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ClinicServer

ClinicServer is a practice management programme with a lot of features that will help you to run your clinic smoothly and efficiently. It’s owned by a Canadian company and used by therapists worldwide. As ClinicServer is a true web-based software platform, it supports unlimited users, unlimited locations and mobile access. It runs on both PC and Mac platforms and you can use it to manage any number of locations. It incorporates everything you need to run and grow your practice, from client administration to managing your finance and marketing. You can even access your appointment book from your Blackberry, Android or iPhone/iPad mobile device if you’re on the go. 

 

Free trial? Yes - 30 days.

Cost: There are a range of packages, starting from $9.95 per month per practitioner. All prices exclude VAT. 

 

 

First impressions of ClinicServer is that it has a clean and uncluttered layout. You can watch the 40 minute demo video to get a basic overview of how to use its most popular functions and see its potential benefits to your Practice. This is a comprehensive practice management programme and is aimed at people who are confident at using computers. It does take a while to get to grips with it, partly because its simple layout means you then click one button and get a host of menu options, so you have to become familiar with using it before you know where you’re going. Also, the Canadian origins of the programme mean that that the language used for certain terms isn’t always clear to UK users. For example, PoC Forms (Point of Care) are actually clinical notes.

 

When you first start up ClinicServer, you can go into System Setup to customise things like your price list, treatment types, payment types and body area codes. Once you’ve done this, you can start adding your clients. The ‘Create Client’ buttons allows you to enter their basic details as well as any medical contacts, referral source (for marketing purposes) and which price list applies to their treatment. Once you’ve done this, you can add details of any third party insurance details; this includes the claim amount which is then monitored by the programme so you can see how many treatments remain.

 

The Appointments diary is the central hub of ClinicServer. To book an appointment, you can right click then choose Create. This will take you into the appointments booking box where you can select a patient, choose the type of treatment they’re coming for and select a treatment plan if the client has more than one active problem. As part of a treatment you can schedule both a person and a room if you wish. You can also set up recurring appointments. A strong selling point of ClinicServer is its ability to reduce DNAs with its two-way reminder email system. After an appointment has been booked, a reminder  email is sent to them one or two days in advance asking them to click on a link to confirm their appointment (therefore making them more active in the acceptance process). An @ symbol by the client’s appointment shows that an e-reminder has been sent; this switches to a smiley face once they have confirmed. You can customise the reminder email in any way you want and it gives you a marketing opportunity too in case you want to promote any special offers or new services.

 

PencilThat is a feature of ClinicServer which allows clinics to invite clients to book their own appointments online. The feature includes a client dashboard where clients can log in to see all of their upcoming appointments, whether they booked them themselves or they were booked by the clinic. Practitioners have a lot of control over how much of their schedule they make available for online booking, and they can control which services to make available as well. This feature is very forward-looking in terms of offering better service to customers that value their time. 

 

Once a client has attended an appointment, you can stay in the diary to access different features. Right clicking on the appointment slot gives you the options to charge for the appointment and do some administration. Again, this is where the advantage of time will give you greater familiarity with the programme because to add clinical notes following the appointment requires you to choose the Attachment option. This takes you into the PoC (Point of Care) forms area, which looks alarmingly blank at first view until you realise that you need to use your right mouse button to ‘Add’ a new record. The form choices it gives you are the ones you customised earlier. There isn’t any option to annotate body diagrams though, which could be disappointing for physical therapists.

 

Charging for appointments can again be done via the diary, as well as from within the client record. Invoices are automatically generated and auto-numbered. You can choose to create simple invoices or more detailed ones, in which you can state the dates and types of each treatment session. This is particularly useful for third party billing. Invoices also have the policy number, claim number and provider number included on them, making the billing simple. When you receive a payment, you can quickly log this, specifying the payment type (such as card, cash or bank deposit). One glance at the client record shows you the financial status of each appointment. The appointment diary itself also displays a symbol next to the client’s name to show if the appointment has been invoiced for and if it’s been paid.

 

In terms of other administration, a significant weakness in ClinicServer is that there is no function to write letters or emails, such as GP letters or discharge summaries. You have the option of uploading documents in any format to a client’s record but cannot generate them from within ClinicServer, therefore potentially increasing your administrative costs. 

 

The Management button is where you can look after the status of your business and develop your marketing. You can generate important financial reports, such as month-end, which give a detailed breakdown of your clinical activity, including charges, payments and transfers. You can also generate reports to help you with things like monitoring the number of appointments carried out in a particular time frame and marketing referral sources. You also have the option of running client queries so you can choose a target marketing group, such as people with birthdays in September, and then print mailing labels for this mailshot. All reports can be saved and opened as a Microsoft Excel file.

 

ClinicServer is a functional and efficient practice management programme but it’s not the most intuitive one available to use. It takes time to get familiar with it, to work out what some of the language means and to navigate quickly to your destination. Its lack of an inbuilt word processor to allow practitioners to do all of their client administration from within the programme is disappointing. Technical support is provided via the online forum and you can ‘Ask a question’ via a forum. Email and phone support are also available.

 

Managing appointments and finances in ClinicServer is fairly easy and the e-reminders to clients are a clever way to reduce no-shows and ensure maximum profit. This feature is a particular strength of the programme, particularly as it can double up as a marketing tool if you wish. However, whether this is enough for you to decide to invest in the programme is debatable, although the 30 day trial does give you time to play around and see if the software suits your needs. ClinicServer is a mid-range practice management programme with some good features but might not pack the punch you need.

 

Ratings:

 

Overall rating: 3/5

Ease of installation: 5/5

User-friendliness: 3/5

Help and support: 4/5

Value for money: 3/5