Posts in Consultation Forms

GDPR AND ALTERNATIVE THERAPY CONSENT FORMS

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

It is now over one year since the GDPR legislation came into effect on the 25th of May 2018, and it’s still a major area of concern to many small and medium-sized endeavours.

The Alternative Medicine sector is no exception as I discovered when we exhibited at the Holistic Medicine Exhibition at the ICC in Birmingham recently. 

Almost everyone I spoke to wanted to know if we could help them with compliance. It was as important as the cost savings of going paperless for them. Convenience for them and their clients is the other main benefit.

Many of them were members of a Professional Hypnotherapy Association. They comply with the hypnotherapy code of ethics they studied as part of Hypnotherapy training. Therefore complying with GDPR is important too.

Fortunately, using paperless forms is a great cure for many GDPR headaches.

Nothing worries us more than the unknown. So I thought I’d write down a few words about how GDPR affects Hypnotherapists.

GDPR IS A SOLUTION NOT JUST A PROBLEM

Many people saw GDPR for alternative practitioners as a problem. By offering more transparency it safeguards consumer rights in our online world. Not a problem but a solution.

However, GDPR was written by highly paid lawyers. It appears designed to be complex to keep them in business. 

So here is my take on it, let’s start from the top, shall we? 

WHAT IS PERSONAL DATA?

Personal data means information relating to an identifiable person. Information including, names, addresses, dates of birth, ethnicity, medical information etc.

If you collect personal data for example, using an iPEGS electronic consent form you are the Controller and we are the Processor. The same is true for Medical history, Treatment plan or in fact any of our forms.

As a controller, you determine the purposes of processing personal data. We as a processor, are responsible for processing the data, storing it securely as well as keeping it accessible and within the law. 

A RECENT SURVEY SHOWED NEARLY 40% OF SMALL BUSINESSES DID NOT UNDERSTAND GDPR REGULATIONS

Most people who use paper forms are both the controller and processor. They hold all the responsibility themselves. 

HANDWRITTEN FORMS ARE DATA TOO

GDPR applies to both automated personal data and to manual filing systems. Handwritten forms are data just as the most sophisticated online form, only more cumbersome. 

You must keep an inventory of all personal data that you process.

If that data is digital with the right provider it is relatively simple to keep within the law. Paper-based data is much harder to manage.

THINGS YOU AS CONTROLLER OF PERSONAL DATA SHOULD CONSIDER

  • You must obtain consent to collect data, even the informed Consent to treatment form. You must receive Informed consent to collect Informed consent.
  • How do you store information? In a filing cabinet, on an excel sheet, or securely encrypted in the cloud?
  • Do you share or transport data and if so, how? Is it in the car as you travel between clients? Scanned, printed out and posted, emailed? All these present risks. If submitted securely to a UK data centre, as with iPEGS forms, for example, those risks disappear. Unlike your data might.
  • Is the information subject to a retention schedule?
  • You must keep client data, usually for 7 years.
  • The type of information you are holding (names, addresses, dates of birth, medical history, etc).
  • Do you collect it as paper forms, electronic forms, etc?
  • Will the information for marketing, research, evidence of permission?
  • Who will share the data?
  • Will there be an effect on the individual concerned and is it likely to cause any individuals to object or complain?

ALTERNATIVE THERAPISTS CLIENT’S RIGHTS UNDER GDPR

  • The right to be aware, of data you hold on them.
  • To have timely access to their personal data.
  • The right to request rectification, without delay.
  • To have personal data deleted.
  • The right to data portability, which allows individuals to obtain and reuse their personal data.
  • The right to object, for example, using their data for direct marketing.

If you lose data and let’s face it losing a paper form is easy to do even in the best run surgeries, this counts as a breach.

GDPR WHAT ARE THE RISKS FOR THE HYPNOTHERAPY PRACTITIONER?

If someone gains unauthorised access to your client’s private information, you have 72 hours to report the data breach to both your customers and any data controllers, if your company is large enough to require a GDPR data controller. Failure to report breaches within this timeframe can lead to heavy fines. 

For most practices, GDPR creates the need for greater investment either in consultant’s fees or in your own valuable time. Ensuring your operational processes are up to the required standards, ensuring websites, forms etc are designed and optimised for the latest protocols.

THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN CONTROLLING DATA

  • Are you or someone on your team trained on data protection?
  • What changes have you made this year to become GDPR compliant?
  • Have you built client consent into your system ?

Clients can give consent in various ways, such as email, a contact form on the website, a check-box on your landing page, tick box on the form etc.

