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e-clinic

e-clinic is a popular practice management programme used by a wide range of practitioners from osteopaths and physiotherapists to cosmetic surgeons and medical practices. Its highly customisable features mean that it is easily adapted for a small psychotherapy practice, with very few adjustments needed as it does not present as a package that is heavily weighted towards physical practitioners. It is simple to use and entering data is quick and easy, which will save you time and streamline your practice. The programme has four key areas: a patient database; appointment booking, communications (e.g. letters and emails); and finances.

 

Free trial? No.

 

Cost:  £100 per month plus VAT per user. There are no set-up costs or minimum contract.

 

 

A good feature of this programme is that it is accessible from iPads and iPhones, giving you a fully mobile practice management programme so you can manage your practice from anywhere! Whip out your iPad during a session and you can make the patient’s next appointment and deal with invoicing queries or make administrative changes on the spot.

 

There is no free trial for this programme but there is a helpful Powerpoint presentation which outlines its features and you can also access e-clinic’s short training videos on YouTube which are designed to provide support for its users. These overviews are more than sufficient to get a feel for how e-clinic works.

 

The first impressions of this programme are positive. The user interface has a lovely visual layout. It is simple, uncluttered and colourful. The first screen is very intuitive to use – as are all the screens in this package – so you can quickly navigate to where you need to go, such as accessing a patient record, the diary or to change the general settings. You can look for a patient record from within any screen in programme using the quick-search box in the top right hand corner, which is a very nifty feature. 

 

From within a patient record, you can do everything you need such as booking an appointment, viewing appointment history, writing letters, sending various communications and dealing with financial side of things, like invoicing and recording payments. The patient record screen is clearly laid out and navigating around it is easy and intuitive, requiring only basic computer skills. There is no confusing terminology or a maze of boxes to navigate through. 

 

You can record clinical notes freehand and these will be logged with the date and time of the record. You can opt to securely lock these if you need to. If you also use specific templates in your work, you can create your own clinical forms in e-clinic too. Physical practitioners can use the editable clinical images to record important information using the simple graphical editing tools in e-clinic. If you’ve got a Mac OSX or iOS, you can record audio notes straight into e-clinic too.

 

You can manage all of your communication from within this package using its word processing features, which link into Microsoft Word. You’re able to create templates for letters and emails, which allow you to embed data merge fields so that key details, such as the patient’s name, third party details or appointment date, are automatically inserted for you. You can send emails directly from within the programme. You can also send text messages (additional cost). If you have extra documents that you want to attach to a patient’s record, such as a report or GP letter, you can import it in a number of formats: Microsoft Word and Excel, and PDF. You can read all of these within e-clinic so you don’t have to open an external programme. There is even the ability to import jpeg files and audio files.

 

The appointments diary can be colour-coded and it’s easy to enter new appointments of varying length and type (for example, if you do a 60 minute assessment but 30 minutes for treatment). You have the option of sending automatic text reminders to patients to remind them when their next appointment is (additional cost). You can also add notes to appointments if you need to flag something up. There is the option of implementing an online booking system but this incurs an extra cost.

 

One great feature of e-clinic is that the latest version now syncs with Google and Outlook calendars as well as smartphones so you can manage your appointments wherever you’ve got an internet connection. You will need an optional gCal add-in to sync to smartphones (additional cost).

 

Dealing with your finances in e-clinic is streamlined and every step of the process is logical. You can generate invoices quickly, record full or part payments, and bill third parties for single or multiple sessions. You can set up your session types and fees in the ‘sales and stock section’ (which is otherwise largely redundant for the average therapist) then insert these into your invoices. 

 

In the payments section, you can see exactly what payment method was used. There is the option of allowing patients to pay online by credit card and you can export financial transactions to Sage if you wish.

 

E-clinic is a package which recognises that marketing activity is a key feature of successfully building a business so it integrates useful tools into the programme. For example, you can record where a patient heard about you in the patient record and you can build your own customised and coded list of referral sources (e.g. Google, psychiatrist, BACP website) to ensure consistency across your records. You can then generate reports to see where your referrals have come from, and other useful information.

 

The Reports section of this programme is very comprehensive, enabling you to generate reports for many aspects of your practice – new enquiries, appointments and financial information. You can opt to add colourful and informative pie, bar or line charts to your reports and can print, email or export the final report, as necessary.

 

Overall, e-clinic is a great package for the average sole practitioner as it’s so easy to use. Its intuitive and attractive interface, great features and streamlined design means that it has a lot of potential to make running your practice less time-consuming. It can also help you to grow your business by monitoring your marketing activity. The main drawback is that the monthly cost is quite high if your practice is fairly small and you’re a sole practitioner. However, if you’re looking for a simple and user-friendly package that will make running your practice quicker and smoother, e-clinic is definitely one to consider.

 

Ratings:

 

Overall rating: 4/5

Ease of installation: N/A

User-friendliness: 4/5

Help and support: 4/5

Value for money: 3/5

 

Feedback from e-clinic:

 

Thank you for your review. We would like to point out that our software, unlike many others, is extremely scalable. Sometimes even very small practices grow to become very large ones. Not many systems in the market are technically powerful enough to cope with large multi-site, multi-country systems and I think that’s an important issue which often gets forgotten when clinics are in the start-up phase. Migrating between software can be difficult for all concerned and small clinics planning to grow need to think beyond their immediate needs.

 

For that reason we would argue that, while e-clinic is expensive compared to most applications on the market, when compared to other highly scalable products with similar feature sets, e-clinic is very attractively priced.