Are you like Jill?
Jill is a Clinical Psychologist having finished her registrar program a couple of years prior and is in her early 30s with her youngest child in care two days each week.
Jill is trying to keep her profession going and trying to contribute to the family finances in a meaningful way – they can’t afford for her not to work so she is having a serious go at private practice but it’s hard juggling everything!
Jill needs support with managing her phone / SMS / email chatter which has become somewhat uncontained, she has a full case load with a waiting list, but strangely week to week her diary end up having a few gaps. She’s also finding the clinical demands are starting to outweigh her capacity to keep up with being a generalist and she has very high standards clinically, but hasn’t kept up with the pre and post measures since she went out on her own. She also did the setup of PowerDiary herself but knows that it can do more than she is getting out of it. She doesn’t want to let anything slip but she’s feeling generally like she is failing everyone as things are starting to “slip through the cracks”. She is really price sensitive and wants to be shown how much all of this is really going to cost her before she commits to anything.
With someone like Jill we would definitely look at how to maximise the value of her limited time. We would start with her hourly rate and then suggest delegating anything that doesn’t require her attention even though that might feel uncomfortable at first. Typically doing any form of admin will be a waste if she is close to capacity. If she is turning clients away, then we would suggest testing a higher hourly rate on new clients or even doing a randomised A/B test a higher price point for every other client and see if it affects client drop-out rates or client satisfaction ratings.
If she is opening up 10 hours per week and filling 80% of her spots, then if we were to take over as a virtual admin we estimate that we would be able to save Jill 3.1 hours per week worth of admin on average. If 2 of those hours were opened up for client contact and CPC were able to increase occupancy by making offers from Jill’s current client waiting list then we would estimate that we could add $5,300 to the families after tax income and Jill is still doing less hours than before.
Figure: Pro rata after tax earnings pa vs hrs per week and bubble size as her effective hourly rate
If someone already has a working PowerDiary setup it is a bit like renovating a house to optimise it – it’s slower, you’re a bit limited, it’s a bit more difficult and it costs more than starting fresh. But we would take a conservative approach and make suggestions where we can see we can add value such as adding a NovoPsych subscription and updating Jill’s confirmation and discharge templates to suit. The only thing we would really need to change is to make sure that certain things like the colours in the diary or the names of receipt templates etc fit our standard colour and naming so that we can make sure we are efficient and reliable.
In terms of calls and emails, we would make sure she has a VoIP service and set her up with her mobile and or laptop to receive calls when the app is running and make sure that she has a domain like JugglingJill.com.au, a Microsoft 365 account or G Suite account so that she can split her communications into reception@JugglingJill.com.au and Jill@JugglingJill.com.au. Jill would still be able to access both mailboxes but it allows the non-clinical communications to be routed to CPC reception. Alternatively we would be happy to bring her onto our Microsoft 365 platform and give her Jill@ClinicalPsychology.com.au type email address and manage all the OneDrive and file back up etc for her.
Finally, as CPC is now screening new intakes, we can get a full history from clients and present this information to Jill so that she can choose who she wants to take on and which cases are beyond her window of tolerance at that time and need to be referred on. This helps reduce the overload of being a generalist whilst not having to “close your books” which tends to create a feast and famine approach to your referrer relationships. We can also run both an existing clients and new clients waiting list so that existing client’s are prioritised, new clients have a decent appointment schedule when they start and spots in Jill’s diary tend to get filled quicker as cancellation come in.
CPC also reduce risk for clinician’s like Jill in a few ways. For instance when clients have Medicare MHCP care plans we set them up and sort out the nuances of the rebates and payments for her. Session limits are tracked, report writing time schedule and GPs chased for valid referral paperwork. Basically we try to let Jill focus on her clients and when she goes home we try to help be there to focus on her family.