Interview: "It’s just easy. In terms of sending out forms with new clients it takes minutes, seconds sometimes"
As a nutritional therapy practitioner, NTP, Mark Bennett has been using NutriAdmin for a bit over a year especially for its questionnaires feature, a tool that makes his job easier and more organized for him but also safer and more comfortable for his clients. Health data is essential for professionals like Mark, and being able to fully customize the questionnaires, as well as safely receive and save them through NutriAdmin, saves him even hours on his daily routines.
How did you become a nutritional therapist and how long have you been working in this field?
I’ve been practicing in private clinic for 3 and half years. I ran a business for 20 or more years in the first half of my working life which I then sold. Basically, it was through illness in the close family that I started reading about maybe a different take on how human health operates and how we can intervene to actually maintain health and wellbeing, and that led me to eventually doing a degree in Nutritional Therapy, which is essentially a nutritional science with a clinical practice. That took me 4 years, I qualified in 2014 and I started practicing at the beginning of 2016. My clinic –I work on my own- specializes in auto-immunity (I tend to be the individual that people come as last resort, so my clients are typically chronically ill) and I deal with auto-immune conditions which are about +80 conditions –things like MS, Parkinson’s’, endometriosis, coeliac disease... Coeliac disease is a big subject for me, officially diagnosed coeliacs that are not getting better. That happens quite often, by the way... Neurodegenerative conditions and the list goes on. I also do work in a supportive role with cancer and dementia and at this point in time, I’ve been doing a lot of work in chronic fatigue. That’s basically my area. I describe myself as a forensic clinical nutritionist, that’s basically what I am. I use a lot of testing to get to the bottom of these complex conditions so I don’t like guessing, I like using data to drive good interventions.
What kinds of services do you provide?
It’s typically one to one. I do work with families so I often have families coming in and we do joint consultations –it’s husband and wife, or partners, or it’s a family and they want to do a collective thing, but typically I’m working on a one to one basis based on information that it’s supplied through the online secure health questionnaire, which of course is where NutriAdmin comes in. It is through that process that we set the scene for the first consultation, which is typically an hour and a half in length, and that entire conversation is based on the data that is collected through the health questionnaire that I use, which is through your system. Then we negotiate a plan as to what we are going to do next, but the strategy is built during that one and a half hours. What I’m trying to do is convince the client that there is some sense to what I’m saying scientifically and that actually we can use a very strategically managed scientific approach to achieve their health goal. We then negotiate what tests am I going to consider doing, we discuss obviously diet and lifestyle interventions and then we start the journey. What happens then is that the client goes away and I write a report with all the details of everything we discussed, we then undertake testing if that’s part of the plan and then we get results back, we re-convene and see how the client is doing. We work together to achieve the health goal.
How long have you been using NutriAdmin for?
Just over a year, probably about 16 months.
Why did you switch from your previous system to NutriAdmin?
NutriAdmin was actually far more affordable, [on the other system] they kept putting the prices up and I was getting a bit agitated by that. You know, it was the only system around and basically, you had to use it, and I never liked that in any business because that’s no way to work. I came across this NutriAdmin site and the team was incredibly responsive in terms of the questions I asked so that put me at ease internally. It was just far more affordable and a nicest system to use, to be honest, usability wise.
What kinds of information do you collect from clients when using questionnaires?
I only use this whole part of what the system does, I use it purely for online health questionnaires. I know it does a lot more, but I have a very specific workflow process which I have highly tuned to myself. All I wanted NutriAdmin for was purely to supply secure online health questionnaire data about my clients.
Do you feel the system is flexible enough to accommodate all of the fields required in your questionnaires?
Yes. I would love it to be –maybe it is now- slightly more intelligent in terms of the fact that if the system knows that you are male, asking a question about you wanting to become pregnant is probably not relevant. The thing is, I am very short on time because I work on my own, so it’s a question of finding the time to look at that intelligent thought process or form process that might be available in the system, but I’m not sure if that’s the case or not. But it does, absolutely; I created the form in the format that I wanted it to be. I haven’t used a template.
Do you feel investing time initially in customizing different aspects of NutriAdmin has paid off over time in increased productivity?
Definitely, there’s no question about it.
What do you do if you meet a client that doesn't know how to use email or computers? How do would you handle the questionnaire in this case?
I print off a hard copy version, which of course is very unwieldy because it’s multiple pages with all the different tick boxes. I do get that occasionally and I have sent them in the post, which is ok for some people.
Do you think NutriAdmin scales well as your client base increases?
Yes, that’s not a problem, it works very well. I’ve got 230 in there at the moment, so in terms of finding the data is fine, but what I do is I tend to download a PDF version of their health questionnaire onto my laptop so I have files on everybody. Everything is filed in real paper form as well because you have to do that. You have to keep records in real paper form according to the Data Protection Act so the whole process is meticulously managed -every client has a digital file that’s downloaded from the NutriAdmin site but then everything is printed off and everything is filed in a physically secured storage area to actually maintain data integrity. The whole process works very well but it’s very comprehensive.
What's the process for sending a questionnaire to a client prior to a consultation? How much time does it take?
It’s probably between half an hour and 45 minutes. The whole point of the questionnaire is to get the conversation started. Virtually every client will have additional information to add to the questionnaire but the whole point is to get an understanding of where that client fits. It is the basis upon which you have the conversation in the first consultation.
How would you describe the technical support received in the past any time you've had an issue with the software?
I haven’t had any issues with the software. I’ve had one or two clients where they filled the form out and for some reason, it didn’t get sent back to me and they go “can we have a save facility, please?” but that’s not available. That was what was available with the other system that I was using, the ability to save; you could partially fill the form and then go away and have dinner, come back and start again.
Note from NutriAdmin team: saving mid-way through a questionnaire was not available at the time of this interview for security reasons (click here to learn more). This feature is planned for release along the client portal functionality in late 2018.
Where does NutriAdmin save you the most time in your daily work?
It’s just easy. In terms of sending out forms with new clients, it takes minutes, seconds sometimes. Just login, add a new client, write in their name, put the email address in, choose my health questionnaire and send it; it’s so simple! The easiest part of the whole journey is sending out the questionnaire, it’s just a no-brainer.
If you are interested in Mark Bennett's work, don't forget to visit his website entirewellbeing.com.
- Are you a nutritional therapy practitioner, NTP, and interested in electronic health records? Check out NutriAdmin's feature on CRM for nutritionists.
- Mark Bennet is using NutriAdmin's online questionnaires. Check them out here.