— Review 

A Review of HealthKit vs Power Diary

How do they Compare: HealthKit vs Power Diary Practice Management Software

 

Finding the right software for managing your practice is crucial. Your practice management system is vital for almost all facets of your business and it’s operations. From storing sensitive and confidential client and appointment data to streamlining bookings and other administrative processes, such as appointment reminders, payments and so much more. You and your team will be constantly using and relying upon the practice management system you choose on a daily basis. Given this, it is important to ensure that you are using a practice management system that provides a secure, reliable, intuitive and efficient solution in order to give your business the best opportunity to thrive. 

We understand that evaluating different software can be challenging and time consuming. There’s a lot to consider, and that can make things difficult: there are costs, features, security and various others factors that need to be considered. We are often asked: 

“How does HealthKit compare with Power Diary?” 

Well, this article is our attempt at an objective, fair and comprehensive answer to that question. 

We have conducted our own in-depth research by thoroughly testing HealthKit and by interviewing former HealthKit users who have moved to Power Diary in order to compare similarities, differences and costs to give you the information you need when weighing which system is best for your practice.

Background 

Power Diary was launched in 2007 and HealthKit was launched in 2012. Both are cloud based systems that service health practices in Australia and around the world.  Power Diary offers a 14 day instant free trial to evaluate the system, and HealthKit will also enable instant access after which you then enter your credit card when you use any of the paid functions which we’ve outlined below. 

The True Cost of a ‘Free’ System 

HealthKit is widely promoted as a free system and understandably this can sound appealing – especially to practices that might be first starting out. In fact people sometimes even ask us;  Why is HealthKit free, when other practice management systems have a monthly charge?  When evaluating free vs standard systems there are two important questions to consider:

1.  Is it really free? 

When used normally, free systems often aren’t free at all. HealthKit is actually only free under certain limited conditions as follows:

– You don’t ever want to send SMS or Text Appointment reminders

The open ‘or read’ rate of text messages is 98% in comparison to email open rates which hover at around only 26%.  Understandably, text message reminders well out-perform email reminders when it comes to reducing appointment no-shows. This is one of the reasons that most practices use text message reminders. If text message reminders are used in HealthKit they are charged at a premium rate which, as you’ll see in the analysis below, this really adds up. In addition, if you would like to receive replies to your text message HealthKit charges an extra $15 per month.

– You don’t ever want to submit Medicare or DVA claims online

HealthKit charge fees for every Medicare or DVA claim you submit. In contrast Power Diary does not charge for processing Medicare or DVA claims.

– You don’t use HealthKit’s credit card processing

Online payment processing makes managing payments more efficient, and any system that offers this functionality will charge fees for this. However, the rates charged vary.  HealthKit charges a rate of $1 + 2% for all transactions processed through their integration with Stripe. Power Diary’s charge is less at $0.80 + 1.75%.

In addition whilst HealthKit’s higher payment processing fees become significant over time, it is not the only difference to consider. With HealthKit, payments are actually processed into HealthKit’s merchant account, and then later transferred into the practice’s account. By contrast, Power Diary never has any contact with payments made to practices. Payments are processed directly into the practice’s own Stripe account. Not only does this result in faster settlement, but it also means patients are paying the practice directly instead of a third party i.e. HealthKit.

Perhaps most surprisingly, when practices are set up in a typical manner and use standard functions like text message reminders, the cost of HealthKit for a single user practice is comparable with Power Diary. Moreover, if a practice has multiple practitioners, Power Diary actually becomes more cost-effective than using HealthKit.

 

2. How will my data be used? 

Healthkit have a stated objective to build “..the largest, most unique health longitudinal data sets in the world…“. Consistent with this, as part of their terms-of-use HealthKit requires practitioners to provide consent that any ‘non-personal’ patient data they enter into the system can be used for ‘Health and medical research, public health and service activities, healthcare and medical-related services‘ among other commercial and non-commercial purposes. 

Furthermore practitioners must also warrant that they have… “disclosed to and obtained the consent of patients that their personal and non-personal data, including health records and payments information, are stored on this site” and that they “have disclosed and obtained patients’ consent for the possible uses of this information…” . 

Power Diary’s primary objective is to provide Practice Management Software to our customers and we do not collect, disseminate, sell or use patient data for any other purposes. 

Interestingly HealthKit also advise patients in their Privacy and Security terms that “you may also directly contact HealthKit to request access to any personal information that you have provided or that has been collected about you by your Practitioner”.  Unless legally compelled Power Diary does not provide patients direct access to their records. If such a request is made the patient is redirected to their practitioner.

