Practitioner Spotlight: Jake Behrens, MD, Pursing Private Practice
May 11, 2022
In our Practitioner Spotlight posts, we want to highlight all of the wonderful ways that our practitioners are using Practice Better to reach their business goals, whether those goals are to gain more clients, scale without burnout, or simply reduce time-consuming admin tasks. This month, we’re showcasing how a Psychiatrist uses Practice Better to reduce administrative overhead, automate his processes and efficiently optimize lead magnets and marketing funnels.
This month, we chatted with Dr. Jake Behrens, who decided that in 2016 he would pursue his dream of Envision ADHD, his practice in Milwaukee, WI.
Following residency, Jake continued as an Assistant Clinical Professor in the UW Psychiatry Department and developed a niche in Adult ADHD and the use of technology in clinical assessment and outcome tracking. Throughout the years of treating busy working adults, he witnessed how in-person meetings and monthly paper refills negatively affected individuals’ home and work life and saw how technology and alternative treatment models may benefit them.
After years of observing the pain points of traditional practice, Jake decided to leave behind his corner office, city, house, and academic clinical role to design and build a new model of psychiatric practice. He believes this new way of practicing is a better fit for the often unique and demanding needs of busy professionals with ADHD. Jake describes himself as an impatient, tech-minded, workflow-obsessed psychiatrist in Wisconsin who believes that the right software allows more time for the patient-practitioner relationship and reduces the need for additional staff.
Let’s learn more from Jake about his practice and how he uses Practice Better to automate his processes and optimize the use of his time.
After demoing roughly 20-30 different electronic health records and other software, I was able to get started but have been on a continuous journey towards an ideal system ever since (and hope to always be as this is half the fun!) I came across Practice Better not through any general medical software searches or recommendations but from following leads from other forms of practice. In this case, it came from seeing what other software Fullscript happened to integrate with. I appreciated seeing transparent pricing on the website and the ability to dive right in and play from within using a free account. I was intrigued by the customizations, integrations, patient mobile app and high-touch features characteristic of non-medical fields that facilitate closer connections between patient and provider outside of appointments.
I decided to take a weekend and try building out my practice on Practice Better to learn from the inside out. I came to find just how different the platform was from those available in the general medical EHR [Electronic Health Record] space, yet with a few tweaks and the use of outside software for a few things, this has the potential to bridge both worlds. After a few weeks of playing and debating about making the transition to PB, I pulled the cord, updated my website’s scheduling page for new patients, and have been basically A/B split testing PB versus my prior EHR for the past two years.
Here are the options I have available for working with me:
2. 1 x “in-person” medication startup appointment (required for prescribing certain types of medications). This appointment also allows me to show the patient how to use a blood pressure cuff and provide them with a new one for home monitoring.
3. Ongoing monthly Treatment. Like a Netflix subscription, patients can binge on me when they need me. This package is available to be as effective, yet convenient as possible.
When designing the clinic model, I wanted to utilize technology to simplify the overall process and to allow myself to be as lean as possible without having to rely on additional staff. I am all for efficiency and automation when it comes to such processes as it provides me more time to dive into psychoeducation and to connect with patients instead of spending time gathering data. There is nothing better than having most of your note thoroughly completed and reviewed before seeing the patient so that you can dive right into their main concerns.
These are my overall goals for patient experience:
These are my goals from a provider’s perspective:
A few things that I use and appreciate for marketing that have been lightyears ahead of other EHRs I’ve worked with:
A landing page for scheduling that I’ve linked in my Call to action buttons throughout my website and any other landing pages.
Two-way Google sync for appointments so that my single Google Calendar becomes the one up-to-date area for all of my personal and work-related needs. I only need to block out time in my personal calendar as well to automatically block out my work calendars.
Forms to create:
Automations to automatically add patients, approve their appointments, send out the required forms, and invite them to the Practice Better Portal. I can easily re-send reminders to their email. It is also easy and straightforward for patients to cancel or reschedule.
Form Mapping to send form data to various areas of the patient chart.
Note Templates to add my logo, hyperlinks, different formatting and fonts to fit the notes to my needs as well as the ability to easily select which sections can be shared with patients in their portal/app.
Stripe integration where patients input their credit card info and submit payment to Stripe directly upon booking. Their card information is also securely stored in the billing section for the future. Patients can update the information themselves which is rare among EHRs.
When connecting in an appointment, I can use screen sharing to review data with patients, show them examples of resources, as well as whiteboard to illustrate how medications work and their therapeutic strategies.
Via the Patient Portal, I am just a message away for any questions, refills, and updates so that I can help to address any concerns a patient has. Then, we can follow up online when it best fits their schedule. All instructions, handouts, and protocols are easy to find to review.
Updated protocols will be pushed to patients with recommendations for routines, strategies, supplements, medication instructions, etc. so they do not need to take notes during sessions.
I use Protocols to communicate the following to my patients:
I also use the Export Chart function to provide patients with their full documentation so that they may share this directly with their primary care provider or if transferring to a different provider.
Practice Better’s Fax is integrated electronically making it easy to receive faxes such as pharmacy refill requests, requests of records, prior authorization forms, and to then add to the given patient’s chart. It’s easy for me to fax to other doctor’s offices if needed (sadly, fax is still often the preferred method for communication for most doctors). Fortunately, I have no need for a fax machine or anything other than a web browser to have a fully functional clinic operation.
I was petrified about starting my solo practice and building a different type of clinical model. After product testing roughly 20-30 electronic health records, I appreciate how vastly customizable and efficient Practice Better was over other more medically-focused platforms—all for one very reasonable and all-inclusive pricing structure.
The ability to continue to grow and think outside the box of typical medical practices by creating higher-touch content for patients caught my attention. I imagined new ways to interact and provide more scalable offerings to patients or even a broader audience—those interested to learn more about themselves.
When looking to potentially transfer from my prior EHR, I wanted to start small and learn the system in the real world before going through a full transition. I was able to easily change links on my website to the new Practice Better scheduling page and split tested patient onboarding between my prior EHR and into Practice Better and got feedback. Within a matter of weeks, two things became clear:
Creating simple but helpful content such as self-scoring rating scales, general protocols, and educational programs to use as lead magnets allowed me to track and follow interactions on my website and think through new models of care. People can start on their own journey at any time and transition to higher levels of care as needed—all completed right from the app/portal they’re already familiar with.
I am by no means a marketer or influencer, but I am motivated to provide targeted and actionable resources for others to start their own health journeys.
When trying any new EHR, I learn best by starting with 2 things:
Thank you so much for sharing your story with us, Jake!
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Published August 27, 2023
UPDATE (August 27, 2023): Following up on our original interview, we’re back with Josh Gitalis, 4 years after we first interviewed him. Witness the evolution…