As part of our commitment to supporting and educating entrepreneurs, we’re spotlighting Orchid customers impacted by the pandemic to learn more about how they’ve adapted their operations to overcome resulting business challenges. The passion and innovation of these customers have never been more pronounced than in their responses to the difficulties posed by the coronavirus outbreak, and we hope their stories serve as a guide for those navigating similarly difficult situations.
We recently spoke with Ann Ossanna, owner of Allure Skin and Laser in Queen Creek, AZ, to learn more about her experience running a medical spa during a pandemic, including how she’s using software to mitigate business disruption.
Q: To start, we’d love to learn a little more about your business.
A: We opened in 2008 as a medical practice and quickly expanded into an aesthetics one. What sets us apart from other spas is that we have an onsite, board-certified doctor available to answer staff and patient questions.
We specialize in anything skin related: injectables, Botox, Juvéderm, laser photo facials and hair removal, various chemical peels, antiaging rejuvenation and micro needling—we like to offer the newest technologies that are available. We also sell medical-grade skincare, including our own private label.
Q: How long have you been using Orchid? What’s been your experience with it?
A: We’ve been using Orchid since the beginning, when it was still on discs! Before that, we were using an EMR system, then paper charts. Now we’re using the online version of Orchid. We use the software for scheduling, check-in and checkout processes and to send text and email reminders.
We love having the Orchid app because it allows us to keep track of what’s going on at the spa even when we’re out of office. We can easily check inventory and schedules in real time. Especially during the pandemic, the app was helpful because it gave us remote access to the inventory so that we could pull together product for clients, and it allowed us to conduct virtual consultations.
Q: How has the pandemic impacted the way your med spa operates?
A: We were closed for service for about six weeks at the start, which was understandable because I didn’t think we were an essential business. Fortunately, we were able to keep our staff on payroll throughout the closure. During that time, we were offering curbside pickup for products.
We’re reopened now, limiting the number of patients in the space and staggering appointments. We try to keep the waiting room empty and get clients right into their treatment rooms. We’ve also decluttered the waiting area by eliminating items people could touch. Everyone wears masks at the spa, and we’re immediately disinfecting everything that people touch, like phones and pens.
As a medical spa, we’ve been thoroughly disinfecting for the past ten years. For example, if we do a laser treatment, we wipe down every surface—the cords, the touch screens, the chairs. We’ve always been careful about maintaining the highest standard of cleanliness because we recognize that people are choosing to come in, so we want to put safety first and offer them a high quality of service.
Q: Are there any changes you’ve made to how you run your business that you intend to uphold once business returns to normal?
A: We’re not charging late fees if patients aren’t feeling well. If that’s the case, we’re happy to reschedule—we’ll continue doing that.
Q: Are you preparing for a potential coronavirus resurgence?
A: The idea of a resurgence is always present. Even before we officially shut down the first time, we had been thinking about how we could wind business down, as it didn’t feel right to stay open during that time. If we have to close again, we will do whatever is required because the ultimate goal is safety for everyone, including my staff and their families. We need to keep looking at the long term, and if there’s something we can do in the short term to help that, then we’re going to do it.
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