3 Vital reasons to update the health history every visit

Medical spa health history, aesthetic professional

We advise our clients to update their client’s health history every visit – whether for a service or for a product purchase.  Why?  Changes may occur in 3 critical categories between visits, and these changes may create new risks or even new contraindications for the client.    


Most professionals, both aesthetic and medical, update the client’s Health History each year, but changes can, and often do, occur anytime during that annual period.  Months can pass before you become aware of these changes and this can lead to harm.  You must therefore identify new risks as they arise.  We’ll show you how it’s easy to do and why your clients will appreciate you for doing it.


3 Critical Areas:

  • New Medications

  • New Medical Conditions and/or Medical Status

  • New ‘Seemingly Benign’ Activities


Changes in Medications

Your clients start new medications more often than you think.  Roughly 74% of American’s visits to the doctor involve drug therapy.  It follows that many of your clients start or stop medications in between your annual update of their Health History form.


What if your client starts a new medication?  Certain medications may interact with your client’s prescribed products or services. For instance, some medications react with heat or light.  Others cause skin sensitivity, etc.  The list for potential harm from the combination of the new medication and your products and services is real and must be prevented – with your update of the Health History.


Changes in Medical Conditions and/or Medical Status

10% percent of the American population has a diabetes diagnosis.  About 18.2 million people have a diagnosis of heart disease.  45% of pregnancies in the U.S. are unplanned.  With these staggering statistics, it’s clear that your client may develop a new health condition before the annual Health History update comes due.   


What if your client develops a new condition or a change in medical status?  Any newly diagnosed diseases, syndromes, and/or conditions could create risks or even contraindications for your clients.  Prevent possible harm easily with your frequent update of the Health History.  


New ‘Seemingly Benign’ Activities

The following scenario, or a variation of the same, happens more often than you think.  


Last year during your client’s Health History interview, your client reported that she does not sunbathe, and if in the sun, wears appropriate sunscreen products.  You relied on her representation and and prescribed services and products accordingly: Peels, Microdermabrasions, Facials, Professional strength products.  However, a month ago, after being told she looked pale, she started sunbathing without protection and supplementing with tanning beds.  She came into your practice just to purchase her products.  Important fact:  Her products contain Retinoids.  What would likely happen to your client if you sold her these products?


Similar problems arise when your client plans a pregnancy and stops contraception creating the possibility of a pregnancy and comes in for Botox – or –  starts a long term juice cleanse combined with hot yoga and wants to come in for saunas.  The possibilities are endless.


The bottom line is you need to know about changes more often than once a year.


We know what you’re thinking

We know what you may be thinking.  My clients already feel inundated with paperwork.  They’ll be annoyed if I do this.  But you’d be wrong.  Your clients will appreciate it.


Your client shouldn’t mind; quite the contrary, your client should appreciate your frequent, quick updates.  Her perception:  you are a true professional who cares about her and adheres to the highest of standards.  


We know you’re saying to yourself, “What?! Create another form?!”  But that’s not necessary.  Simply add it to an existing form.


Make it Short & Simple

We do not propose that you obtain a new Health History Form each visit; instead, we advise you to create space in your existing paperwork, i.e. Flow Sheets, Notes, Treatment or Product forms, or even a space on the current Health History form that documents your review of the client’s health history at each visit.


For example, pre-typed (or contemporaneously handwritten) entries like the one below could be added to (& repeated) on one of your current forms:


 We prefer to add this to the end of the Health History form or the Flow Sheet, but whatever works best for you and your practice is the best practice.  


Short, Informal, Conversational Interview

Conduct a short, informal, conversational interview like this: 

(Close ended questions are okay here. You can explore with open ended questions if the need arises.)


“Great to see you! It’s been a month or so since we’ve seen you.

How have you been? 

What’s new?

Any new medications? 

Any changes with what your doctor is telling you…everything the same? 

Anything new with your lifestyle, exercise, diet, future plans?”   


Perfect! Let’s get you taken care of.”


Oh, that’s a change. 

Let’s talk about whether we need to make some modifications to your plan.”


Learn more about creating your dream aesthetics practice using non-invasive body contouring at www.BodyContouringAcademy.com


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