This article reviews the essentials for a Clinic Management software program and makes recommendations for some alternatives. We also have experience in helping clinics leave Medtech without costing the earth. Details below.
Medtech is a comprehensive Patient Administration System (PAS) designed to run medium to large scale medical enterprise from GP or Speciality Clinics right up to Hospitals. In the Cosmetic Medical space, I see a lot of GP’s who have made the transition out of General Practice and into Cosmetic Medicine persist with Medtech simply because it’s what they know. The number of small to medium Cosmetic Medical Clinics running Medtech (or Kitomba and other expensive software packages) astounds me. These systems cost anywhere from $150 a month to over $1500 per month. Sure, they offer a very broad spectrum of features, but I challenge you to ask yourself, “how much of it am I actually using?”
The reality is, for most Cosmetic Clinics (and hair salons, beauty salons, Day Spa’s, etc) an adequate system would need to offer the following functionality:
- Calendar – the hub of the clinic where appointments are made and the day-to-day running of the clinic takes place
- Retail – the ability to track inventory of stock and add purchases of these items to invoices
- Invoicing – the ability to bill a client for the services they have just undertaken
- Client notes – a place to keep a simple digital record of photographs and treatment notes which would include the ability to upload pdf or jpeg files and attach to a patient record
- Reports – administrative functions allowing practice managers to track the comings and goings of the business and make improvements to efficiencies and marketing decisions
Beyond these core necessities, the following functions are a nice to have:
- Database capture – a way of easily contacting your existing patients by either email or text message
- Advanced marketing reports
- Automated SMS/Email Appointment reminders
- Website booking module
- XERO or accounting software integration
- Prescribing module
- remote access via mobile device (IE cloud-based)
Medtech, Kitomba and other expensive software packages offer the need-to-haves and the nice-to-haves and have functionality beyond this that can be truly remarkable. But do you actually need it? There are a bunch of software packages out there that can cover all the need-to-haves and some of the nice-to-haves AT A FRACTION OF THE COST! I would like to say that I do not in any way receive endorsements nor have any vested interests in any of the following companies. I am simply offering my opinion/advice to Cosmetic Clinics who are using expensive software that they may be able to do everything they need in a simpler format for much less overhead.
Here’s my picks:
Timely – http://www.gettimely.com
Timely are primarily targeting the hair salon market with a beautiful interface that covers all the need-to-haves and most of the nice-to-haves with some other nice functionality thrown in. You can access/use the system with a phone, iPad/Tablet or computer which is handy, but best of all, subscriptions start as low as NZD19 per month (solo user) with additional staff costing an additional $9 per month. If the average Cosmetic Medical Clinic has around 5 staff, the monthly cost of Timely would be a crazy $55 per month! That’s some serious bang for buck.
Cliniko – https://www.cliniko.com
In my opinion, Cliniko offers a bit more than Timely as their target market is allied health (think Physiotherapists and the like). Again, all the need-to-haves are there and most of the nice-to-haves are also there. They are a great bunch to deal with and are constantly making improvements to the software based on their users feedback. This system is more than adequate for the typical Cosmetic Practice. Their plans start at USD49 per month for solo practitioner and USD99 per month for a team of 5. Importantly, they only consider PRACTITIONERS (docs, nurses) as users, you don’t pay extra for receptionists, practice managers, etc. So if you only have 1 doctor or nurse in your clinic, you only need the solo plan.
I’m sure there are others out there and I’d love to hear about them in the comments below. I am always on the lookout for a system that meets the unique needs of the cosmetic clinic better at a reasonable price, so please let me know. I have already mapped out my ideal system for a Cosmetic Clinic PAS and hope to be able to build this system in the future. Any investors out there who would like to talk, let me know!
If you decide to leave Medtech (in particular), the cost of doing this is very high. We recently built a stand-alone web-based portal to hold the medical records for a client looking to make the switch. They were quoted over $7000 by Medtech, just to be handed their client records in a useable format on a disk. We built them a web-based portal that made accessing and downloading patient records easy for $3500. Let us know if you are thinking of changing from Medtech, we can help you navigate the process at a fraction of the cost of what Medtech will charge you and you’ll end up with a much better system than they will give you!