Throughout the course of your career as a therapist, you may move in and out of practice relationships, from working autonomously, to collectively as part of a group practice, then back to working alone again. There’s a natural ebb and flow to the career paths of most therapists, but many Owl users wonder: what’s the best way to manage client information throughout these transitions? Private practices are apt to handle these transitions in different ways. Here are the common considerations that you should be aware of:
The first thing to understand when joining a private practice is its financials: Who will be collecting the money? Will there be a single bank account for the group practice where all of the appointment fees and expenses will be managed? Is there a particular therapist who is essentially “in charge” and with whom the bank account will reside? Or is the group practice really more of a collective of individual therapists who happen to be working in a shared office environment but who handle their own billing?
It’s important to clearly understand how the practice’s financial structure is set up, as the implications of the client management will vary depending on how the business financials are organized.
Who Is Responsible for the Data
Along with the big financial questions, it’s important to understand what you will be personally responsible for in terms of data. Let’s take the example of working at a hospital: At some point in your career you may work as a therapist in a hospital. While working at the hospital, you’ll make clinical notes and update records. All of those records will belong to the hospital. When you move on in your career and stop working at the hospital, you won’t take the data with you; it will stay there.
When working in a group practice, transactional information will stay with the group when you leave, just as it would if you were working at a hospital. You won’t take it with you, unless specific arrangements are made otherwise.
This is why some groups of therapists choose to work in a shared environment while keeping separate Owl Practice accounts.
Old Practice Life vs. Your New Practice Life
So what should you do if you’ve been working as an individual therapist but you’re going to be joining a group practice? Should you bring your clients over with you?
You can certainly bring your client contact list with you, but the transactional data from your original Owl account will not be merged with the new Owl account. That information is confidential and should remain where it is, representing your practice life up to that point. However, you can upload your client list to the new Owl account and start fresh from that point forward under a new group practice arrangement. It’s an export/import process. The contact information can be added to the group practice account but not the clinical notes. Think of it as your Old Practice Life vs. Your New Practice Life.
Keep Your Own Digital Filing Cabinet
As we paint these scenarios, you can start to understand that it’s advisable that you make a point of keeping your own digital filing cabinet throughout your career. There are clients that you may take with you wherever you go, at any and every point of your practice life. This can easily be done by keeping your own personal Owl Practice account throughout your career.
Do you have questions about how Owl Practice works for your private or group practice? Don’t hesitate to contact us. We’d be happy to discuss your individual situation and advise about the best course of action.