Are you like Dan?
Dan has a full-time public sector role that he loves, but he also sees a handful of private clients from a friend’s practice after hours – so the room is essentially free.
He occasionally uses Skype for telehealth and the little Square merchant system is super convenient. He tries to keep everything simple, like using a paper diary. He prides himself on being self-reliant and there’s not much that he can’t do. Besides, he thinks: “Why spend the money on reception for just a handful of clients”?
The missed calls are unnerving though; you can see a client has called but you can’t tell what’s going on for them – are they OK, wanting a free phone session or trying to reschedule? Then there’s Medicare – he’s heard stories about audits but how’s he supposed to tell the client what the rules are when he is so confused himself?
For someone like Dan, CPC would recommend against using Skype from a security point of view and would recommend Zoom Pro instead as it meets the Australian Privacy Act requirements or we can supply a HIPAA compliant version that normally has a minimum of 10 users. Square is simple and it’s convenience is key even though it is marginally more expensive than other platforms there’s little value in switching with such small hours. Similarly, if Dan and his clients are OK with old school paper and he can store those notes in accordance with the APS code of ethics then go for it! You just need a locked cabinet in a locked room.
In terms of phone tech there are a few different options we might suggest. Giving out your mobile number is not only intrusive if client decide they need to call on a Saturday night it also looks a little unprofessional and is harder to push off to a virtual admin in the future as most VA’s can’t handle mobile numbers without you paying for diversion costs. We would suggest using Zoom Phones for $14pm as the mobile app is really intuitive. You can call out on it or the number will ring like any normal local number on both your mobile and laptop as long as the applications are running and it also rings with a different ring tone so you know it’s a client.
If he would prefer a virtual admin to answer the calls that he can’t get to then we would could either suggest that there are plenty of message passing services out there that will answer with your business name or CPC can do the same. That said, we only look after psychs and we know how to listen to clients as a result. We also charge a simple per month plus per call fee so there’s no penalties for being too busy. We can do 1300 / 1800 numbers or local numbers for any region in Australia and answer calls from 8:00am-6:00pm Sydney time 5 days per week and 51 weeks pa. We can setup routing so that it rings on Dan’s phone for a few rings before switching to us to save him money and if it’s a Saturday night we can setup voicemail to email. Of course, we can help clients to an extent with general questions about Medicare and similar but we can’t help them with Dan’s billing or scheduling while it’s on paper but we will be around if he decides to upgrade to a practice management system such as PowerDiary which is our recommended system.
In terms of understanding the complexity of Medicare or similar specialist psychology admin support we are there for all our customers and can answer any questions or help with different problems or implementing different solutions along the way. Dan, like any validated psychologist also gets access to our support knowledgebase for free, otherwise we just log any support issues like any helpdesk issue and charge a nominal rate per hour.