Our Year in Review

Written by Howard Spector on December 28, 2016

2016 has been a pivotal year of development for SimplePractice. It’s hard to believe that we’re just about ready to welcome the new year, but just before we do, I thought this would be a good moment to review some of the major developments we made in SimplePractice this past year, and also give some insight around our goals for 2017.

 

client_communication

Your business relies on great communication with clients. You’re great at this in session, but outside of session, it becomes more challenging. Helping you bridge this gap is one of our most important responsibilities.

To help you with client communication this year, we didn’t just build the big, shiny features like best-in-class online booking, automated billing, document sharing, and online client payments. We also focused on the details. We know great communication is in the small things.

Here are some of the details we’ve sweat over this year:

  • Improvements to the intake process for minors.
  • Granular controls for what clients can and cannot see when they access your portal.
  • Improved readability and customization on billing documents.

We’re particularly proud of the not-so-glamourous work we’ve done this year to make sure appointment reminders are delivered to even the most difficult phone plans and email addresses. An undelivered text reminder may seem small to most companies that deliver thousands of messages each hour, but we know that to you, an undeliverable reminder can lead to a missed session which not only hurts your business, it can interrupt the therapeutic process as well. In 2017 we promise to keep up our mission to help you maintain the best possible client communication.

 

billing

You probably wish client billing wasn’t as complicated as it tends to be. The reality is that without this process, you wouldn’t be able to do the work you love. This year we took a step closer to making your wish come true. In 2016 we focused on creating billing automations which can handle all your client billing. We call it SmartBilling.

Instead of you doing all the billing, SimplePractice can now do the following for you:

  • Automatically invoice your clients daily or monthly.
  • Collect payments while you sleep with AutoPay.
  • Deliver client statements and superbills each month.
  • Update client balances.
  • Send past due email reminders for clients who haven’t paid.

Also, If you take insurance, we’ve built revolutionary automations which turn the most novice insurance biller into a pro.

Beyond automations, we’ve added many new billing features including some improvements to your Insights section. The new Session Billing Status report helps you see at a glance which sessions are unpaid, and you can track client overall balances in the improved Client Balance report.

 

mobile

For many clinicians, documentation and billing are taking up an increasing amount of time while free time seems to be disappearing. You want to get through your administrative tasks faster: that’s what we hear from many therapists. That’s why we’re on a mission to make running your practice entirely possible from your iPhone or Android phone.

This year we introduced the option to process credit cards right from your phone. Thousands of clinicians are using this feature and we hear it’s a huge time saver for clinicians who are pressed for time between sessions. Not only does it save time, it ensures that every client payment is recorded with nothing slipping through the cracks, billing is always accurate, and there are no to-dos at the end of your day.

Not only can you process payments, you can now create, view and send client billing documents from the iPhone app. This is coming to Android in early 2017.

To show our commitment to making your practice completely mobile, we re-wrote, from the ground up, both our iPhone and Android apps so they are faster, more reliable, and ready for the challenge of helping you build a great practice.

 

scheduling_calendar

Your time- it’s valuable. It’s the resource you used to create your practice. The last thing you want to do is waste it. That’s why it’s so important to make sure your calendar is accurate and organized in an efficient way which helps you make the most of your time. To support this in 2016, we created availability scheduling for online booking.

We believe that an online booking portal shouldn’t just be a way for clients to see your schedule and select from the times when you’re not in session. As an entrepreneur and clinician, you have many different types of work each day and they’re not always reflected in your calendar. That’s why you organize your day into sections so you can take on the appropriate mindset for each task and focus on doing your best work. Admin work in the morning, sessions in the afternoon followed by notes, and new client intakes in the early evening, for example. With our revolutionary availability scheduling for online booking we offer you the control to manage your calendar this way.

But some days we’re just not that organized. That’s why in 2016 we also built a brand new Evening Summary email. It’s a way to double check all the sessions from your day and make sure nothing fell through the cracks. Be sure to turn it on here so you’ll never again forget to process a payment, mark a session as “cancelled” or write a note.

And since you spend much of your time looking at the calendar, we thought it should be more appealing. We freshened it up with lighter colors, fewer distractions, and a time indicator to help you immediately see what’s coming up next. A few customers told us this update feels like a breath of fresh air.

 

documentation

The security of your client documentation is our most important responsibility. But we also think it’s our responsibility to design great work spaces for you to do your work.

This year we introduced Advanced Treatment Plans which offer an intuitive, step-by-step flow to lead you through the process of building your goals, objectives, and interventions. It reduces distraction and many therapists report that the design helps them focus and work faster.

Since your session notes are one of the most common tasks in SimplePractice, it’s important that we continuously look for ways to improve this page. This year we introduced a text editor so you can add bullet points, italics, and make text bold. We also added one of the most requested features of 2016 to this page: the ability to upload and attach documents to session notes. We know you have your own, unique documentation methods and we aim to give you flexible tools that support the type of documentation that works best for you.

 

groups

We introduced SimplePractice for Groups this year which allows you to have multiple clinicians in one SimplePractice account. We provide different levels of access for Clinical Admins and Clinicians, as well as interns, with more customization coming in 2017. With SimplePractice for groups, you’ll have a group calendar so you can easily see which clinicians are scheduled and have clients that day. Plus your clients will also be able to select their clinician when scheduling with Online Booking! We’ve also added new reports that help you track the revenue of each clinician. We look forward to adding more features for you and your groups in 2017!

 

support

Customer Success is really important to us and we’ve worked to build a support team that can help you when you need it! Here’s a list of things we accomplished this year:

  • We answered over 80,000 of your emails this year alone!
  • We made some changes to our support offering to meet the needs of all of our customers.
  • We redesigned our help center this year to make it easier to navigate and search for guides and walkthroughs.
  • We also added Live Chat to our help center so you can get quick answers to those quick questions.

In 2017 we’ll be adding more Live Online Classes to help you learn how to use and get the most out SimplePractice. We’ll also be exploring new ways of offering support and training to give you the tools you need to succeed. We’re here to help you and we’re excited to help you and your practice succeed!

Happy holidays to you and your family. We appreciate all the support that you’ve given us this past year.

Read more

About the Author

Howard is the CEO and Co-founder of SimplePractice. Howard has over 20 years of experience in the information technology industry. He is proud to have earned his MA in Counseling Psychology with an emphasis in Depth Psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute.

You may also like