Why You Should Keep Client Records Up To Date

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It might feel like just another piece of admin, but your client records are seriously important when it comes to the health of your business, your reputation as a professional and your client safety. Not convinced? Our guide to keeping client records up to date will help you.

Why stay on track with client records?

Keeping the information you hold on your clients safe, secure and updated is important. Here’s why you should be keeping your client records up to date, whatever services you provide to them and wherever you provide them:

To keep track of client treatments

This is one of the most important reasons to keep client records up to date. It provides a clear record of products or treatments that a client has had to help you track progress and replicate the same service in the future. It also helps you to stay sure of what works best for your clients, so that you can provide the best customer care and service for them.

You can keep track of consent forms, patch tests, covid declarations, deposits – everything you need for effective client management.

Awareness of allergies or medical conditions

Some clients forget to mention allergies or medical conditions unless they’re prompted. That’s why keeping records and running through them can be so important. You can flag contra-indications, know which treatments should be avoided and make sure that colleagues are aware of allergies or reactions if they’re ever working on the same clients.

It’s also important when it comes to your insurance if any client has a reaction. Plus it means you have accurate contact details in case anything does go wrong and you need to contact someone or share medical information.

For insurance purposes

Many insurance providers insist on consultations and accurate record-keeping. They’re one of the first things that you can fall back on in the event of needing to claim on your policy, especially if it’s a client that’s raised a claim or legal proceedings against you. Rather than relying on memory, your records will confirm your account of the facts.

Plus, if you don’t have accurate records, your policy could be void anyway. It’s always best to be aware of terms and conditions like this in your insurance before you need to know and it’s too late.

Marketing your services

Keeping your records up to date means that your marketing is compliant with marketing legal requirements like GDPR, but it also means that you’re up to date when you contact your clients about offers and services. It makes it a lot easier to work out who you should (and shouldn’t) be contacting based on their preferences.

By keeping your records up to date as part of your regular consultation process, you’ll be able to have a conversation with your client about their priorities and needs. Obviously, keeping up to date and informed is the most important thing, but it also provides an opportunity to sell in other services or run loyalty schemes for your clients.

What information should be in your client records?

The type of information that you collect will be specific to your business and services. In general you’ll want to collect the following information as a minimum:

  • Full name of client
  • Contact information
  • Date of consultation
  • Details of lifestyle and medical history where these are relevant to the therapy you give
  • Brief description of the therapy or treatment given
  • Unusual reactions to the therapy or treatment given
  • Details of patch tests carried out, if applicable
  • Any contraindications
  • Advice or recommendations you give
  • Relevant comments made by the client about the therapy you provide
  • Treatment records (such as colours used or treatments administered)
  • Details of aftercare advice
  • Any consent forms should be kept with the record
  • Get your client to sign the form

All of this information won’t need to be updated every time a client visits you, but it is good practice to keep your information up to date. Especially the essential information, and the information that you’ll need in case anything goes wrong.

How long should you keep your client records?

Ideally, as long as possible. It’s possible for a claim to be raised up to 3 years from the time a client became aware of a problem. If you get rid of your records after 12 months, you could be left out in the cold if you need proof of your actions.

There are some exceptions to this time scale. Under 18’s or people who don’t have full mental capacity sit outside of this general rule, so with these types of records you need to keep them indefinitely.

If you are deleting or removing paper records, you need to make sure that they’re disposed of properly and carefully. Investing in secure waste facilities or investing in a shredder can make this a little less laborious, but getting rid of paper can be time consuming. Digital storage can make it easier to deal with, as long as it’s secure.

How long should you keep your client records?

Ideally, as long as possible. It’s possible for a claim to be raised up to 3 years from the time a client became aware of a problem. If you get rid of your records after 12 months, you could be left out in the cold if you need proof of your actions.

There are some exceptions to this time scale. Under 18’s or people who don’t have full mental capacity sit outside of this general rule, so with these types of records you need to keep them indefinitely.

If you are deleting or removing paper records, you need to make sure that they’re disposed of properly and carefully. Investing in secure waste facilities or investing in a shredder can make this a little less laborious, but getting rid of paper can be time consuming. Digital storage can make it easier to deal with, as long as it’s secure.

How to store client information safely

Paper records just aren’t cutting it any more. They’re time consuming, take up a ton of storage space, impact on the environment and they aren’t secure. Plus they can be lost, damaged or get into the wrong hands far too easily. You have a responsibility to protect the data of your clients, and paper records can leave you in the lurch (and open to a huge fine).

You also need to protect yourself as a professional, which is where paper records can let you down if they’re lost or damaged. Even destroying paper records is stressful as you have to make sure it’s done whilst protecting confidential information and decide on the right time to do it – otherwise you can end up with a lot of paper to carry around with you.

Managing your records with specialist software, like Pabau, is a much easier way to manage your client records and keep their info safe and secure. You’ll save time, space and effort compared to keeping those records up to date manually.

Book a demo today to find out how Pabau can power your business.

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