2021 Increasing The Value Of Your Practice Virtual Summit Wrap-Up

Each quarter, Breakthrough hosts a live event featuring training sessions focused on private practice growth.

Our most recent event was the “Increasing The Value Of Your Practice Virtual Summit” where we brought together the best from within the Physical Therapy Industry to address how you can find opportunities in the current market.

Here’s a breakdown of the day and key takeaways from each session.

Click here to access all the recordings from the Summit.

The State of Private Practice PT with Chad Madden

Key takeaways:

  • Being “the best” and offering the highest quality is not a sustainable business strategy for private practice owners.
  • Patient-focused marketing is the biggest opportunity for practice growth right now. PTs going directly to the consumer is more important than ever after the pandemic.
  • Don’t ignore the importance of “conversion conversations” to turn more of your direct access leads into paying patients.
Relying on doctor referrals vs going directly to the consumer.

Getting the Most Out of Your Space & Team with Ryan Christoff

Ryan is the president of the Physical Therapy Institute and his session focused on space and personnel utilization.

Key takeaways:

  • Complete a pro forma prior to expanding into a new space and forecast your expected expenses and revenue.
  • EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization) is the key metric to look at when trying to determine the value of your practice.

Take the time to watch the replay of this session to see the math Ryan uses for looking at space and personnel utilization.

Practice Value in Today’s Marketplace with Chris Reading

Chris, the president of USPH, shares how practice valuation has changed because of the pandemic.

Key takeaways:

  • Hiring strategically  can help you diversify the services offered at your clinic in an intelligent way that doesn’t distract from your core offer.  It’s better to hire someone who is already passionate about a new service instead of trying to start from scratch yourself.
  • There’s a lot that smaller PT practices can learn from corporate practices. Don’t dismiss good ideas because they come from a corporate setting. Instead, find ways to adapt and adopt them into your smaller company.

3 Things Driving the Value of Your Practice Today with Paul Welk

Paul Welk is a PT and transactional attorney at Tucker Arensberg, P.C. In his session he covers the the top 3  things driving practice value in the current economy.

Key takeaways:

  • While your 2020 financial numbers may not accurately reflect the true value of your practice,  resiliency – the ability to bounce back to pre-COVID numbers – is something that potential buyers will look for.
  • “Never let a good crisis go to waste.” Use hard economic times as a forcing function to fix issues in your practice.
  • One of the largest assets in your practice is your staff and company culture.
  • Having systems and process in place at your practice makes your business more attractive to potential buyers.

Grow Your EBITDA with Robert Kowalick

Bob Kowalick built a very successful private practice before transitioning into revenue cycle management at CRS. And in his session he shares some actionable insights on maximizing EBITDA.

Key takeaways:

  • Many private practices are leaving money on the table and not achieving the highest amount of revenue per visit.
  • Data points to pay attention to: revenue per visit, Average Days Outstanding (ADO) score – how long is it taking you to get paid, and billing process efficiency.
  • In general, a good margin for PTs to aim for is 20%.

Opening De Novo Clinics (New Clinics) with Dave Del Vecchio

Dave is the Regional Director of Operations at Professional Physical Therapy and he has a very unique perspective on opening de novo clinics.

Key takeaways:

  • In some cases, sellers can use a projection of EBITDA for a de novo clinic to increasing the value of their practice.
  • On average, Dave expects de novo clinics to become profitable in 3 months.

How Can I Scale My Business In The Next 4 Years With Direct To Consumer Marketing?” with Kathy Borkoski & Carl Mattiola

Kathy Borkoski, the Head of Product at Breakthrough, and Carl Mattiola, Breakthrough’s CEO, share the steps involved in creating an end-to-end direct marketing strategy at your practice.

Key takeaways:

  • Many practices have a solid foundation with physician referrals, past patients, general marketing (website, email, SEO), but have not figured out how to attract people with musculoskeletal issues who don’t know that PT can help them.
  • Free screens and workshops (both virtual and in-person) are the best converting offers to use with cold audiences.
  • Improving the ROI from paid advertising must involve taking steps to properly nurture and convert the leads generated from ads. This process involves following up with the people who engage with your ads, presenting a strong close at the end of workshops, and using standardized conversion techniques during free screens.

There is a right way to grow a practice, especially during a time of crisis like we’re experiencing now. Watch the full session replays from the Virtual Summit for free when you sign up at the link below.

Watch the full replay of the “Increase The Value Of Your Practice Virtual Summit.”

Social media icons for physical therapy marketing

Physical Therapy Marketing Strategies for Facebook and Social Media

Physical therapy marketing is more important than ever before.

Between 2003 and 2014, there was a 54.5% decrease in physician referrals to Physical Therapy as reported in the Journal of General Internal Medicine. Any owner who wants to grow their practice needs to look into other marketing channels.

One of the easiest channels to set up are social media profiles and pages for your business. To help you get started, here are several tips for getting your page up and running, increasing your number of followers, and actually generating new patients from social media. 

Just note: these tips can apply to different social networks but were all created with Facebook in mind.

Jump to a section:

Why Facebook?

People may gripe about different aspects of Facebook, but it is still the undisputed leader when it comes to social media. Facebook has 2.45 billion monthly active users and 1.62 billion daily visitors. On top of that, older demographics are the fastest-growing group on Facebook.

So, don’t think you’ll end up marketing physical therapy to teenagers. The number of Facebook users aged 65+ has doubled in recent years.

Bottom line: Your target audience is on Facebook. Everyone is on Facebook. And your brand should be there, too. This will help keep your practice top-of-mind and help you connect with future patients.

1. Keep it Real and Be Human

First and foremost, you want your business page to reflect your personality and the personality of your team. Yes, you always want to keep your social posts professional, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be also be fun and personable. Don’t feel pressured to be or act a certain way. Just be yourself and give people a look of what it’s like to be a patient at your clinic. 

And always remember that you are talking to people who aren’t experts on physical therapy terms and musculoskeletal conditions. So, nix the complicated terms and use simple language when you post.

Another note: Don’t buy fake fans. Yes, there are some less-than-scrupulous companies out there that promise business owners thousands of cheap likes. But services like this aren’t worth the money.

There’s really no benefit to buying fake fans. It won’t make your page look more established or encourage other people to follow you. Better to save your money and focus on creating valuable content.

2. Complete Your About Section

The about section on your page is valuable real estate. Take the time to complete this section and supply all the necessary information. You don’t need to get to 100% completion, but contact information is a must. You should also share a bit about your practice and what makes you different.

You’ll also want to follow Facebook’s guidelines for selecting a cover photo. This is your chance to make a good first impression, so use a high-quality image.

It’s also a good idea to update your cover photo a few times a year. This shows that your page is active, and it can help you show up in your followers’ timeline.

3. Share Your Profiles Online and Offline

Include links to your Facebook and other social media pages on your website (and vice versa).

Create fliers with your social media handles and keep these at your front desk, or even have one hanging on the wall inside your practice. If you publish a newsletter, you should include links to your social media there as well.

4. Post Content Regularly

Social media shouldn’t take over your life, but you also don’t want your Facebook page to become a ghost town.

To start out, pick a posting schedule that works for you and strive to be consistent. Posting at least once a week is a good baseline. After a few weeks, you can go back and see which posts generated the most engagement.

Many social media pros recommend setting aside a block of time to create and schedule all your physical therapy marketing posts for a week. Get some Facebook content ideas and plan out your next 4 posts in advance. There’s software that can help with scheduling, but you can also do this natively on Facebook.

Internet and computer images

5.  Share What Makes You Special

Share exclusive content that followers can’t see from anyone else. Like behind-the-scenes photos and videos of your PTs and staff, patient stories and testimonials.

