Happy New Year, everyone!
Everyone at Owl wishes you a safe and prosperous 2016! If you’re one of our long-time customers, a new client, or someone considering giving us a shot, we hope your year will be successful and happy!
Owl was originally conceived for a specific group practice in Toronto (Andrew’s partner’s practice) and was designed with the day-to-day challenges of practice life in mind. Since then, Owl has changed a lot! And all of those changes, big or small, are guided by some very simple and important principles. They’re so important that we’re going to kick off 2016 by restating them as resolutions for the coming year.
Our 2016 New Year’s Resolutions
RESOLUTION #1: Owl Practice will keep getting better!
2015 was an incredible year for us – we’ve grown in so many ways: our team has grown, our clients have grown, and most importantly, our product has grown. Here are some of the things we’ve accomplished since our launch in 2014:
What you’re looking at is a timeline showing the major feature releases we’ve made over the past year and a half (not including the many, many small changes and tweaks). In the last year, we’ve made a dozen big updates! We introduced Group Edition for multi-therapist practices; we introduced Notes Signatures and Notes Auto-Save for greater accountability in session notes; Document Uploads to store necessary files for a client; and most recently, we upgraded our dedicated servers to improve speeds and to enhance reliability in keeping your data secure.
We won’t stop improving, either: last week, we released Manual Payment Allocation (to let you specify what session a payment should be applied to), and our developers are polishing up our next major release: Online Appointment Booking (OAB). This is going to be an incredible new add-on, giving your clients access to a secure customer portal for your practice, and to book sessions directly based on your availability. We’ll be launching very soon, so stay tuned…
We also did a customer December to ask how we’re doing, and what new features you’d like us to build in 2016. Here are the top five, as voted by you:
- External Calendar integration
- Client Waitlist
- Client portal for web-based client intake forms
- Linked Family/Couple Profiles
- Notes Summaries (in PDF format)
We’re currently working on a prioritized development schedule based on this list so we can get these things build in 2016. We really appreciate all the direct and candid feedback here as we’re striving to make Owl even better.
We also had a chance to ask you about how Owl benefits you in your practice. One of the key questions we asked was “On average, how many hours do you save by using Owl Practice each month?” And here’s what you told us:
On average, an Owl client saves 6 hours a month!
We knew Owl was helpful, but we were incredibly pleased to see just how much time you’re saving in practice administration with Owl. We’re happy to hear that Owl is working for you!
RESOLUTION #2: You’ll always have our support.
We asked for your thoughts about using Owl, and the one thing we’ve heard over and over was that you appreciate how accessible we are.
This is a fundamental part of Owl’s DNA: the human touch. Owl was founded on the idea of being available and being personal. We believe that you are the most important person here, and our goal is to make your practice administration easier.
When people contact Owl as a prospective client, we always encourage them to take our 20 minute demo. That’s not just because we want to show off what Owl can do,, but also because we have the chance to talk to you directly. It’s really about meeting great people figuring out how we can help you serve your clients better and help your practice thrive!
In 2016, we’re also going to be improving the tools you have at your fingertips – this means giving you more access to information to get help when you need it. We’re always here to answer your questions, but we want to make sure that if you need help, you can get it. Tutorials, a knowledgebase, and more.
RESOLUTION #3: We promise to keep your data secure.
This is an important one. When we claim that we’re secure and PHIPA compliant, we mean it. It is our promise to you that we will do everything in our power to make sure that we keep your data safe, secure, and available to you (and only you) when you need it. It’s a part of absolutely every decision we make at Owl, from feature development right down to internal tools we use to do our jobs.
This means that we put a lot of consideration into heavily-requested features, such as Calendar Integrations and Text/SMS notifications.
These are both things we absolutely want to include with Owl, but we have to be careful. Calendar Integration means we’d be sending your appointments to an external source – let’s say an iCal or Google Calendar. This means that we’d be potentially sending sensitive client data to an external location, whose security we can’t ensure and whose server space may not be in Canada (there’s PHIPA compliance, again). We need to make sure that if/when we integrate, you can trust that we are sending the most important details that you need without sending more than we should. We want to make life easy without compromising your security.
That’s also true for text notifications. While email Appointment Reminders work quite well at letting your clients know about upcoming sessions, some practices prefer to send a text message as a reminder instead. Definitely convenient!
However, because we are very dedicated to your security, we want to know that if we are sending client information (like phone numbers and appointment information) through one of the many third-party systems out there, that it will be effective, externally anonymous, and as secure as possible with whatever data we do pass on.
This is what our promise of privacy and security means – it means going above and beyond to ensure that we deliver to you everything we possibly can in a way that enables PHIPA and College compliance.
All of these smaller resolutions add up to our big one:
RESOLUTION #4: Owl will earn your business each and every month.
Believe it or not, that’s why we don’t require long-term commitments to Owl! We believe that you will like working with us so much that you’ll stick around. Our promise is our way of making sure we’re doing it right!
If there’s one thing our survey has shown us, it’s that you agree with us. We are grateful to all of you – whether you have been with us since we launched or are just getting started with Owl – for being with us on this journey.