Which countries are opening up for tourists soon?

Some Mediterranean nations were among the first to welcome tourists in the summer of

2020. Caribbean and some Asian countries followed next. They have all, barring a few exceptions, have lifted travel restrictions, reopened borders, and allowed commercial flights to resume. Countries that have welcomed tourists with wide-open arms include Mexico, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Which say no?

Australia is yet to reopen at all, with it saying might not welcome international visitors until the end of 2021.

Great Britain announced a phased travel plan where International travel from England will be banned until May 17 at the earliest, though vaccinated individuals may travel more freely internationally.

The United States needs all international travelers to the country to take a viral COVID-19 test within three days of departure for the U.S. They will have to provide documentation of a negative antigen or PCR result before being allowed to board.

In Canada, foreign nationals, including Americans, are not welcome except for those who have dual citizenship or are Canadian residents. The border between the two U.S. and Canada remains closed. Canada also announced that it would ban all cruise ships carrying more than 100 passengers from calling on Canadian ports through February 28, 2022. Stricter travel restrictions are in place for Canadians traveling to the Caribbean and Mexico through April 30.

Clearly, full-scale global travel won’t happen till 2022 or perhaps 2023. It is a bleak reality to face for many airlines and travel businesses. They are lobbying hard to get the vaccine passport idea approved by WHO, but the global health body remains unmoved. The decline of international leisure travel is persisting, and the travel industry’s losses will be close to $3.3 trillion by March 2021.

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Meeting your employees’ mental health concerns and needs

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The year 2020 brought anxiety to many workers, and even depression to some. The CDC reported that three times as many adults said they felt anxiety and four times as many adults said they felt depressed in the summer of 2020 compared to the summer of 2019.

Spring Health just released its 2021 Guide to Mental Health Benefits, an e-book to help companies apply the lessons learned in 2020.

According to a survey commissioned by Spring Health and conducted online by The Harris Poll:

  • 49% of American workers sought mental health care in 2020
  • 38% of those who sought care say they were driven by a desire to manage emotions related to the coronavirus pandemic
  • 43% said the mental health benefits in their employer-sponsored health plan did not meet their mental healthcare needs.

Another interesting point: although 38% sought mental health care in 2020 to manage emotions related to the pandemic, that wasn’t the only issue that drove workers to seek care. Other reasons include the following:

  • 32% — working from home
  • 30% — concerns about racial injustice
  • 29% — elections
  • 29% — job insecurity or job loss
  • 29% — natural disasters (wildfires, hurricanes, etc.)
  • 13% — other reasons

Employee Burnout

The percentage of U.S. employees experiencing worker burnout continues to rise. Dr. Millard Brown, SVP of Medical Affairs at Spring Health, who is a board-certified adult and child psychiatrist, believes there are many factors contributing to the rise. “I worry that we have an increasing expectation mismatch at work, home and school,” he says.

“We often feel the pressure to be tracking, executing, and optimizing more aspects of our lives than ever before.” And this pressure is not only at work, but relates to parenting, eating, exercising — just about any area you can think of. And since it’s not possible to optimize every facet of life, Brown says it will lead to exhaustion. “If we struggle to resolve these pressures successfully and find ways to relax and recharge, there’s the possibility of giving up and becoming disenchanted with life, leading to demotivation and burnout.”

Other factors, such as marriage, children, gender, and age can affect the level of burnout. “For example, a well-functioning marriage can help a person reset after a difficult day when a loving partner is present.” But if there’s tension in the marriage, Brown says resetting won’t occur. Instead, the employee exhausted from work will find it harder to be ready for the next day or work. “Therefore, when managers find an employee who appears exhausted and at risk for burnout, they should ask about non-work issues that might be impacting the employee and be ready to recommend available services.”

Broader effects of 2020 events, such as the election and COVID-19, also contribute to burnout rates. “As we face more tension, stress, trauma, and isolation, we have less ability to let go, relax and reset ourselves.” And the end result is less hope regarding the future, or the ability to impact our surroundings. “All of this leaves us with less energy to manage our exhaustion and return to a healthy baseline.”

