Gold Standard Foot Care
Established nearly 30 years ago, Gold Standard Foot Care is a well-established modern podiatry practice with clinics in five different locations. Louise Stuart is the driving force behind this flourishing multi-location practice and she leads a team that consists of eleven podiatrists and three admin staff.
The growth of the practice has come about in the last five years, and was ignited by Louise’s decision to leave her consultant podiatrist role within the NHS and commit to private practice full time. Early on, Louise also decided to take on a practice manager and expand the service offerings. When asked, what has helped the clinic grow, practice manager Jessica Stuart shares that they work predominantly on recommendations and referrals and haven’t had to spend much on marketing. Even with the eligibility changes for NHS podiatry, GSFC have seen exponential growth in patient numbers – most of which is a direct result of referrals and recommendations.
Gold Standard Foot Care is well-connected with referral pathways across a number of related healthcare disciplines. This is due in no small part to Louise’s leadership. She has been recognised with an MBE for her service to the field of podiatry and is well-known in the industry having worked in the NHS, as well as lecturing and leading a number of respected podiatry associations.
They have also continued to extend the scope of their services and have added therapies such as fascia manipulation and superconductor therapy to address muscular and skeletal lower limb pain. This has allowed them to attract a different type of patient, while still maintaining a focus on helping add quality of life to their clients.
This growth has been facilitated in part by the practice’s move to online practice management software and, according to practice manager Jessica, the benefits of Power Diary for Gold Standard Foot Care have been felt in all areas of the practice.
“Power Diary has made our lives ten times easier. The software has allowed us to centralise and streamline our operations, making it easy for clients to move between clinics. It’s also simplified rostering and overall management of the different locations.”
“In particular, templates are very helpful for the practice as they streamline the process of consent forms, pre-op forms, social media consent forms, diabetes forms and more.”
Jessica does note that the transition from one to multiple practice locations has been quite reactive, and the process of digitisation has been ongoing. Before Power Diary, the practice was using a combination of an electronic diary and paper-based notes. The system was cumbersome, and many tasks ended up falling through the cracks. With the changeover to Power Diary, a lot of pressure has been taken off the admin team. “A paper-based system is a lot more work and has to be done on an individual basis. In comparison, with standardised processes, the admin team can make updates quickly and easily. During COVID this has been helpful as, at the click of a button, everyone who had a booking was advised that the clinic was still open and they could come in for their appointments.”
Another benefit that they have enjoyed with the changeover to Power Diary is a dramatic reduction in no-shows. The previous text notification system that they had in place didn’t offer any transparency whereas now they can see the clients who haven’t confirmed their appointments at a glance of the calendar as unconfirmed appointments show in a different colour.
In addition, Jessica notes that:
“Treatment notes and templates have been a massive help. We wouldn’t be able to meet the requirements, such as needing electronic signatures from clients, and Power Diary offers that functionality.”
Gold Standard Foot Care has also integrated the booking functionality with their website and often have clients booking online. Jessica explains that “our client base has expanded and we have a wide range of ages, so it’s not surprising that people are using the online booking feature. We love how personalised it is as the branding can be customised to look like your own integrated system.”
For Jessica as the practice manager, a lot has changed for her as well. Their auditing system used to be done with paper records and can now be done completely online. This has reduced the amount of time that she needs to spend at each practice and allows her to spend that time on other things.
Jessica’s advice to those that haven’t yet chosen a practice management software is to just get started.
“It can seem like an overwhelming task, but with the right software, you are equipped to make better decisions, and your practice will flourish.”
“Reporting is much simpler, client retention is higher, and making appointments is easier. It takes seconds to access the information you need and you can analyse the data much better.”