I am frequently asked “what is the best software to run a private practice with?” it arose again last week during a business coaching call. Brilliant question with a complex ‘depends what you want to achieve’ answer. In my mind every single private practice regardless of size and life cycle stage requires practice management software. They are critical to the efficiency of our business and your mental health.
Being a bit of an organisation and business systems freak I have always used practice management software, (affectionately known as PMS from here on). It is vital to have all clinical and billing information efficiently and organised and integrated in one application. Clinicians, admin and management all need dial in mobile access to records, report formats, funding details and more, and it’s essential to set differing security and access levels per users.
There are many products available. Cliniko, HealthKit, My Practice, Power Diary, Core Plus and Front Desk are the main products. SupportAbility is new and unique, read more about these products in my April Edition of Paeds Biz. For over ten years Front Desk was the backbone of my first multi-site, multi-faceted private practice. I continue to use it today in my second business Nacre Consulting. Yes it has been an investment, but one with many benefits.
Using a PMS is not about going paperless. It’s about being super-efficient, saving time, money and stressful late nights, getting all your information in one functional place in order to provide excellent customer service and brilliant client outcomes. How can you achieve the later if your client documents are in clumsy file structures on hard drives, your e-mails and communications aren’t recorded centrally, your billing is awkward and distant to your calendars, or you can’t get any financial reports or other business metrics? Gulp, sounds exhausting.
Private practice life could be easier. Imagine having all your client data in one place. Your team’s clinical decision making, client tasks and professional communications being streamlined. Client contact details, clinical reports, session notes, scanned referrals, goals documents and more are all electronically stored on a client card and accessed remotely. Billing codes and amounts are set up and invoices generated and emailed in a couple of clicks. Phone calls, emails, SMS, letters etc. all dated and stored under the clients card. Funding reminders and alerts prompt you when referrals expire, funds or remaining sessions are running out. Reports on many aspects of your businesses performance generated in a couple of clicks. Revenue, services or products sold, new referrals, productivity reports, GST and much more. Inventory management for all the products you sell and product sales integrated to your clients therapy invoice.
These features help stream line your practice admin. Freeing your clinicians to do what they do best and your admin team to more easily manage invoicing, receipting, enquiries, banking, refunding, documenting and all the other admin verbs. If the data going in is clean then accurate reports about your business reports are easy to get. I could go on, but these are the key features I have noted during the ten plus years I have worked with a practice management system. For me it is better to have a system that you can grow into rather than struggle on, make do and make errors that ultimately only serve to compromise your personal and your business brand. BE bold and do your homework on which product best meets your current and future needs. Go on, book a call, download the free trial and sign up.
How could a specialist paediatric private practice business coach help you and your business right now?