How employees can help prevent/mitigate burnout

According to the survey, employees want their mental health benefits to be less confusing, easier to access, and more personalized:

  • 19% want an easier way to find out which therapists or psychiatrists in their network are taking new clients
  • 21% want a simpler way to determine which therapists or psychiatrists in their network specialize in the mental health concern they have
  • 19% want a virtual option for their therapy or medication management appointments
  • 19% want lower copays for therapy or medication management appointments
  • 17% want employer-funded therapy or medication management appointments (free for employees)
  • 17% want the option to quickly change psychiatrists or therapists

There are also other steps that employers can take. “Ensure employees and managers are synced with expectations of each other and that managers repeatedly ask over time about exhaustion and burnout,” Brown says. “Look for role mismatches that can cause employees to be more disengaged and demotivated. and collaborate to find joint solutions.” He also recommends re-evaluating processes to identify where exhaustion is most likely to occur, and then looking for ways to balance workloads to meet business needs in a manner that is sustainable.

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The importance of having a great office chair

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Last year, COVID-19 brought the world to its knees — or more appropriately, its backside. The pandemic sent some 72% of the workforce home to pursue business on a more round-the-clock scale that many actually find more workable than the stressful central office setup of yore. In fact, a new Pew Research Center survey notes that of those now bound to their home office, more than half (54%) like it that way and hope to continue the practice long after the world gets back to normal.

Hence, the chair. Choosing the right office chair can be a life or death matter, literally. While the meme “sitting is the new smoking” may be a phrase turned lightly in social gatherings, studies show a direct correlation between sitting and chronic disease and premature death.

Other research clearly shows the link between the ergonomics of sitting and subsequent pain in the back, spine and legs. The cure? Short of surgery, there is much that can be done to prevent injury, promote wellness and live a long, happy and productive office life. And it all begins with… the chair.

Bag the Ball

So, what to look for in you search for the ultimate office chair? First, do not be looking for the ultimate yoga ball. While a fun fad during the early aughts, the science of wobbling your way through a Zoom call does not back the whimsy.

Over a long day at the desk, muscles will fatigue rapidly and cause the body to compensate into non-neutral postures, otherwise known as slumping. That will place pressure on the spinal discs, which may cause discomfort and outweigh the assumed benefits of using the ball as a chair — although it is definitely recommended for various types of exercise and relaxation.

Image courtesy ErgonomicTrends.com

Finding a Good Fit in the Sit

1. The Seat

The ideal office chair should start with a base of at least five castors at the base to ensure stability. Then there is the seat, which should be adjustable until your thighs are parallel to the ground, not sloping toward it.

According to a deep dive paper through the University of North Carolina, the seat pan depth should provide a three-finger gap between the back of the calf and the front edge of the seat pan. If the seat pan is too shallow, all the pressure from sitting is placed on a small part of the thighs, which may lead to discomfort. If the seat pan is too deep, it will either be difficult to use the backrest or the front of the seat will put pressure on the back of the nerves and tendons at the backs of the knees.

The Solve:

Stand in front of the chair and adjust the height until the top of the seat pan is at the height of the bottom of your kneecap. Your thighs should be parallel to the ground, then adjust the chair height up/down slightly until you find a comfortable location.

2. The Angle of the Chair

The seat pan should also be able to tilt backwards and forwards to allow for shifting posture throughout the day. The seat pan should have a rounded front edge to increase the pressure on the backs of the thighs and help distribute the pressure over a larger area.

The Solve:

You want between three fingers up to a fist’s width of space between the back of your calf and the front edge of the chair when your back is touching the backrest. If you are unable to adjust the seat pan, consider adding a pad to the backrest that will shift your posture forward in the seat while still allowing for contact with the backrest.

3. The Backrest

The backrest height should be an adjustable element of the chair to ensure lumbar support is fitted properly into the lower back. Ideally, the backrest will mirror the shape of your back and allow the weight of the upper body to be supported by the spinal vertebrae at the bottom of the lumbar curve at the small of the back (where most back pain begins).

