Posts in marketing

WHAT SHOULD I KNOW ABOUT MANAGING MY ALTERNATIVE THERAPY SITE

July 24th, 2019 Posted by Acupuncture, Alternative Medicine, Clinic app, Consent forms, Consultation Forms, Electronic signatures, Holistic Health, Hypnotherapy, marketing, Medical History Form, Paperless, Sports Therapy, Uncategorized, Web Design No Comment yet

MANAGING MAGIC COOKIES ON MY ALTERNATIVE THERAPY WEBSITE

Managing your alternative therapy website is part of iPEGS series of blogs on marketing your Alternative Therapy Practice. A covert plan to force our clients to use more paperless new client forms, informed consent forms etc.

As a modern business owner, as well as a healer, there are many hats we have to wear. Unfortunately ‘Webmaster’ is just one of them.

Most of us are not running big corporations, but small practices, or are even individual traders, so it is often up to us alone to get things right. 

Websites for therapists are now as important as our shop window. There are many affordable websites for therapists, which are easy to manage. There are even some free websites for therapists that can work for us. The best websites for therapists, give you a lot of control not only of content but the system behind the content.

We might not have built our own website, but it is most likely that we manage it. We write the content, run ad campaigns to promote it, send out newsletters and use our web presence to build our patient base. It’s how we increase the numbers of visits on our therapist’s website and promote our therapy business.

Just as we manage the data that we collect from our new client forms, or medical histories and get informed consent to treat our patients. 

Whether we collect this information using modern paperless forms or on paper stored in filing cabinets, even collected on our computer directly from our website, it still has to be managed.

As part of the iPEGS team, I have written a lot about GDPR and data collection for therapists and the new regulations. GDPR is one of the many reasons our clients decide to go paperless with iPEGS. 

KEEPING UP WITH THE RULES

This week I have been reading the ICO’S (Information Commissioner’s Office) latest newsletter and found out quite a bit of interest and might keep our clients out of trouble.

A lot of us use Facebook and Twitter and other social media to drive traffic to our main site. To do this and monitor our progress we use cookies.

COOKIES AND THERAPY

There was a time when a cookie was something we indulged in with a cup of coffee. The first web cookies were called Magic Cookies in 1994.

Nowadays they are a vital part of our online activities. Just like using client’s data and GDPR, the rules are changing, and we have to keep up.

In this new, post-GDPR era, rules are changing about how we can use cookies. More importantly how our clients reject them.

These magic Cookies have been around for 25 years, but are still a mystery to most of us. We have written a short blog explaining the term cookies if you wish to read it.  

IT’S ALL ABOUT INFORMED CONSENT

The rules that regulate Cookies are the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations, not GDPR but PECR. Just what I needed another Acronym to write about. However, it’s still all about informed consent .

You can read the full regs on their site.

Here are a few things that you might find interesting…

Until recently if someone came on our site, unless they said otherwise, they accepted our use of cookies. 

Now our visitor must take positive action to consent to non-essential cookies.

Essential cookies are only those that are strictly necessary to fulfil your client’s requirements. They are, for instance essential for your shopping cart, or for clients to log in.

Non-essential may seem essential to you, but the client is number one in this new digital era.

Even cookies that are helpful to make the client’s navigation of our website easier, need your client’s informed consent.

Your website must clearly tell our user what cookies are set and what they do, including third party cookies.

Pre ticked boxes or sliders cannot be set to on. Except for essential cookies, our user must take the decision to apply them. 

Non-essential cookies cannot be set into our home page or landing page. 

Analytics cookies need consent. They tell us if that ad campaign working? Did that mail shot work? How many hits did we get last week, where were they from, which pages did the client visit?

These cookies might seem essential to us as the website owner. However, if we don’t have analytics running, our user can still use our site. Therefore they are not essential to our reader. We need consent.

FORCING OUR CLIENT’S DECISIONS

‘Well if the client doesn’t want to let us use our very reasonable cookies, we can just block the page access right’?

Probably not. Phrases like ‘by continuing to use this website you agree to our use of cookies’. Smacks of walking into a bank holding a gun. Then asking the teller for a donation to your holiday fund. It is not a valid request for consent.

It’s all about your user’s needs and their prior consent to use the information we glean from their visit. Which is not that different from when you explain the treatment you propose and ask for patients informed consent really. We wouldn’t consider treating people without consent, would we?

