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New practice management software

Discussion in 'Practice Management' started by ali8un, Sep 1, 2011.

  1. ali8un

    ali8un Member

    Members do not see these Ads. Sign Up.

    I am planning to commence a new practice in about a month and am looking for advice regarding suitable practice management programs. Given that it will take time to build client numbers I am questionning outlaying the costs involved for Front Desk. Reading another thread I came across Cliniko. Has anyone trialled this? At $500 per year I could run it for the next 8-9 years before it cost me the same as front Desk. Other than cost is there anything that is vital that is missing from Cliniko?
  2. joelfriedlaender

    joelfriedlaender Active Member


    I am glad to hear you are considering Cliniko (I am the founder).

    I just wanted to let you know that whilst our pricing can be a compelling reason to use us, price is not how we expect to get and keep our users. Our software is very easy to use, and there are many benefits to a web-based system like ours. Whilst we will probably be the cheapest due to our pricing model, this isn't our goal, our goal is to be the best software available.

    If there are any specific features or information you would like to know about, please feel free to ask me anything here, or email me at joel@cliniko.com. I can also see if I can find a reference or two for you if you would like.

    Lastly, we do have a 30-day free trial that is really obligation free. If you're not sure if it will do what you want, you can just sign up and be using it about 60 seconds later. When your trial ends, you can choose to start paying the monthly subscription, or just let it lapse. We won't bother you if you choose to let it go and we don't employ sales people, so noone will be chasing you down.

    I know you were looking for others that had trialled Cliniko, so I will leave you to it now, and just return if you have any questions.


  3. Daniel Bagnall

    Daniel Bagnall Active Member

    Hi there,

    When I first started out I was trying to figure out the same thing as you are now. I wished I had gone with Front Desk right from the word go. I wouldn't recommend going with a web based system. There's a reason why there is such a massive cost difference between the two systems. I wouldn't under estimate the potential for how big your practice will grow in the next 2-4 years. I had to make the transition at about the 3 year mark as my previous system was no longer suitable.

    If you do go with a web based system and then decide later on to switch to Front Desk you will also be up for fairly hefty costs with reagrds to importing data from a web based system to Front Desk.

    Good luck
  4. joelfriedlaender

    joelfriedlaender Active Member

    Hi Daniel,

    As mentioned above, I am the founder of Cliniko, a web-based practice management system, so I obviously have bias, and want to be very clear about that up front.

    I wouldn't recommend grouping all web-based systems into one category. Web-based just means that you can access the system from anywhere, and you won't have any IT costs associated. It can also be great if you have a Mac computer. Whether it is appropriate for your practice (even if it grows quite large) would be dependent on the system itself rather than the fact that it is web-based.

    As for choosing Front Desk early because of the hefty costs of importing data later, it's a shame that it's the case. With Cliniko, data import is free, it can be done by yourself or with our assistance. I really hope people stop settling for some of the outrageous fees that software companies are charging, it will be good for the industry as a whole. Our prices aren't cheaper because we undervalue our system, we really just want fair pricing and think the healthcare software industry has been overpriced for some time now.


  5. mishkabelle

    mishkabelle Member

    Hi there,

    I purchased Front Desk when I initially set up my clinic, and although it was expensive it has been worth every cent. The training and support they offer is amazing and the program itself is incredibly easy to use. My only issue was that to make it compatible with a MAC would have required bridging software so I am using PC (which has it's own problems but that's not the fault of Front desk!)
    My own piece of advice regardless of the software is to start with the program you want to run with eventually. It may seen expensive when you have very few patients but having to go back and input data from hand written files down the track would be a horrendous job

  6. toughspiders

    toughspiders Active Member


    Ive recetly trialled quite a few software systems. I wanted to go with an online system but wonderful testra couldnt supply me with broadband. I too was a bit miffed with the cost of front desk its a lot to pay out.

