Lindfield Speech Pathology & Learning Centre
Devon Barnes started what was to become Lindfield Speech Pathology & Learning Centre 30 years ago in a garage at the back of her house when her children were small. As the practice began to grow organically, she rented a local office, expanded and relocated, and they are now at the point where there are 10 speech pathologists working in the practice. The centre offers support for literacy, language, articulation, autism spectrum disorder, social skills, and auditory processing disorders.
While Lindfield Pathology & Learning Centre has grown organically, building on Devon’s reputation in the community and word of mouth, they continue to give back to the community through Devon’s Youtube channel with over 100 videos, as well as presentations for schools and therapy groups. Devon also authors the popular “Learning Brain Newsletter”, packed full of parent tips on autism, developments in hearing technology, how the brain functions, free downloadable resources and more.
Devon freely admits that the transition from a paper-based practice to online hasn’t been completely straightforward but as she says; “It got to a point where something had to change, the business was drowning in paper, filing cabinets, storage and old reports. It was overwhelming, and we were spending more and more time on paperwork and less and less time actually treating clients.”
This prompted Devon and her husband, Peter, who offers strategic business support for the practice, to take a step back. “We realised that things had changed, the world had changed and that maybe there was technology out there that could help us. We started asking around, tried a few solutions, and settled on Power Diary as the best fit for the practice.”
We are really glad we chose Power Diary; it’s excellent.
It’s also worth mentioning that this division of responsibilities is also likely to contribute to the practice’s success. Having Devon focus on her true passion: helping and supporting her clients, while Peter gives oversight on the technical and administrative side of the practice, means that neither side of the practice is neglected and that it is built on strong foundations.
Having made the switch to Power Diary about 2 years ago, Devon is pleased with how Power Diary’s practice management solution has helped to streamline their business. She notes that “for someone who is quite wary of technology, I’ve found Power Diary easy to use, and it is this ease of use that has helped us manage change within the practice as we move from paper to online. Power Diary does what we hoped it would do and I can honestly say that Power Diary is great and wouldn’t want to change it. It’s made running the practice much easier for myself and my team, and I know we’re only scratching the surface. There are so many other features that we can start using to improve productivity.”
Reflecting back to a few years ago, Devon says, “we had five therapists working in the practice and appointments were booked in a huge ledger-style paper calendar. We then decided to move across to Excel and had push back from the other therapists. I must admit that even I had my doubts. And from there we moved on to Power Diary, so with incremental changes, we have slowly increased administrative efficiencies in the practice.”
Lindfield Speech Pathology & Learning Centre initially switched to Power Diary to manage therapists’ calendars and billing as the practice continued to grow. But the way they use the software has quickly expanded to include reminder SMS’s, electronic file storage, and now with COVID, even the Telehealth functionality. “There are definitely more Power Diary features that we could be benefiting from, but the changes we’ve made to date have been significant for our practice”.
In particular, Devon has found the reminder SMS feature vital for reducing no-shows as well as freeing up a lot of time for admin staff. She is also quick to mention the software’s secure storage of client files, “we have been using in-clinic and off-site storage for client files going back years and years. With Power Diary, we are slowly but surely scanning all those old files and storing them in the system, and soon we’ll be able to cancel that storage which translates into a saving that more than pays for our Power Diary subscription.”
Power Diary works well, the support is excellent, and our staff are happy – there’s nothing to worry about.
As Devon looks forward, she can see opportunities to expand into remote therapy. “COVID has accelerated the uptake of telehealth technologies and that it is a good fit for speech therapists in particular.” For Lindfield Pathology & Learning Centre, this means developing remote online teletherapy services to become a bigger part of the business, “we can run the business remotely – there are so many people across Australia who don’t have access to speech pathology services, and we can bring those services to them. It suits therapists too, many of our team have elected to continue with Telehealth, even though face-to-face sessions are now possible. It’s working well for primary and high school children and adults, with some of our therapists finding that the sessions are even more effective as clients are more focused. And as Lindfield Pathology & Learning Centre looks to grow the business further, an expanded telehealth offering may open up creative approaches to advertising on Facebook, without the geographical limitations that were in place in the past.
With a practice management software solution that supports the current day-to-day operations of the practice as well as being ideally positioned to play an important role in the growth of online services, Power Diary will continue to be an integral part of Lindfield Speech Pathology & Learning Centre.