It feels like the ICO wants me to stop using cookies altogether’. Well not really, without cookies the web would come to a grinding halt. 

There have however been a lot of abuses of user’s information and the pendulum is swinging back to personal choice. Which is not a bad thing. We have all, I’m sure, felt a little sore about how our data has been bought and sold in the marketplace by faceless multinationals. 

Cookie compliance is an area of expansion for the ICO in the future. I sometimes wonder if it is also about protecting the huge corporations. Those who now own the internet from new competition, but maybe I am just a little paranoid.

BEING NICE AND SAYING PLEASE

That said it’s really just about being nice and asking permission. Most people are understanding and if you take time to explain why you need permission, will give it.

It would be worth your while having a look at your site and checking if you are up to date on your cookie policies. If someone else manages your website, talk to them about how your cookies are set and if they need to make changes on your behalf.

At iPEGS paperless forms, we are all about making life easier for our clients and helping them save time and money. If you are still using paper forms, stored in filing cabinets or on your computer. We can definitely help you save both. Why not check out our website and see how we can help? If you found this article useful please let me know.

By using the iPEGS Paperless System for your Consultation Forms, Consent Forms, Medical Histories and Treatment Plans you can be sure that your data is safe. As the data processor we store and encrypt your data in a secure, state of the art, UK data centre. We are Cyber Essentials Certified giving you peace of mind that our defences will protect against the most common cyber-attacks. We have achieved the IASME governance standard in relation to GDPR where we have demonstrated wider governance for management of the controls protecting personal data.

If you would like to know more, please email me: steve @ipegs.co.uk or you can call me directly on 01244 955350 and we can discuss how iPEGS can help improve your data security and client’s experience.

BUILDING A GREAT ALTERNATIVE THERAPY WEBSITE

July 24th, 2019 Posted by Acupuncture, Alternative Medicine, Consent forms, Consultation Forms, Electronic signatures, Holistic Health, marketing, Medical History Form, Paperless, Sports Therapy, Uncategorized, Web Design No Comment yet

Building a great alternative therapy website is part of iPEGS series of blogs on marketing your Alternative Therapy Practice. A covert plan to force our clients to use more paperless new client forms, informed consent forms etc.

Your website is your shop window, having your surgery in a prime location would be great but most of us can’t afford it. However a great website is the next best thing

YOUR SHOP WINDOW

There is only ever one chance to make a first impression, make it a good one. If you have ever used online dating sites you know exactly what I mean.

If you are the new kid on the block, by building a clean and modern website, you can get an edge.

Be clear about your mission, tell your visitors about your team, the services you offer, the prices you charge. Be welcoming and ensure your contact details are easily found.

Websites that are attractive create a greater feeling of trustworthiness and professionalism.

‘FORM IS EMPTY, AND EMPTINESS IS FORM’

Shakyamuni Buddha 500 B.C.

The right amount of white space creates a clean website, crucial to communicate a clear message.

A page, crammed full of text or graphics, is difficult to read and is busy.

White space is not wasted space, empty space is an important part of your design. Space between graphics, margins, gutters, space between columns, between lines of type or visuals.

From this emptiness arises information, typography, colour and images.

A clean page is not just about eye appeal, don’t clutter your pages with too many offers, or too much information either. Simple is nearly always best. Know what it is you want to achieve, and just do that.

RULE OF THIRDS

It’s old hat ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ but it’s true. 

The best images mostly follow the rule of thirds. An image should be divided into nine equal parts. Think noughts and crosses. 

Important features should be placed along these lines or at their intersections. 

By aligning a subject with these imaginary lines and points, where they cross you avoid filling the centre, or a horizon from splitting a picture in half. Avoid symmetrical images they are not pleasing to the eye. 

YOUR SITE IS EASY ON THE EYE BUT IS IT EASY TO READ?

Light text on a dark background is harder to read than the reverse. 

Your text cannot be too small as not everyone has 20:20 vision, as a therapist you will be sympathetic to that. If you use text that is too large, it can appear to be shouting at your visitor, also capitalised text.

Align to the left, not the centre. Westerners are more comfortable with that.                

CONSTANT AND CONSISTENT

Typefaces, sizes, headings and footers should be consistent throughout your web page.