Consent records must specify the time and date when consent was given, as well as the exact means they delivered consent. 

COMPLIANCE INSPIRES TRUST

Compliance not only protects the patient, but it also protects your surgery from overstepping the boundaries.

Companies who seem to cut corners with data protection might well cut corners elsewhere. Most of us are members of a National Hypnotherapy association and have no problems with Hypnotherapy ethical issues. Cutting corners is not in our DNA we understand Our ethics and professionalism are all we have. So going digital make sense.

Can you simply and rapidly process data deletion for clients. Is it at the press of a button or will it take hours of work?

Do any 3rd parties have access to your client’s data? Third party access to data is all too common, third parties who might be using the same network or facilities, you need to be aware of any other parties who might have access to the data you’re collecting. This can be a particular problem in mixed therapy practices. Is it kept in a filing cabinet where others have access or a shared network?

How easy is it to export your data? Is it available at the touch of a button or is it a trip down to the cellar and a root through the filing cabinets?

PRIVACY BY DESIGN

One component of GDPR is privacy by design. This requires therapists to design their systems with the proper security protocols in place from the start. Failure to design your systems of data collection the right way will result in a hefty fine. It is a good idea to take a good look at your website if it hasn’t had a design overhaul in the last year or so.

Are your forms easy to find and wipe? Who has copies? Are you holding data on your phone, laptop or PC and do others have access to these devices?

GDPR seems complex, but essentially it refers to the need to have business systems designed with proper security and privacy measures integral. iPEGS paperless forms, for example, is such a system.

If you would like to find out more about how a system such as iPEGS can help you manage your client data, please check out our website www.ipegs.co.uk or contact me directly steve @ipegs.co.uk or call me on 01244 955350, I will be pleased to help.

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.

GDPR ISSUES FOR THE ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE SECTOR

July 24th, 2019 Posted by Acupuncture, Alternative Medicine, Consent forms, Consultation Forms, GDPR, Holistic Health, Insurance, Paperless, Security No Comment yet

Most of us are way beneath the higher risk threshold but our insurance companies are taking these levels of risk on our behalf and charging us to do so.

I spent some time this weekend chatting to specialist Healthcare Insurance Brokers at the exhibition and they were very pleased to see me. They assured me that the actuaries will sleep better knowing their clients are using iPEGS paperless forms.

Now I like a well-rested actuary as well as the next man, but my objective is to get them to discount insurance for our users. Not only is your risk less, so are theirs, after all.

For most practices, GDPR creates the need for greater investment either in consultant’s fees or in your own valuable time. Ensuring your operational processes are up to the required standards, ensuring websites, forms etc are designed and optimised for the latest protocols.

Large companies may appoint a DPO (data protection officer). However, for most of us DPO is just another hat to hang alongside the, therapist, counsellor, head of HR, finance, marketeer, sales manager and parent hats ti name a few. Being too busy is no defence in law unfortunately. I’ve always believed it’s a clever man who buys his brains. So if we can rely on professionals like iPEGS and save money into the bargain it’s a bonus.

COMPLIANCE INSPIRES TRUST

Compliance isn’t solely an expense, in order to conform to the rules, it helps to inspire trust and confidence in the eyes of our patients.

Companies who seem to cut corners with data protection might well cut corners elsewhere. Most of us are members of a National Hypnotherapy association and have no problems with Hypnotherapy ethical issues. Cutting corners is not in our DNA we understand our ethics and professionalism are all we have. So going digital make sense.

Compliance not only protects the patient, but it also protects your clinic from overstepping the boundaries.

THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN CONTROLLING DATA

  • Are you or someone on your team trained on data protection?
  • What changes have you made this year to become GDPR compliant?
  • Have you built client consent into your system?

Clients can give consent in various ways, such as email, a contact form on the website, a check-box on your landing page, tick box on the form etc.

Consent records must specify the time and date when consent was given, as well as the exact means that they delivered consent. 

Can you simply and rapidly process data deletion for clients. Is it at the press of a button or will it take hours of work?

Do any 3rd parties have access to your client’s data? Third party access to data is all too common, third parties who might be using the same network or facilities, you need to be aware of any other parties who might have access to the data you’re collecting. This can be a particular problem in mixed therapy practices. Is it kept in a filing cabinet where others have access or a shared network?

WHAT PROTECTIVE MEASURES DO YOU HAVE IN PLACE?

Are there proper security protocols in place that will detect data breaches when they occur? How do you know if your client’s data had been hacked into or copied? The last thing you want is to find out about a data breach from your users and valued client. This is a sure-fire way to lose trust. 

