When it comes to running a successful treatment facility, there’s so much to consider beyond your clinical practices and the qualifications of your staff. There are business considerations and administrative responsibilities, with requirements and certifications that need to be up-to-date. You also need an effective marketing strategy to ensure that you stay in business.
It’s no easy task to navigate these many elements, alongside your daily treatment operations. This is where the experience and expertise of others in the field can be helpful to improving your business. The treatment industry, business operations, and marketing are all specialized fields. But, not every treatment center needs a full-blown marketing agency, and you may prefer to keep all of your operations in house.
Many times, a treatment consultant is what’s needed to help a facility operate more smoothly and build its own marketing team. Rather than hiring an outside agency, a consultant will provide ideas and advice to guide your team in more effective treatment and marketing practices.
What Is the Role of a Treatment Consultant?
Rather than intervene and take over your operations, a treatment consultant is there to guide, teach, and help. The treatment industry is moving increasingly online, and a consultant can help your treatment program in the transition. A good consultant is like a jack-of all-trades who knows the treatment industry inside and out, with expertise in key areas that can improve your program:
- Admissions & Intake – while you deal with the individual issues of each client at intake, a consultant can assist you in properly handling insurance paperwork, transportation, or possible legal issues.
- Communications & Technology – your facility needs to be accessible at all times for potential clients looking for help, and a consultant can help set up phone rooms and call tracking, as well as both phone and online systems for managing your service inquiries.
- Data Management – a consultant can help you evaluate your analytics in terms of intake, admissions, and pay-per-click tracking to see how many website visits result in actual admissions.
- Honest Advice – perhaps the most important role of a consultant is that they can give you sincere advice and even come in to teach or train your staff in better practices that will streamline your business.
Improving Client Intake at Your Facility
While daily operations are crucial to your treatment program’s success, your intake process also plays a major role that’s often overlooked. Your admissions system is a central to effective marketing. When potential clients call seeking treatment, how those calls are handled can determine whether or not those people become actual clients.
An individual seeking help for substance abuse needs to be treated with empathy and understanding. The dialogue needs to be open and accepting. A treatment consultant can use their expertise and experience to help align your intake process with these ideas. The most valuable knowledge in this field comes from experience working with other treatment programs and their admissions departments. Rather than relying on common knowledge to handle these intensely personal interactions, open your program up to the help of a treatment consultant.
Plus, beyond the admissions process, your staff needs to be well-versed in the standard practices for proper client intake. That means handling insurance companies, legal concerns, and loads of paperwork. These specialized administrative concerns call for the specialized help of a treatment consultant. Their guidance will not only save you time, but can also spare you serious problems down the road if paperwork or clients are not handled correctly.
Setting Up a Calling System
If your intake process is going to be effective and client-centered, it’s important that your facility is accessible at all times. Potential clients who can’t reach your facility’s call line may be discouraged from seeking treatment through your program, or discouraged from seeking treatment in general. Rather than hiring a round-the-clock staff to man your phone lines, you can set up a phone system with the help of a treatment consultant.
You want to be sure that potential clients can speak to someone, but it’s also crucial to ensure that they can speak to whichever administrator or professional they need. A phone system can involve numerous components—forwarding calls to specific cell phones among your staff, setting up call transfers, and designating specific phone numbers to function within contact groups. In this area in particular, specialized technological help is generally necessary to set up a working system for your treatment program. Luckily, with a treatment consultant, you can have a say in how your phone system is structured so that it works best for you.
Collecting Treatment Outcomes
Having sound measures of your treatment outcomes can be useful as a marketing strategy, but, above all, it’s part of ethical care and practice. By collecting treatment outcomes, you have a better gauge on the success of your clients and your treatment program. What’s working? What isn’t? You’re able to see which areas of your clinical practice need improvement, as well as evolve the understanding of exactly what practices are evidence-based.
The process of collecting treatment outcomes can be efficient when set up right, but it takes careful planning. Your outcomes collection system needs to be as unbiased as possible, without an intention to skew or misrepresent data. The goal is to gauge the success of your program, but also to inform you about how to make your program better. In this department, a treatment consultant can often see your outcomes system with more objective eyes, to ensure that it is collecting accurate data. Best of all, a treatment consultant can help manage your outcomes system, so it’s as efficient and hassle-free as possible for you and your staff.
Why Is a Consultant Right for You?
Managing a successful treatment program calls for expertise in multiple arenas. Rather than going at it all alone, a treatment consultant can be an asset for you and your team. The care and treatment of clients is a major element of the industry, but you can’t keep operations running without also tending your business, administrative, and marketing concerns.
Learning the process of managing a treatment program holistically is no easy task, and it can be expensive. It might be tempting to hire a marketing team but that requires you to teach that team how you want things done, while you still have less of a say in how they’ll handle the marketing of your program. Ultimately, hiring a consultant gives you more flexibility, it will save you money, and it can get the job done quicker.