You are, building a brand. How would you feel if Coca Cola changed it’s logo?

Consistency shows reliability, something your client is looking for in a therapist, and makes your site easier to navigate. 

The more options a user has on your website, the more difficult it is to use. Every additional choice increases the time required to take a decision.

You’ve experienced this countless time in supermarkets. Twenty different types of crisps is just confusing. The more choices you give, the easier it is to choose nothing. If they only offered a handful of options, making a choice would take a fraction of the time. 

IMITATION IS THE SINCEREST FORM OF FLATTERY

Check out other alternative therapy sites. Not only UK sites, the States and Oz have thousands of Holistic Medical Practitioner’s websites. See if they follow these rules. Don’t be afraid to learn from other’s successes and their mistakes. 

Undoubtedly your web presence is your best new business driver but unless you can get that site in front of your potential patients, it is just a vanity project. You may like to check out the blog on marketing my alternative therapy practice.

This blog is one of a series written by iPegs paperless forms in order to help Holistic Practitioners grow their practices.

By using the iPEGS Paperless System you present a professional approach for your Consultation Forms, Consent Forms, Medical Histories and Treatment Plans. Save time and money and keep your client’s data safe.

As the data processor we store and encrypt your data in a secure, state of the art, UK data centre. We are Cyber Essentials Certified giving you peace of mind that our defences will protect against the most common cyber-attacks. We have achieved the IASME governance standard in relation to GDPR where we have demonstrated wider governance for management of the controls protecting personal data.

If you would like to know more simply email me: steve @ipegs.co.uk or call me directly on 01244 955350 and we can discuss how iPEGS can help improve your clients experience.

BLOGGING FOR ALTERNATIVE THERAPISTS

July 24th, 2019 Posted by Acupuncture, Alternative Medicine, Consent forms, Consultation Forms, Holistic Health, Hypnotherapy, marketing, Medical History Form, Paperless, Sports Therapy, Uncategorized, Web Design No Comment yet

Here is another idea of how you can cheaply promote your practice as part of the iPEGS series of blogs on marketing your Alternative Therapy Practice, a covert plan to force our clients to use paperless new client forms, informed consent forms etc.

In the blog on Marketing your Therapy practice, I have talked about the power of blogging as a marketing tool. Today I would like to share some ideas on effective blog writing.

PLAN FIRST, WHAT YOU WANT TO SAY

Choose your subject, do your research, decide what you want to say and write it down.

BE INFORMATIVE

Compare these two sentences:

1: iPEGS produces paperless forms for Alternative Therapists.

2: At iPEGS we produce Online digital Consent Forms, Consultation Forms, Medical History Forms, New Client Forms, Treatment Plans, Parental Consent Forms, Patient Feedback Forms and other forms that you may need for your practice.

Which arouses your interest and informs you best?

LESS IS MORE

Be smart, don’t try to sound smart. Use simple terms, make, not fabricate, meet, not encounter, join, not amalgamate.

Keep your sentences short. Easy to read and understand. Every sentence holding a single thought. 

What can be said in ten words, doesn’t need twenty.

Use large fonts, short lines and lots of white space. Create subheadings after at most four paragraphs.

KEEP FOCUS

Rambling on is a fault of many writers. Rambling is commonly used to describe a meandering country walk. Clare Balding hosts a very good radio 4 series called ‘Ramblings’. Self indulgence isn’t helpful. 

AVOID USING THE PASSIVE VOICE

The active voice has an actor (Subject), who does (Verb) something to either a person, animal or thing (Object).

In English, using the active voice, sounds direct and straightforward. Direct and straightforward is exactly what we want our clients to think of us.

Active voice

Passive sentences irritate people.

S Sentences, V irritate, O People.

Passive voice V.S.O. makes your writing more distant and your message is less clear.

Passive Voice

People are irritated by passive sentences.

O People Irritated Sentences.

Although you cannot always avoid using the passive voice, whenever possible try using an, active alternative.

SAY IT WELL AND SAY IT ONCE

Don’t say something several times. If you have to repeat yourself then you didn’t explain your idea properly the first time.

EDIT RUTHLESSLY

Treat every word as if it costs you money. Shorten, delete, and rewrite anything that does not add to the meaning.

