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mac compatable software

Discussion in 'Practice Management' started by AUStudent, Jan 10, 2012.

  1. AUStudent

    AUStudent Member

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    I am about to open my first clinic (in Australia). I am aiming at going paperless, or at least as paperless as I can possibly make it! I will be using Mac computers. I have been looking at PracticePal and Cliniko and am happy with both systems. I am however a little concerned about possible internet crashes, delayed speed etc. Just wanting to know if there is software out there (not internet based) that is Mac compatible and podiatry friendly (no parallels needed). I really want to avoid having to use i.e. Frontdesk etc with parallels. Any feedback from Mac users would be appreciated. I have read through all the threads which is why I have researched PP, Cliniko & Frontdesk as these seem to be the most popular. Just wondering if there is anything else available to Mac users which I may have missed?
  2. jarlett

    jarlett Member

    Not specifically answering your question but I use FrontDesk with parallel with no problem at all. It is by far the best program I have found. There are lots of smaller companies producing programs out there with big promises but they do not have a sizeable organisation behind them which means they are not very agile if you need assistance or program modification. We have found Front Desk very accommodating. I have not had any glitches using Front Desk on Mac. Why are you so concerned re parallels?
  3. footinjuryclinic

    footinjuryclinic Welcome New Poster

    I am using frontdesk with mv software and it has been fantastic. We have 6 mac's on the wireless network and various remote dial in connection from another practice and it has worked very well. Regards
  4. Eilzabeth

    Eilzabeth Member

    I use practicepal on my ipad. Never had any issues but for my own peace of mind I carry a dongle in case there is ever a problem with an internet connection. Not needed to use it yet though! Good luck with the clinic!
  5. björn

    björn Active Member

    I have recently purchased Macpractice (the DC - or chiro oriented - version)....... and have only just started learning it, so to give an opinion this early is a little unfair.

    I found some of the web based ones, which are simpler, depend on a fast internet connection - and cannot possibly be as fast as a local network setup.

    I have come from using MYOB for billing and a Filemaker home-made set up, which I had some help with from a pro developer, and is therefore quite comprehensive and VERY specific to me.

    My first impressions:
    To begin with, it's frustrating, because you hardly get a real look at the software before you buy it - no working demo. Just some videos which show case it somewhat. Given how expensive it is, you;d think this would could be provided, but it's still cheaper for similar features than a medical oriented software called Genie (btw, a lot of Mac shops kept bringing up genie, so there might be some nice kickbacks for them). There is a yearly fee in addition to the one off purchase, but it is comparative to Genie. All the little extras cost money too: Ipad/. iphone link: $$$, template based medical records, rather than form: $$$. Import existing records without an option to do it yourself: $$$$ and so on and so on.....

    User interface is quite good, but a lot of it is so far very USA centric - so much so that some of it doesn't make sense yet. Simple things are therefore not yet overly intuitive, like trying to create an invoice - Navigating through insurance info etc takes a bit of getting used to.

    Integration at the moment with private health funds paying part of treatments (HICAPS) looks difficult as far as I can see, but I haven't gone indepth yet.

    Support that I've needed thus far is ok - the hours are gnerally US based, but they do offer a few hours in the morning aimed at Australian clients. Also, whilst a US accent is technically english, you need to be sharp to pick up everthing first time !:)

    SMS- with appointments is via a subscription service, which to be honest is annoying - its a MONTHLY subsciption plus messages (and they are not even cheap at about 20 c a txt - compared to some which are 5c!) But it is REALLY well integrated with the software with SMS confirmations AUTOMatically linking into the software. I'll try a work around to start with, because another 1200 a year on the subscription alone is not worth it for me yet.

    I'll report back, but overall I'm not yet sold on it. i hope I change my mind because it was a lot of money! I guess I've never used one software that you buy and then pay through the nose for yearly as well. This does annoy me, given I am at the low end of the financial turnover capable by health professionals this software is aimed at. Why can I not choose to update regularly or stay behind? Once I've found a feature set that works for me, on a system that is reliable, then that is fine even if the hardware is a few years old.

