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Switching to a Practice Management Program

In this video and blog post, I share my experience switching from using paper charts to using a practice management program.

If I never made the switch, I may have burned out from the administrative tasks of running my private practice. 

Before using a practice management program:

  • I took payment in a variety of ways and had to remember to write it down in the client’s paper chart.
  • I used paper charts, which were annoying to keep organized and took up a lot of space.  Each time I pulled a chart I had to make sure to return it to the correct spot.  Otherwise, it was very difficult to find.
  • My notes were handwritten, difficult to read, and very difficult to amend.
  • My workflow was disjointed.  The following tasks were performed separately and either on different programs or on paper: scheduling; consent forms; invoicing; insurance billing; opening and closing cases; charting; treatment plans; sending letters; consent forms; communicating with my biller; communicating with my admin assistant; video conferencing with clients; secure messaging with clients.  The list goes on.
  • If I needed to look up client information when I was out of the office, I was simply not able to.
  • When I had to send a client’s chart I had to either had to pull the chart and fax it, or copy it and mail it.
  • Being HIPAA compliant was a major task because I had to do a risk analysis and create a risk management plan for many systems.

Now using a practice management program:

  • My workflow is easy.
  • When I make an appointment: both the client and I are notified; a progress note is set up; an invoice is created; insurance is billed when the session is completed; and when the client pays online, it is reflected in the accounting program.
  • On the client portal clients are able to: register; message with me; receive assessments and letters from me; fill out consent forms; chat with me; video conference with me; schedule with me; pay me; print their own invoices and superbills; and access resources.
  • My charting is easy.  Much of it is done with check boxes and electronic signatures.
  • All of my documentation is neatly organized.
  • I can access any aspect of my practice from any location.
  • I can coordinate care with other professionals.
  • Being HIPAA compliant is much easier because the practice management program does most of the work for me.  My risk analysis and risk management planning are greatly simplified.

Making the Switch:

It was actually very easy to make the switch. What it took was:

  • Choosing a practice management program.
  • Setting it up.
  • Practicing with it.
  • Performing a risk analysis and creating a risk management plan and procedures for using it.
  • Enrolling clients into the system.

I went from being very frustrated with all of the administrative tasks of running my private practice to truly enjoying it. 

If you need assistance in choosing a practice management program, feel free to contact me for a consultation.

The program that I have been using for many years in my own private practice is Counsol.

Receive $5 off per month on using Counsol by using this coupon code: “Telehealth

In order to help others get a discount on a good practice management program, I entered into an affiliate agreement with them.  Therefore, I do benefit from the referrals that I make to Counsol.  However, I only post on programs that I truly believe are good choices. Check out our "exclusive discounts" page for more information on Counsol and other programs that might fit your practice needs.