DON’T RUSH TAKE YOUR TIME

First write down what you want to say.

Then go away and leave your blog to marinate for a few hours or overnight.

Then rewrite it and finally check for grammar and spelling errors. 

Your blog is more likely to be read, by following these style suggestions. After all you want a best seller not a cult classic. 

One of a series of blogs written by iPegs paperless forms in order to help Holistic Practitioners grow their practices.

By using the iPEGS Paperless System you present a professional approach for your Consultation Forms, Consent Forms, Medical Histories and Treatment Plans Save time and money and keep your client’s data safe.

As the data processor we store and encrypt your data in a secure, state of the art, UK data centre. We are Cyber Essentials Certified giving you peace of mind that our defences will protect against the most common cyber-attacks. We have achieved the IASME governance standard in relation to GDPR where we have demonstrated wider governance for management of the controls protecting personal data.

If you would like to know more simply email me: steve @ipegs.co.uk or call me directly on: 01244 955350 and we can discuss how iPEGS can help improve your client’s experience.

MANAGING CLIENT’S DATA FOR THERAPISTS

July 24th, 2019 Posted by Acupuncture, Alternative Medicine, Clinic app, Consent forms, Consultation Forms, GDPR, Hypnotherapy, marketing, Medical History Form, Paperless, Sports Therapy, Uncategorized, Web Design No Comment yet

HOW DO I AS A THERAPIST PERMANENTLY REMOVE CLIENT’S DATA FROM MY OLD DEVICES?

As a Therapist you store sensitive client information on your desktop computer, laptop, tablet or even smart phone.

One of the key moments where data becomes vulnerable is when you dispose of old IT equipment. 

You cannot just copy and then dump data, there is a duty of care for the total life cycle of the equipment including disposal.

Client information such as Informed consent forms, Medical histories, Treatment plans, or other Consultation Forms, as well as contact details, are at the core of your business. It is protected by GDPR law and frankly not something you want to go astray. Make sure that you have it safely, on the cloud, or alternatively stored securely.


MY CLIENT’S DATA IS IN THE CLOUD. HOW DO I DELETE THIS SECURELY?

If you are using iPEGS paperless forms, securely deleting data from the cloud is simple. You need no special software, reformatting, resetting, or specialist IT security consultants. You can delete data on request permanently and at the push of a button. As clients are able to request this from you as data collector.

If you use another provider you should contact them for advice on how to securely delete this data.

MY DATA IS ON MY DEVICE, NOT ON THE CLOUD

If you store your data off cloud, at first glance deleting files, formatting or factory resetting hardware should do the trick. Unfortunately that is not always the case.

The delete file button does not really erase files, it just takes them out of sight. Anyone with a little knowledge can easily recover these files.

If you have client’s phone numbers, email addresses on your phone, and who doesn’t, disposal is a huge responsibility. 

DONATING OLD PHONES OR TABLETS

If you have ever sold or passed a mobile phone or tablet on, what happened to all the data that was on the device?  Even activating the factory reset on mobile phones and tablets isn’t always the end of it. 

You may think you are doing the right thing by donating your old phone to organisations like Oxfam or Fonebank but without the proper precautions, you could put client’s data at risk.

YOU MUST BE SURE THAT ALL PREVIOUS DATA IS UNRECOVERABLE BY THIRD PARTIES 

Where is my client’s data? 

Desktop and laptop computers store data on an internal hard drive. Most of us are familiar with that. Don’t forget that you may also have client’s data stored on USB drives, USB sticks or even CDs.

Some Mobile phones and Tablets have internal SD cards not dissimilar to the ones you can buy to add memory or save photo’s. 

DELETE OR DESTROY?

When you delete your data it may no longer be easily available. However traces of data remain in places that aren’t always apparent.

If you move an item to the recycle bin or perform ‘quick format’ on your hard drive or a factory reset of your device, you may consider it deleting data but it isn’t complete.

For a home computer, this is generally an adequate method for removing your personal data in most situations.

Formatting your device, recreates the data structures and file system.

You can delete data by reformatting, unfortunately, it could still be recovered easily.

HOW DO I MAKE SURE MY DATA CAN NEVER BE RESTORED, EVEN BY PROFESSIONALS? 

Data Destruction

Employ an IT security specialist.

