Back from PCOM…How’s Business? 5/5 (37)

Hello Friends,

I just got back yesterday from the Pacific Symposium in San Diego. If you haven’t been before, this is a tremendously good symposium and trade show for acupuncture, sponsored by Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM). I’ve been going every year for quite a few years now, and this year, like all others, was GREAT.

Of course, as a vendor, I mostly spend my time in the vendor area, with all the other booth dwellers. It’s great fun to meet all kinds of practitioners and talk about our products. Our booth is always one of the busiest at the show, as AcuGraph attracts a lot of attention.

This year, as I looked around at all the other vendors, I noticed something interesting. Nearly every vendor there sold what I would consider “Practice Supplies.” This means herbs and needles, mostly, with a few other items mixed in. Of course there were vendors selling various supplements, nutritional products, tools, etc., but again these are all items you either use or sell in the normal course of practice. You use them to treat patients.

What was missing?

The tools you need to actually OPERATE a practice. The BUSINESS stuff.

In past years, I’ve always seen companies offering practice management software, website services, newsletter services, patient education materials, and so on. All the tools you need to actually run your business. But I really didn’t see much this year. Many of the “usual” companies simply weren’t there, with the exception of insurance providers. It made me wonder.

Is it that the companies who provide these services find little success in attending a big show like PCOM? Or maybe it’s the opposite–they have plenty of business and no need to attend? Is travel becoming so expensive and cumbersome that it’s not worth going to shows anymore? Do acupuncturists simply not need normal business services?

I really wonder. 

Got any ideas? I’d like to hear from you!

How’s business been? Do you use practice management tools like software, educational materials, web services, marketing services, etc? How much energy do you spend working ON your business, rather than AT your business? Are these services necessary? Too expensive? What are you using? What do you need that you don’t have? I want to take the pulse of the acupuncture industry and see how everyone is doing. Please leave me a comment–I look forward to hearing your thoughts!

Thank you, and thanks to the great staff at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine for another great Symposium!

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Dr. Adrian Larsen

Adrian P. Larsen, D.C., F.A.S.A., C.Ac. Dr. Larsen is President of Miridia Technology Inc., and one of the developers of the AcuGraph Digital Meridian Imaging system. He currently divides his time between research, product development, and teaching. Dr. Larsen also holds certifications in Applied Kinesiology and CPK, and has specialized training in SOT and craniopathy. He, his wife, and 7 children reside in Meridian, Idaho.

8 Replies to “Back from PCOM…How’s Business?

  1. AcuGrap 4, se ha convertido en una herramienta indespensable en nuestro Centro de Rehabilitaciòn, Tratamiento y Regeneraciòn Biomag, para el diagnòstico y tratamiento integral de muchas patologìas. El paciente en general està satisfecho con la utilizaciòn de este software que permite visualizar el estado de salud y los logros alcanzados despuès de los diferentes tratamientos. La inversiòn en la compra de AcuGrap 4 para nosotros ha sido beneficiosa : Tenemos màs pacientes, nos permite determinar y solucionar inmediatamente las dolencias ocasionadas por el desbalance enèrgetico de los meridianos.

  2. Business has been great, it has been a tremendous amount of work these last two years but I am seeing 15-25 patients a week (which is a full schedule for me, I spend approximately 75 minutes with every patient).

    All of the business items you listed have never been of any use in my practice. Software? Quickbooks for everything financial, smartphone calendar handles my scheduling. Marketing? Referrals and Yelp are all that I have ever seen bring in new patients for myself and colleagues. Newsletters are annoying to receive and don’t generate new patients. Educational materials have never been needed beyond posters on my clinic wall, I don’t do events because they rarely transfer over into quality patients. Any other education is verbal or in the form of articles on my website.

    In short, my business is doing nicely the old fashioned way, without any 3rd party business programs or addons. I have a private practice and am accustomed to handling all aspects myself, however I expect that the needs of others will naturally differ.

  3. My business is doing well – but I believe any business can always do better. I was extremely disappointed not to see any business or marketing services there. In fact, I was specifically looking for new practice management software and marketing materials. We just hired a marketing manager for our office and I was looking for some potential material and services for her. Shame.

  4. Dear Adrian
    I am glad that you rise this point I just opened a new clinic in Limerick city in Ireland. I am combining AcuGraph with lightneedles results are impressive. I am seeing over 40 patients a week great success. I am considering the possibilities of contracting a patient management system very reluctantly even when it is a real need this could make my clinic management way too complex.
    I will be collecting patient information in two different soft wares without any chance of electronic communication between then. Will increase running cost and in the long term will be incompatible.
    I think that AcuGraph have the opportunity to offer a more efficient support and standard method for future research programme. My specific suggestions are
    To include a module for appointment management; to integrate Ear 3d treatment plans to each patient file; finally, the module for clinical history and follow up need improvement to facilitate future research programme.
    As I mentioned to you in my last telephone conversation I have the plan to open the first TCM using AcuGraph as main diagnostic tool and incorporate high technology including Laser Therapy to the traditional TCM practice.
    If you would like more conversation about do not hesitate to contact me
    Alvaro

  5. mes félicitations.J admire votre succes et la pertinence de vos recherche.Je suis un fan de tous ceux qui utilisise cet outil précieux

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