When I started seeing clients I didn’t even know what the term “workflow” meant. I was so focused on changing lives and helping people get healthier, making my own life easier was the least of my concerns.
But it didn’t take long for me to realize that a folder on my desktop stuffed with hundreds of Microsoft Word documents was not the best way to organize my practice.
Over the years I have tried many different tools for practice management, scheduling, nutrition planning, and accounting. Eventually, I landed on a combination of two that have completely changed the game for me: That Clean Life and Practice Better.
I often get asked how I organize my practice, so I am going to walk you through the exact steps I take when working with clients, and how these two tools have allowed me to take my business to the next level.
1. Schedule an Appointment
The first interaction I have with a client is, of course, booking them in for a consultation. Using Practice Better I can manually book appointments in seconds by adding them to my client list.
The scheduling tool also makes it easy for clients to book their own appointments, and allows me to choose my office hours, limit certain types of appointments to certain days or times, and coordinate multiple office locations as well as online.
For example, I will only schedule online appointments (via video chat) certain days of the week. Now I never have to worry about someone booking an online appointment during my clinic hours.
Appointment confirmations, reminders, cancellations and rescheduling are all automated with this tool so I don't need to waste time sending reminder emails myself.
2. Send Intake Forms and a Waiver
Having great intake forms is key, since this is one of the first communications you will have with a new client. What I like about using Practice Better is that I can have multiple types of forms and easily choose which to send to a particular client.
The forms are filled out online and instantly added to your client's file. You can also print the forms or send them as a fillable PDF.
Note: I personally use the Plus Plan which gives me a custom branded URL and sign-in page. I feel that this gives a significantly better client experience, and I love it.
3. Deal With Invoicing and Payments
When I’m seeing clients in-clinic, I don’t require them to pre-pay for their appointments, as they pay at the front desk after their appointment. However, when I see clients online, I do require that they pay in advance (learned this lesson the hard way). Creating an invoice with Practice Better is incredibly simple, and clients can easily pay online with their credit card.
You can easily create an invoice directly from an appointment booking, so your client's details are automatically filled in. Clients can easily pay their invoices online, or you can send them their invoice as a PDF and accept payment in-person or via e-transfer if you prefer.
If you sell packages or programs that require recurring payments, it’s easy to set this up too. You can also allow clients to pay for packages in instalments, without keeping track of everything and processing payments yourself.
4. The Initial Consultation
Once all the admin stuff is taken care of, I get to do what I do best: being a nutritionist! I go through my client's completed intake forms and start making notes. During their appointment, we cover their goals, barriers, and create a plan of action together.
Using Practice Better, it’s extremely easy for me to create session notes for myself, notes to share with the client and recommendations. It’s simple to build protocols, give nutrient and hydration targets, foods to include or reduce, and provide supplement recommendations.
Tip: If you use Fullscript, you can connect it through Practice Better, so that clients can order supplements through their client account.
This is also where That Clean Life comes in to enhance my client experience and save myself hours on nutrition planning and resource creation. Whether I am providing my client with a full meal plan, or just a personalized recipe book of high protein breakfast ideas to get them started, this tool helps me create branded resources in minutes.
I use the filters in That Clean Life to enter in my client’s dietary and time restrictions, as well as their food preferences so I can provide recipes that will fit their needs.
I also appreciate the advanced nutrition analysis feature which allows me to filter through recipes based on specific nutrition requirements.
I can edit recipes to modify the nutrition profile, and analyze the nutrition info of my own recipes. All data is pulled from the USDA database, so it's highly accurate.
Itemized grocery lists, detailed nutrition information, special notes, and prep instructions are all easy to include or exclude based on each client’s needs. Since every single client is so different, I need a tool that allows for infinite customizations, which is why I could not live without That Clean Life.
The best part about That Clean Life is the ability to export a gorgeous PDF featuring my branding and contact information, so I don't have to spend any time on design. I then upload these PDFs to my client's files or session notes in Practice Better, so they can access them, and also so I can keep track of what plans were sent to who.
5. Ongoing Client Communication
The work that I do with my clients while we are together is brought to life once they leave my office. As a nutritionist, the success of my clients depends on what they do in their own kitchens, on their own time. Because of this, it is crucial for me to have an easy, effective way to communicate with clients between appointments.
In the past, I would give clients my cell phone number for text communication, and ask them to keep a food journal, which we would review together during follow-up appointments. It didn’t take long for me to realize that this wasn't a great way to run my practice. I began to dread looking at my phone and realized that most clients don’t fill out their food journals..
So I implemented a new strategy that makes it easier for me as the practitioner, but also easier for my clients too. Instead of giving them access to my private phone number, clients can easily contact me through the chat on Practice Better. This allows me to see all of our communication in one place, and also helps me to keep my day organized, so I can decide when to sit down and answer messages rather than being bombarded by them constantly.
Instead of asking clients to fill out food-journals the traditional way, I ask them to take photos of their meals, and upload them to the Food & Mood Journal in Practice Better. This eliminates the issues they might have with accurately reporting what they ate, and makes it easy for them to record it. Instead of waiting for follow-up appointments, I review journals daily and send any notes via chat to keep them on track.
If a client doesn’t fill out their journal for a few days, I can send them a message to keep them accountable, or I can send them a new recipe from That Clean Life to give them some inspiration. This is how I keep track of and stay in touch with my clients between sessions.
This is the workflow that has positively transformed my nutrition practice, allowing me to spend less time on admin tasks and more time being a nutritionist.
Before Practice Better I was using (and paying for) multiple tools to manage my practice:
- a scheduler for my appointments
- an EHR to keep track on my notes and recommendations
- accounting software to send invoices and process payments
Practice Better has allowed me to streamline everything, not only making my life easier, but also creating a better experience for my clients, since they can log into their account and see everything in one place including their appointments, invoices, receipts, protocols, nutrition plans and communications with me.
Before I started using That Clean Life I would spend hours creating nutrition plans and itemized grocery lists in word documents, and scouring the internet for recipes to give clients. Now I have a constantly growing database of healthy recipes at my fingertips, that meet a variety of needs. Creating meal plans is as simple as dragging and dropping meals onto a plan. The grocery list is automatically generated, and everything is consistently formatted with my personal branding so that it looks nice and professional.
I hope this inspires you to find a workflow that works for you! If you have any questions, or want to know more about how I use these tools reach out to me on Instagram. I am happy to give you all my best secrets for creating a seamless client experience.