How easy is it to export your data? Is it available at the touch of a button or is it a trip down to the cellar and a root through the filing cabinets?

One component of GDPR is privacy by design. This requires therapists to design their systems with the proper security protocols in place from the start. Failure to design your systems of data collection the right way will result in a hefty fine. It is a good idea to take a good look at your website if it hasn’t had a design overhaul in the last year or so.

Are your forms easy to find and wipe? Who has copies? Are you holding data on your laptop or PC? Do others have access to these devices?

The concept seems sort of complex, but essentially it refers to the need to have business systems designed with proper security and privacy measures integral. iPEGS paperless forms provides such a system.

If you would like to help improve the management of your client data and in the way you collect it please check out our website www.ipegs.co.uk or contact me directly steve@ipegs.co.uk or call on 01244 955350, I will be pleased to help.

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.

CYBER AND DATA SECURITY RISKS FOR THERAPISTS

July 24th, 2019 Posted by Alternative Medicine, Consent forms, Consultation Forms, Holistic Health, Medical History Form, Paperless, Security No Comment yet

As a therapist, you are subject to strict rules about collecting and retaining data. Against the trend, HMG and your Insurer demands you to take and hold reams of data. Often for many years.

Data such as Consultation Forms, Consent Forms, Medical Histories and Treatment Plans as well as clients contact details.

Not only do you collect this in order to function as a therapist but also in order to insure against subsequent legal claims of negligence.

Just check out what the small print says in your insurance policy. I have taken some notes of the small print in some policies. The blog can be read here.

It is informative, if scary reading.

90% OF THE WORLDS DATA HAS BEEN PRODUCED IN THE LAST TWO YEARS

If you do not Keep Necessary Records, often you are not insured. 

What patient records should I as a Therapist Keep?

In this day and age, almost all of us use computers and doesn’t everyone use a smartphone? 

Unfortunately, many practitioners still stockpile paper in filing cabinets. In the mistaken belief that GDPR only applies to computer data. Like the Sicilian Mafiosi who only communicated by little paper notes. He had smuggled out from his hideout for 20 years. Some of us feel that paper is somehow safer than electronic communications.

Data is data on disc, paper or in the cloud, even in your mobile phone. If you take a client’s phone number and save it on your phone you have just collected personal data. 

So it’s best to keep it safe and easy – using paper forms is neither.

As a 21st Century business manager you probably book your appointments using ‘Booksy’ or a similar system. You run your accounts on ‘Quickbooks’ or ‘Xero’. Unfortunately, many therapists are still keeping patient consent and medical records on your hard drive, or worse, on paper forms.

That’s an awful lot of data, all of which, if it’s not correctly secured and stored makes you vulnerable to an attack by a hacker or experience a data leak.

IT’S A REAL DANGER

According to the government department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sports 2018 survey, over four in ten businesses and nearly two in ten charities experienced a cyber security breach or attack in the last 12 months. No wonder nearly three quarters of businesses (74%) and over half of all charities (53%) say cyber security is a high priority for their management.

The average cost per breach was over three thousand pounds.

Unfortunately today we all produce so much data. With GDPR in place, fines are coming in thick and fast, and with cyber-attacks becoming increasingly sophisticated and expensive, it really is time to get serious about your data.

We have all heard of the ransom that was demanded after malware froze the NHS. You can bet didn’t demand just three grand.

How would you cope if you were locked out of your client’s database? How much would it cost you if you lost your clients contacts?

NOW IS THE TIME TO ACT

There has never been a more important time to make sure that your cyber security is able to keep your data safe. 

Fortunately, you can now buy insurance against these losses.

Cyber and data risks insurance is available to protect and support your business. If you are the victim of malware from a malicious site, subject to an attack by a hacker or suffer a data breach.

If you use a Paperless System such as iPEGS, Consultation Forms, Consent Forms, Medical Histories and Treatment Plans, you can be sure 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 why not email me: steve @ipegs.co.uk or contact me direct on 01244 955350 and we can discuss how iPEGS can help you secure your patients data.

MARKETING ONLINE FOR ALTERNATIVE THERAPISTS

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

Marketing Online for Alternative therapists is part of the 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. Here is a list of places you can cheaply promote your practice.

Having built an excellent website, we need to get it an audience. However until you can get that site in front of your potential patients it is just a vanity project.

“The man who has a thing to sell, and goes and whispers it down a well, is not so likely to collar the dollars as he who climbs a tree and hollers!”

1920s marketing slogan.

