Client Care Excellence: Strategies from a Dementia Navigation Coach

April 22, 2024

Some health and wellness practitioners have niche practices to the point where it feels like they can’t find the right software for their needs.

Jessie Hillock, MA, SLP, CDP, thought this was the case. As a Dementia Navigation Coach, she serves a very specific client population of patients with dementia and their families.

At first, she was using several different software to run her practice, and she felt overwhelmed, to say the least.

Then she found Practice Better and everything changed. 

Let’s learn how she used Practice Better to reduce the overwhelm while growing her practice.

A photo of Jessie Hillock sitting in her home.

Introduction: meet Jessie Hillock, Dementia Navigation Coach

Jessie is a Dementia Navigation Coach, Certified Dementia Practitioner, and the founder of The Memory Compass, a private practice specializing in dementia and memory loss support services for family members, caregivers, and individuals living with the disease. 

She began her career as a speech-language pathologist working in a skilled nursing community. This is when her passion for helping those with memory loss and cognitive challenges took off.

Identifying a gap: the need for ongoing support in dementia care

Jessie recognized that there was a significant gap in the medical care system. No ongoing support or care was planned for families dealing with this life-changing disease. As a result, the families she was working with were understandably frustrated and had lost hope in the system. 

Jessie now educates others about brain function, expected behaviors, and the different stages of dementia. She supports her clients in shifting their mindset so they can find peace and quality of life. 

“Whether you’re in the nutrition or fitness field, or, like myself, a dementia coach, Practice Better caters to all needs. I didn’t realize such a comprehensive service existed until I found it. After using it for about a year, I’ve grown to love absolutely everything about it, and I know it will help my business continue to flourish.”

Streamlining client experience: before and after Practice Better

We sat down with her to talk about how incorporating Practice Better changed the way she runs her business, the services and resources she offers her clients, and how her overall experience has evolved. 

Before Practice Better: A Disjointed System

Jessie has always been passionate about what she does, but like many health practitioners, managing her growing private practice became overwhelming. These feelings eventually turned into frustration and burnout. Not knowing the best way to catch up and fill in the gaps in her practice, Jessie became increasingly aware that she was losing time each week that could have been spent working with her clients. 

She had previously used HelloNote, a web-based therapy practice management software specifically designed for therapists, but it wasn’t suitable as her business evolved. She was also working with Acuity Scheduling, an appointment management and invoicing tool, which meant managing two different systems. 

Jessie Hillock, dementia navigation coach, sitting at her table.

Before implementing Practice Better, Jessie felt that her client experience was disjointed and clunky since her clients received communications from different sources. For instance, they would receive their invoice from Square and their calendar reminder from Acuity Scheduling.

Embracing Practice Better: a comprehensive solution for health coaches

Then, she came across Practice Better. Jessie says, “When I discovered Practice Better, I wasn’t sure at first if it would be the right fit for dementia coaching and consulting, but it has been wonderful.” 

She continues, “Everything is housed in one area, including scheduling, reminders, billing, notes, and programs. It’s such a robust platform, and I still have so much more to learn about its features.”

Practice Better’s resources help support and grow Jessie’s business

Jessie says there are so many aspects she loves about using Practice Better — like the video resource library and written content to help support and grow her business — that it’s hard to pick just one. “If you need anything, it’s readily available,” she says, calling the platform a massive time-saver.

Let’s take a closer look at a few of the biggest ways that Practice Better has smoothed out Jessie’s processes and made her practice more meaningful. 

Enhancing client care: personalized touches and resources

The needs of Jessie’s clients are continually evolving as they adjust to living with dementia. She may see clients every other week, once a month, or quarterly. Some clients return after six months seeking more support. Her goal now is to be able to offer continued support to these users when they’re not currently working together on an ongoing 1:1 basis. 

As a visual learner, Jessie found the comprehensive video library provided by Practice Better extremely useful. The platform’s Help Resource on the website has inspired her to create a similar resource library for her clients through Programs and sharing Snippets. 

