New Year Practice Planning for Psychologists, Social Workers, and Therapists
It’s hard to believe that 2016 is drawing to a close. Are you starting to think about 2017?
This is a great time to look back at 2016 and consider all of the things that have gone well, and also the areas that could use some improvement. Are there steps that can you take now to make your practice management run more smoothly come January? What are your practice goals for the new year?
There are many proven tips and best practices for optimal office management that can go a long way towards your practice effectiveness.
Upgrade your Tools
If you have a tool, whether it’s a physical tool like a piece of office equipment that’s broken, or an organizational system that isn’t working for you, don’t just make do. Now is the time to upgrade. Tools are meant to help you and if they aren’t working properly, they’re probably interfering with your effectiveness. Do you have a printer that’s always breaking down? Or maybe you’re using an antiquated filing system that you haven’t let go of yet, and in need of a digital document scanner? These old tools are probably causing you to work harder. Replace whatever isn’t working and upgrade to better systems that will make your practice run more smoothly.
Organization of Client Data
They say that the most dangerous phrase in the English language is, “We’ve always done it this way.” Are you using an out-of-date client organization system that’s holding back your practice? The world’s leading productivity experts recommend using project management software that caters to your industry. In the case of Canadian therapists, psychologists, and social workers, that solution is Owl Practice. The secure online client data management system manages all of your client contact details, clinical notes, to-do’s, and billing details. You can move your practice data from filing cabinets to secure Canadian servers.
One of the great things about an online client data system is that you can upload all of your client documents and attach them directly to a client file. This makes it really easy to look up information, and will help you save space and the environment as you move away from paper systems. You can also create your clinical notes directly in the system, add signatures, and stay on top of what notes need to be completed.
Ensure PHIPA and College Compliance
When consulting extensively with Canadian clinicians as we were designing and developing Owl Practice, we heard very clearly that therapists wanted to insure PHIPA and College (Psychology, Social Work, Psychotherapy) compliance, and thereby the privacy of their practice information. Transitioning your practice management to Owl Practice will give you that peace of mind. All of the data is stored on dedicated servers in Toronto and Montreal and all communications between your device/browser and the Owl servers are completely encrypted.
Get Serious About Back Ups
How safe is your practice information? How often do you back up your data? Moving to a system that automatically takes care of all back ups for you is a step that you should seriously consider for the new year. Owl Practice backs up your practice data frequently, enabling tiered user access for different user types (e.g. owners, office administrators, therapists). Owl creates distinct and segregated databases for each account, ensuring that personal information does not leave the Owl Practice system.
Better Invoicing & Accounting
Unless you’re a bookkeeper, accounting probably isn’t your very favourite task. When tax season rolls around, wouldn’t it be nice if all of your financial information for the year was ready and waiting for you? It’s also convenient to be able to send professional digital invoices and receipts, and today’s clients appreciate being able to receive those documents via email. And just think about how great it would be to stay on top of how much clients owe you throughout the year! Owl’s always-there account balances track a complete history of all of your practice invoices and payments in one place.
Make Better Use of your Calendar
If you want to increase your practice’s overall effectiveness, improving your calendar systems can be one of the most important steps to maximizing your productivity. Did you have control of your calendar in 2016, or did your calendar rule you?
Many of the top productivity experts in the world recommend calendaring best practices that include time blocking (especially for tasks such as email), grouping client appointments, calls, and meetings. Owl Practice’s calendar management system for mental health practitioners enables you to schedule client appointments with ease, as well as manage your personal appointments. And with Owl, you can now let your clients book appointments directly in your calendar from your website, saving you time and coordination effort.
Speaking about calendar management, you should certainly take some extra time for yourself to spend with family and friends over the holiday season. Beyond the holiday season, make personal time a priority this new year. It’s so important to take the time to recharge on a daily basis by taking breaks, and on a weekly basis by taking enough time off. Make a healthy work-life balance one of your goals.
Now is the time to look forward to the new year and start planning. If you start to make your preparations now, you can get off on the right foot in January. When it comes to managing your practice more effectively, Owl Practice is the solution you’ve been looking for. Request a demo for a personalized tour of the system, and start planning for a great 2017!