What are the Similarities?

When comparing the core functionality that each system offers there are a number of similarities including:

  • Calendar management
  • Colour-coded appointment statuses
  • Group bookings
  • SMS & Email Reminder sending
  • Invoicing
  • Reporting
  • Electronic Session Notes / Electronic Health Records
  • Letter writing tools
  • Medicare & DVA online claim submissions
  • Online Client Portal to allow clients to self-book
  • Automatic appointment status updates based on client replies to text reminders
  • Integrated online credit card processing and secure credit card storage
  • Mailchimp + Xero integration

Key Differences

The differences are really in the details; how the interface is designed and how features work during real, day-to-day running of a practice.  A practice management system is central to your operations. It should operate as a second brain, assisting you to automate a whole raft of tasks that would ordinarily take up time and energy to do manually, and ultimately enable you get more done in less time.

With this in mind, we have identified seven key differences between Power Diary and HealthKit:

1. User Interface & Design

Your practice management system will be used extensively by you and your team day in, day out. When it comes down to it, the little things matter: how a system looks, how the menus work, how easy it might be to add a client or create an appointment. Design is everything, and good design shouldn’t be overlooked.

The screenshot below is what you are presented with immediately after the HealthKit Login screen. Whilst it does seem to be aimed at helping new users as they get started, you’ll see this page as the homepage each and every time you log in.

From here, to get to your Calendar and start using the system, you’ll need to click on the ‘Schedule’ menu and click on ‘Calendar’. You need to access the Schedule menu every time you want to view your calendar, so it will always be two clicks no matter where you are in the system.

Once on the schedule page, HealthKit makes use of a narrow layout, with a small portion of the total width of the page being allocated to functional purposes.

In comparison, upon logging in, Power Diary will default to the appointment screen to give you an immediate view of your team, providing you with insight into everybody’s schedules. Power Diary also utilises a responsive design, allowing use of the full screen width, with one inclusive, expandable menu which results in faster navigation.  You can access the appointment screen at any time by clicking either on the Power Diary logo in the top left hand corner of the page, or by clicking on the ‘Appointments’ menu.

Power Diary also has more options which gives users more flexibility to do the things that they think systems ‘should be able to do’ as opposed to being limited by design constraints.

2. Getting Things Done

The inability to get what you want done quickly and as you expect can be tiresome and frustrating. Your practice management system should support you in streamlining your processes and an intuitive and well thought out design is important to accomplishing this. This not only saves you time and helps in avoiding frustration, but also makes it easier for new staff or team members to learn the system.

In the interests of efficiency, we’ve focused on five high impact comparisons between HealthKit and Power Diary’s design:

a. Seeing All Diaries at a Glance

The ability to be able to see each practitioner’s calendar side-by-side makes the world of difference when working with multiple schedules.

HealthKit will allow you to view calendars alongside each other in the day view, however not in weekly view. You’ll also need to use the drop down list in their calendar to select which practitioners you’d like to view and either tick or untick those to define which calendars to display. This will have to be done each time you log in to the system, as the selection isn’t saved.

Being able to see all practitioners schedules at a glance and at the click of a button is something that Power Diary facilitates well. You can easily select an individual to view, or click ‘All Diaries’ to view everyone that is available. 

In addition to being able to view all diaries at once in a day, Monday to Friday, and weekly view, you can also create custom group views with specific diaries allocated to a group. These are commonly used to group diaries by clinic (location), profession (especially for multi-disciplinary practices), or based on specialty. This takes the hard work out of booking appointments as you can refine the view to see the times that are relevant based on certain criteria.

b. See What is Relevant

Power Diary aims to give you the information you need, when you need it. This is revealed in the calendar when viewing ‘All Diaries’ (opposed to viewing a diary alone). Once you have set up the roster for each practitioner to list their available working hours each day, the system will then display only available diaries in the All Diary view whether you’re looking at the day, or the week. That way you are presented with an accurate view of the activity each day. This doesn’t restrict you from viewing diaries alone so you can still book appointments in unrostered diaries if desired. 

Once you have ticked which diaries to view in HealthKit you will be isolated to viewing them in day view and there is no further logic in place to refine which diaries show based on the rostered availability.

c. Booking and Editing Appointments

Booking and managing appointments is a core functionality of a practice management system, so ensuring you can do this with ease is critical. 

