“Our favorite place is Big Bend,” Katie Malinski, LCSW, says as she fondly looks on at the picture of a winding, chiseled canyon hanging in the waiting room of her Austin, Texas office. “In my spare time, my family and I like to go camping, so this picture is a little reminder of where part of my heart is,” she explains.
Katie has worked hard to make her office an inviting, safe space that she and her patients can use to create positive change. “My husband and I bought [the building], somehow we survived through the remodel, and turned it into a beautiful home for therapists, for healing, and helping people,” Katie says.
Not only is Katie a licensed clinical social worker, an experienced parenting coach, family therapist, and a private practitioner, she’s also SimplePractice’s very first customer. When shopping around for the right EHR for her practice, she needed a system that would help her build and maintain a thriving practice.
Now seven years later, she has successfully built up her practice while also finding time to do the things that are important to her—like spend time with her family.
Navigating the Business Side of Private Practice
Katie has been working with children and their families in private practice since 2004. Before that, she worked in schools, incarcerated and mandated residential programs, and other settings. But private practice, she says, has its own unique challenges.
“I think it’s really hard to be in private practice. It’s both wonderful and hard because you have to do all the jobs. You have to be the HR department, the legal department, the tech department.”
Private practitioners have to think about how to grow a business and manage the logistical parts of a business too. That’s why it’s easy to be spread too thin. “That’s one of the things I really appreciate most about SimplePractice,” Katie says. “It solves some of those problems for me in private practice, and it makes it easier for me to focus on helping my clients.”
Making Space for What Matters
Striking a balance between work and personal life is essential—especially for virtual workers. One of the main advantages of switching to an EHR like SimplePractice is that the paperwork and record-keeping that may once have kept you after-hours is now taken care of in real time. So when your work day is over, it’s actually over. Plus, working hours can be centered around client care—not administrative duties.
The speed and efficiency of using electronic records is what drew Katie to SimplePractice. “One of my favorite parts of SimplePractice is the way that it’s helped me streamline all of my record-keeping,” she says. “That ability to see my calendar, to see the old note, to write the new note, to do the billing all right there—I can get it done in just a few minutes, and that’s spectacular for me.”
Navigating the World of HIPAA
In her years as a licensed clinical social worker and then as a private practitioner and small business owner, Katie struggled with something a lot of therapists struggle with—navigating the world of HIPAA regulations and compliance. Noticing a void in available resources to help explain the essential components of HIPAA compliance, she developed a series of workshops and online classes to help practitioners get all the information they need to be successful.
As a HIPAA expert, Katie understands just how important a secure system is. That’s why she takes great comfort knowing that SimplePractice works diligently to keep her files and records safe. “Basically when you pay for SimplePractice, you’re hiring security professionals to make sure your information is stored very securely with all the backups and all the firewalls and all the things that it’s supposed to have to be HIPAA-compliant,” she says. “So paying that little bit of money every month to make sure all my files are written and everything is securely stored is worth a lot to me.”
For Katie Malinski, and for many others, transitioning to an EHR system has made it easier to operate the business side of their practices successfully, while still doing what matters most to them—making a lasting impact on clients every day.