    I ended up going with a UK based software system. I use a different software company to bill medicare and DVA. Although im still in the early stages with it so far im impressed. Its very customisable and also very cheap compared to others!!

    The support is good but you have to bear in mind the time difference, this hasnt been a problem so far, they have rang me at home and logged in with teamviewer to assist me and show me how to do things.

    It also offers email and sms (the sms are about 60 english pounds for 1000 sms i dont know how that compares with others, bear in mind bank charges for fund transfers)

    Worth taking a look

  7. podcare

    podcare Active Member

    We use Frontdesk. Great back up and support systems. Does all you need it to do and more.
  8. ali8un

    ali8un Member

    Hi everyone

    Thankyou for your responses. I have decided to do the 30 day trial with Cliniko's web based system. So far one of the benefits for me is that I can access it from where ever I am via computer or iphone - a necessity as I will be doing my own reception until the numbers build and I work in many different locations (ie aged care facilities) the rest of the week. So far my impression is positive. Any assistance i have required has been promptly and accurately dealt with and I can see that the provider is very committed to hearing feedback and is continuosly updating and improving the system (all of which is then immediately available without having to update software etc.)

    I will report back at the end of my trial period.

    Last edited: Sep 9, 2011
  9. Nat Smith

    Nat Smith Active Member

    I have been using Front Desk in my practice for the last 5 yrs. I think it's absolutely brilliant, and I don't even use 1/2 the bells & whistles it's capable of.

    Having said that, I stopped using their Extended Care Plan after about 2 yrs, (which supplies all the updates & tech support), as things were running along just fine. How naive was I?

    Then this year we decided to upgrade our phone & internet system. With my older PC now unable to keep up, I had to get a new one and tried re-loading my older version of Front Desk onto the new lappy. It wasn't happy. Suffice to say, I had to get back onto Smartsoft and pay for the upgrades to bring me back up to date.

    Smartsoft consider your software obsolete after 5 yrs. If you haven't had the Extended Care Plan over that time, you essentially have to buy it all over again. I had been without the plan for 3 yrs and had to pay a certain amount based on number of months lapsed from the plan.

    To their credit, they were very helpful and took pity on me and gave me a considerable goodwill discount. However, if I was starting out again, I don't know if I would be going down this track. Maintaining the Extended Care Plan is about $700 a yr. You're just constantly paying for upgrades. I had a look at Cliniko and quite frankly I would go that way too. In another few yrs when I need another laptop, I'll probably look at the alternatives.
  10. Terry Watson

    Terry Watson Member

    I use Rushcliff's PPS and it handles far more than I need it to. Really strong reporting as well.

    I use the Online version so from any PC, my Mac or Ipad I can login to my full Windows-based system and use the full software package so I guess it is the best of both worlds by having a non-web based peice of software that can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection. Now this is the future, cloud based software. They've even changed an e-mail setting in their newest software to cater for a change I require as I have a new employee/partner starting with me and we needed more control over e-mail accounts. Great guys.
  11. betafeet

    betafeet Active Member

    I have been looking at management systems for a self employed mulidisiplinary clinic (they all take their own money), do any of you use the above software for this or other.
  12. betafeet

    betafeet Active Member

    Hi any of you know how much some of the other systems are? Cliniko seems to be just under $200 a month for 12 practioners (cheaper for fewer practioners). Rushcliff diary is free to those who have 2 licences (I do) but it is not clear if this will serve a mulidisaplinary clinic (awaiting reply from them).

    Not many of the others are upfront with actual costs do you have any info? I have approx 75 bookings for myself a week so pay per click is not an option.
  13. brekin

    brekin Active Member

    Just had a quick look at Cliniko and like the concept however there seems to be no recall built in and no way to generate letters to doctors and clients. So very basic features limited to progress notes, calendar and SMS reminders. I'm not even sure if you can attach a photo or scan documents - this is not listed in their features so I doubt it can do this.