The HealthKit calendar will always display a full 24 hour day and each block size is 15 minutes. This can’t be customised. When you are creating an appointment in HealthKit you can only select one 15 minute time slot in the Calendar. The ‘Patients and Fees’ pane will appear on the right from which you will need to manually enter the duration of the appointment as it will default to 0 minutes. Otherwise, you can select a service and when you Save it will default the duration of the appointment to match the service duration. This could get tedious as your number of appointments grows, especially if you aren’t sure of what service to apply to the appointment at the time of booking as this means you’ll need to manually enter the duration for each appointment.

Once the appointment has been created, you can then adjust the appointment start or end time by clicking on the appointment and then selecting the edit symbol and adjusting the start time, or the duration.

In contrast, Power Diary allows you can configure your business hours so that only the relevant portion of the day is display. This prevents the need to continuously scroll through 24 hours each time you need to find an available appointment. The calendar block durations are also customisable (i.e. 5, 10, 15, 20, 30, 60 mins) so this can be configured to best match your practice needs.  Furthermore appointments are made by clicking and selecting one or more timeblocks depending on the length of appointment desired. The system will then automatically calculate the appointment duration based on what you’ve highlighted. Alternately you can also apply the service at the time to default the duration to match the service.

You can also easily adjust an existing appointment start or end time by dragging the start or end of the appointment as shown in the below. Otherwise, this can also be done by clicking on an appointment and adjusting the start and end time.

Both systems will allow you to click and drag an appointment into a new time slot, however Power Diary will allow you to move it into a different practitioner’s schedule whereas HealthKit will only allow the appointment to be moved within the same calendar.

Another feature unique to Power Diary is that you can right click on an appointment to quickly update the appointment status or perform a variety of other often-used tasks such as emailing invoices.

d. Searching for Clients

Practices frequently need to access client records in order to update details, email invoices, view upcoming appointments or enter clinical notes. No matter the case, it’s something that you and your team will be doing often and the quicker you can get to the information you need, the better. 

In the screenshot below, you can see the options for searching for a client in HealthKit is limited to a single search box with sortable columns. This client search can only be access by going into the Patients menu and selecting ‘Patient List’.

By contrast Power Diary has a powerful search function accessible from the top of the page, no matter what screen you’re on.  Using this you can search for anyone, including clients, contacts, third parties and referrers (in addition to appointments and invoices). You can search based on several different variables including name, email, phone number, date of birth, client number and more.

Power Diary also remembers which clients that you have recently interacted with, either by viewing, creating or editing their appointment, or by accessing their profile. You can then easily navigate directly to that client’s profile by clicking into the search and selecting the name from the list of Recent Clients that automatically display.

In addition, Power Diary provides several methods to allow you to find either a particular client, or to refine a list of clients. In our designated client search page you can search by clients name, generate a list of all clients via ‘Show All’, and you can also use the Advanced Search to filter for a list of clients based on attributes (eg clients who see Practitioner X and have not had an appointment in the past six months).

e. Searching Invoices

Similarly to searching for clients, HealthKit’s invoice search function is also limited and can be time consuming.  To search for an invoice you need to click on “Finances” and then select / deselect which fields you’d like shown, and then enter your search term. 

Power Diary offers multiple search options to help users find the exact invoices they are looking for. In addition to this, like all reports in Power Diary, users are able to use advanced filtering options to further refine the existing report results:

You can also make use of the search bar at the top of the page to simply search for an invoice either by the invoice number or the client’s name.

3. Clinical Notes

Being able to quickly access and record Session Notes is vital in most practice settings. Both Power Diary and HealthKit have Session Note functionality that include the capacity to create Note templates, annotate body charts, and autosave notes whilst being drafted to avoid accidental loss. 

An example of HealthKit’s Session Notes is shown below:

In addition to what HealthKit offers, Power Diary gives users the ability to easily refer to previous notes whilst writing new notes. It also offers the ability to clone/duplicate an existing note as a base for a new note.  Power Diary’s Note template feature is also more flexible and easy-to-use, and allows you to create templates with a range of fields including text boxes, body charts, checkboxes and dropdowns.

4. Client Communications

Like many systems, both Power Diary and HealthKit give the option to send automated SMS reminders that can be customised to be sent a number of days in advance of the appointment. Being automated means you don’t have to think about it, you don’t have to do anything other than configure it and let it run in the background. 

In Australia for example, 88% of the population own a smartphone (and that figure is only rising). This means that the easiest, quickest and most efficient way to communicate with the majority of people is via text message. Having a system that can cater for this need by automating text appointment reminders and allowing engaging, back and forth communication is more important than ever.

Let’s look at how each system handles text reminder replies.

By default, HealthKit only allows automated SMS reminders to be sent and don’t support receiving client replies. They refer to this as “One-Way”. In order to receive client replies (“Two-Way”), you need to purchase a dedicated text number for $15/month. After making the payment, a Notifications tab will appear in your account and client replies will be displayed in this box.