Other physical therapy marketing content ideas include:

  • Practice Events (Like anniversaries and upcoming physical therapy workshops)
  • Local Events
  • Selfies with Staff and Patients
  • Short Explainer Videos (“Top 3 Exercises for Shoulder Pain”)
  • Practice News

6. Consider Holding a Contest or Survey

Contests and polls are great ways to get followers to engage with your posts. For polls, aim for a mix of fun and physical therapy-related topics.

The Single Question Email template can be adapted and used on your personal and professional Facebook page. This question has generated tons of responses and plans of care in the past.

An example of a fun survey question can be asking your page to share their favorite Halloween candy as a kid. When you’re just starting out on Facebook and still growing your followers, encourage your staff to comment and respond to questions like these.

With contests, don’t think that you always need to offer expensive prizes to get people to participate. Photo caption contests are usually big hits. As are any contests involving cutest pet.  

If you do want to go the prize route, consider offering gift cards to local businesses in your area. This can be a great way to create social media content and to network with potential CAWs partners.

7. Add Context When You Share Links

If you share links on your page, take a moment to add some context and commentary of your own.

For example, say there’s a great link to an article about the effectiveness of physical therapy prior to getting surgery. This is a great piece of content to share, but don’t just copy/paste the link and hit enter. Write out your thoughts on the news and encourage people in pain to stop by your clinic.

This is true even if you’re sharing content that you’ve created such as a blog post from your website. Even a sentence or two is fine, but you just want to add something unique to everything that you share.

8. Engage with Comments and Messages

Engagement on social media is a two-way street. If you want people to like and comment on your posts, you should be sure to like and reply to their comments.

You don’t want to hide the fact that there is a real person (or real people) behind your page. Or make people feel like they are interacting with a brick wall.

This rule is especially true for comments where someone asks a question, but you should like and reply to every comment you get.

This not only encourages people to keep engaging with you and your page, Facebook will also give the user a notification which will bring them back to your post.

What about negative comments? You should reply to those, too. Keep your tone professional and light-hearted if possible.

That being said, there are some comments and commenters that aren’t worth interacting with. If you encounter a troll or someone who is using crude/inflammatory language on your page, feel free to delete their comments and block them.

Use your best judgment to decide what negative comments fall into which category. You don’t want to run from negative comments, but that doesn’t mean you have to let people spam your page either.

 9. Get on Camera

Plan on creating video content for your page and even consider streaming live on Facebook. Facebook itself has said that video content drives higher engagement and interactions from users compared to other types of content on the platform.

When it comes to video, don’t think you have to make big-budget commercials for your practice. A simple video tour of your clinic or staff introductions are great pieces of content.

You can also create valuable exercise videos for people in pain. With any videos that are directly related to physical therapy, just make sure that you extend an invitation for viewers to visit your clinic in-person.

10. Let’s Get Visual

Similar to video, you want to share some purely visual content on your page as well. Facebook prioritizes content that doesn’t try to take users away from the platform, so your content will show up in more timelines.

Plus, sharing photos and images garner 87% more engagement than links and text post.

11. Try to Collect Email Addresses

With any form of marketing, you want to invite people to take the “next step” towards working with you.

This could be a direct invite to schedule an appointment in your clinic or a request to get people to sign up for your email list.

Growing your email list may not seem as impactful as getting someone to visit you in-person, but it’s still advantageous.

Someone who likes your business page won’t see everything you post on their Facebook timeline. Over the years, Facebook has shortened the organic reach of page posts and updates.

But none of that matters once someone is on your email list. At that point, you are no longer bound by Facebook’s algorithm. You can now continue to build a relationship with this person by showing up directly in their inbox.

Here’s a great email marketing resource to help you convert subscribers into patients.

paid physical therapy marketing

12. Use Paid Advertising to Reach a Wider Audience for Physical Therapy Marketing

Our tips so far have focused on organic social media for PT marketing, but paid advertising is a great method if you want more direct control over your results.

With organic, your posts will reach some of the people who like and follow your page. With paid traffic, you can target a completely cold audience. Meaning, people who have never heard of your business before.  With this expanded reach, private practice owners have the ability to control their new patient flow by attracting direct access patients.

At Breakthrough, we’ve found that advertising physical therapy workshops is a very cost-effective way for PTs to advertise on Facebook. Ads for workshops attract people with a need for the services PTs provide and gets them off the computer and into your practice for the presentation.

There are many different moving parts to this process, which is why we created the Growth X system to handle them all. Growth X covers Facebook advertising, landing pages that capture new patient leads, workshop tools to track individual progress toward becoming a patient, and an automated email system that increases workshop attendance​.

Visit this page to learn more about increasing your new patient flow and improving your physical therapy marketing with Growth X.

3 Campaigns for Getting New Patients Right Now

I need New Patients…NOW.”

This is the #1 problem facing the market right now.

Most of us risk insolvency if we can’t solve this problem.

For those of us who can solve it, we can gain market share at an unprecedented rate – with a flipped PT job market and rock bottom marketing/space costs.

In the past few months, the team at Breakthrough has experimented with new campaigns like Virtual Workshops.

But we’ve largely relied on a few fundamental marketing strategies to solve the problem of getting new patients. The strategies themselves may seem simple, but don’t let that stop you. Actually implementing them will produce results and set your practice apart from most business owners (who have reduced and in some cases completely shut down their marketing efforts).

For example, here’s a story from an owner in the Breakthrough community:

Click to view at full size.

This is a pretty remarkable rebound.

But there’s a deeper story which can be easily overlooked:

  1. The people who made it happen: Deepak and his team.  Deepak is in my list of top owners ever in one significant category – Study. 

    He’s an amazing student and is genuinely interested in growing his practice and learning the best marketing methods to help with this.
  2. He and his team take action and implement.  When asked about the secret to his success – Deepak will frequently say, “I just do what I learned here” 

    Sounds simple enough, right? 

    Well unfortunately for most of us, we seem to struggle doing that.  Deepak implements the control first – then will adjust based on his metrics.  He and his team will start with the fundamentals, then progress as they learn, and update the technique to make it their own.
  3. They are successful in a nearly impossible environment.  In the greater Edmonton area, Deepak and his team compete with a free healthcare system (you can get physio for free down the street). 

Yes, Deepak is in Growth X and has access to software that automates his marketing.

But it all starts with taking action.

You can do the same. Here’s how…

3 Steps for Getting New Patients NOW:

  1. Market to your past patient list ASAP.  At Madden PT, we just ran a our Greatest Promotion Ever at all 5 locations.  The result of that was 50+ Plans of Care. Deepak mentioned calling clients personally, but you can also use email for this.  Your patient list is the most valuable asset in your business, but only when you nurture it and engage with the people on it. 
  2. Market to the general public.  Pick a niche – a specific target market – and make sure it’s someone who your clinic can treat profitably.  Host an in-house workshop that will appeal to this demographic.  One example would be a free event for back pain sufferers.
  3. Send a fax to physicians, NPs, PA-Cs letting them know you’re open.

An easy way to take action is with the Single Question Email. This one strategy can quickly produce multiple plans of care in only a few hours.

Not only that, but it’s a great way to engage with your email list in a way that past patients will appreciate now more than ever.

Click here to download the Single Question Email template for free. It shows you how to put together the initial email and also how to handle the replies you’ll receive.

5 PT Marketing Campaigns for Past and Current Patients

There are three markets you can target to attract patients to your clinic and successfulyl grow your practice:

  • Physician referrals
  • Direct to consumer
  • Past or current patients

When it comes to marketing, most focus is put on external marketing – going direct to the consumer to get  brand new patients. 

However, internal marketing –  marketing to your current and past patient list – is a strategy that should not be overlooked. Here are five internal marketing campaigns you can use to market your practice and re-engage past patients. 

