When I first started in private practice, I used protected word files and folders and locked filing cabinets to store my client notes, but was never completely comfortable with my ability to keep them secure.
I worked for IAPT for 5 years using Mayden’s iaptus patient management system, and when I trialled bacpac it felt very familiar and easy to use. Most obviously I use bacpac to store my client details and notes, but there are loads more added extras.
To my surprise the calendar and auto-email reminder have been extremely valuable. I first had to get past the usual counsellor doubts about chasing clients or allowing clients to take responsibility for their therapy and appointments. I say surprise because I have never had a client refuse the service. My clients tell me they value the reminders particularly if they have busy or chaotic lives. A word of caution though: when it comes to booking an appointment, bacpac shows a default time of 9am, so the therapist needs to input the actual appointment time. I’ll leave you to imagine the rest… My excuse is it helps the clients to see me as human and fallible. [Thanks Martyn! We’ve taken this feedback onboard and will be looking to improve the usability around this function —Dawn, Product Manager]
The calendar also records the fee with the date, and cash flow is summarised in a graph on the home page. There is a facility to set a turnover target and it’s such a good feeling to see the graph tip through the target – it means I can eat!
Further accounting facilities are promised. This seems a logical extension to the service and I look forward to that upgrade.
It is important to me that in the event of my sudden death or serious incapacitation, my wife has minimal hassle from my practice. There is comfort in the knowledge that she only needs to make one call to my supervisor. My supervisor will then log on, access my clients names and addresses and arrange ongoing work if they should so choose it. This is all easily set up within the bacpac system. I have a contract for this with my clients and with my supervisors. I never want to have to use this service (sorry Mayden!) but it’s important that my obligations to my clients continue in the event of my death or incapacitation.
The fee is reasonable as long as you are getting a reasonable flow of clients. I’m not seeing bacpac being taken up by supervisees starting out in private practice, and wonder whether there could be a reduced fee for a limited service, say up to 4 clients?
Martyn Blair is a counsellor practising and supervising in private practice in Coventry. Martyn has been using bacpac for almost a year. Find out more on his website: www.martynblair.co.uk