We believe in and have adopted a ‘crawl–walk–run’ approach to releasing all new software. Our release strategy therefore has 3 beta phases.
- Phase 1 (April 2017) was a two-week beta test with a single clinic location and two users.
- Phase 2 (May-June 2017) was a four-week beta test with six clinic locations and forty users.
- Phase 3 (August-Sept 2017) will be a four-week beta test with at least twelve clinic locations and at least eighty users.
In April, after successfully completing our Phase 1 Beta Testing with a single location clinic, we concluded that the software did in fact make the job of recommending products easier for clinicians, and made it far more convenient for the patient to obtain the tools they need to follow their home exercise plans. We all felt we achieved crawling and checked-off Beta 1 as a success. We fixed a lot of bugs too.
But then May arrived and it was time to walk, so we chose a physical therapy organization with six locations for our Phase 2 Beta Testing. We needed to make sure the software was ready to scale-up to handle multi-location clinics, and to validate that the software was truly ready for enterprise-level organizations with hundreds or even thousands of locations. After all, we have to get everything perfect before we can live launch.
In this second round we weren’t going to solely focus on software functionality, but we also wanted to measure the impact the integrated POS workflow has on the organization’s metrics. Of course we made a lot of educated assumptions while developing this platform, so this round was going to tell us whether those assumptions were accurate. Will it truly result in improved clinician engagement, front office use and ultimately result in improved sales?
What would we consider success? What is a viable target? We’re pretty hard on ourselves. After discussing a myriad of pie-in-the-sky scenarios, we finally reached consensus and settled on an ambitious goal for the POS to reach a $20 “per-new-patient average”. We all agreed that $20 would be a game changer. In case you’re wondering, industry averages right now are somewhere in the $2–$9 range, and which end of that gap you’re on depends largely on whether you have a proactive or reactive retail program in place. We wanted to more than double the high-end of the industry average.
The organization we chose for Phase 2 Beta Testing already had a relatively successful retail program boasting a higher-than-typical $13.00 per-new-patient average. We were eager to see what affect the POS would have on their numbers, since they were already performing quite well in relation to the industry averages.
In the first week, this organization conducted therapist product recommendations and retail sales, in all six locations, on the same day for the first time in company history.
(They did this for three consecutive days in that first week.)
In fact their company president gave a presentation at a national conference a week after the completion of the Beta testing phase, here’s a screenshot of the Powerpoint slide with his quote.
So how did clinic staff like using the software?
The results of our beta testing exit survey were very encouraging.
- 100% of respondents indicated they would recommend the POS to their colleagues.
- On a scale of 1-10, the lowest score we received was 7.
- And 67% of therapist respondents indicated the software would make it more likely that they would recommend products to patients in the future.
(This is with a beta release of the POS software, many features are not yet released.)
Does your organization have a retail program in place?
Here’s a video explaining why “off the shelf” POS systems won’t work for a rehab clinic.