As I mentioned in the last post, I use Cliniko to manage my appointments, invoices and case notes. This is the only online practice management software I’ve tried and it’s working for me. I use it on my desktop computer at home, and my phone and iPad when I’m out and about, which means I always have my client files with me.
I book my appointments in Cliniko, and it synchronises with my personal and family calendars on iCal. For privacy you can adjust the level of information displayed in iCal, choosing first name, full name or initials. It’s straightforward to book clients in for blocks of sessions and Cliniko emails the parent a reminder before each session. I’ve set it to go out 2 days before the appointment, at 10am. The email simply reminds families of the date and time of the upcoming therapy session, which parents tell me they find useful.
I write my clinical case notes using a form that I’ve customised. It’s a mix of check boxes (e.g. where the appointment was and who the child attended with) and free form text boxes for things like the session’s aims and information about how the child responded. It’s easy to look back over past sessions and see how the child is progressing.
The other features I use are invoicing and file attachments. You can upload your company logo to Cliniko and make a professional looking template for invoices. It’s quick to produce them and the system can either email the invoice to the client directly or you can save it and email it yourself. It also lets you track who has and hasn’t paid. I use the file attachment feature to upload documents to each patient’s record. I scan in the case history form and any assessment record sheets – once you’ve made a pdf, it’s a drag and drop interface to add them to a patient’s record. I also upload all the reports and letters I write so they’re in one place, secure and available whenever I need them.
There are some fun touches, like it reminds you when it’s a client’s birthday, as well as lots of features that I don’t yet use. For example it supports clients booking their own appointments directly online, via your website. You can also use it to track your business expenses.
Cliniko has allowed me to run an (almost!) paperless business. I can write and review case notes wherever I am. And the automated appointment reminders increase attendance rates. I recommend it. (I pay for my Cliniko subscription, and they don’t know I’ve written this review!)