    It would be great if you could have the iPad in the clinic and complete a neurovascular assessment template hit a button to send to GP and then have a recall based on that but not even close. What about the ability of using the camera on the iPad/iPhone to link to client? Don't think it can do that.

    I haven't checked out the trial but it seems very limiting in what it can offer. Especially when you are building your practice you want an easy way to generate letters to GPs as that is the best marketing tool you can get.

    Pay the extra I think.
  14. joelfriedlaender

    joelfriedlaender Active Member

    Hi Brekin,

    Joel from Cliniko here again. You are correct that we don't have a way to generate letters to doctors/clients yet, and there are some other features we want in that aren't there yet either. We do have the ability to attach any files to patient records, and these are all stored securely online and backed up for you.

    We are however working towards adding the features our users are asking for, in fact we have now released 50 updates to our software in the last 3.5 months since we launched Cliniko. You can see the regularity of our updates here http://support.cliniko.com/forums/20085028-cliniko-updates-and-changes.

    We also have a very active feature request forum that we pay close attention to, and the items you mention are mostly in there. You can see our feature request forum here http://support.cliniko.com/forums/20085058-feature-requests-voting.

    We are very new to the scene (we launched in June this year), but we use state of the art technology, and are adding features all the time without increasing our price. We plan to be the best practice management system available, not just good value for money.

    So far, our customers keep telling us that they love using Cliniko, which means a lot to us and gives us confidence we are doing things right. You can see some testimonials on our website, but we have a lot more to put up there shortly.

    This has gotten a little longwinded, but basically I would recommend give our trial a go if interested, it's very obligation free. If we don't satisfy your needs, you have lost nothing but 30 minutes to have a look.
  15. joelfriedlaender

    joelfriedlaender Active Member

  16. betafeet

    betafeet Active Member

    Voting so far from Pod Arena and LinkedIn (excluded company owners in vote)

    Practice Pal 4
    Freehand clinic manager 1
    Google calendar 1
    Rushcliff's PPS 3
    Front Desk 4
    Cliniko 4

    Please keep comments and votes coming.

  17. betafeet

    betafeet Active Member

    As I only require a dairy for the clinic so far I would like to try google callander has any one set this up having various treatment rooms and therapists. The driving force behind this is the reluctance of the other therapist to change from the present diary system and not willing to share any costs. I therefore want to demonstrate the benifits.

  18. MJJ

    MJJ Active Member

    What kind of cows do you plan on milking?
  19. PowerPodiatry

    PowerPodiatry Active Member

    Previously used google cal with a virtual booking agency doing the bookings.
    Worked well
    If the staff give you grief get rid of them and go virtual for your bookings:cool:
  20. footdrcb

    footdrcb Active Member

    I like your sense of humour.... Herefords.....
  21. Eilzabeth

    Eilzabeth Member

    Hi everyone! I'm new to the forum but wanted to say that I've recently opened my multi-discipline clinic and I chose to go with PracticePal. From my research, it proved to be the most polished, comprehensive and the cheapest for what you get.

    I would definitely recommend it: www.practicepal.co.uk
  22. Jbwheele

    Jbwheele Active Member

    Personally, I can not see the benefit of a computer based diary, booking and pt notes system for a simple podiatry practice. Say up to 4 podiatrists all treating new and regular pt's. Surely written paper notes, a good paper diary and admin system could run smoothly. I can see it get easier with more than 4 pods / other occupations working together but is it just more "Toys" to break down. In my little experience with computer based systems, if the power fails or the system crashes, just means more MIND *%^*#! for the owner and more stress and $$$$. IMO
  23. joelfriedlaender

    joelfriedlaender Active Member

    I think a computer based system can help even a solo podiatrist, and definitely once you have 2 or more I think it can have a lot of advantages. As for system crashes and similar, a good software program and quality computers in your practice should eliminate this as a problem. Some of the advantages you would get from a software system are:
    • Ability to access your calendar from home
    • Ability to book in patients from anywhere (eg. on your phone)
    • Reliable and secure backup of all your patient records
    • Instant access to financial information at tax time
    • Easy to generate reports for calculating practitioner pays
    • Information on your practice to help you make marketing/business decisions (ie. demographics of patients, number of new vs. return patients, etc.)
    • Automated reminders for appointments (SMS or Email) to help reduce no-shows
    • Quickly produce professional invoices/receipts for your patients

