You should. Seriously.
Ok. Here is the deal. Most of you are solo business owners who are trying to do it all and be it all. And guess what, if you want to be really effective, you have to find a way to outsource some activities.
I've talked with hundreds of therapists across the world, so I know that many of you do NOT have the budget to hire administrative staff. And guess what? With a great paperless office, you probably don't need to!
When I was in graduate school, my professor told me to prepare to spend 2 hours on administrative tasks for every 1 hour I spent with clients. For someone who loves helping people, but doesn't love adminstrative ridiculousness, this made me sad. I was also determined to get as much face time in with clients as possible, without sacrificing my legal and ethical obligations. (This might be why I finished gathering my 3,000 hours so quickly.)
When I developed my own private practice process, I was determined to go paperless. And guess what, there wasn't much out there. I was actually a beta tester for two of the first programs that rolled onto the market back in 2007. Initially, I hobbled together a solution using a Word Processing Program and IronKeys that was secure, but still cumbersome.
The software they have on the market today is progressing my leaps and bounds. Every month programs are rolling out new services that are all meant to make your life easier, and your clients happier! What does that mean for you? It means that there are people who WANT your business and are determined to make your life easier, save you time, and save you money.
The monthly costs can range from under $30 to over $100. That monthly cost might stop you in your tracks. But, let me ask you this, can you hire an administrative staff for less than $100 a month? I'd be willing to bet the average clinician (if they choose wisely), saves at minimum 10 hours per month.
For me, I not only spent MUCH less time on billing, note-taking, and treatment planning, I also had less anxiety. I could also check on my files, ensure payments were tracked, print out receipts, and so much more.
I recently moved from California to Washington and it was ah-mazing to know that there were no files to securely transport! I can still easily access files, past clients can complete releases of information as needed, and I don't have a locked down filing cabinet in my new home office.
It made running a business so easy- I even started a second business on my off days- because although I didn't want to burn out doing trauma work- running a business was easy and fun!
Have you gone paperless yet? I think it is time to stop putting it off! You can enter to win 1-year of Simple Practice (one of our personal favorites on the market right now) here.
Are you struggling with this, and other aspects of enjoying the business side of your private practice? We are going to be launching a 1-week private practice bootcamp that is all about the nuts and bolts of running a private practice at the end of March. If you would like to chat about whether this program would benefit your practice, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org (We will send out the big announcement at some point-but for now an e-mail works).
Want more articles about therapists going paperless? Here is just one I've written. It is interesting how quickly things are changing. Like, today- the practice management system I recommend does look great and integrate securely with my calendar!