Whether you are a solo therapist or you have a full practice, being part mental health professional and business owner isn’t easy.
From delivering patient care to the business of expanding your practice (or at least maximizing your current clients) to the administrative tasks that come with running a business to maintaining some semblance of work-life balance, there are a lot of things going on at once.
Therapy scheduling software is the solution. It’s a one-stop shop for scheduling, billing and charting. It automates and streamlines all of these critical tasks (while simultaneously generating more clients for your practice) for a more efficient practice and better work-life balance.
This blog post will take a look at the benefits of scheduling software for therapists and why it’s a must-have for so many mental health professionals.
1. Easily Expand Your Practice
As you saw above, scheduling software is much more than a scheduler. It also operates as a marketing machine, generating more clients for your practice. It does this in several different ways:
- The Marketplace
First and foremost, scheduling software connects you with its marketplace. This means that your clinic gets connected to a large pool of people who are searching for services like yours.
- Reserve with Google
Some scheduling software, like Yocale, also offer powerful (and revolutionary) booking features like Reserve with Google that also generate more clients.
This particular feature puts your business on the front page of Google and allows clients to book right from Google itself. This seamless transaction is what increases bookings.
You can read more about the benefits of Reserve with Google in our blog post here.
- Keeping Your Practice Open 24/7
Another way that therapy scheduling software generates more clients is by keeping your business open 24/7, allowing clients to book appointments well after traditional business hours.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that you still can’t take appointment “requests” or that clients can book appointments whenever they want. A good scheduling software should be customizable, allowing you to take appointments however and whenever you want.
- Opportunities for Telemedicine
Quality video conferencing software (made available through scheduling software) also makes it possible to expand your services to telepsychology or online therapy.
Telepsychology is growing with the rise of smartphones and companies like BetterHelp. The benefits have been discussed by the APA. Indeed, research has clearly shown that telemedicine can be just as effective as in-person therapy.
Research has also shown that there aren’t any differences between the two, even for cognitive-behavioural therapy.
Offering these services not only makes you premier service provider but also gives you greater flexibility and makes your life as a therapist more convenient because you don’t need to go into the office.
2. Increase Efficiency By Automating Scheduling
Scheduling software is designed to automate time-consuming scheduling tasks. For example, it allows clients to book appointments online, therein reducing the time that you or your staff spend on the telephone or spend communicating via email.
Scheduling software can also automate scheduling reminders via, therein increasing your practice’s efficiency while also reducing no-shows (more on this to come).
Scheduling software can can also automate other scheduling tasks, such as rebooking reminders, which send a reminders to clients that it’s time to rebook without you having to manually do so. This also improves patient outcomes as well.
Even if you already have an administrative staff that takes care of this for you, paper-based scheduling leaves a lot of room for error. It also isn’t an effective use of staff time nor is it the industry standard.
3. Reduce No-Shows
No-shows are a huge problem for mental health professionals, both from quality of care and cost standpoints. Psychiatric patients were twice as likely to be readmitted if they failed to attend follow-up appointments compared to when they actually attended.
No shows also cost businesses a lot of money every year as well. Missed appointments cost the U.S. health system $150 billion every year.
Therapy scheduling software reduces no-shows with automated appointment reminders, which are sent via email and text. The above research has shown that reminders substantially increase attendance.
4. Save Time By Automating/Streamlining Admin and Billing = Better Work-Life Balance
Again, a good scheduler shouldn’t just be for scheduling. Yocale, for instance, has an integrated point of sale, which automatically sends invoices to clients after each appointment. It also allows for credit card processing and the ability to store client cards in the system.
Billing is very time-consuming and a scheduling software can streamline the process for increased time-savings and efficiency.
5. Streamline Documentation
Documentation is a critical (and very big) component of health care. From intake forms to SOAP notes to general patient management, proper documentation is necessary to both patient care and reducing potential liabilities.
However, while documentation is critical, the process can also be time-consuming.
Therapy scheduling software streamlines this process to make it more convenient.
With Yocale, you can build custom forms, whether intake forms, treatment forms, etc. Clients can also fill out these forms before their appointments so that sessions aren’t interrupted.
Many online schedulers streamline the process of general patient management as well, keeping all patient details together in one place.
With Yocale, for instance, you can view patient details, appointment history, receipts, notes and more from one single system.
The result? Increased efficiency on the daily and especially in the event that you get audited.
Of course, patient confidentiality is imperative, which is why many scheduling software options (Yocale included) are HIPAA-compliant.
Yocale, for instance, is on the Microsoft Azure server, which makes data secure, encrypted and accessible.
6. Make Your Practice Competitive
The reality is that clients want the book appointments online. Recent research has found that 56.4% of customers are frustrated with the inconvenience of scheduling appointments by phone.
Giving clients the ability to book online makes you a premier customer service provider. Furthermore, it minimizes the possibility that clients will go elsewhere because the scheduling process was inconvenient.
Of course, online scheduling makes you competitive in other ways as well, with telemedicine being one such example because you are better able to meet your clients’ needs.
Wrapping It Up
Scheduling software is critical for those in the mental health space. Not only does it generate more clients, it streamlines daily operations (from scheduling to billing to charting) for a more efficient practice.
It can even allow you to manage your practice on the go via your mobile phone and integrate all of your calendars (both personal and professional) in one.
The result of all of this?
An office that runs better and greater work-life balance.
Recommended Further Reading:
Yocale is home to the leading HIPAA compliant therapy scheduling software on the market. Our easy-to-use calendar gives you the extra hand to both run and grow your practice at once. Book a demo or click here to sign up for FREE.