This was an opportune time to make the switch.
Over the past 8 years, our clinic has gone from paper and pencil scheduling, through two different software based management systems, and now we’re switching to a platform that supports online booking and electronic medical records.
Each time we change systems, it involves researching options, exporting and reconfiguring all our data, and then re-training the staff on a new software.
Every few years our needs in a clinic management software seem to change or grow, and unfortunately our past softwares haven’t grown with our needs.
With the high demand from the public for online booking, even though we have full-time reception, this was something we couldn’t ignore any longer.
The other factor that played into our need for change, was that with more therapists and multiple disciplines their files take up A LOT of room in the clinic. They are taking up so much room that we are now archiving files after two years.
Needless to say, a more storage-efficient method was needed.
6 Important Features For Massage Therapy Clinic Management Software
When what you love doing for your career involves working with patients to become pain free, you don’t want to spend all your time with dealing with scheduling, billing, and lots of “front end” duties at the office.
We now live in a time where there’s an app for everything. It feels like overnight we went from not having any choices, to having too many choices in selecting the software to run our clinic.
Being involved in a large interdisciplinary clinic, I’ve recently underwent the arduous task of finding a new clinical management software (CMS) that needed to check more boxes than I have fingers. Since I have finally come to a decision for my clinic, I’m here to share what I learned. My choice will not be your choice, because my boxes are not your boxes, but here is what I learned.
First step is to figure out what you want out of a CMS, which is tricky when you don’t know what they offer or have the capabilities of. So here are the important features I decided to highlight:
- Online Booking – even if you have a full-time receptionist, online booking has now become a very important feature that patients look for in order to access their therapist.
- Electronic Charting – If you have a large number of therapists and limited number of square feet to devote to file storage, then this is a great option for you.
- Integrated Billing – This makes sure that checking out your patient is a smooth and quick process, and with the different reporting options, makes a big difference when it’s time to do your books.
- Integrated Wait List – If you are like some Massage Therapists I know, who have a 1-month waiting list, it can be frustrating when you get a cancellation with too little notice to fill it.
- Remote Schedule Availability – Having the ability to check your schedule from home is a great asset, especially when patients can book in with you when they wake up at midnight with a kinked neck.
- Cost – When it comes down to it, cost always plays a factor, especially when it comes to your business.
4 Online Scheduling Programs Reviewed
I investigated several applications, but I found that only four of the ones I looked at had the right combination of features to warrant getting shared.
There are lots of choices out there, so I could have easily missed some that you may really enjoy.
These options happen to all be cloud-based, which means they are not installed on your hard drive like a typical software program, but hosted online and you log into them via your internet browser. Here they are:
1. Jane App – www.janeapp.com
Jane App has a very clean presentation and seems to hit the best on all the features listed above, and many more features not listed.
It’s a Canadian company based in Vancouver, and they make an honest effort to really do things properly; such as hosting your data in Canadian servers in multiple provinces where they are very safe.
If you are running a clinic with only one type of therapist (such as RMTs), they have a feature where you can incorporate into the intake form a “Survey Monkey” style questionnaire for health history, and inputs it automatically into their patient file for you. Jane App also lets you custom build your template for charting, using both scanned diagrams (or using a stylus to draw on), lists, and general text charting.
Their website is by far the easiest to really understand what you get and what you don’t compared to the other options. My only complaint with Jane is that it’s the most expensive of the options, especially when you have a larger clinic.
Unless you need all those great features, it might not be worth the expense.
2. Cliniko – www.cliniko.com
Cliniko, much like Jane, has a very clean presentation to it and also does well on the features above.
There were little details with how well some of those features function that made them not the best, but overall still great.
They are working on incorporating electronic charting, the ability to use a stylus to draw, scribble, and write in the chart, but it is not set up yet.
They are an international company, which was great as they have help staff that work 24/7. If you have a large clinic with many types of practitioners and lots of needs, Jane & Cliniko seem like the only choice that starts checking boxes after the fundamental needs.
3. Body Soul – www.bodysoulonline.com
Body Soul’s website is hard to find any really definitive answers on without asking for help, which makes me think their software lacks the same forethought.
Their online booking feature seems not as streamlined as Jane & Cliniko, and lacks the waitlist feature.
They are however a local company from British Columbia, and even though they don’t allow the use of a stylus in the charting function, they have done a clean job of streamlining it. They even have a dictation feature for your charts!
Their price was very reasonable, if you’re a single Massage Therapist; otherwise it’s double the cost per practitioner.
4. Mind Body – www.mindbodyonline.com
Mind Body seems like it is designed for a yoga studio first, then adapted for a health clinic.
This is the one software that doesn’t include the Electronic charting and as it was with body soul, it lacks a waiting list. It is very focused on social media and lets you even tailor an app to the branding of your business, and have patients book in for a treatment from within Facebook.
The overall design is not as clean as Jane or Cliniko. Mind Body was the only application in addition to Jane that has a feature to customize your practitioners’ access; everyone gets a unique login and password so they can access what they need, but not everything that you can.
The cost is really hard to argue with too; you can get one of their bigger packages for under $100/month.
I’ve included a handy chart to show you which program has what feature, and in some cases a rank out of 5 on how well they did. These ratings are based on the information I was able to pull from the website and from answers I received from helpful staff, I have not used any of these programs in my clinical setting yet.
If it wasn’t obvious in my review, we chose Jane for our clinic.
|Key Features||Janeapp||Cliniko||Body Soul||Mind Body|
|Electronic Medical Records||5||4||4||N/A|
|Remote Schedule Availability||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Wait List Function||Yes||Yes||No||No|
The cost for each app has a slightly different structure, so it’s hard to lay it out for you easily here. Your best bet is to visit the websites and calculate your cost based on your clinic size and needs.
Based on what your needs are, you will probably choose different options, from myself and from each others. Most of these apps have functions that would work for your clinic, but based on our needs, Jane App was the solution. It was a challenging decision between Cliniko and Jane App, but in the end the extra details associated with Jane App didn’t equate to a large enough price difference to deter us from using it. Another reassuring fact that help us make this decision is that many large clinics that I respect and trust use Jane App. Our plan is to start using Jane App in the new year, fingers crossed it all goes well. Stay tuned for the 6-month follow-up.
I’m also just really excited to get to do my charting on a snazzy iPad!
- The Massage Therapist Guide To Clinic Management Software - November 24, 2015