Dr. Sarah Powell

Franchisee in Dakota Dunes, SD

“Our group is beyond excited because it really has revitalized our practice. If you’re looking to add an ancillary service to your existing ENT practice, or even if you are an audiologist or neurologist, a FYZICAL Balance center is a no brainer.”

Making Balance Her Business

Q & A with Sarah Powell, MD FYZICAL Franchisee

Dr. Sarah Powell, FYZICAL Franchise Owner Since the first Otolaryngology practice incorporated a FYZICAL Balance & Dizziness Center in the spring of 2016, hundreds of ENTs across the country have raised their hands to offer this exclusive, world-renowned therapy to their patients and community.

The benefits of adding this turnkey balance program are proven to change lives and evidenced to improve business success. However, if you really want to understand what the ancillary business of balance can do for your practice, take it from Dr. Sarah P. Powell, MD of Ear, Nose & Throat Consultants and Hearing Services, FYZICAL member in South Dakota. Originally from Iowa, Powell completed undergraduate and medical school at the University of Iowa, and then completed her ENT residency at the University of Florida. Powell then moved to the Sioux City area, and has been practicing for 11 years with two other physicians and a Nurse Practitioner.

Successful Outcomes: How did you hear about the FYZICAL Balance & Dizziness Center opportunity?

SP: I met FYZICAL at the AAO-HNSF Annual Meeting & OTO EXPO℠. I spoke with Dr. Dan Deems at the booth, and he discussed how he and his partner were building the first FYZICAL balance center within their otolaryngology practice. After discussing more about the opportunity, I thought, ‘This could be awesome for my patients and my practice.’ The timing was great because there was a little coffee shop immediately adjacent to our office that had recently closed. The space was just under 2,000 sq. ft., so we thought it would be perfect for a balance center and I remember saying to myself, ‘This is meant to be.’

SO: What was it like opening your center?

SP: FYZICAL made it easy! FYZICAL helped us identify the equipment needed, plan the clinic design, train our team on how the business of balance, and helped find the staff we needed to open our center. Two months prior to opening, we hired our first physical therapist, and she has been an integral part of the process. Bringing her on board prior to opening our practice provided the opportunity to get her up-to-speed with FYZICAL’s balance protocols. She was able to complete her Level 1 Balance Certification online, and then we were able to send her to multiple FYZICAL balance centers for hands on training, in addition to completing her Level 2 Certification. According to Mallory, our PT, she informed me in PT school they touch on vestibular therapy, but it is nowhere close to the extent of education she has received with FYZICAL thus far. I’m confident we have the highest trained vestibular therapist in the area, and physicians in the area are starting to recognize the same.

SO: How has adding the balance center affected your ENT practice?

SP: Primarily? How we view dizzy patients as ENTs. Historically, dizzy patients on our schedules were for lack of a better term, undesirable. We didn’t have any solutions for them. As otolaryngologists, we consider ourselves more as surgeons than we do clinicians. For the majority of patients, there isn't anything surgically I can offer them that's going to help. The difference now is that I have something tangible I can offer to help them improve. Since we added our balance center, I actually really enjoy seeing dizzy patients.

We’ve also streamlined our productivity. Now that I can offer balance therapy, the amount of time I spend with dizzy patients is decreasing. All I need to do is the evaluation, and then I send them to our physical therapists for any additional testing and provide the therapy to help them get better. In addition, the productivity of my audiologists has improved significantly. Previously, our audiologists were the ones performing Dix-Hallpike Maneuvers, VNGs, etc. Now our physical therapists performs these tests, it has freed up our audiologists to focus on what they're good at: hearing tests and hearing aids. As a result, our hearing aid sales have gone up! Multiple members of the team are now producing revenue each and every day.

SO: How has FYZICAL affected your business operations?

SP: It’s night and day. FYZICAL has helped us implement daily management reports, pillars of success, track all key metrics, and much more. I’m, so much more aware of key performance indicators and can actually assess the ongoing health of our practice. What is our no-show rate? Cancellation rate? Total visits? What are these numbers vs. goal? Compared to last month or last year? Did we make money or not? Great, but why? How did we get there? Are we seeing more new patients? More surgeries? Rather than just seeing what our bottom line is at the end of the month, knowing all of those metrics makes a huge difference in managing our business. This isn’t just on our balance center either, we are actually changing quite a few things on the ENT side using what we have learned from FYZICAL too.

SO: What kind of feedback have you been receiving from your patients and your community?

SP: The feedback has been great, especially from patients who have previously had physical therapy elsewhere. They realize the difference at our center. More and more physicians are sending their dizzy patients our way. We've even had physical therapy practices refer to us, because they don't know what to do with their balance patients. It is so satisfying to be able to say, "Send them over! We'll take care of them.” We’re earning the reputation as the vestibular experts in our area, which is wonderful.

In the past, I wouldn’t ask my patients about balance and dizziness, unless somebody offered it. Now, we ask every new patient coming through the door. As the word spreads, many more individuals are even telling us, "Oh, yeah, I have ongoing dizziness," or "I've had poor balance for a long time," and in some cases, "I fell earlier this year." It’s rewarding to have the ability to offer my patients a solution. Before, I would order vestibular therapy at another clinic without really knowing if they were actually going to get better. My therapists absolutely know exactly what they're doing, and they’re going to do everything they can to help my patients.

SO: What would you say to an otolaryngologist evaluating this opportunity?

SP: (Laughs) I've actually had several of these conversations. If you’re looking to add an ancillary service to your existing ENT practice, or even if you are an audiologist or neurotologist, a FYZICAL Balance & Dizziness Center is a no brainer. My efficiency has improved, and, as I mentioned before, I actually enjoy seeing dizzy patients on my schedule. I’m actually encouraging my team to stack my schedule with dizzy patients! I used to be scared when I had 1 or 2 on my schedule each day.

As a physician, I think it's invaluable to have a working relationship directly with the physical therapist. The physical therapist can come say, "This person is struggling. Does she need more medication? Does she need less medication?" I can adjust their treatment accordingly, and we can work together and provide the best action steps for the patient in real time. Not only that, but I have a better understanding as to what their diagnosis is because I have more information from the assessments. I really feel like I'm a better clinician because of it. From an ENT standpoint, definitely go for it. There's no question it’s a great addition for your practice!

SO: What does the future look like for you and your business?

SP: Our group is beyond excited because it really has revitalized our practice. What we’re doing in the community is making a real difference, especially for this group of individuals who’ve ultimately been ignored for so long. With FYZICAL, we’re excited to help ‘Fight the Fall’ and help Americans stop falling!

Ready to start changing lives and creating wealth? Watch the FYZICAL Discovery Video now to see how!

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