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WinTAPS

WinTAPS is a practice management programme which says it is one of the leading software packages used by physiotherapists but is also suitable for other types of therapists. The latest version has upgraded its old-style interface for one that is modern and fresh, based on a Microsoft Outlook diary so will be instantly recognisable to most users. You can install the trial version of WinTAPS to your desktop. During this process, it helpfully asks you for your Practice details and practitioner name so it can set up those templates before you start.

 

 

Free trial? Yes

 

Cost: £199 one off fee. There is an optional annual £50 charge that entitles the user to support and updates to the software for 12 months. All prices include VAT.

 

 

Despite its clean layout, it does take a bit of time to become familiar with WinTAPS and you will benefit from reading the Help section first. You will soon learn that your right mouse button is your best friend and gives you access to lots of resources. WinTAPS has three tabs along the top, titled ‘Diary’, ‘Tables’ and ‘Reports’, although the buttons attached to each of these titles don’t always seem to match the theme – for example, there is a ‘Marketing’ button in the Diary tab.

 

To get started with WinTAPS, go to the Tables tab, which gives you the option of setting up databases of consultants, GPs, Groups, Insurance Companies (there’s a useful box for your provider number) and patients. You can also create lists of referral sources and customise the Medical Tables (e.g. lists of diagnoses, body parts, and outcome measurements). These will be helpful later when you want to automatically insert these details into patient records. You can add patient details via this tab or by right clicking on an appointment slot in the diary and creating their account this way.

 

The patient details screen is easy to use, giving you the additional options of adding things such as an alternative billing address, GP, health company and their reference number, and the referral source – many of these details come from the database you created earlier, saving you time! You can also use drop-down menus to record basic medical details and whether the patient is active or dormant. There’s a tab for any non-clinical notes and a warning message. You need to specify if the patient wants to opt in or out of mailshots too. Once you’ve done these things, you’re up and running so can now book in your first appointment!

 

A strength of WinTAPS is that most of your patient administration can be done from the main screen, which is the diary. To book an appointment, select your appointment slot and right click on it. Select ‘New Event’ and this will take you to a patient details screen. You need to enter the patient’s surname in full and it will bring up a list of people with that name for you to choose from. It is a shame that WinTAPS doesn’t have a partial-name search function as you need to make sure you’ve got the spelling correct to find who you’re looking for. Select your patient and the appointment details will be shown. Click ‘Save’ and you’re done. 

 

Once the appointment is in the diary, you can allocate a treatment to it. You set these up on a fly-out tab on the left hand side of the screen. Select the appointment, click on the ‘Treatments’ tab and then choose what they’re coming for (e.g. assessment at £50). You then have a screen which asks you to confirm this. It helpfully also asks you who this treatment will be invoiced to so you can make sure it is billed directly to a health insurer, for example. 

 

Once you’ve seen a patient, you can right click on their appointment and select Patient Medical Centre. This gives you the options to enter their treatment information. In this section, you can give them a diagnosis, enter freehand clinical notes and annotate a body diagram. This section meets the needs of all types of practitioners from body-focused therapists to psychotherapists. You can choose to print any clinical notes too.

 

Right clicking on the appointment also gives you the option to write any patient letters using any of WinTAPS six templates (standard, admission, discharge, GP, Health Company, Consultant). These are done in the WinTAPS word processor and all the relevant patient and address information is automatically inserted for you. You can view these letters from the appointment’s right-click menu and within the patient′s record. 

 

Invoicing can be carried out in a number of ways. For individual payments, you can speedily generate an invoice and record any payments by right-clicking on the appointment and choosing this option. Alternatively, you can go into the ‘Account option’ button on the Diary tab and do an invoice run. You can choose to do a run for either self-paying patients or insurance providers. However, you can’t do both at the same time, meaning you’d have to do two invoice runs if you have both types of payments in your Practice. When you log a payment, you can usefully specify the payment type (e.g. BACS) and add a cheque number if applicable. You can log part-payments and take advance payments if you wish. There are also PDF billing facilities and a full reporting system for BUPA and other insurance companies.

 

Managing your finances can be carried out with the Financial button, which allows you to track your banking transactions and send out invoice reminders so unpaid debts don’t slip through the net. This button also allows you to generate reports, such as financial charts (treatments, invoiced treatments and paid invoices), insurance aged debtors, period statistics and treatments by practitioner. It is a bit unclear as to why the financial reports are included on this button when there is a Reports tab which only has four report options on it: Treatment list, Invoice list, Payment list and Undiagnosed episodes (you can export these reports to Microsoft Excel or as a text file). 

 

Other handy features of WinTAPS include being able to record your expenditure and miscellaneous income. The Reports feature also means that you can instantly run reports to make your end-of-year accounting hassle-free. WinTAPS provides some facilities for marketing but these are limited to being able to select patients from specific groups (e.g. all patients registered with BUPA) and then sending them a marketing letter, email or text message (both via WinTAPS email client. Texts come at an extra charge). However, WinTAPS marketing features are not very advanced or integrated. For example, although you can input the referral source in the patient record, you can’t generate reports of how many people came via that referral source or send mailings targeted to them.

 

WinTAPS is a mid-range computer-based practice management programme which comes at a great price. Once you get to grips with it, you can easily find your way around and it does everything you need to run your Practice smoothly on a day-to-day basis. It also does a good job of helping you to manage your finances, though lacks strength in its marketing abilities. The menus and tabs are laid out in a way that makes them less intuitive to use than they could be. However, the programme is simple to use so once you’re familiar with it, which doesn’t take very long, you won’t notice it. You can also back up your data to a source of your choice, making sure it stays safe. If you’re looking for a good practice management programme at a very cost-effective price, it’s well worth considering WinTAPS.

 

Ratings:

 

Overall rating: 4/5

Ease of installation: 5/5

User-friendliness: 4/5

Help and support: 4/5

Value for money: 4/5