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Home Triage


You have a serious problem and you know it.  And I think we have a solution to it.  Please hear me out because this may be the salvation to your practice as the Pandemic is ending.  Our business is healthcare communications. We have been doing this for more than 35 years. Iron Forge Media is doing this as a joint effort to help doctors by Scott McDonald & Associates, Doctor Demographics, LLC, and Iron Forge LLC.

Here is what our clients (who typically own and operate their own practices) are saying:

  1. “I need a way to increase my revenues right now without having to wait for the insurance companies to gear-up for the next several weeks. We need operating cash immediately.”


  1. “We need to let our patients know that we are still alive and setting appointments but we don’t want to do anything that would violate HIPPA.”


  1. “It is likely we are going to get “rushed” by patients who have some concerns about existing conditions and want immediate care as soon as they can leave their homes. This can make patients we love feel ignored and frustrated.  That can leave lasting damage to our P.R. and image of service.”


  1. “The practice is probably low on cash and we don’t want to take out any loans that will hurt our long-term prospects. We need to be productive NOW and we don’t want to turn over control to a third party.”


  1. “We want to reward doctors, staff, and vendors alike immediately.”


We are calling the service we are offering “Triage Care©.”  This is a short-term communications strategy with custom collateral to help accomplish these five goals.  With this plan, you are in control of all proprietary information including your patient information.  We are not asking you to share confidential information with us or anyone!  Instead, we will prepare a custom set of communications (described below) that you will be sent to them via U.S. Post, e-mail, text, and/or digital “badge” on your web site and your own mailing list.  We provide the template and you customize it and personalize it.

The Order Form tells you what information we recommend you send and how to send it.  You can customize it as you see fit.  We recommend you use your logo, photographs, and other practice-specific information.  The interactive form will tell you what to add and what formats to use.  It is very simple.

The Triage Care© System is to help you cope with the events that have hurt private practice so much and to fix things so you can be profitable in as short a time as possible.  Just be aware that time is short and you don’t have much time to get the benefits of this service.


Scott McDonald, BA, MA

Background on Triage©

No one could have predicted the events of the last several months.  We certainly could not!  Still, the outcome has been obvious.  Practices have closed. Your investments have been reduced. Your staff and dependents have been challenged. Your most vulnerable patients have to be frightened.  You know how to run a successful practice but through no fault of your own, things have gone sour.


You already know that the “Good Will” of patients is the real value of your practice and every day patients are not seen reduces its worth.  Therefore, there is a race against time to save your investment.  Based on my point-of-view, every day you don’t treat patients is adding to your risks.  Therefore, the sooner you can be productive, the better off everyone will be.  This goes for your staff who may be forced to seek income elsewhere and you don’t want that.  Your patients are not being helped by you and the colleagues with whom they have built a trusting bond.  And let’s be honest, you need a reliable income that has come from your work and your effort. Sure, you could probably find work elsewhere but there is nothing that will pay-off as well as a practice you own.


It is possible, I suppose, to build a new practice.  Still, it seems more logical to continue what you have already started.  But how can you shorten the time toward profitability again?


In a nutshell, the concept of “Triage” is not a new one.  When haste is demanded by circumstance, doctors (and staff) will apply their skills by seeing patients set priorities of care.

  1. Through the proper techniques, we are recommending that you, let the patient-base know that your services are available again as soon as you get the “all-clear” to do so. This involves getting the word to them that you are offering “triage care.” That is the first part of the service that we are offering. As you know, triage involves two steps: 1) diagnosis for future treatment, and 2) relieving pain and suffering.  Triage does not involve any treatment beyond that which is absolutely necessary right now.  This is because treatment beyond the immediate takes too much time.  The objective is to see as many patients as quickly as possible.  Our first task is to help you communicate with these patients that they can be seen and scheduled for more thorough care.  Many of them are in pain.  Most will have some concerns because they have gone without care during the “lock-down.”


  1. We believe that a flat-fee triage service can do several things at once. It can rebuild contact with the patient-base. It can effectively rebuild your schedule with patients who can appreciate your concern and a relationship with your staff. It can also bring in much-needed revenue that can sustain your practice NOW.  It is not our recommendation to go through all the paperwork that insurance usually requires. On the other hand, a cash payment that is affordable will get the needed care to the patient while eliminating paperwork, office overhead, staff time, and unnecessary patient concerns.  Our second task is to provide the forms and publicity that will facilitate triage care.


We see two groups of people who are going to need to hear from you just as soon as you are legally allowed to communicate with patients.  The first is your patients of record (we mean ALL patients of record).  The second are those who may live and work near your office who are not patients of record.  The first group is your priority while the second group is going to be the future of your practice.


It is possible to increase patient referrals immediately (which is a combination of the first and the second groups).  We have dialogues for all your clinical and business staff can utilize to build the practice back-up at this critical time.  If done well, this “triage” phase can bring into the practice records, patients whom other practices will not be able to see for a long time.  Keep in mind, the goal of triage care is to relieve suffering and to build trust even before formal (and typical treatment) has begun.  Therefore, our step of building referrals can be done with proper training that will help everyone involved in the healing process.


  • “The Handbook of Triage Care©” These are communications adapted to the various professions we serve including primary care dentistry, small animal veterinary, primary care medicine, optometry, and chiropractic care. This involves recommendations on the range of services to offer for Triage for each practice type, dialogues for follow-up care and enrollment, fee recommendations, referral dialogues, and much more.
  • “Guide to Practice Publicity” including sample letters, e-mails, and website/newsletter copy.
  • Signage/banner copy to go to your building. A pricing guide with a list of vendors will be included.
  • Direct Mail copy for postcards and copy-ready collateral materials. These are customizable for your practice including logo, addresses, names of doctors based upon a template.
  • Web-Site ads and badges that are personalized for your practice including application of your copy.
  • Radio copy and 30-second advertisement.

To summarize, we will provide the practice what to say to the two most important groups (publics) that will be affected by your practice opening (your patients of record and the new potential patients). And it will include the collateral materials (brochures, signage, digital materials including web-site, email, texts, etc.) that will carry your practice-brand.  You probably well understand that this will not take the place of your web page, brochures, newsletters, and other communications. They are only supplements that can be put in place immediately so you can receive the benefits of an orderly opening at a reasonable price. The last thing you need is an expensive consultant to walk in the door to confuse things.  You REALLY want help to get a specific task done quickly, professionally, and with the greatest impact without driving everyone crazy.