    You can't buy it direct from the company either - you have to go through the local sales guy, and once they've sold it to you, the local assistance diminishes. I have tried to contact a guy who has installed it many times, and had little assitance there. I may as well just be able to buy it download it, and the pocket the commission that they make!!haha;);)

    I've worked with Zedmed, Front desk and they all have their strong points and weak points too. I decided to stick with mac, because I have more albeit basic knowledge on how to troubleshoot my own network things than on PC and that made it worth paying a little more for.

    I hope this helps.
  6. AUStudent

    AUStudent Member

    Hi Jarlett,
    I know front desk is a great program and I'm not really concerned about using it with parallels. I am however a little concerned about its cost and on going support fees. Practice pal offers pay by the month fees,on going support and back up my data for the one monthly charge. I am considering starting with practice pal and if all fails once I start I can purchase front desk and transfer my data (I realise they do charge a fee for data transfer). Thank you for your advice.
  7. AUStudent

    AUStudent Member

    Thank you for all the comments they have been a great help. I didn't realise choosing a software program would be so hard!
  8. joelfriedlaender

    joelfriedlaender Active Member


    I hope you don't mind my completely biased view here (I am from Cliniko).

    Firstly on the web-based thing. When we started developing Cliniko we had the choice to make a native application (ie. Windows or Mac app) or a web-based system. We chose web-based as we believe it be far superior for our customers. Yes it requires an reliable internet connection, but most people have this now, and if they don't, well unfortunately web-based is probably not for them. Many of our customers use their mobile phones (iPhone, Android, etc.) as a backup if internet goes out, it's pretty easy to tether internet from these devices if needed. As for the advantages to a web-based system (I am speaking of true hosted systems):
    - Works on Mac or PC (or a combination of both)
    - Can be accessed from anywhere, no need to be in the office to see your appointments
    - No need for costly infrastructure (networks, servers, etc.)
    - No need for powerful computers (all the heavy lifting is done by the software online, your computers power barely affects performance)
    - Backups are taken care of for you, and should be much more thorough and reliable than you would do yourself (with Cliniko we back up the data daily across multiple secure locations for redundancy).
    - No need to install anything or have an "IT guy" that can cost you decent money
    - Any software updates are applied automatically without you needing to do a thing, and you are always on the latest version
    - The software company can support the system and help you better because they have access to see what's going on (at Cliniko, we test the system every 30 seconds automatically and are alerted of any problems, we will know if something has gone wrong before you do)
    - The system can be a lot faster than a traditional application you install on your computer. This is because the computers/servers that can be used to run a hosted application are typically much more powerful than you would ever have in your clinic (you do need a reasonable internet connection or that will be a bottleneck for you).
    - Your data is secure. If you have all your information on a server in your clinic, all someone needs to do is take that server and all of your information is compromised. With a hosted system, someone could steal all of your computers and still have no access to your data. The security in most hosted data centers is again far greater than you would ever have yourself.

    Those are just the advantages I can think of from the top of my head, but I really believe if you choose Cliniko or another system, web-based is the way to go.

    One other point that was made about the bigger companies being more responsive, this hasn't been my experience. At Cliniko we are a small and agile company, we are very fast to respond to any customer queries and offer free unlimited support (phone and email). We also offer a free 30-day trial so you can see exactly what you would get if you decided to use us. There is no obligation, and the trial is unrestricted (you get all the features and full customers support).

    As I said at the start, clearly I have bias, but I really hope you do consider going with a web-based system, I believe it is the best way forward with software.

    Good luck with your decision making!
  9. trevpod

    trevpod Member

    I have been looking for PMS for some time and would love to have a native Mac program. Many around are too involved for what I see is needed in a Podiatry practice. I seems that Front Desk offers the best fit but I do not want to run it on a virtual PC. I would run it on a PC as the server but would like to use iPads in the rooms for notes etc. via a LAN. Is this possible? Has anyone done it? I asked Smartsoft but they suggested using it as a web based application and didn't want to know about Macs at all. Any comments gratefully accepted.

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