These campaigns are a great first step towards getting your practice  “back to normal” after COVID-19.

1. Green Ink Letters

Green ink letters are powerful marketing tools because they’re personal to the patient or referrer. It’s a one-to-one interaction that’s packed with personalized attention and value. 

At Madden PT, we send out green ink letters when a patient graduates a program. We also send them to physicians who refer patients to us at the beginning of the patient’s plan of care. We include how the initial evaluation went, along with a promise to keep them updated on their care. 

The benefit of using green ink letters is that you can write these any time. Make them personal to the patient using something you’ve discussed with them to strengthen that connection. Also, don’t forget to include a soft call-to-action to encourage engagement. This doesn’t have to be a sales message or asking them to book an appointment, but it should be enough to get them to take the next step.

Extend an open invitation to visit your clinic again if they have any other issues or simply let them know that you and your staff are available to help anyone the patient knows who may also be in pain.

2. Patient Newsletters

Some practices print newsletters to mail or distribute in the office, while others offer a digital newsletter. Our patients respond better to receiving something physical in the mail, but there’s no wrong way to go about creating a patient newsletter.

The important parts of a newsletter are:

Some of your content should have nothing at all to do with PT. This could be a staff member spotlight, a new hire, holiday traditions, or anything else your patients might find interesting. We’ve found our patients love to learn about our PT team and keep up to date with what’s going on in the practice. 

Relevant Content

Relevant content will have something to do with PT and your practice. It could be a patient testimonial, success stories, or an exercise of the month. Skip the scholarly articles on PT-related topics or anything you’d discuss one-on-one with a patient.

Call to Action

Every newsletter should have a call to action. We use a standing insert inside our folded newsletters. It’s an 8 ½”x11” page, front and back, that’s often used to highlight an upcoming workshop, free exams, free reports, or something else of value. We’ve found the freebie is most effective when people are getting information from it.

3. Patient Interviews

This is one of the most important roles of an internal marketer in your practice. Our internal marketer meets with every patient three times during their plan of care: once at the beginning, once in the middle, and once at the end.

The first goal is to establish rapport with the patient. The second goal is to ensure the patient is staying compliant with the plan of care set forth in the initial evaluation.

A lot of times, the conversation has nothing to do with PT. Talk about their interests and get to know them so you have a meaningful connection with each patient.

The second interview is your opportunity to get their feedback on how things are going and whether they’re seeing any progress. This is a great opportunity to educate them on what they can expect next in PT.

During this interview, we like to bring in cash pay services (we also do this during the first interview) to see if they’d like to continue with them. Some patients prefer these services after having gone through most of their plan of care when they know how things are progressing.

In the discharge interview, we get a picture of the patient with their team and celebrate the end of their plan. This is the point where we ask for referrals, online reviews, and testimonials since we’ve already built a great rapport with the patient. 

During the discharge interview, we also book a follow-up appointment for a couple of months later. Our purpose in doing this is to take measurements and make sure nothing has backtracked. But it also helps us keep the lines of communication open and stay top of mind with the patient since they’re not coming into the office as frequently, and we’ve actually reactivated a lot of patients this way.

4. GPE – Greatest Promotion Ever

Choose a day to offer free screenings to friends and family members of patients and past patients. We have five teams, so we try to do ten free screens for each time at a half-hour per screen. You’ll also want to plan for five weeks of marketing after the event with emails, newsletters, Facebook Live videos, and other content. 

5. Killer Testimonial Machine

Last but not least, we love the Killer Testimonial Machine, which is a wall of patient testimonials that new patients see when they walk into the clinic. This shows them how many patients have gotten great results and gives them hope for what they can expect. It also establishes celebrity, authority, and expertise for the PT to boost their credibility.

All of these marketing tips are excellent for bringing past patients back into your practice, and they’re easy to implement when you can hand them off to a marketing person.

Download my Internal Marketing scorecard to see how we utilize this position at Madden PT and how you can add an internal marketer to your team.

How to Build a Monthly Marketing Calendar for Your Private Practice

Consistently fill your schedule with new patients by creating a marketing calendar for your clinic.

One thing that private PT practices have in common is that they thrive on consistently filled schedules. You know you have a lot to offer your patients, but first, you’ve got to get them through your door. 

That’s where marketing comes in. This is your chance to spread the word about your practice and services and how you can help others get back to normal naturally. Using a marketing calendar to guide your efforts can help you plan out activities and ensure your schedule stays full. Here’s how:

What Is a Marketing Calendar?

Simply put, a marketing calendar is a written plan of your marketing activities for a given time period. You could create a calendar for the next month or even for a whole year at a time. 

Your marketing calendar should include all three of your target markets:

  • Physician referrals
  • Direct to consumer
  • Past or current patients

Why Do I Need a Marketing Calendar?

Much like any type of calendar, a marketing calendar allows you to work a few steps ahead and avoid having gaps in your PTs’ schedule—and, ultimately, your practice’s revenue. It also allows you to maximize the space you’re in to ensure you’re getting your money’s worth. Why pay for a 3,000-square-foot space when you only have 50 patient visits per week?

More patients = more revenue, which helps transform your liabilities (e.g., personnel, equipment, space) into assets. You’re already paying for these, so it makes sense to generate as much revenue as possible to help cover the costs. 

In addition, having a planned out marketing calendar ensures you’re not overlooking any of your three core target markets. For example, if you have a past patient list but file it away and let it collect dust, there’s really no value in keeping it. You might not give it a second thought for months or years. But having past patients on your marketing radar (and the calendar) can help you maximize its value and give you more opportunities to grow or maintain your practice.

Using a marketing calendar to target your three markets also allows you to divert your dependence on physician referrals. There’s no doubt that physician referrals aren’t what they used to be to a typical private practice. Designing marketing activities around other markets allows you to capitalize on more revenue opportunities.

Most importantly, once you create a marketing calendar, you can use it as a template for your entire marketing department and stop reinventing the wheel. This is part of creating a marketing system that will give you more time freedom, less guesswork, and better financial stability in the short and long term.

How to Build a Marketing Calendar

pt marketing calendar
Photo by Kaleidico on Unsplash

When creating your calendar, it’s best practice to work backward. Ask yourself: What do I need to do to fill my schedule, as well as the overall space? 

To do this, you can use your space’s capacity and availability to figure out how many patients you need to see in a given time period (e.g., the number of patients per day, week, month, etc.). This number should help to guide your marketing activity planning to ensure you’re meeting your space’s goals.

Once you know your goals, you can start planning activities that will help you achieve them. Here’s a quick breakdown:

1. Pick a Month to Plan

The best place to start is to look at the following month and start planning. Look for any holidays that could reduce appointment availability when calculating how many slots you have to fill.

2. Gather Larger Planning Pieces (Quarterly or Annually)

If you have a quarterly or annual calendar, you’ll want to review these pieces to ensure your monthly activities align with your greater goals. Annual and quarterly planning is usually more general, while weekly and monthly focus on more specific goals.

3. Choose a Market

Pick one of your three target markets to focus on for that month. Most practices aren’t investing a lot of time, money, or resources in marketing to physicians, so this will likely be your past patients or the general public.

4. Review Past Successes and Failures

Think about what marketing activities have worked well for you in the past—and which ones haven’t. What media did you use (e.g., Facebook ads, direct mailers)? What was the message that worked? 

5. Decide How to Execute the Campaign

There’s a lot that needs to happen to set your campaign into motion. Your goal is to break down those steps and figure out what you need to do to launch. For example, if you’re running a newspaper ad, you probably have to meet specific deadlines to get published in a specific run. 