Whilst paying for “Two-Way” does allow you to see client replies in HealthKit, that’s where the benefit of this function ends. If a client replies to your message you are unable to respond back. In addition, there is no way to tell if you have Notifications waiting for you. You just will need to ensure that you regularly check this page to ensure you don’t miss any new replies.  

Power Diary takes client communication to a new level. By default, all accounts (even during the trial period) are able to send text messages and receive client replies. In fact, you can have an ongoing back and forth conversation with your clients through the Messaging Panel in real-time.  

This panel shows all outgoing and incoming SMS and allows you to filter by unread messages. This makes it easy to see all SMS replies and which ones require a response. As soon as a clients SMS reply is received, a red notification will appear which is visible from any page in the system.

 

To streamline things even further Power Diary allows you to create an unlimited number of customisable SMS templates so you can initiate or respond to a text with two clicks of a button instead of constantly typing out common message.  

Not only will you never miss a clients SMS reply thanks to the alert in the messaging panel, but the reply will also be visible in the clients profile under “Communication” – the area which tracks all communication to and from that client.

5. Receiving Timely Alerts

Following on from the above, in HealthKit if a user has opted for Two-Way communication and a client cancels their appointment, this will trigger a change of colour of that appointment in their diary – as it does in Power Diary. 

However, if you’re a HealthKit user the only way that you’ll become aware of this cancellation is if you manually check it via that Notifications tab (remember: you’ll need to periodically check this tab as you won’t be alerted when there is a new notification). There is no option to be immediately and automatically notified when an appointment is cancelled. 

By contrast, Power Diary gives you the option to be alerted directly to your phone or by email based on how a client responds to an appointment reminder. For example you can choose to be alerted via text or email for any replies cancelling appointments. This way you’ll know immediately if a client cancels an appointment and can set to filling the appointment spot straight away.

6. Mobile Accessibility

One of the key benefits of a cloud-based system is portability: the ability to work across all devices from desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones from any location, and without any reduced functionality. Power Diary has been designed and tested to work well across all devices and on varying network strengths, meaning you can access it on your phone using your 3G or 4G network.

Power Diary further caters for mobile users by enabling you to easily call a client by taping their number, and to also launch the Maps app to find the client’s address.

HealthKit can be used reasonably well on mobile device, however it doesn’t appear to have been optimised to accommodate for smaller screens, and therefore it can be difficult to read text etc. There also aren’t any additional functionalities in place to accommodate for mobile users who need quick access to client’s contact details and location.

7. Exporting your Data

Your data is and should always be yours. This means that you should be able to export your data and obtain a copy at any time. This may either be for self storage purposes, for intensive reporting or data analysis, or especially for when you are moving systems. Whilst it may not be something you use often, it can have massive impacts when/if you decide to change systems as your data is what you will be taking away from that system. 

Power Diary enables a data backup to be taken at any time by a user with the required permissions, and all data is exported into CSV format (with the exception of uploaded files and session note attachments/body charts which retain their original format). This makes it simple to export your data from Power Diary to be imported into another system should you choose to move.

While you’re able to export some data from HealthKit with relative ease, some of the more important pieces of data might not be exported in a way that works for you. As one former HealthKit user commented:

“One of the biggest challenges was exporting my data from HealthKit. It has been a difficult and ongoing process, especially bringing across clinical notes which HealthKit code in HTML! I am still struggling with this and will probably have to employ someone to help.“ 

Cost Analysis: How Does Power Diary and HealthKit Compare on Price?

When it comes to the cost of using HealthKit, and comparing it with Power Diary there are actually five factors to take into account: 

1. Subscription

Power Diary charges a monthly subscription fee. This covers the costs associated with the ongoing development and upgrades of the system, data protection and security systems, cloud-computing and infrastructure, and the provision of support.

HealthKit does not charge a subscription fee.

2. Text Reminders Costs

As previously mentioned, sending automated text reminders are crucial to reducing no-shows. Many systems, including Power Diary and HealthKit, allow users to send email reminders to clients at no cost. In Australia, HealthKit charge 22c per text message, whilst Power Diary charges 16.5c (including GST).

3. Receiving Client Replies

Having a dedicated SMS number means clients will receive a message from the same number every time, providing a consistent experience for clients. Most significantly, this also enables clients to reply back to messages and ensures that replies are processed accurately.

With Power Diary a dedicated SMS number is already included at no extra cost.

