I believe having a Private Practice Workflow is so important. Thinking about how you will deal with every eventuality from enquiry all the way through to a clients ending. Knowing your procedures and having templates, documents, and systems in place for each stage. This creates harmony within your practice and will promote professionalism and trust from your clients.
Below are my 7 stages of a Private Practice Workflow. It will help you to make decisions for each stage and feel confident in your process. There is also a free Workbook and Checklist you can download to accompany this blog HERE.
It’s important to have an understanding about everywhere your enquiries could come from and how you will receive them. Email, Phone Calls, Direct Messaging etc. I would suggest moving them to one platform as soon as possible so they can all follow the same process.
It would be beneficial to have a central location to capture this enquiry information. Name, email, some notes around the reason for enquiry and really importantly where they found you. You can then see where you need to focus your attention based on where people are finding you.
Do you offer an introductory call and how it that undertaken? Do you prefer for clients to complete a questionnaire? Having a structure to how you qualify clients can be useful so you can ??
Lastly, creating some email templates for enquiries would also be valuable. What do you say to someone if you have space? And what do you say to someone when you are full? Having these outlined in advance can cut down on admin and save you time.
I believe the way you onboard clients is such a massive part of your private practice. This one part of the workflow can massively influence how long a client stays with you. For more details about this part check out How to Set Up a New Client Onboarding System.
The first part to your onboarding is the welcome email. Here you can welcome your client to your practice and outline your practice procedures. These would include all the main things a client would need to know. Your fee, how they book an appointment, how they pay for an appointment, what your cancellation policy is and how they can cancel or reschedule an appointment. Yes you will be sending out your paperwork but you can’t guarantee they will read everything. Outlining important information in an email will set the tone and give your new clients a sense of how you work.
The next part is deciding how you will send out your paperwork. I recommend using an e-signature platform like Signable. This is the easiest way to get your paperwork completed and so both parties have a copy of the signed document. Ensure to have a place where you save the completed paperwork so you can access if required. You can also think of having a master client list. Here you can have important information for each client (such as email, phone number, emergency contact) all in one place.
3. Regular Bookings
Regular bookings doesn’t have to mean that you only work with clients who you see weekly at the same time each week. It just means how you want your practice to look with regards to appointments. Some questions to think about…
- How many session hours are available in your week?
- Would you like clients to have regular weekly / fortnightly slots?
- How will you manage bookings? (Via a paper or online diary or by using an online booking tool?)
- How will you notify your clients of the next appointment?
- What is your cancellation policy?
Having a clear picture on how you want your practice to look will help when you are qualifying new clients. Having regular weekly slots can help you manage your cash flow by knowing exactly how much you will earn each week. If you want to be more flexible having a couple of extra slots to offer can allow you to do this. If you have 8 clients a week but you allocate 10 sessions if a client wants to reschedule you’ll have alternatives without compromising your personal time.
There are lots of ways to invoice in Private Practice and take payments and I have a free download in which I talk in depth about each option you have available.
In short, you can:
- Manually Invoice – using a word or excel template sending these weekly or monthly
- Set up invoices using an online payment system like PayPal or Stripe
- Use a card reader like SumUp
- Use a virtual card terminal like SquareUp
- Utilise an Electronic Health Record (EHR) / Online Booking System
I would suggest you think about what will be easy for you to set up and compete but also what will be easy for your client to do as this is important for you getting paid on time.
It is important to communicate to your clients how you wish to be communicated with in all circumstances. This includes how you will communicate with clients and how you wish them to communicate with you outside of session time. It will also include how you wish to be communicated with if they need to cancel a session a late notice as this may be different.
It’s also valuable to think about how you will communicate with yourself. How you will manage your to do’s. I suggest using a project management system such as Trello or Asana. You can read my blog about Project Management Systems which will outline the benefits of them.
If you need to write reports for your clients I will outline the easiest way for you to do this safely and securely. I suggest saving all your client information on a cloud-based server such as Google Workspace. Here you can create a Google Doc and write your report for your client then complete the following steps to send securely.
- Download it to your computer
- Save as a password protected PDF
- Email the password protected PDF to the correct recipient
- Send a second email with the password
You can then delete the password protected PDF from your computer as it’s no longer needed. You will have the original letter / report in the online client file.
Just as onboarding is crucial finishing with your client correctly is also important. Do you have any specific procedures you follow when ending with a client? You could complete a graduation report. Or send a final email outlining any relevant information or resources they may find useful. In addition you could also outline your policy on clients returning such as the possibility of having check ins.
You can also think about how you move them from a current to a past client electronically. You could move them the current tab on your master list to an ended tab or change the status on your online booking system. Whatever the process is for your practice it’s just good to have a process for offboarding.
Those are my 7 stages for a Private Practice workflow. From enquiry through to discharge. If you found this helpful you can get my free Private Practice Process Workflow & Checklist which will help you create your own Private Practice Workflow.
If you have questions or would like to discuss your thoughts you can book a Private Practice Admin Audit. This is a 60-minute zoom call where you can discuss your practice in detail and I can offer my advice and best practice solutions for you. After our call I will send you a personalised report with my recommendations and also any resources I think may be beneficial to you.
If you would like to book an admin audit please get in contact at [email protected]