There are many companies which will securely delete data for you from a range of devices. These organisations will destroy or overwrite data on your behalf. 

Companies such as Secure IT Services Ltd for example, use InfoSec Standard No: 5 Approved Blancco programme as do other companies in the sector. This is the gold standard but is costly.  

They are able to return, reuse or recycle your device after they have securely deleted your data.

Before you send a device to be wiped, it is wise to restore it to factory settings. When your machine is returned, you should confirm your data has been removed securely

All this takes time and money but is the most effective method of removing data .

OVERWRITING PROGRAMMES

Using an overwriting programme can be cheaper and you can continue to use the device once the process is complete. 

Overwriting large hard drives takes time and this may need to be done multiple times. However it may be impossible to remove all data from the device.

Where do I find overwriting software?

You can find programmes which offer secure deletion of data easily. Some are free to download however, you should make sure this comes from a reputable source and check user reviews against the claims that it makes.

USE A SLEDGEHAMMER

You may well decide that it is cheaper and less hassle just to destroy the hardware. Even this is not as simple as it may appear at first glance.

The client data may well be the only thing that you really want to remove, not to buy a new computer.

If you take a sledgehammer to your device, you can’t just sweep up the yard and dump it into the bin. The debris from mobile phones tablets, and the batteries particularly raise extra health, safety and environmental concerns.

You can try restoring factory settings.

Many devices offer a function to ‘Restore to factory settings.’ This will return the device to the state in which you bought it. This mostly applies to tablets and smartphones.

Included in the reset process must be a secure wiping stage. Not all devices include this process. You should check with the device manufacturer .

THERE MUST BE AN EASIER WAY?

If having read this you feel that it might be wiser to, stick to therapy and not take up IT security as a part time job then why not look at our website and see how iPEGS can help you manage your forms and data.

By using the iPEGS Paperless System for your Consultation Forms, Consent Forms, Medical Histories and Treatment Plans, you can be sure that your data is safe. As the data processor, we store and encrypt your data in a secure, state of the art UK data centre. We are Cyber Essentials Certified giving you peace of mind that our defences will protect against the most common cyber-attacks. We have achieved the IASME governance standard in relation to GDPR where we have demonstrated wider governance for management of the controls protecting personal data.

I’m interested how do I get started?

If you would like to know more simply email me directly: steve @ipegs.co.uk or call me on 01244 955350.

Simple and cost effective digital data capture

December 15th, 2016 Posted by marketing, Paperless No Comment yet

Are you looking to up your marketing tactics, increase sales and secure repeat business?

The iPEGS app allows you to capture simple valuable data which can be used for future gain. Capturing contact information such as name & email address details is all you need to market to your customers prompting them to react to promotional offers and reward schemes.

The iPEGS app works within any industry and has many features which adapt to benefiting your business. For example, we have many holiday companies, hotels, B&Bs, resorts and holiday parks who use our iPEGS app to capture this important data.

Forms can be company branded and customised to suit your business, you decide which questions and information you wish to gather. It is not only digital forms that can be built using the app, surveys can also be created to get your guests feedback. Analysing this data, so that you can make necessary improvements is accessible in a few clicks. On check out, guests can fill out this form on a tablet or iPAD through the iPEGS app. You can make entries mandatory or optional so that you do not miss the information needed.

Once this information has been collected, you can convert this data to other formats including xls or csv which can be used to import into your CRM or mail build software.

Stop printing excessive amounts of paper, save on stationery costs, improve efficiency, customer experience and ultimately save hundreds per annum to spend on other areas of the business.

– Create and save unlimited digital custom forms to access through your account

– Personalise your digital forms with company logo and contact information

– Use the app without a wifi connection

– Access a range of advanced field types including photo fields

– Make fields mandatory so no information is lost

– Use of individual or group registers

– Build questionnaires feature

– Analyse data taken from surveys and registers using the advanced reporting feature

– Use of unique signature feature including face stamp, time stamp and date stamp

– Add multiple electronic signatures to forms

– Import Documents to Add Text/Signatures/Freehand

– Any paper based forms that you currently require to be completed or signed can be converted to digital forms using the app

If you would like to speak to us about iPEGS Pro, iPEGS Enterprise or a bespoke app then please contact us now on 01244 955350 or email us with your enquiry at info@ipegs.co.uk