6. Repeat Steps 3-5 for Other Markets

If you have the time, budget, and resources, repeat steps 3-5 for another market. Maybe you’re doing a workshop for the general public but also want to do a reactivation event for past patients. Once you start planning your marketing activities, you’ll have a better idea of how much time you realistically have to connect with prospects and bring them into your practice.

Campaigns to Choose From

Marketing activities are organized by campaign, with each campaign having its own steps to execution. Some of the ones we’ve found to be the most impactful are:

  • Patient & physician newsletters
  • Captured audience workshops
  • In-house & virtual workshops
  • The Greatest Promotion Ever (GPE)
  • The Single Question Email campaign

We’ve also tested other types of campaigns, like the recent in-house book signing we did for current patients. It’s best practice to review what’s worked and hasn’t worked in the past and double down on what you know will bring results.

You can download a free Marketing Calendar Template to use at your practice.

3 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Online PT Workshops

In-person workshops have proven to be the most effective way of converting the general public into direct access patients. 

During the COVID-19 crisis, many owners in the Breakthrough community have experimented with online PT workshops. Making the switch from in-person to virtual workshops isn’t as simple as you might expect, but the results have been similar. 

Here are some ways you can get the most out of your online PT workshops to make them even more successful and worthwhile:

1. More Engagement = More Appointments

Engaged audiences are more likely to become patients than passive participants. 

But holding someone’s attention is much easier when you are giving a presentation in front of them, face-to-face. With virtual workshops, attendees are at home watching on their computer screens and only one click away from checking social media or otherwise being distracted.

Giving simple directions like “Look at the screen” during your presentation can recapture their attention and pull them into what you’re talking about. Give them directives and keep them in the moment. 

2. Stick to the Format

It’s easy to go off course in an online workshop, which is why we recommend sticking to a format that logically moves you through each part. Download the free Online Workshop Template to discover a proven format for structuring your physical therapy workshops.

Practice it to get comfortable in teaching an audience that isn’t right in front of you. 

3. Focus on Your Final Five Minutes

No matter how long your workshop is, the last five minutes are always the most critical, as you’re giving your audience the call to action to move forward with you. The CTA should be clear so that people go right into scheduling an appointment with you.

Make sure your “next step” is congruent with the online format and avoid asking attendees to do anything that would require them to leave their computer. 

Other Ways to Set the Stage for Success

There are several moving parts to conducting a successful online workshop, and knowing these parts can help you get one step closer to your goal.

First, you need to have people in pain watching your workshop. This is where strong workshop marketing skills come into play. If you don’t have the right audience in seats (or the right eyes on your presentation), you’re not going to get the results you expect.

Second, you need to know what to say that’s going to trigger conversions. This is different from in-house workshops. It takes more engagement, more interaction, and more conversations to help people feel safe enough to come in for an appointment.

Also, you need a follow-up sequence to follow up with people who didn’t schedule an appointment right away. Again, this looks a little differently than it does for in-house workshops because it all takes place online. 

And finally, you need to understand the right levers to pull to get the most engagement from your workshop. 

If you’re like most practice owners, online workshops are new to you and you may be wondering how to get started.

That’s why we created a free Online Workshop Template that shows you how to create a presentation that will maximize conversions. At Breakthrough, we’re purpose-driven and want to help people get back to a pain-free life naturally, and the best way to do this is through private practice owners like you. 

Download the Online Workshop Template to get started today!

[Video] Attracting New Patients with Online Workshops

This video is for Private Practice owners looking for strategies to get new patients in the current market.

Social distancing and quarantine measures mean that hosting in-person workshops isn’t an option for most practice owners.

And even as more and more states open back up, it will still take time for the general public to feel safe in group settings.

At Madden PT, my team and I have been experimenting with virtual workshops. The process was modeled after our traditional in-person events, and we invited people from our social media and email list.

We had about 60 register, and from that we had 10 people sign up for an initial evaluation.

I know a lot of owners are considering hosting online events, so I decided to create a short video training to share my tips for getting the best results from this new style of workshop.

I’m also making my Online Workshop Presentation Template available to download for free.

[expand title=”Click to Read Full Video Transcript”]
Chad Madden:
Hey, everybody. Chad Madden here with Breakthrough. This is simply attracting new patients with online workshops. This is specifically for private PT practice owners who want to grow in today’s marketplace with everything that’s going on right now. So essentially, we’re taking the offline, the in-house success that you’ve seen hundreds of owners do, all 50 States, 12 countries internationally, and we’re taking that and transitioning it to an online format to adapt with the times and be able to continue to attract new patients that need our help.

Chad Madden:
So some quick success here. You can see Luke and Ashton down at Texas adapting this already, and then in Michigan, Andrew Gorecki, Andrew applied this, did the online workshop, ended up with 17 free assessments. And by the way, Andrew is a pioneer in this, adapted very early on, took this, ended up doing his own stuff and did really well. So, our hope is that you can get the same exact thing out of this.

Chad Madden:
The purpose and our purpose here at Breakthrough is to help people in pain get back to normal naturally. The best way for us to do that is to work with practice owners like you in your community and help you do these online workshops. So, this workshop deck, where they call it a deck because it’s like a deck of slides, was designed with the same, exact six-step process that I personally use in my own online workshops. And another big point that you should realize is online workshops are different than in-house workshops. For example, we’re going to talk about engagement. Right? When I’m doing an online presentation, I can’t really see what my audience is doing. They could be texting on their phone, they could stand up and go to the bathroom, and come back, and I would never know that. Right? They could be watching a TV program with, I’m in the background. That’s not the case with an in-house workshop.

Chad Madden:
So, we want to be able to change our strategies for online workshops because it truly is different than hosting an in-house workshop or a live workshop. And also, I have training for you which will help you get the most out of this tool in your online workshops. We’ll talk about that here in a minute.

Chad Madden:
So, three tips to get the most out of your online workshops. Number one, we talked about this already, but more engagement equals more appointments. So, very important that you’re bringing people back to the screen. Pay attention to this, write this down. You’re giving them directives in terms of, basically, paying attention. And when you do so, when you get them to share, you’re going to be able to schedule more appointments. We learned that… Significantly, it was a huge change from our first workshop to our second.

Chad Madden:
Number two is it’s going to be easy to deviate when you have online, when you’re doing an online workshop, maybe you get lost in a story or something like that. You want to stick to this exact format that I’m showing you here. Six steps, very, very simple, and most importantly, in sticking to the format is you want to focus on and pay attention to, you want to practice this the most, what you say in the last five minutes because that is the thing that you must nail. You can’t deviate and go into answering questions at that point. You have to have a very call to action so that people are going right to scheduling an appointment.

Chad Madden:
And when I taught in-house workshops, and we’ve been teaching that for the last five or six years, again, with hundreds of owners from everywhere, when we’re teaching that, we talk about the last five or 10 minutes is the most important point. It’s even more so. It’s even more accentuated right now. There is more stress on this in an online workshop than there is in-house, and it was the most important thing, the primary thing to practice and focus on. And in an in-house workshop, it’s even more so important right now.

Chad Madden:
There’s some other things that you need to be successful. I’m going to give you four other steps here. Number one, you need people in pain that are actually watching your workshop. Right? So, you have some workshop marketing where, when we were doing this in house, it was called Butts in Seats. Right? Getting people in the room? Right now, you want eyes watching your presentation. Right? You want people watching your presentation.

Chad Madden:
Number two, is you want to know exactly what to say to increase engagement into conversions. It’s different than in-house workshops, especially during this time. We call it, the pay line has been pushed back. So in an in-house workshop, 60 days ago, 90 days ago, people would register for the workshop, and somewhere between 10% and 25% would schedule an appointment and a plan of care before the workshop even happened. That low hanging fruit is not there in these times right now. We pushed the pay line back. It’s going to take more engagement, more conversations for people to ultimately feel safe enough to come in, regardless of the area of the country that you’re in.