    I suspect that experiences with poor software systems could taint your view of systems in general, but as there a plenty of bad ones out there, there are also plenty of good ones. The difference can be quite major.
  24. Ryan C

    Ryan C Member

    Hi All,

    I've been involved with the development of a EMR system geared for foot care specialists, in particular with a diabetic foot and biomechanics point of view. As such, you might find my opinion a bit biased as well (in addition, I am a Canadian pedorthist, so you will see that slant).

    Three years ago, we launched our software called KIWI (www.kiwirevolution.com). We now have many users in USA and Canada, and we service clients that are big and small (1 practitioner to >15) with single or multiple locations (1-8 clinics).

    Kiwi does all of the functions that were previously mentioned:

    -Ability to access your calendar from home
    -Ability to book in patients from anywhere (eg. on your phone)
    -Reliable and secure backup of all your patient records
    -Instant access to financial information at tax time
    -Easy to generate reports for calculating practitioner pay
    -Information on your practice to help you make marketing/business decisions (ie. demographics of patients, number of new vs. return patients, etc.)
    -Automated reminders for appointments (Email) to help reduce no-shows
    -Quickly produce professional invoices/receipts for your patients

    Let me know if you would like to try it. There is a 30 day free trial. The monthly cost is only $39 CDN and there are no other hidden costs. We currently do not have any podiatric users, but we welcome them and I feel that it has a large majority of the clinical functions that many other software do not have. Furthermore, it would be a great opportunity for a podiatrist to consult for us to develop a system that works for you.

    Ryan Chang, PhD, CPed (C)

  25. antipodean

    antipodean Active Member

    Hi All, I am on the verge of signing up with best practice a QLD based company that is a big player in medical software especially for GPs. online claiming (DVA and Medicare) for me would be a crucial in any software choice. Best Practice does not (yet) talk to Hicaps (not that is the end of the world but as E-Health grows ever larger importing reports from diagnostic companies and perhaps pathology will be increasingly essential. The ongoing fees are fairly modest and you can install the program and play around with it before subscribing. Also it is very adaptable for a variety of allied health and medical users who may be working out of the one clinic.
    That said subscription is provider number specific so if you work from multiple locations it will pose problems.
    I am VERY KEEN to hear form anyone who is currently using it as there podiatry soft ware program
  26. PowerPodiatry

    PowerPodiatry Active Member

    Have just started using Best practice in the multi-disiplinary clinic I'm in and at first glance would not be my choice...having said that the support is very good if you have problems.

    The other practitioners tend to have templates that they fill in by hand and scan and attach to patient file...I may end up doing this for speed but may actually make up template for iPad and do it that way.

    The search function for segmentation is quiet useful for patient mail-outs etc...but I tend to export the data to spreadsheet for easier purge and merge with word processor.

    Would love a system that integrated a tablet (iPad) with the desktop and was able to import directly into the patient notes...then you could have different templates and the fields would be searchable.
  27. trevpod

    trevpod Member

    Would love a system that integrated a tablet (iPad) with the desktop and was able to import directly into the patient notes...then you could have different templates and the fields would be searchable.

    And runs on a MAC
  28. joelfriedlaender

    joelfriedlaender Active Member

  29. PowerPodiatry

    PowerPodiatry Active Member

    Was waiting to see how long it took before a web browser based provider spotted my comment;)

    I use a web browser based 'solution' when I visit a Padman RACF...can be very frustrating watching it load...took me an extra 1/2 hr to do my notes on my last visit watching the damn pages load.

