4 Technology Tips for Medical Aesthetics Professionals
Our panel of 3 MDs, a PA, and an office managing director share their advice.
The past two years have really emphasized the unique ways technology can help to connect people, communities, and businesses. Here, we’ve gathered a number of Medical Aesthetics industry professionals’ unique perspectives and tips on how technology can help them stay connected with their patients, prospects, and professional community.
1. Be present where your patients and clients are.Today, this means social and digital media. Let’s hear from the professionals.
Anthony Moschitto, managing director of a leading med spa in Houston, Texas, says it’s important to establish your social media presence for anecdotal reasons as well as for business outreach. “Patients say they learned about the med spa on the Internet, or on social media specifically, so we know it’s having an impact.”
Dr. Lori Stetler, MD, is a board-certified dermatologist who owns her aesthetic dermatology practice in Dallas, Texas. She notes the importance of maintaining not just the social media pages of a business, but also her personal profiles. Dr. Stetler still manages her own personal social media to a certain degree, since patients typically look for specific practitioners, not necessarily the practice name. You may want to consider your presence across all social platforms as professional in nature. Oftentimes, she’ll do her own Instagram® posts before work. “You have to stay current,” she states. “I think if you don’t do it, you’re going to be left behind.”
Social and digital media can also be a valuable patient education tool. At Dr. Paul Ruff’s, MD, FACS practice in Washington, D.C., 40-45% of patients for nonsurgical or minimally invasive procedures learn about the services they provide through digital media and social media pathways, including Google® searches, pay-per-click advertising, and Instagram®. Their first point of contact will be one of the practice’s digital media specialists. This also highlights the importance of having not just tech-savvy resources on your team, but also knowledgeable and friendly patient-facing staff.
2. Connect with the Medical Aesthetics community.Sharing ideas, tips, technologies, and tools with fellow healthcare professionals helps to keep the industry focused on providing the best service and care for patients and clients. Connecting with professional societies or even just a group of injectors, aestheticians, or PAs who are casually connecting is easier because of the wealth of virtual and remote communication channels and networks at our fingertips.
Dr. Ruff, a plastic surgeon, says of his professional society relationships, “There’s an interplay of ideas, new technology, and new thoughts. Without that interaction, without that cohesiveness,” he adds, “things will get diluted very fast. I think it is really important to stay connected to the societies and stay connected to your community of plastic surgeons.”
In addition to being a part of several professional societies and organizations, Dr. Jody Comstock, MD, an aesthetic dermatologist in Tucson, AZ, extensively utilizes her professional and personal online community. “One of my greatest tools is a network of colleagues called Derm Divas, and we’ll email each other or chat on social media. It’s a trust bank of brain power in seconds and minutes to help with a complex patient or other challenges that arise.”
Jamie Comstock, PA, who directs a number of med spas in Arizona and Utah, weighs in on social media as a network-building tool. “I enjoy social media as a way to connect with other injectors. When I was starting, it was hard to talk with anybody else who was new in the industry. You'd have to wait until you attended a conference to network with colleagues in the industry. Now it's much easier to quickly ask questions and observe colleagues, products, and procedures by reaching out on social media."
3. Virtual is the new reality.The pandemic brought so many of us online. Zoom®-ing and video chatting, even video concerts, conferences, holiday celebrations all became the norm. For the Medical Aesthetics industry, which is very tactile and face-to-face, two practices in our expert panel were surprised at their success with virtual consults.
During the pandemic, Dr. Ruff’s team began doing virtual consultations. “It’s been a really nice access point for patients who are distant—they come from all over America and around the world,” Dr. Ruff explains. “It has also allowed much better follow-up for patients who are distant,” he says, adding, “I can have them stand up, move around, we can still be able to direct care in effective ways.”
The aestheticians also use virtual consults for new skin care inquiries. “Even if it’s not about products from our office, my staff will still get online and help a patient understand what they’re using and what they should be using,” Dr. Ruff notes. “It can be as simple as a skin care conversation to a full-face rejuvenation consultation online.”
At Anthony Moschitto’s med spa, virtual consultations were successful for noninvasive body contouring, which Moschitto’s team began marketing on social media this year. Moschitto tells patients that treatment plans can be established during virtual consultations, so patient barriers such as traveling to the office multiple times were addressed.
“I certainly hope that virtual consultations are here to stay,” Moschitto says.
4. Patient-centric solutions sometimes come from outside the industry.Virtual solutions like online booking also go a long way in improving patient service. Moschitto gives the example of online booking, which is intimidating for some practices but a key customer service option for his med spa. “People want to book appointments outside business hours,” he explains. Technology that puts patient convenience first may be something to keep top of mind.
Something to note is that online booking platforms may need to be lifted and adapted from other industries. Moschitto continues, “Innovation came next. One clear area of need was software tools. Because the industry is so young, med spas are still relying on software borrowed from dermatology and plastic surgery offices and even regular spas and nail salons. But they’re not med spa tools—they’re operated totally differently,” he says, “so, you have to pick something to move forward. But then you have to ask: How am I going to make this better?”
Whether it be social or digital media, virtual consults or online booking, we hope these tech tips help to spark a deeper connection to your patients and the Medical Aesthetics community!
About The ProfessionalsJamie Comstock, PA-C, is a native of Tucson, Arizona, and received her undergraduate degree from Eller Business School at University of Arizona. She then went on to get her master’s degree in physician assistant studies from Midwestern University in Phoenix. She is certified with the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants and is state licensed in Arizona, California, and Nevada. Jamie specializes in facial aesthetics, preventative medicine, and skin care. With a strong interest in the global approach to facial rejuvenation, she incorporates genetics, lifestyle, natural aging, movement, and general health when evaluating and providing natural, aesthetic recommendations to look your best.
Jody Comstock, MD is a dermatologist who might be a pediatrician today if not for a scheduling glitch during her residency in Grand Rapids, Michigan. A canceled clinical rotation during medical school landed her in a dermatology rotation instead, and, more than 30 years later, she’s now a leading dermatologist in Tucson, Arizona. Known nationally and internationally as a pioneer in the field of aesthetic dermatology, Dr. Comstock is contacted often for her thoughts about the latest advances in techniques, products, business strategies, and leadership skills.
Anthony Moschitto is a managing director for a leading med spa in Houston, overseeing operations including marketing, finance, and EMR/POS Systems. He has a bachelor’s degree in Nutrition and Exercise Science and previously led a technology sales team, selling to Fortune 500, healthcare, and public sector accounts.
Paul G. Ruff IV, MD, FACS is a board-certified plastic surgeon who was first exposed to patient care during his studies at Georgetown University. Deciding to become a surgeon, he went on to receive his MD at Eastern Virginia Medical School and performed his general surgery residency and surgical critical care residency at Washington Hospital Center and his plastic surgery residency at the University of California, San Diego Medical Center. Since then, Dr. Ruff founded his own plastic surgery practice in Washington, D.C.
Lori Stetler, MD, is a board-certified dermatologist who served as the chief resident at the UT Southwestern Medical School during her residency. In the 1990s, with advances of technology, she decided to expand her knowledge and become a leader in the aesthetic dermatology industry. Since then, Dr. Stetler has founded her own dermatology practice.