Here are a few products and services that I recommend to get your practice up and running smoothly. Note that some of the links below are affiliate links, which means that I’d receive some kind of perk or commission if you were to sign up for their service. I recommend these not for commissions, but because they’ve met my needs in the ways I describe below, after a fair bit of testing them against similar products and services. Each comes with its own limitations, and this is certainly not an exhaustive list.
I like Simple Practice for managing client information, clinical documentation, and scheduling. Allowing existing clients to see my availability and schedule through the client portal has allowed us to side-step all of the back-and-forth that attempting to schedule by e-mail requires. SP’s automated reminders have basically eliminated no-shows in my practice. They include functionality to support group practices, and I’ve used this upgrade with my co-facilitator while running counseling groups. SP has other impressive features related to billing and telehealth, but that I haven’t used myself. I’ve found it difficult to integrate any of my intake forms with their platform and so continue to send these to clients by regular e-mail.
While existing clients can schedule in-person appointments with me using the SP client portal, I use a separate scheduling tool, Acuity Scheduling, to allow prospective clients to book an initial, exploratory call. I like Acuity’s ability to sync with Google Calendar and high level of customization, especially. Their highest-tier plan (at $50 per month) is designed for healthcare practitioners and to comply with the HIPAA Security Rule.
Paubox provides a secure e-mail solution that can integrate with e-mail platforms like G-Suite. For secure phone, voicemail, and texting, I use an app called iPlum. Any messages I send to clients, and clients’ direct replies to e-mail messages, are encrypted and secured. But Paubox and iPlum can’t verify anything about our clients’ platforms or whether the messages that they initiate are secure. I inform my clients at the start of therapy about the risks of communicating with me by nonsecure means.
All practice-related data stored on my computer is encrypted, password-protected, and backed up. Right now I use Spider Oak One for data backup. It’s inexpensive, runs continuously, and accommodating of HIPAA-compliance. One feature I’d like to see them implement is an ability to search for files that have been backed up from one device when logged in from another device.
I use Square for processing credit card payments, both in-person and via invoicing. They include a Business Associate Agreement (BAA) with their basic service agreement, an important aspect of your remaining HIPAA-compliant when using third-party services.
Upwork is an excellent site for outsourcing things you don’t like to do, things you don’t know how to do, and things you shouldn’t be doing.
LegalZoom: Affordable, flat-fee legal services, including attorney consultations, contract and other legal document reviews, and tax advice.
Person-Centered Tech: Roy Huggins’ portal for all things digital ethics and HIPAA – includes articles, product reviews, online courses, and membership options.