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It’s a busy day at your medspa. Phones are ringing, several patients are waiting to fill out paperwork at the front desk, and you still don’t have MD signoff for several time-sensitive forms.  

Your electronic medical record (EMR) system should simplify the situation. Unfortunately, most EMRs don’t meet a busy medspa’s needs, and can make matters worse.  

According to the American Medical Association, medical professionals are spending nearly two hours in their EMR or EHR for every hour spent with a patient. Additionally, many EMRs force clinicians to navigate multiple pages and tabs before they find the information they need.

In the medspa setting, EMRs rarely deliver charting ease that’s informative for both clinicians and patients. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

What every medical spa EMR needs

While a cryotherapy center may operate differently than a weight loss salon, every medical spa can benefit from EMR functionality that simplifies workflow, reduces charting time, and enhances the quality time clinicians spend with patients.

Here are a few things every medical spa should expect from their EMR.

Significant reduction in paperwork

Medical spas manage intake forms, procedural consent forms, and other documentation, which must travel seamlessly from patient to aesthetician to doctor – and back.

The promise of an EMR is to transition that daunting exercise into a digital one. But if an EMR is cumbersome to use, even filling out and exchanging those forms digitally suddenly becomes a time-consuming chore.

To streamline the process, the ideal EMR should include a comprehensive library of intake, consent, and treatment forms that can be cloned and quickly adapted to each medspa’s needs. Modifying a form should be simple, so staff can quickly arrange textboxes, dropdowns, check boxes, and other fields the ways they need for specific forms.

Of course, the best medspa EMR makes it easy to collect forms from patients even before they walk in the door. Medspas can send patients a link to the required forms – within a reminder email, for instance – giving patients the time to complete the forms at their convenience.  

With nearly everything in digital form, all patient charts, before-and-after photos, and treatment notes should be safely stored in a HIPAA-compliant, centralized database that’s accessible from any location. The EMR should also use geofencing that restricts the access of patient data to inside the medspa itself, protecting both employees and clients.

With Zenoti, Dermani Medspas replaced 27,000 paper forms with digital forms.
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Simplified form review for doctors

Surgeon in scrubs looks at medical information on a computer screen

Doctor sign-off is a requirement that ensures both quality care and full compliance. But too often, sign-off is a time-consuming process that threatens to overwhelm everyone involved.  

Increasingly, doctors are frustrated by the number of fields they must fill out and the time it takes to sign off on multiple forms. For them, click fatigue is real – and can be relentless.  

Fortunately, the right EMR can save physicians and aestheticians a great deal of time and frustration, and should include form review features like these:

  • "Anywhere" access, so physicians can sign off on forms even outside the medspa
  • The ability to filter forms by specific conditions, such as missing signatures or treatment types
  • Functionality that lets doctors view and sign forms in bulk instead of one form at a time
  • A progress bar that shows a percentage of all reviewed forms

When doctors can move more quickly through the approval and sign-off process, they not only keep the line of care moving and help ensure compliance, but they also reduce mental fatigue and burnout.

Improved communications and transparency

An EMR should also generate better communication among patients, aestheticians, and doctors.

With a more holistic EMR and business management tool, medspas can integrate their EMR into their appointment book. This makes it easy to send out automated appointment reminders, check in patients as they arrive, and share pre-or post-procedural reminders and instructions digitally.

Staff can also use secure two-way texting to answer common patient questions, follow up after treatment, and communicate with patients in a way that’s most comfortable to them. Staff members can see changes in real time, so everyone stays in the loop.

Next, let’s explore how to choose an EMR with convenient, useful, clinician-friendly charting.

How to get the best EMR for charting: What to look for

As mentioned above, most EMR systems aren’t created with medspas in mind. In some cases, charting features are largely irrelevant, and EMR incentive criteria (aka Meaningful Use) may not align with the procedures typically performed at a medspa.

Rather than purchasing a one-size-fits-all EMR that doesn’t match your business model, look for an EMR experience that is tailored to your needs in the beauty and wellness industry.  

The following charting features are especially relevant for medspas – and all are built in to the Zenoti all-in-one technology platform.

Planning to open up a medical spa? Use Zenoti's free medical spa business cost calculator and plan your finances in advance.

Dot phrases for frequently used text

UI images of dot-phrase features in the Zenoti platform, for ease of use when typing in often-repeated phrases or medspa instructions. @Zenoti, 2023.

The more productive the medspa team, the greater chance of excellent patient care. A dot phrase feature can help reduce repetitive tasks, fostering greater efficiency and productivity – and a greater focus on patients.

How does it work? Think of the most common wording you use in SOAP notes or elsewhere during the charting process – and assign an abbreviated ‘dot phrase’ to that text.