Chad Madden:
Also, you want a follow-up sequence after to convert those who did not schedule right away. That’s really, really important. And also, there are three key levers that you should be pulling to get the maximum leverage out of your workshops. And if you’re not doing these, yes, you can run an online workshop. You can check the box, but pretty good chance nobody’s going to schedule. You want to make sure you’re pulling these three leavers so that you’re getting the most out of your workshops.

Chad Madden:
What I’ve done for you is I created a special training called, How to Deliver an Online Workshop that Converts. And in this, we’re going to be talking about how to market your workshop. By the way, we have the former head of online Facebook learning, who actually worked for Facebook, walking you through this in addition to her, Kathy Borkowski, she’s also sharing and presenting with you in this training with Carl Mattiola, the co-founder here at Breakthrough who was the head of online sales at Tesla. So, they have huge experience there marketing your workshop. That is in this course, avoiding the most common work workshop mistakes. We talked through that as well in this training. And then a step-by-step guide and presentation so you know what to say and why you’re saying it for maximum conversions.

Chad Madden:
Now, normally, we would sell something like this for $500. We’ve sold trainings like this for a thousand dollars or more. But because of the times, because we want you to succeed and remember we’re purpose-driven, so we want to help people in pain get back to normal naturally. Again, the best way for us to do that is to work with you. Dedicate a private practice owner who’s helping people right now. So, we want to give this to you for free, and it’s free for everybody that joins Breakthrough University. What is Breakthrough University? It’s training and content, and it spans your entire organization.

Chad Madden:
The key thing here is that it’s not outdated, ivory tower philosophy, it’s not theory. This is what is working right now in the trenches of private practice PT. Just like you saw Luke, and Ashton, and Andrew sharing their wins of people that are implementing and applying right now. It’s the same thing here. It’s training and content that is up-to-date. This is what is working today. We have that for you at Breakthrough University. You also get access to a community of like-minded private practice owners. And right now, in this group, there are over 1300 owners, again, from all 50 States, 12 countries internationally. I know we’re all different. We all feel like our business is unique. However, whatever stage of business you’re in right now, there’s likely somebody in your area already learning in there and sharing, and they’re likely at the same stage that you’ve been at. Right?

Chad Madden:
So, you can find people that are at the same stage as you, whether you’re a startup or whether you’re a private practice vet, you’ve been in there for four decades. Or, there’s likely somebody that’s in your same marketplace or a similar marketplace like you somewhere else in the country or even somewhere else in the world. There’s also accountability. We have these inside circle implementation calls where we hop on with a group of owners, and we help you implement whatever it is that you’re stuck on. So again, they’re called the inside circle calls.

Chad Madden:
And in the big picture of marketing, what we’re really trying to do is we’re going from a trickle. We’ve all at least been affected in some way by our current crisis and situation, right? So we’re going from a trickle, and we’re rebuilding to a flood. There is an exact sequence of how we do that. And workshops are actually step number four. And online workshops fit in there as well. So, realize that this is part of a bigger picture for you, and we want to make sure you’re able to fill in all those gaps and ultimately, get the most out of, not only your online workshops, but be able to grow and leave an impact in your area, again, far beyond, far stronger than what you were before this crisis. Right? So, very cool stuff there. Again, this is Chad from Breakthrough. Thank you for watching, and I’ll see you in the next video.

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How Private Practice Owners can Create Opportunity from a Crisis [Video]

The fact is undeniable: we are in a crisis right now. And while it’s true that this situation is unique, similar events have happened throughout history.

And we can learn a lot if we take a step back, look at what has happened historically and understand the bigger picture. 

From there, it’s important to adjust our thoughts and behaviors accordingly so we not only survive this, but we can bounce out the other end and rebuild more quickly and help more people.

Cycle of Market Emotions

For a short-term view of this crisis, you can use the Cycle of Market Emotions.

Right now, we are spiraling down. But there comes a point where we reach the bottom and this is also when you reach the point of maximum financial opportunity. 

And this is reinforced when we combine this with a long-term view of this crisis in the context of history. You can see from the last 100+ years of the S&P 500 that peaks never last forever and valleys never continue on forever.

In other words, this too shall pass.

And if you want to see how to best position your clinic to survive this crisis and come back stronger than before, make sure to watch the video above. 

Breakthrough Interview with PT Mike Lewis at COVID 19 Epicenter

Interview with Seattle Practice Owner Mike Lewis: How to Handle Covid-19 at Ground Zero

Mike is a Practice Owner and is currently earning his PhD in Healthcare Leadership.

Mike’s Physical Therapy clinic is 3.5 miles from the Seattle nursing home where the first US cases of COVID-19 popped up.

See what his PT practice is doing to help the community, continue to treat those in need and combat the spread of the virus in this interview.

Highlights from the Call:
– How WAPT Rehab is handling workshops.
– What his team is doing right now with the patients who do drop off.
– How to “Control the Controllable” in your practice
– What your team needs from you the most right now. And what to do if you can’t deliver.
– Why he did not send out an email (as of yet) on the virus – but what he did do on his website.

Video Transcript

[expand title=”Full Transcript”]
Mike (00:00):
And I can give, I mean do you want a little bit of background cause it’s so literally from Kirkland, Washington. So I did hit record so, okay good. Yeah. So Kurt in Washington, you know everyone has met me at you know bootcamps sorta. My joke is always like when you go to Costco and you buy your Kirkland signature toilet paper that they could me cause that’s like right down the street now it’s going to be like Hey remember we’re the coronavirus girls in Washington. That’s me. I’m that guy. So the nursing home where all this kind of really got started, it’s two miles from my house. It’s literally down down the street from where I live. Our clinic is about three and a half miles from the nursing home where all this is going on. Everybody in the hospital that has recorded the first and the majority of the deaths associated with this is less than five miles from my clinic and about three and a half miles from my house. So we really are here in Kirkland. I mean we are ground zero. We have any 569 cases of about the 2,600 total in the U S have been here in Washington. The bulk of them, majority of them are right here in King County where I live. So we are literally right in the middle of the thick of it right now. So Vertel so run information, that’s where I am, that’s where I’m coming from.

Chad (01:01):
Your doors are still open,

Mike (01:02):
doors are still open

Chad (01:03):
and what we talked about is a, you’re probably two weeks ahead of many of us that are going to be watching this video the rest of the country. So you’ve kept your doors open and you’ve made a [inaudible]. Mike, just if you can go again circle around again at both you and your wife are in healthcare and where you’re at mentally as you’re navigating this. That would be great.

Mike (01:22):
You know, and as we talked briefly to before this chat, I think it’s important to understand everyone is going to come at this from their own unique perspective and their own place and you cannot assume that your situation is going to be similar to someone else. My wife and I are both physical therapist. She works at Seattle children’s hospital, like the largest regional, you know, hospital in the area. And so they have all of their policies and procedure in place. Their staff is trained or well versed on what’s going on. I work in healthcare and run my own business. I’ve made keeping up on this. So we’re fortunate in that both of us work in healthcare. We’re both very calm, both very rational. We can convey that to our kids as well. I’ve got two daughters, 14 and 16 I’m fortunate. They’re both, you know, middle school, high school.

Mike (02:01):
They’re old enough they can stay home and distance, learn on their own. They’re smart enough, they’re savvy enough and they can do that. That’s not the case for a lot of people. So I am very fortunate. My personal situation, what I have going on in my home life, we’re able to come maintain a sense of calm, a sense of cool. My wife and I could help, you know, when my kids are seeing things on social media, their friends are posting things. We can help them disseminate fact from fiction. You know very effectively too. So I understand. I am very fortunate that way. And then my wife also works in healthcare and we’re on the same page with all of this stuff.

