When Sophie first started her speech pathology practice, she used a simple paper diary and manilla folders for client files. But by 2015, she realised that things had to change. With a busy schedule seeing up to 8 clients a day, the paperwork was getting out of hand. It was becoming increasingly harder to find things and she didn’t feel like she was ever on top of the workload. She was also motivated by environmental concerns and wanted to move towards a paperless clinic (or at least avoid using paper as much as possible!).
Power Diary was recommended by someone and it was the first practice software Sophie tried. She says it really changed the way she felt about the administration of the clinic.
“The best thing is it keeps that everything is together in one spot. It sections out my day and the prompts help me stay on top of things.”
Sophie doesn’t have a receptionist and says her IT skills are ‘not great’, but she also says that the tools within Power Diary have slowly but surely made her speech pathology practice run more smoothly and efficiently.
“I can’t imagine running my practice without the automated SMS reminders – they are just a godsend! Even though my clients are pretty good, they’re busy parents with a lot going on, so sending a reminder text helps everyone. I keep telling other practices I know that they need to get a system like this – it just saves so much time.”
As a speech pathologist, good communication is something that Sophie values highly and so having the ability to correspond via the two-way chat on SMS can be really helpful. She says clients will use this to tell her they’re running late or to reschedule, and it’s a really easy way to communicate.
Many of Sophie’s clients have regular, recurring appointments, so the repeating appointments make this easy to do.
“The colour coding in the calendar also helps a lot – I can see at a glance who’s confirmed or not, and which appointments are home visits – which is incredibly useful. I also love the side panel – how it shows whether they’ve paid and all the important notes I need to see.”
As a sole practitioner, she even uses the calendar for her personal life as well!
Sophie also told us that she appreciates the private mode in Power Diary. When discussing suitable booking dates with clients, “often it’s easier for them to come around to my side of the desk and see the available spots – so it’s great that I can simply click the button for confidentiality and hide the details of all other clients”.
And in fact, just having a system for client files helps a lot with client confidentiality. Prior to using Power Diary, there would often be client files on the desk – so there was always a risk that someone else would see them. Now things are much more secure.
More recently, Sophie is loving the new set of treatment note templates for speech therapists that come pre-loaded within Power Diary and says they’re saving her a lot of time. Mostly, she’s able to get her session notes written up during her clinic hours now, instead of spending her evenings doing them.
“The notes are really quick now. With the headings all there, it’s really easy to fill in the gaps and they’re done.”
One of Sophie’s goals for this year is to start using Power Diary’s letter templates so that she can be more efficient (and by extension, more consistent!) when writing her referral feedback letters to the GP’s that refer many of her clients.
When we asked Sophie what her advice would be to other speech pathologists just starting their practice, she said:
“Start off small and concentrate on the details. Focus on getting good outcomes with each of your clients and your work will speak for itself. Before you know it, you’ll have earned a reputation as a great speech pathologist, and that’s really all you need.”
Well, that and a solid practice management system! She agrees too, “Also, start using Power Diary – it’s such an easy, brilliant tool. I love that things keep getting updated and keep getting better and better. It really will make you much more efficient. The support is amazing and if I can use it, anyone can!”