Using programs and snippets to create a resource library  

She shares, “My current goal is to provide a resource library to families, and Practice Better can definitely support these business goals.” She plans to create a hybrid education resource library with videos that people can access, which would be in addition to their 1:1 sessions, providing added value in a different way. 

Jessie already has one program in place. She says, “I was going through snippets of information that I frequently reuse and I thought it would be great if these snippets had videos or photos.”

To add a more personal touch when someone onboards with her practice through Practice Better Jessie also creates a welcome video. She believes it adds an extra layer of personalization and offers something people aren’t expecting. Furthermore, the process of scheduling, paying, and meeting with a practitioner online is so personal, so she likes having that face-to-face interaction through a video to make it even more warm and welcoming.

Client-centered support: customization and tailored services

The second major improvement is in the client support Jessie can provide through Practice Better. She strongly believes in the value of customizing and personalizing each client’s experience, which is a significant part of the Memory Compass’s mission. This involves providing support to her clients in a manner that is tailored specifically for them and their families.

Jessie notes, “I love the customization that Practice Better offers. I can customize all my forms, from my client authorization form to my service agreement.” Comparatively, she says her previous software had very generic intake forms and you had to contact them with any updates and wait for approval, which has not been her experience since switching to Practice Better. 

Snippets: Jessie’s secret to saving time during note-taking

While Jessie has created generic forms and frequently works with Practice Better templates, she noted how ‘it’s really easy to customize forms, along with recommendations and educational materials.’ Jessie also shared her love of working with Practice Better snippets for content she frequently uses in her notes, messages, and client recommendations.

“Snippets allow me to save the information that I often reiterate over and over again, but still allow me to add my own personalized touch, which I really love and appreciate,” she says, noting how much time doing so saves her. 

“I’ll share tips for improving sleep and eating habits for those dealing with dementia. I also love the ability to add videos, links, and photos. It’s more personalized than just presenting a plain document.”

Self-paced learning: creating evergreen programs for continuous support

Practice Better offers a platform for creating an array of other content you can use to serve your clients’ needs beyond 1:1 sessions. 

For example, Jessie has made an evergreen program focusing on the daily struggles her clients face at home. Her clients can work through her self-paced E-course at any time. It features a variety of content types, such as video clips, audio snippets, and numerous PDF downloads of educational materials. 

Her program is designed to help understand what dementia truly involves, and she believes this continued guidance at home helps her clients find the support they need. She’s currently working on creating a package to bundle her program with her 1:1 coaching services.

Jessie Hillock, dementia navigation coach, standing in front of a mirror

Expanding services: branching into health coaching and mentorship

In addition to using Practice Better to support individuals on their dementia journey, Jessie is also assisting other health professionals. She loves to mentor others who may be experiencing burnout in their day-to-day work, which is something she remembers feeling. 

“I also mentor other speech therapists who, like I was, are feeling burnt out and overwhelmed,” she notes. “They’ve found my business and are excited about the possibility of doing something similar. Practice Better is great for this type of mentoring and coaching of other therapists.”

Branching into health coaching is an exciting new prospect for Jessie, growing her business even more. Her latest goal is to be able to share her favorite resources, tools, tips, and tricks for success with her coaching clients through a program. She loves the ongoing value that programs can provide to her clients beyond their individual sessions.

Unlocking success: Jessie’s journey with Practice Better

Jessie encourages others who can relate to her story to consider trying Practice Better. She appreciates the comprehensive behind-the-scenes look into the software through videos and demos on our YouTube channel before making a final decision. 

“The reason I chose Practice Better over those other systems was because I was able to look into the platform and do so much research ahead of time with all of the online resources. Unlike every other platform, there was no gatekeeping on their content or help center, no required free demo or call with sales.”

Getting started with Practice Better: Jessie’s recommendations

Jessie notes that Practice Better can be a good fit for anyone in health and wellness, not just those working in nutrition and fitness. “Practice Better has proven to be exactly what I needed — it’s truly the perfect system.”

Ready to take your virtual business to the next level? Start by watching a Practice Better demo and taking a tour of the platform.

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