Chad (02:28):
Great. So your doors are open,

Mike (02:30):
doors are open. And I know you just had a workshop literally propped open. We don’t close the front door anymore. The door enough.

Chad (02:37):
Um, can you give us like w what the, where you’re at mentally, uh, what your team’s doing there, what the workshop like exactly what happened today. That’d be great.

Mike (02:45):
So we just had a new workshop today and we had, there were total, we had over 50 people registered, which is fairly normal for a new workshop. We had an abnormal number move to the next workshop. If they were nervous at all, we immediately offer just to move into the next workshop, even before we offered a free screener. And I will let you know, let’s just stay in contact with these people. The next need workshop is six weeks out. And people were very comfortable with that as well. When I called did all my workshop phone calls in advance, the message that I told people was I was expecting somewhere between five to 10 people to show up. Clinic is clean, clinic is sterilized. We got enough courage to take a shower and if you want to while you’re here and we have everyone have their own space, we have everything spaced out, you’re going to be totally safe when you’re dumping here.

Mike (03:25):
So I said there’s no need to worry about that. We are prepared to have people in the clinic. So I started leaving that message with people on that if I got their voicemail as well. So we had a total of seven people show up, all seven on scheduled screens. We got one, uh, I E in advance, one free screen or advanced that turned into an IEP as well. So again, the numbers are down for what we would normally expect. But the important thing is we’re still doing it. We didn’t, we didn’t call it off. You know, the marketing has to keep going.

Chad (03:51):
Yup. And the, what I’ve internally led with in our team, and I, I you said this before is um, the peop knee pain doesn’t stop back. Pain doesn’t stop. Rotator cuff pain doesn’t stop because of the epidemic because of uh, COBIT 19 absolutely not. So the virus doesn’t change that and people need us now more than ever. And I know you talked about, um, your philosophy that you have with your team in terms of taking care of the people that are coming in. Can you share that with everybody? Cause I think that’s an important part.

Mike (04:23):
Yeah. So the term that we use in our family, we tell our kids all the time, just control the controllables. Focus on what you can control, stay focused on that. And don’t worry about anything else right now. So what we can control in the clinic right now is keeping the patients that we have, keep them safe, keep them coming in, you know, and project a sense of calm and confidence and clean everything all the time in front of them. Let them see you. Perilla your hands. Let them see you cleaning every single piece of equipment. You know the term is laptop down, eyes up, spend more time in conversation with your patients. They want to talk about this. You work in healthcare. They’re going to view you as someone who has additional resources and information, which hopefully most of us do. Spend more time talking with your patients, hear their stories, you know, sympathize with them and that people are really comfortable coming in because they see the extra steps that we’re making, you know, to kind of care for them, but also make sure that they’re staying safe when they’re here.

Mike (05:17):
They laugh, Tammy, I kid you not. A patient gets up from the lobby to come back. She goes and sterilizes the Sheraton sat in and so their family member, the next patient’s laughing because Tammy was over there scrubbing a chair. But the point is did they see us cleaning everything all the time. Appearance matters. Keep the patients you have coming in because that’s something that you can control. You cannot control how people, how people are going to react and perceive this. If they want to stay at home and close their doors, they’re not going to come seek physical therapy. I can’t control that decision. What I can control, keep the patients that are coming in right now, keep them safe, keep them happy, you know, and just make sure that they’re confident coming to see you.

Chad (05:52):
Yeah. I love that Mike. Um, I, I don’t say control the controllables. We just say control, which you can, but it’s the same exact thing. Yep. And, uh, I know for us, um, we, uh, I’m going to try to say this in a delicate way. We had some team members definitely, um, getting very caught up in the hysteria. Um, and then when we looked at all the rosters, all the census of, of all five clinics, um, we had two patients cancel out entirely. But the workshops continue to roll on. Um, we’ve kind of been fortunate, um, like I think most viewers will be today. Um, and I don’t want to jinx this for two weeks from the day because it could change. Um, I know we have people on quarantine in our area, um, but there have been no or minimal cases right now. Um, and I don’t know if it’ll stay that way, but we can’t really change. I can’t control that. You can’t control that. Yeah. And, and it’ll, it’ll drive us crazy if we have 55 team members focused on trying to control that.

Mike (06:52):
Yeah. Andy, you make a great point about staff. I think it’s super important that as a clinic owner right now, you have to evaluate your staff. I am fortunate, all of my staff, we’re all on the same page. Everyone is calm and collected. If you have someone answering your phones that is worried about this, you need to reassign them somewhere else. Great. And if you have a multiple therapists or clinic, you have the ability. If you have a therapist that’s very calm and rational, you might want to put them at the front desk, let them answer the phones, let them answer the, you know, the phone calls and the questions as well. You people, your staff member that’s calm and collected, needs to be the face of your organization right now. What people, even if they’re calling, calling into cancel an appointment, the your front desk staff has to be dialed in with your philosophy and how to have those conversations and I went over my staff exactly.

Mike (07:38):
This is what we’re going to tell people when they call. We’re going to tell them this. We don’t make any excessive promises that we can’t keep but we need to have a sense of calm and we are open. We’re here for you. We’re doing everything we can to keep you guys safe. As a clinic owner, this might be a chance to reevaluate your self and your personal life if it’s going to be challenging for you to run your clinic right now because of your home situation. Again, I’m fortunate I can spend more time at work because of what I have going on at home. Maybe as a clinic owner you need to make decision. I’m going to assign another staff member to basically run the business and you know, at this point in time, because I’m not comfortable doing it, maybe I’m someone who’s worrying about it or maybe I need to go home and care for my family instead. And you convey them. I said, you know what, we have a team member that has been assigned kind of our crisis coordinator. It’s Chad, he’s all set and ready to go is going to be in charge, you know, for the next, you know, four, six weeks or whatever too. Nothing wrong with that.

Chad (08:31):
Love that. Mike. Uh, one more question, um, here and I know you just had the workshop and I want to let you get back to your family. Um, and my daughter’s here, uh, giving me an elephant. That’s great. Um, the, I, I know you’re, um, taking your, you’re earning a degree right now. Um, and it’s in healthcare administration,

Mike (08:54):
I suppose. My in health sciences

Chad (08:56):
and my very concentration is leadership and administration and healthcare. Okay. So what are you hearing in the classroom around this? Because I’m sure there’s you’re, you’re getting access to fresh knowledge that most of us, yeah.

Mike (09:07):
Well the irony is when the first cases in Kirkland actually happened, I was actually in Utah at an onsite for our PhD program. My wife was in it with me as well too. And so our joke was like, we show up to class next day, we’re going to have a special table for us to have you sit quarantine in the classroom for it. Uh, so yeah, I D I am getting some interesting information. The one thing that I’m going to tell you, and I’m going to tell everyone out there too, that you have to impress upon your patients is do not trust information from social media. Do not trust reposts of articles on social media. Go to the source. And so on our webpage, I direct our patients there. They’d go to our webpage on our homepage, there’s a popup comes up immediately. There’s little information on there, a little blurb from me about what we’re doing to keep you safe. And I have links to the CDC, the Washington state department of health, King County, department of health, the city of Kirkland’s web page, all about their response to what’s going on. You need to tell patients to seek appropriate information. So like in my PhD program, one of the big points that they make if you’re going to go into education is there’s nothing you’re ever going to teach anyone that they can’t find on their own. It exists on the internet. Your job is to direct them to the true and correct information, not the false information.

Chad (10:19):
So that’s the big huge message. Awesome point. Did not know we were going to go here. Um, but that is great. The, have you done anything to promote to your patient list via email or direct mail? Anything around the Corona virus? No.