In addition, the backrest should be able to recline independently of the seat pan and be set at an upright or slightly reclined position. A slightly reclined posture opens up the angle between the hips and trunk and decreases stress in the lower back.

The Solve:

Ensure the lumbar curve on the backrest fits into the small of your back. Do this by raising the chair back as high as possible and then move the backrest downward in small steps until it feels most comfortable. If the chair is not adjustable or doesn’t have adequate lumbar support you can add a lumbar pad to the chair with a pillow or towel, as long as it does not suddenly make the seat pan too short. When seated, the angle between the thighs and back should be a bit more than 90 degrees.

4. Armrests

Now, there is the topic of where to put your arms. In fact, armrests are optional. Even if adjusted properly for comfort, there are some setups where armrests will interfere with work.

Should armrests work for your needs, they should be adjustable in height. Too high and you’ll find yourself shrugging your shoulders to use them. Too low, and you may end up leaning on one armrest. Meanwhile, they should be rounded on the edges to distribute the pressure over a larger area. And they should, ideally, be spaced wide enough or narrow enough apart to be comfortable.

The Solve:

Sit in the chair with your arm bent at a 90-degree angle and adjust the armrest until it is directly under your elbow. Make sure both armrests are the same height. They should not obstruct your movement of pulling up to your desk or reaching for the mouse. Armrests are “rests” not “supports” so actually typing or doing other intensive arm-related work while resting on these elements is not recommended.

The Total Chair

As a frequent sufferer of sciatica and lower back pain, I have weathered the gamut of chairs — from Herman Miller to Office Depot and Ikea to a fast grand spent at Relax the Back for what seemed like the most promising cure. In the end, the chairs ended up in the garage and I ended up in the doctor’s office for a continuing series of acupuncture treatments. And that seemed to work well enough — until the pandemic hit.

Since then, I have taken out and dusted off those garage-stored chairs and have been running an inconvenient and continuing rotation of sitting solutions mixed with regular standing breaks (word is every 30 minutes or at least 71 minutes total in an eight-hour day) and daily five-mile walks to keep my spine happy and circulation in motion.

Then I came upon an unlikely option while watching an episode of Shark Tank. The All33 Backstrong chair did not get the deal but it got my attention. It claimed to be only chair that allows natural movement of the pelvis and back stimulating circulation, thus encouraging an increase of oxygenation and improving flexibility. The item was designed by a well-reputed chiropractor who is the designated back-cracker for the Los Angeles Clippers. My pain was nothing compared to repeated tumbles on a court.

What made me interested was something I had not seen before in a chair: a cradle. Because I am short (5 feet) I am not the average customer for chair manufacturers. In fact, it is rare to find a chair that actually allows for my feet to rest squarely on the ground.

Similarly, I am usually given the choices of sitting toward the front of my seat and not benefitting from back support, sitting properly in the back of my seat and having my legs dangle heavily under my desk or sitting with a variety of cushions, pillows and towels so that I can type without tension in my back or under my thighs. Hence, the acupuncture treatments.

The “cradle” in the new All33 Backstrong chair ensures that wherever I put my derriere, a built-in cushion support will be meeting my delicate lumbar area. The soft, yet firm seat pan and back support are both part of this cradle that pivots up and down to not only meet my body where it is or needs to be, but also ensure continuous movement of my spine and thighs. And yes, there are arm rests — padded for comfort and arching slightly.

The look is good — a sleek sloping contour that fits right into my wedge of a home office, and the components are non-leather and made with sustainability in mind.

The downside? I am short and not all components adjust for that. But I am not surprised given the primary clientele of the chiropractor who designed this chair. But I also know that unless I grow some inches or have a chair custom made for all of my odd measures, I am at the mercy of fast-talking sales assistants or images on Amazon Prime for anything that might work for me. My garage is already full.

Meanwhile, I have been sitting in this chair for several weeks while managing an intensive production schedule, and that sciatica? A memory. My savings on acupuncture translated into investing in this chair — currently available online and at select b8ta retail stores for around $799.

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