INVEST IN GROWING YOUR PRACTICE

Running your own business is a demanding thing. For every hour you get paid for, you can spend two in setting up your practice and building your client base at the start.

That means you are only earning 10 pounds per hour worked if you charge your client 30 pounds an hour.

Fortunately, the return on one hour spent promoting your website can result in bookings for 5 hours according to experienced therapists.

Therefore that hour will pay you 150 pounds in the long run.

After your site has been running for a while, remember to revisit it and refresh it as you would your wardrobe.

WAYS OF DRIVING TRAFFIC TO YOUR WEBSITE

WRITE A BLOG...

Publishing a regular blog will help you raise your profile and ranking on the search engines. This is what I am doing now for our website www.ipegs.co.uk.

You are proud of what you do, talk about it, be it Reiki, Acupuncture, Hypnosis Therapy or another alternative therapy. 

By producing original and helpful content about your speciality you will generate interest from potential and actual clients. 

Talk about your teachers and how they inspired you. The courses you have taken to get where you are. 

Share your vision, your journey. You became a therapist because you want to help others and believe you can do that. This commitment will interest and engage by your audience.

By connecting your blog to your website you can help drive traffic to it and improve your search engine rankings. 

‘FOR UNTO EVERYONE THAT HATH SHALL BE GIVEN’.

Mathew 25;29

The more traffic you get the higher you rise in the search engines. The higher you are ranked, the more visitors you receive, it is a virtuous circle.

BE SOCIAL

Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Linkedin….

Social media can still be done for free and is one of the easiest ways to market yourself.

You have a great story to tell. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram are all forums to tell that story.

You have an informed opinion so get involved in forum discussions.

Create a business account on these popular sites. Maximise your online presence by posting regularly with varied content. 

FACEBOOK

Create a company page and your customers can easily keep in contact with you.

Video arouses people’s interest faster than any other content, with attention spans shortening you have 1.2 seconds to make an impression and keep their attention.

Make a video and post it, if you are a masseuse, get your partner to star in your ‘how to relieve stress’ massage video.

If Acupuncture is your speciality, do a visual demonstration of the art. Remember in social media ‘show not tell’ is more effective.

Facebook knows this and will share your video far more widely than text. 

You don’t have to be Michael Bay or Steven Spielberg; you just have to show you care about what you do. 

If you can make people laugh as well as inform them, you have 75% of your audience in the palm of your hands.

TWITTER

Is instant and more about sound bites or customer service. Easily accessible to your customers. Having 140 characters means you need to be short, and sweet.

INSTAGRAM

Is all about show don’t tell. Pictures of the team, happy clients, short videos of your services and products in action. Keep it current and create a buzz about your crew.

Instagram is owned by Facebook so any advertising you do may also be shown in people’s Instagram feed everyone loves a twofer.

SNAPCHAT

Is relatively the new kid on the block use it in the same way as Instagram, remember you can post your material on more than one site. So, Snapchat is another string to your social media revenue machine.

LINKEDIN

Is about you connecting with businesses and professionals within your field. This is a longer-term investment in your brand. Gaining credibility with your peers will pay dividends as they link with you and share your posts within the community.

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 client’s 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.

WHAT PATIENT RECORDS SHOULD I KEEP AS A THERAPIST?

July 24th, 2019 Posted by Acupuncture, Alternative Medicine, Consent forms, Consultation Forms, GDPR, Holistic Health, Hypnotherapy, Insurance, Medical History Form, Paperless, Uncategorized No Comment yet

As a Therapist. you need to keep a lot of information about your clients and their treatment.

In fact, your insurance against malpractice or negligence claims policy demands it and Insurers can be quite specific. 

I checked the small print from Professional Indemnity Insurance policies for Alternative practitioners. Here are some things I discovered, I hope they help.

YOUR INSURANCE DEPENDS ON YOUR RECORDS

Insurers require you to take consultation records and then retain those records. One policy I checked asked for five years, but most require seven years, after the last treatment given. 

Insurers advise that you keep the records of minors for at least 7 years after the minor reaches 18.

You should record the client’s full name, date of consultation and notes on their lifestyle/medical history. Also, you should record the treatment you gave the client.

Notes should at least include a brief description of the therapy or treatment. 

The therapist must adequately record each and every treatment given to each and every client. 

The record is to include full details of the consultation process, the treatment, the result of the treatment and any aftercare instructions given where appropriate.

Any adverse reaction to the therapy or treatment must be recorded either separately or as part of the notes already used.

RECORDS MUST BE ACCESSIBLE

You will be need to produce your records of the client/event In the event of a claim. This is to protect you in the event of a claim against you.