Mike (10:38):
And we made the conscious decision not to do that. We did it on our webpage. We direct people there too cause it’s short and sweet and it helps with SEO traffic of us and people that my web page, Chad.

Chad (10:48):
Yeah.

Mike (10:49):
Um, well we, we debated it, but we, I opted to continue our normal marketing business as usual because email and stuff are things that we’ve used for marketing in the past. That’s what are my patients expect. And so we’ve just been sending everything out that way. So we actually, I kind of made the conscious decision to not do an extra step yet. I reserve my right to change my mind. But again, the marketing machine that’s emailed direct mail, so I’m not changing that. That’s going, I’m not going to take up time and space away from marketing to replace it with something else.

Chad (11:19):
Um, I, I agree with you 100%. I know it’s a very unpopular decision and I did not want to come across as I’m indifferent, but there, there’s too much information as it is. Yeah. And or too much exposure right now, and I love what you said, point people to CDC, world war world health organization, local authorities that are covering this and get the information from the source rather than me reiterating, you know, we’re going to hand sanitize everything and wash our hands. We’ve been doing that forever.

Mike (11:54):
I know how to wash their hands. It’s new information. No one knew how to wash their hands.

Chad (11:59):
Yes. Um, and, and I, um, I, I’m very aware that, um, again that that might be unpopular, but I, I agree with you wholeheartedly that again, our specialty is in helping people with knee pain, back pain, rotator.

Mike (12:16):
Again, focus on what you’re good at at this point in time. And I do want to throw one more little nugget I want to throw out there for you guys as well. Every single day for the last week, um, at the beginning of the day and the end of the day, my front desk and I go through who canceled that day and we’re keeping a list of why did they cancel, you know, or is it we have had three patients who for various reasons, either they’re nervous, where we had a couple frankly that were on pulmonary rehab should not be going out to anyway. So we recommended that they not go out and stay home. We’re giving a list of patients to call back in four, six, eight weeks when this calms down, who dropped off for good reasons. We have a list of those people to call back. Other people that called back it’s allergy season and starting here in Seattle, people are getting, you know, a sniffly nose or eyes running a little tickle in their throat, not knowing what it is.

Mike (13:01):
It’s probably allergies, so our recommendation is, Hey, you know what? Stay home. You don’t have a fever. You call us back. We’re keeping a list of all of those people as well, so if we don’t hear back from that, we’re going to reach out to them as well. Anytime someone calls and cancels, if they’re nervous, we have two private treatment rooms available as the schedule. If it lightens up, I’m actually, I’ve agreed to work extra hours to get people in one-on-one after hours if we need to as well. For me, I can handle that from home. I live less than five minutes from the clinic. If I want to come in at eight o’clock at night to squeeze another patient in to generate some revenue to keep the train running, I’ll do that. I’ll come in on a Saturday morning and treat, you know, several patients if I need to as well. You have a staff member that’s willing to do that. You can flex hours again, even if they don’t take you up on the offer, you are clearly making an effort that you care about them and that you’re going to go the extra mile for your patients as well. So these are little things that, again, every clinic has to do, but we keep a list of every single person that cancels. Why did they cancel? And what’s our followup plan for that?

Chad (13:58):
Like I, I greatly admire what you’re doing. Really appreciate you as a human being, an individual. I know, I know this is a tough time right now for you to top one here with us. Share your knowledge and wisdom. I greatly appreciate it. I’m very indebted to you. Next bottle of scotch is on me.

Mike (14:16):
Can you hold it up in front of your computer in April?

Chad (14:22):
I’m sorry. Uh, we’ll figure out a way to make that happen. But I’m very much appreciate your time here Mike. And also you sharing your wisdom and leadership as well.

Mike (14:30):
Yeah. And again, I want to emphasize to chat if anybody wants to reach out to me individually, they can email me through work, they can send me a DM on Facebook as well. So I’m more than happy to have some conversations with people too. So what’s the best email for me? The best email, send it to my work email. So it’s Lewis,L , E w I s@waptrehab.com. It’s my work email address is the best one. Got it. Pop up on the website. The website is, it’s WAPT rehab.com yup. And that’ll show you the pop up. Anyone using practice promotions? I think we were the first one that actually rolled that out and I think they actually have kind of templated that now too. Does anyone using dealer practice brochures that they could put that together? I think within just a few hours and get that up on your website for you too. So perfect. I know Neil’s on it. Yeah, he’s on it. Great. Thank you again for doing this. I appreciate it and good luck with all those kids, man. Like I said, my situation is very different than yours. Good luck or a run for our money right now. They’re, they’re giving us a run for our money, so I’ll keep you posted.
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Breakthrough Interview with Tom Dalonzo Baker How To Do PT Telehealth

Breakthrough & Tom Dalonzo-Baker on Telehealth for Physical Therapy

Many Physical Therapists are considering making a switch to PT telehealth during this National State of Emergency.

Here’s an interview I did with Tom Dalonzo-Baker from Total Motion Release on the topic.

Highlights from the Call:
Continue to test-treat-retest as you would in the clinic.
Use “Directional Preference” treatment systems in a scientific manner.
Tom is offering a free training for owners who want to learn more.

Video Transcript

[expand title=”Full Transcript”]
Chad:
Hey, everybody, Chad Madden here with Breakthrough. Today I’m talking with Tom Dalonzo-Baker. Tom, just like you and I, is a private practice owner of Total Motion PT. Now you probably know Chip and Deanna who took over the practice. Tom is also the founder of Total Motion Release, you’ve heard me talk about this. We had a PTA take his course, I think it was 13 or 14 years ago now, and I remember just applying Tom’s methods in our clinic and seeing some ridiculous results that didn’t necessarily make sense to me. Anyhow, during this state of emergency, I’ll call it, as of right now, I wanted to get you some information about how are you possibly going to treat somebody with telehealth? So anyhow, Tom, long-winded introduction, but thank you for doing this. Welcome here.

Tom Dalonzo-Baker:
Hey, thanks Chad. Absolutely. More than happy to help. It’s a great opportunity to telehealth, to hopefully open up to, for people to see that we can maybe help and give you guys hope for what’s going on in your situation.

Chad:
Awesome. So the first thing that I’d love for you to talk about is I from experience in telehealth, one of the biggest, when we’re in the clinic, we can do test, treat, retest. When we’re meeting like this with a patient, essentially we want to have that same exact fundamental element in there so we’re providing a valuable service online even if we can’t provide hands-on therapy or we can’t do hands on motion guiding. So with Total Motion Release, how does that work? How would you go through, and if you want to walk me through an exercise right now?

Tom Dalonzo-Baker:
Yeah, absolutely. So look, it’s important to have a system down just like you’d have if you’re working with them manually. And the thing you need to realize is that we’re only ever dealing with motion and that’s what’s really cool here, right? You’re either moving them or they’re moving themselves. So all you want to be able to do is to take that area, so if somebody’s got a shoulder problem, what are the motions that we want to take them through? So Chad, do you have a shoulder problem, I’d take you through what? Flexion?

Chad:
Yeah. Great.

Tom Dalonzo-Baker:
Go through. I might take you into abduction. All right.

Chad:
Left is bad, Tom.

Tom Dalonzo-Baker:
All right, so abduction. I just want to really focus on that area, let’s just say here.

Chad:
Left is-

Tom Dalonzo-Baker:
Let’s get some-

Chad:
Oh, come on man. You’re killing me. All right.

Tom Dalonzo-Baker:
Awesome. Okay, so is that enough? Is that enough to say that you got what you needed to get there, Chad?

Chad:
I’m aware that my left side has some issues, yes.

Tom Dalonzo-Baker:
All right, so what are some of the ways that we could go ahead and treat that?