By default in HealthKit, you can only send one-way messages. This means if a client replies to an SMS reminder, you will not receive it. To be able to receive clients replies, you’d need to enable ‘Two-way’ by purchasing a dedicated SMS number at a cost of $15/month.

4. Medicare/DVA Rebate Claim Fees

Power Diary’s Medicare and DVA integration’s are free to use. HealthKit charges $0.22 per Medicare/DVA rebate sent.

5. Credit Card Processing Fee

Power Diary uses Stripe, a well known credit card processing gateway, to store client credit card details and process client payments. Each time a credit card payment is processed, there is a total processing fee of 1.75% + 80c.

HeathKit also integrate with Stripe; they charge a total processing fee of 2% + $1.

6. Data Import Costs

Another consideration is the cost of importing data into each system. This cost has not been factored into the pricing comparison tables below as HealthKit are not clear about how much they charge to assist with data importing.

According to their website: “HealthKit will generally import basic patient details (names, contact, DOB) for free, but there is a ‘small charge’ for migrating existing referrals and Medicare numbers etc. Migrating invoices and attached files is more complex and therefore attracts a greater charge.”

Importing your data into Power Diary is and has always been free, even for trial accounts. Power Diary’s data experts are always on hand to assist in any way and also with importing more complex data, again, at no extra charge.

Pricing Tables

The pricing tables below outline what both Power Diary and HealthKit would cost under the following assumptions

  1. Number of Appointments/Month: 77/month (based on 5 appointments/day x 4 days x 46 working weeks / 12 months)
  2. Number of SMS Reminders = Number of Appointments (77 a month)
  3. Average session fee: $120
  4. Percentage of Medicare / DVA Rebated Appointments: 60%
  5. Percentage of Credit Cards Processed Appointments: 60%

Table 1.1: Total Cost Comparison: Power Diary vs HealthKit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
Monthly SubscriptionDedicated SMS NumberSMSMedicare/DVA ClaimsCC ProcessingTOTAL MONTHLY FEE
1 DiaryPD$54.80Included$12.71Included$133.98$201.49
HealthKitNil$15$16.94$10.16$157.08$198.18
3 DiariesPD$78.65Included$38.12Included$401.94$518.71
HealthKitNil$15$50.80$30.49$471.24$567.55
9 DiariesPD$121.55Included$114.35Included$1,205.82$1,441.72
HealthKitNil$15$152.46$91.48$1,413.72$1,672.66
20 DiariesPD$166.83Included$254.10Included$2,679.60$3,100.53
HealthKitNil$15$338.80$203.28$3,141.60$3,698.68

What is interesting about the above table is that an account with more than 3 diaries will actually end up being more expensive with HealthKit than with Power Diary.

In addition, Power Diary periodically offers first-time users a special 50% off for their first 12 months. Table 1.2 below takes this promotion into account.

Table 1.2: Total Cost Comparison: 50% Off Power Diary Promotion vs HealthKit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
Monthly SubscriptionDedicated SMS NumberSMSMedicare/DVA ClaimsCC ProcessingTOTAL MONTHLY FEE
1 DiaryPD$27.40Included$12.71Included$133.98$174.09
HealthKitNil$15$16.94$10.16$157.08$198.18
3 DiariesPD$39.32Included$38.12Included$401.94$479.38
HealthKitNil$15$50.80$30.49$471.24$567.55
9 DiariesPD$60.78Included$114.35Included$1,205.82$1,380.95
HealthKitNil$15$152.46$91.48$1,413.72$1,672.66
20 DiariesPD$83.42Included$254.10Included$2,679.60$3,017.12
HealthKitNil$15$338.80$203.28$3,141.60$3,698.68

Guarantees

Power Diary has offered a unique guarantee for around six years: if, for any reason, Power Diary is not suitable within the first 12 months, users are eligible for a 100% money back guarantee which covers all monthly fees as well as text reminder fees.

 

Summary 

In this article we have compared some similarities and some key differences between Power Diary and HealthKit. The biggest revelation was that despite how it presents, HealthKit is not free, and in most cases it is more expensive than Power Diary. 

With Power Diary you truly get a world-class practice management system. It’s been around since 2007, so it’s battle-tested, its proven and its reliable. It is also extremely affordable. We are here to help you reduce your administrative burdens to an absolute minimum, to enable you to focus on serving clients and utilise your time and energy on higher value business-building activity.

We hope this breakdown has helped in your evaluation of HealthKit vs Power Diary.  If you have any further questions please feel free to contact us by phone, email via support@powerdiary.com or chat with us by clicking the blue button at the bottom of the page. 

 

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