Where therapists work in a gym, sports or leisure centre, or a shared practice often the Centre keeps these records.  

You must advise the Centre of any unusual events or of any injuries sustained during your class. 

You must ensure that the Centre will give you access to your records. To protect yourself in case a claim is made against you in the future.

You should record the name and brief details of the person. The date of the session and the therapy given, at demonstration sessions or public events.

If you give Yoga, Pilates, Fitness, Exercise, Meditation therapy, record the name and brief details of the person, date of the session and any other relevant facts.

When new clients attend your class, you should talk to them and ensure that there is no reason why they should not attend your class. If in doubt you should ask for their GP’s confirmation that they can safely participate in your class. 

At the start of each class please ask all participants is there any change in their circumstances that might affect their ability to participate in and complete the class safely.

You must produce your records of the client/event. You must adequately record each and every treatment given to each and every client. This protects you in the event of a claim being made against you.

WE CAN HELP

Using iPEGS forms is economical, quick, tidy, neat and professional. No papers to find, no filing to do.

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. Saved to the cloud there is no risk of a computer breakdown losing all your data. 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.

INFORMATION IMPORTANT TO THERAPISTS

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

As a Therapist you collect a lot of information about your clients and their treatment.

In fact, your insurance policy demands it and they can be quite specific. 

Therapists are faced with mountains of paper consent forms, as your client base increases. Paper consent forms are insecure, inefficient and expensive. Storing forms on a hard drive is more efficient, but leaves you at risk from computer crashes, virus and malware.

iPEGS Paperless forms are the perfect solution. You free up valuable space, meaning no more clunky filing cabinets. iPEGS allows you to use your company branding and easily build and edit your forms. Search for your clients using our advanced search feature and manage your electronic forms into folders.

Forms don’t go missing like paper ones, which is vital for future reference or if a claim was to arise. 

Mandatory fields mean you will never receive incomplete forms with important missing information. Going paperless also means you can easily implement the latest GDPR consent requests.

COLLECTING INFORMATON

For Yoga, Pilates, Fitness, Meditation or Mediumship you must record the client’s name and brief details and record the date of the session and any other relevant facts.

Ensure that there is no health reason why clients should not attend class. If in doubt you should ask for their GP’s confirmation that they can safely participate in your class. 

At the start of each class please ask all participants is there any change in their circumstances. Any that could affect their ability to participate in and complete the class safely.

Insurers will be ask you to produce your records of the client/event,In the event of a claim,

GYMS, SHARED PRACTICES

Where therapists work in a gym, sports or leisure centre, or a shared practice often the centre keeps these records.  

You must advise the centre of any unusual events or of any injuries sustained during your class. 

You must ensure that the Centre gives you access to these records. In the event of a claim being made against you.

EXHIBITIONS AND PUBLIC DEMONSTRATIONS

If you give therapy sessions at public events, a great way to increase your client base, the name and brief details of every participant, date of session and therapy being demonstrated and any other relevant facts must be recorded.

iPEGS provides quick and easy way to quickly access and complete consent forms, consultation forms and medical history forms on an iPad, Tablet, Smart Phone or Laptop. This avoids discouraging queues and saves you and the client valuable time. Mandatory fields mean you will never receive incomplete forms missing important information.

After the event you can access and safely store the data on the iPEGS secure web portal. By incorporating marketing permissions on the registration form you can easily follow up and increase your client base by exporting this data from iPEGS.

Remember in the event of a claim you will be asked to produce your records of the client/event.

ONE ON ONE THERAPY

You are required to take consultation records and retain those records, one policy I checked asked for five years, but most require seven years, after the last treatment given. 

In the case of minors, insurers advise that records should be kept for at least 7 years after the minor reaches 18.

The records should as a minimum have the client’s full name, date of consultation and notes on the lifestyle/medical history where appropriate to the treatment being given. 

They should at least include a brief description of the therapy or treatment. 

The therapist must adequately record each and every treatment given to each and every client. 

The record is to include full details of the consultation process, the treatment, the result of the treatment and any aftercare instructions given where appropriate.

Notes need to be added of any adverse reaction to the therapy or treatment either separately or as part of the notes already used.

In the event of a claim you will be asked to produce your records of the client/event. The insured person must adequately record each and every treatment given to each and every client. This is to protect you in the event of a claim being made against you. 

WE CAN HELP

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. Saved to the cloud there is no risk of a computer breakdown losing all your data. 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 steve @ ipegs.co.uk or contact me directly on 01244 955350.