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Cliniko

Cliniko is an Australian hosted practice management programme which is used in more than 15 countries worldwide. Its web-based platform means you can access it from any location and it’s designed to be used with tablet computers and many modern smartphones (just open your phone’s internet browser and log in – no app needed).

 

Free trial? Yes – 30 days.

Cost: $45 AUD per month for a solo practitioner, 5GB storage, 10c SMS credits and free support. No upfront costs or contracts.

 

First impressions of Cliniko are positive. It has a clear and intuitive layout based on a Microsoft Outlook style. It’s easy to navigate to where you want to go by using the tabs at the top of the screen, which are labelled: Appointments, Patients, Invoices, Payments, Expenses and Reports. It has a colourful and uncluttered layout. 

 

Entering basic patient details is quick and simple. However, there is no facility to enter the patient’s GP details, although you can enter their Medicare number, which is where the Australian influence shows through. You can enter third party details if your patient is coming via a funded source – for example, you can choose ‘invoice to’, enter that company’s details and then use the extra information box to enter any reference numbers you need to record. However, this is not a sophisticated feature of the programme. You can also enter referral sources, which you can use to generate marketing reports but this is a freehand text box so you need to remember your custom list to the exact letter so that the report is accurate.

 

Once you’ve saved a patient, you can see the details for all parts of their care from their patient record. It also highlights outstanding invoices in red on the main patient details’ page, as well as letting you see the dates of their appointments and the type (e.g. assessment or therapy).

 

To make an appointment you simply click on the diary slot you need and it will bring up a new screen. From here, you type in your patient’s name and it brings up a list for you to choose from. If it’s a new patient, you can enter their details directly from this screen, which is handy. You can choose what type of appointment they need (you can customise these), and choose make the appointment a regular slot if you need to see someone weekly at the same time. You can also send automated text message or email reminders (this option is set up in the patient record so these will be sent automatically when an appointment is booked). Once a patient is in the diary, clicking on their name gives you the option to view their details, add notes, record payments, log a DNA or cancellation, book another appointment or reschedule. The diary is a streamlined and fully-integrated feature of the programme. There is also an online booking facility if you want patients to be able to make their own appointments.

 

Once you’ve seen a patient, Cliniko provides a versatile clinical notes′ facility. It provides default note templates which can be customised to meet your needs and set up to ask any questions that you cover in your sessions. If you want to record short answers, you can but you can also write blocks of text if necessary – whatever style you want to use, Cliniko caters for it. There is the option to be able to upload images and documents to the notes. You can save the notes as final or as a draft, so you can add to them later. A clever feature of Cliniko is the ability to search a patient’s treatment notes for a word or phrase so if you want to find a particular note (e.g. when they mentioned an additional problem during treatment), you can find it quickly and easily. There is also the option of printing a patient history report, which includes the patient’s personal details, appointment dates and clinical notes, if you want an overview of their record for any reason.

 

Invoicing can be done from either the patient’s appointment or the Invoices tab. You can create your own invoice template in Cliniko and it lets you upload an image to include. Once you have created an invoice, you can print it as a PDF or save it in this file format then email it using an external email application. Again, the Australian influence creeps in when it asks you about 10% GST on products. Whilst Cliniko is fine for simple invoicing, it is frustrating that you can’t invoice for more than one treatment at a time – so, for example, wait until the end of a month then invoice for all appointments at once. Also, you can’t show the date of the treatment, which many insurance companies might request. Recording payments is a one-step process and, helpfully, allows you to record payment types (e.g. cheque or credit card). Cliniko also allows you to record your expenses, which is a very useful feature.

 

Administratively, Cliniko enables you to write any letters from within the software, using a basic word processor. You can set up any number of templates you want in the Settings section, which gives you the option of automatically merging in basic details, like a patient’s name, address and date of birth, or your name and job title. Once you’ve done this, you can go into a patient’s record and open the template you need for your correspondence. You can also choose to insert contact details from your Contacts directory which is very handy if you want to write to a named person, like a GP or insurance company, but don’t want to look up their details each time. Once you’ve finished your letter, you can email it directly from the letters screen or download it as a PDF file. Your company logo and address will be added at the top of all your letters for a professional finish.

 

The Reports function in Cliniko is useful. It allows you to produce transaction reports (e.g. outstanding invoices, payments and income) and marketing reports (e.g. referral sources). You can even see upcoming birthdays in case you want to send out special birthday offers! Cliniko recognises that if cannot produce a wide range of reports so allows you to export your dates to spreadsheets so you can use to it to generate reports of your choice.

 

Cliniko recognises that being able to market your business is crucial to its development and success. It has teamed up with MailChimp (which is mostly a free service) which is like your online publishing company. MailChimp can help you to design email newsletters, share them on social networks and monitor the results. When you activate this account, Cliniko ensures that patients whose data you want to use are automatically synced into your MailChimp list. This is an advanced feature compared to most of its competitors.

 

Overall, Cliniko is a great programme for managing basic patient information, appointments, administration, finances and marketing. It is easy to use and if you feel there’s anything lacking, the company is very keen to address client dissatisfaction so includes an Ideas Button for user to submit requests for additional features or improvements. There is also an active online forum where Cliniko updates customers with its progress, gets feedback and provides general help and support. If you’ve got a problem or are new to Cliniko, you can find most of the answers you need here.

 

Cliniko is a modern and popular software management programme which will allow you to manage every aspect of your Practice from one place, saving you time and streamlining your work. It’s well worth signing up for the free 30 day trial and seeing if it suits your needs.

 

Ratings:

 

Overall rating: 4/5

Ease of installation: No installation necessary

User-friendliness: 4/5

Help and support: 4/5

Value for money: 4/5