Caseload management for the private practitioner
If you’ve read our article on well being, you’ll know that private practitioners need to manage their time carefully.
Running a private practice involves so much more than the clinical work. You’ll spend time doing admin, accounts, marketing, CPD, and so on.
Just starting out?
If you’re new to private practice, and trying to decide how many hours a week you can spend seeing clients, make sure you read our business plan article - it will help you get to grips with all of the non-clinical work involved in running a private practice so that you can allocate your time realistically. Understanding the basics of caseload management will also help you decide.
But what is good caseload management?
Good caseload management is about giving your clients the best treatment possible.
To do that, you need to make sure that you can manage all of your clients EFFECTIVELY within the amount of time available.
Tips for good caseload management
1. Before taking on a new client, or deciding how many hours you have free to see clients, make sure there is time in your schedule for all of the following activities:
- client assessment
- creating a treatment plan
- liaising with the referrer (eg a GP, or a rehabilitation company)
- face-to-face therapy with the client
- taking notes and review of progress
- writing reports
- follow up work and review
If you don’t allow enough time for each of the above activities, you won’t be able to give your clients a good service.
2. Have a good system for recording your ongoing caseload (such as an excel spreadsheet). Keep this updated so you know exactly what you need to do for any given client at any particular time.
3. Consider using practice management software to help automate tasks such as billing, marketing and accounts.
4. Don’t become a victim of your own success. Providing a good service will invariably lead to more referrals. Make sure you don’t take on too much - it will start to affect your work. Be honest about how much time you have and when you are fully booked.
5. Devise a plan for dealing with a waiting list and/or referring clients onto other colleagues or services. Create a list of services and contact details that you can provide, and names and contact details of colleagues that you have confidence in.