In 1999, Dr. Jayson Oates established a facial plastic surgery practice with 3 consulting rooms in West Perth. He had recently returned from training in the UK and the US, after completing his Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (1990), and extensive training in Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery; finishing (1997) as a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (FRACS). Now it was time to put his talents to work.
By 2005, Academy Facial Plastics & Laser Specialist had outgrown its original site, so Dr. Oates purchased a building in Subiaco, Perth and moved the practice there, its current location. At first, the clinic occupied only half of the ground floor, but the business expanded so quickly that six months later it encompassed the entire floor – Academy Day Hospital at one end and Academy Facial Plastics & Laser Specialist at the other.
As the Medical Director and primary cosmetic surgeon at Academy Face and Body, Dr. Jayson Oates is well known and respected across Australia and beyond. A media darling, he has appeared on TV, radio, and been profiled in newspapers and magazines as a specialist in cosmetic procedures. Until two years ago, he also made monthly trips to Geraldton to perform ear, nose and throat surgeries because they didn’t have a qualified surgeon in the region. Now, with time at a premium, Academy sources doctors from across Australia and overseas to provide a locum service on his behalf. All this speaks to a smart, caring professional who values, above all, people.
Tracy Heywood is Practice Manager at Academy Face and Body. In charge of HR, marketing, finances, facility management, cheerleading… in essence, Heywood runs the show. “When I started, Dr. Oates’ first challenge to me was to change the culture and get everybody back into a proper headspace – employees who enjoy their work are the most productive. So I created a work/life balance program promoting teamwork and social interaction with offsite events where colleagues spend time together (no business talk) such as lawn bowls, go-carting, a wine tour, all sorts of fun to build camaraderie.”
Work stations are ergonomically tweaked for comfort; exercises taught to minimize body stress from long days at the computer. Professional development workshops are offered, and members are recognized for initiative. Heywood notes, “I just had two staff receive awards for devising cost-saving measures that saved a couple of thousand dollars each per year.” I also have a Most Valuable Team Member of the Year Award.
An open-door policy encourages staff at any level to put forward ideas and suggestions. And once a year Heywood does performance reviews, giving employees an opportunity to voice open, honest feedback about workplace concerns.
In the twilight hours
Academy Day Hospital was the first facility in Perth to be government licenced (2007) as a day twilight sedation hospital. Unlike the debilitating effects of a general anaesthetic, patients medicated with twilight sedation walk into the operating room, have the procedure, walk out, snooze for an hour or two, and then go home. The patient saves on hospital costs and avoids health risks from general anaesthesia. Clients recover in the privacy of their own home, which suits today’s lifestyle.
“Choosing the right procedure is all about managing the client’s expectations,” says Heywood.
“In this age of Google, patients try to self-diagnose. Someone may come in and say: I need my nose done. It doesn’t suit my face. But the doctor, with his surgeon’s eye, will answer: It’s not actually your nose, it’s your chin. If we enhance your chin, your profile will be in proportion and you’ll have a much better outcome.”
The industry is highly governed because Schedule 4 and 8 drugs are involved (i.e. Botox and fillers). Heywood admits, “We have to be very careful with advertising, as we’re not allowed to entice people to use those products. Words like ‘wrinkle-relaxer’ or wrinkle filler are ok, but never a product name.”
There are also strict protocols to be followed by nurse injectors. A doctor must consult a new patient and write a script for wrinkle relaxers and fillers, etc. before the registered nurse does any injecting. Detailed notes are required, and scripts renewed every year.
Investing in the future
In lieu of expansion, the clinic chose to do their own ‘facelift’ in three stages over the last 12 months:
- Oates’ consulting room was gutted and transformed to meet the new business profile.
- Academy Day Hospital was fitted out with a modern, open-plan design for better interaction between patient and nurse during recovery. A purpose-built Cool Room was created for the popular ‘cool sculpting’ treatment, and the hospital is now seeking plastic surgeons for procedures not currently offered, such as breast augmentation and abdominoplasty.
- Total rebranding at the Academy Face and Body end of the practice. Fresh colours and increased open space promotes client comfort and the new design highlights products.
Academy Face & Body is committed to providing the highest standards of patient care. Only safe techniques giving a natural appearance are performed. Heywood says, “Everyone who has surgery at our hospital completes a patient satisfaction survey. In the 10 years I’ve been here, about 98% of clients are happy with their results. The other 2% I would put down to the management of patient expectations. Our staff love it here (I don’t have the worry of turnover), and suppliers tell us our marketing initiatives are great – that nobody does anything like us.”
AT A GLANCE
WHO: Academy Face and Body
WHAT: Provides excellence in facial cosmetic surgery, liposculpture, cosmetic medicine & dermal therapies.
WHERE: WA, Australia