    Great concept though...wish the reality was as great.
  30. joelfriedlaender

    joelfriedlaender Active Member

    Surely you won't judge all web applications by the performance of one? I can tell you from someone that knows the inner workings of web applications, not all are created equally. In fact, many are created quite poorly. We don't outsource any development and are super passionate about software.

    I could rant for a long time on this but really you don't need to take my word for it. We have a 30 day free trial on our website, you can even use a fake email address and name if you like to sign up if you are worried we will keep your details (we don't do anything bad, we will add you to our mailing list but it has an auto unsubscribe link on it if you don't want to be a part of it). There is obviously absolutely no obligation that way.. have a go and see what you think. I would love to hear it good or bad.

    I am sure you will find the speed and ease of use of our software nothing like any other system you have tried.
  31. PowerPodiatry

    PowerPodiatry Active Member

    Actually I am a great fan of web browser based solutions and as you say not all are created equal. I currently use MYOB online solution and find it quiet pleasing when I make a suggestion that is advantageous for all concerned...presto next time you log on there it is...don't get that with traditional software solutions.

    Sadly for once in my career I am not the boss and am stuck with Best practice.

    May take you up on the trial offer for the sake of a test drive when I have a day spare to play...who knows I may need you if I break free.
  32. joelfriedlaender

    joelfriedlaender Active Member

    Well if you do get to give us a trial please do let me know your feedback.
  33. johnmccall

    johnmccall Active Member

    Hi all,

    As everyone else seems to be mentioning their product, here's mine:


    Go to www.PodiatrySoftware.co.uk to see more.

    It's been taken up very well worldwide, a little in USA but mainly UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Eire, Turkey and Spain
  34. Julian Head

    Julian Head Active Member


    I run a multisite, multipractitioner, multidisciplinary practice in the uk and redesigned (and continue to) practicepal with the designer. It is web-based and can be accessed on tablets, pc's, macs, smart phones and costs little to run.

    It does have paper, email and text reminders, full stock control, barcoding, reporting (exportable to all .csv financial software systems for) although it does have income and expenditure reporting. Diaries are practitioner tagged and link to online bookings (including prepayment if you wish (this is how we run so no more failed visits and lost income) and changes/cancellations with us in control of the refunds). The clever bit is that physio patients can only book a physio appointment with a physio not a podiatrist (which seems to happen with other systems).

    Clinical notes include charting, importable jpegs and pdf's (all forms are now added to patients notes), recalls are automated as the practitioner sets the recall date at the consultation.

    I have no ongoing financial interest in this product other than I was paid for initial development so I won't benefit if you purchase it. Why not try it.....it's the best one we've found so far and it continues to change and improve....
  35. RobinP

    RobinP Well-Known Member

    I also run practice pal Julian and I didn't know about the pre payment option - thanks

    When my practice was smaller, I ran Podware Pro - also a very good system and very inexpensive for what you get.
  36. markleigh

    markleigh Active Member

    Has anyone heard of a company called Centaur Software who sell a practice management product called Practice Studio?
  37. Bob Bond

    Bob Bond Member

    You might also want to give WriteUpp a shot.

    I know lots of people talk about systems being simple but this really is!

    I should state that I am the CEO of WriteUpp but judge for yourself.
  38. Zac

    Zac Active Member

    I am keen to hear from any Podiatrist's who are using Gensolve, Nookal or Coreplus for their PMS. Particularly the two areas of clinical note taking & Medicare/HICAPS connectivity.
  39. Doctor Bob

    Doctor Bob Welcome New Poster

    Me too!
  40. MJJ

    MJJ Active Member

    I'm currently trialing Cliniko and so far I like it. It's easy to use, looks good, and they seem to be constantly making small improvements to it. Thanks Joel!

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