Let’s say you have a set of instructions for Botox patients. By typing an assigned dot phrase like .BOT, your predefined notes on Botox will go into the chart automatically. Not only are dot phrases faster and convenient, but they also create a more accurate, uniform experience for your patients and medspa staff.

A user-friendly annotation pad

A flexible annotation pad is essential for a streamlined charting experience. For optimal functionality, look for the ability to:

  • Choose colors and line styles for freehand drawing
  • Add injection marks or note treatment areas
  • Comment quickly and accurately
  • Save and retrieve patient data quickly  

These are just a few examples of how to make the annotation process easy and more efficient.

A complete medspa photo tool

A before-and-after shot of a medical spa patient, showing effects of skin treatment for wrinkles and fine lines. @zenoti, 2023

Pay attention to the quality and simplicity of your photo capture. A good EMR simplifies the process; an excellent EMR gives you added functionality like photo ghosting and gridlines that improve image alignment and optimize chart review.

Here's a big benefit: Look for a tool that can capture photos, save them on the spot, and tag them for easier retrieval later. Once they’re in your image gallery, you can search for patient photos by services performed, face angle, or any parameter you choose.

Most important, you shouldn’t need a separate photo tool. The tablet you use to view the patient profile and chart your encounter should be the same device you use to take photos – where they appear right in the chart, automatically.

Everything you need for photo capture should be at your fingertips, all from one software solution.

Why other business functions should be part of your software

Medspa owners and business managers put exceptional patient care at the fore, but have plenty more to worry about: giving patients a simple, painless booking experience; scheduling staff and optimizing utilization, managing payroll, running marketing campaigns — and the list goes on.

An EMR – the literal record of your patients’ wellbeing – must work with you, not add more problems. One of the required efficiencies is for your EMR to work well with your CRM. If not, that’s just one more administrative headache for your business, one that could potentially affect care, especially in between visits.

However, if your medspa management software includes top-flight EMR functionality, that’s a big win.

Blending patient convenience, staff ease, and patient care

To see how the various components of the patient journey can come together beautifully with a single instance of software, let’s start with the booking process. Here’s what an ideal medspa patient journey should look like:

  1. A patient books online at their convenience: through your website or mobile app, social media pages, or right from your business profile on Reserve with Google.
  2. The system automatically sends the patient an appointment confirmation via text.
  3. Intake forms and other important forms go out automatically – either via text message or email – so the patient can fill them out before their appointment.
  4. When the patient arrives at your facility, they can check in via your branded app or by text message.
  5. An employee app makes it easy for your clinicians and aestheticians to track patient arrival times and view their chart.
  6. If the patient has a membership for your services, they can use your mobile app to easily track their benefits and see billing details.
  7. The service or procedure takes place, with easy clinician charting in the EMR.
  8. Thanks to a convenient POS, the patient can pay by mobile phone or, preferably for your business, via a saved credit card on file.
  9. With the mobile app handy, the patient can purchase add-on products and even write a review while still at the medspa.
  10. Between visits, staff can quickly create and send personalized marketing campaigns to each patient.
“Zenoti has helped us welcome back hundreds of patients, many who have returned for an additional visit since. Now, we can boost appointments on slow days, identify opportunities to cross-sell, and not have to take team members’ attention away from in-clinic patients.”  

Dr. Hannah Vu, MD
Managing Director, Skinzone Medical

Zenoti believes medspas have greater success if they don’t have to juggle multiple technologies. That’s why the Zenoti platform integrates medspa-specific EMR functionality with accounting, inventory, data insights, reporting, a customer mobile app, an employee app, and more.

See how the Zenoti platform can simplify your EMR experience and drive more business. Talk to us.

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Ruth Angerbauer
Senior Content Specialist
As a professional writer, Ruth creates stories that enlighten, educate, and engage audiences. A staunch defender of the Oxford comma, Ruth is equally passionate about empowering beauty and wellness professionals with resources that help them streamline their work processes and spend more time with clients.
Ruth Angerbauer
Senior Content Specialist
As a professional writer, Ruth creates stories that enlighten, educate, and engage audiences. A staunch defender of the Oxford comma, Ruth is equally passionate about empowering beauty and wellness professionals with resources that help them streamline their work processes and spend more time with clients.

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Cullie Poseria
Senior Product Marketing Manager, Fitness
Coming from a healthcare family, growing up as a competitive athlete, and being trained as a filmmaker, and MBA, Cullie brings diverse experience to her storytelling and digital business-to-business product marketing. Her writing focuses on sharing trends and insights from her experience in software, entertainment, wellness, and fitness.

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