Chad:
Okay, so like you and I talked about earlier, or at least what I would know, is if the right side is easier, most of us are familiar with the idea of a directional preference. So if the right side is easier, what I’ve done when I’ve implemented TMR in the clinic is I would have the person move the right side and let’s say two sets of 12 of abduction and then go back and retest. So we’re still using that test, treat, retest.

Tom Dalonzo-Baker:
Correct. Absolutely. Absolutely. So yeah, one of the things is we’ve got, and I think you were going to share this with us, on the website we’ve got, on totalmotionrelease.com, I’ve got a free training for you guys right now that is extensive. It’s right there. It even gives you two credit hours CEUs. And it’ll get you going into feeling incredibly comfortable on treating people in telehealth. This was just developed about four months ago. I gave you the latest and greatest information. These videos right here that you have are treating. I show you the pretesting, I show you the treatment, I show you the post testing. And it’ll give you a very good, wow, I can do that.

Tom Dalonzo-Baker:
And there’s three ways in which to test. The entire body. There’s three ways to treat the area of injury and we show you a system to do that so you feel comfortable like, wow, this isn’t that difficult. In fact, it’s pretty simple to do. And my first step is get up there, get the free training. It’s going to take you through 15 steps, and by the end of it you’re going to say, hey, I’m feeling comfortable with doing telehealth with people. On here I show you how long it lasts, I show you why it works, I show you theories behind it that are very simple to get involved with it. That fair?

Tom Dalonzo-Baker:
So with your shoulder issue, Chad, we could go and try to treat into restriction. It’s not lifting very well, we could do it like we’re used to, like TheraBands and they don’t have TheraBands at home, so we may just treat it. Now we can also shorten that tissue by coming over here, we’re actually shortening the tissue on that side. So there’s two different ways in which to go about and tackle an issue. It’s either going into the restriction or going into ease. And when you get involved in that, it’s pretty simple and easy for your people, not only just your therapists but also your patients to grab ahold of that and say, I can do this. So very powerful, very good. I always say just get to the website, watch a couple of videos and say, hey, I think you’ll be able to say I can do that.

Chad:
Awesome. So two stories I want to share with everybody watching. Number one is we had a… So again, this is right after our PTA had taken Tom’s course. First patient we ever treated in the clinic had a full thickness rotator cuff tear diagnosed. It was two or three years before. She was in her late seventies or early eighties, and because of all the co-morbidities, did not qualify. They wouldn’t operate on her, essentially. So we had to go through, and we have this on video, it’s actually on an old mini disc. That’s how long ago this was.

Tom Dalonzo-Baker:
That’s a long time.

Chad:
We had her abduct each side, I think with the left side she ended up having maybe 70 degrees. It was very limited. Horrible scapular winging, the whole deal, just no control there at all. We go through everything, we found a contralateral hip restriction. We ended up having her do some seated straight leg raises, and I remember as George was going through this, I said, there is no way that this works. I can’t wrap my head around this anyhow.

Tom Dalonzo-Baker:
You’re doing legs to, quote, fix shoulder. Is that correct?

Chad:
Yeah, exactly. So anyhow, and we said, okay. Mary is a fictitious name. And I’ll say, “Mary, raise your arm.” And she said, “I don’t know why you’re having me do all these movements.” Her daughter was there and her daughter is very, very loud and she went off like a… She caught it and the patient, Mary, did not even realize that her arm got better. She was a seven out of ten pain before, now she had no pain at all. Her daughter is freaking out. Everybody in the room is looking over and we’re like, wow, there is something here that we can’t explain but we don’t really care. We just know it works.

Chad:
Second story is when I treated the gentleman from Calcutta, India over 18 months, we did tele-health. He was, I don’t know why I remember this number, 7,937 miles from Calcutta to Harrisburg, so we were 8,000 miles apart. I treated him once a month and I was paid for the entire treatment plan but we got to a point of where… And he had three level disc herniation on an MRI before the treatment. I wrote about this in both of our books on back pain and we were featured in a local paper and got some local press coverage out of it regarding telehealth. Big secret was I used TMR when we got him to a certain point and he still had some restrictions, primarily unilateral hip restrictions. We just couldn’t seem to shake it with normal exercise. I said, “Hey, let’s do a general screen.” We took him through five or six, I forget what it was called at the time.

Tom Dalonzo-Baker:
Fab six.

Chad:
Yep, fab six. We took him through those movements and we found two restrictions. Off the top of my head I believe it was thoracic rotation was one and I think he had a hip restriction as well. We treated him with your system and that was the game changer for him. He was 70% better, and by the way, when he was done with treatment he went back and got another MRI showing complete resolution of all three levels of disc herniation. So if you’re watching this and you’re considering telehealth, you’re going to need a system to treat people where you’re getting effective before and after, rather than just taking people through exercises, which is I think an essential part once you correct their movement. TMR can do that for you. I’ll leave it at that.

Chad:
So if that doesn’t convince you to check out-

Tom Dalonzo-Baker:
Let me jump in here for a second because you know [inaudible 00:00:09:37]. I just want to add a little bit. We were talking about left to right side and all of a sudden he jumped from shoulder to leg. I want to give this idea that pretty much we as clinicians, if somebody comes in with a shoulder pain, we’re looking at neck, shoulder and ribs. That’s the general area that we go to.

Tom Dalonzo-Baker:
When you do understand about lengthening and shortening tissue, you’re going to have three areas of the body but you’re going to realize every extremity, every area of the body, the left side and the right side, the left side can be used to fix the right side. The bottom right side can be used to fix the right side. And the left side can be used to fix the right side. When you see that you’re going to be able to go, whoa, I can just move the body, seeing what’s going on in it and have an idea and a system to test and to give them that to treat. Because a big thing that you’re going to notice with TMR is your skillset is going to be given to the patient, which is incredibly powerful. So they’re going to be able to help the other 23 hours out of the day, too.

Chad:
Yeah, and Tom, we’ve seen that time and time again where somebody has a shoulder or a cervical issue, we ask them their medical history and it’s like, oh, nothing really going on. But I do have a total hip, total knee, or an ankle surgery, and then we resolve the restrictions that they have there and then all of a sudden their shoulder or their neck moves better.

Tom Dalonzo-Baker:
We’ve got jaw pain people, they can open their jaw and we go, “Hey, do a leg raise.” And the right side’s horrible, the left side’s really good. We do the left side a bunch, the right side picks up, their jaw opens up, and you go, what? And it may sound so far fetched, and we’re not trying to do that because the system can start anywhere from single digit addition if you will, all the way up to trigonometry. But it’s very simple and easy to progress through and I do recommend… There’s so many people asking about the telehealth, but some of you guys are so concerned about can we do it and can we be consistent so that people go, well, I don’t want to do that.

Tom Dalonzo-Baker:
My recommendation is if you’ve got concerned patients that they go, well, I’m not sure that’s going to work, offer them a session. Let them see it. You can even bring into Zoom and you can have multiple people. You can do your workshops via this too if you need to. Or you can just have, hey, on Monday night we’re going to do this, anybody who wants to attend to see how well it works, you can do that if you happen to be one of the places that is closed down. Hopefully you haven’t. I know Washington’s getting pretty bad.

Chad:
I am hoping we are essential.

Tom Dalonzo-Baker:
I was just at the chiropractor right before this meeting and stuff and he said everything’s flowing really nicely and he said a couple older patients have called in, so he wasn’t… He’s on the same idea.

Chad:
Yep. Yeah, we did have record attendance last week. I’m hoping that holds up this week as well. But Tom, I appreciate your time. I know you’re a busy guy and thank you very much for sharing your system here. I appreciate it.

Tom Dalonzo-Baker:
Hey, you bet, Chad.

Chad:
Thanks.

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