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[00:00:00] Dr. Jeremy Sharp: Hello, everyone. Welcome to The Testing Psychologist podcast, the podcast where we talk all about the business and practice of psychological and neuropsychological assessment. I’m your host, Dr. Jeremy Sharp, licensed psychologist, group practice owner, and private practice coach.

This episode is brought to you by PAR. PAR offers the RIAS-2 and RIST-2 remote to remotely access or screen clients for intelligence, and in-person e-stimulus books for these 2 tests for in-person administration. Learn more at parinc.com.

Welcome back y’all to another episode of The Testing Psychologist. This is episode number two in the EHR review series. If you didn’t catch the first one, I reviewed TherapyNotes last week. This week, I am reviewing SimplePractice. And if you missed the introduction, this series is aimed at reviewing different electronic health records through the lens of a testing psychologist specifically. So, I do look at basic functions like pricing, and free trials, and inputting clients, and things like that. But then try to dive into a little bit more nuanced look at what we specifically do as testing psychologists. So, scheduling testing appointments, writing testing notes, billing insurance for testing, and so forth.

So before we get to the episode, I want to invite any of you who might be interested in a mastermind group to check out the advanced practice mastermind starting on January 7th and we have one spot left as of this recording. [00:01:43] So January 7th. This is a  group for advanced practice owners; those who are beyond the beginning stages where you’ve kind of figured out how to do private practice, it’s profitable, and things are going well but maybe you’re just a little overwhelmed, you’re trading too much time for money, you want to figure out how to streamline things, hire either clinicians or admin staff, maybe you have big dreams for your practice but aren’t quite sure how to put those into play. So this is an accountability group that will help you set and reach those goals over the course of the five months that we’ll be together. If that sounds interesting, you can go to the testing psychologist.com/advanced and check it out.

All right, let’s jump to my review of SimplePractice. And I will remind everyone that there are youtube videos that accompany each of these reviews. So I’ll do a little overview here and hit the high points, but the more nuanced views really come through on the YouTube video- this one, in particular, is about 40 minutes long. So there is a lot to look at in that video. So I want to invite you to check that out in the show notes and take a little bit of a deeper dive into SimplePractice. Without further ado, here is my review.

[00:03:25] Okay, everyone. Welcome back to the EHR review for SimplePractice.

All right. So, like I said at the beginning, I am really trying to cover some of the core functions that are important for testing psychologists in these reviews. It’s not meant to be a comprehensive review by any means or a long-term use review, but I do want to hit some of the high points. So, let’s just jump right into it. So SimplePractice is one of the long-standing EHRs. They’ve been around for many, many years.  I think they’re one of the original web-based EHRs that came out for mental health folks. They have a pretty clear, obvious presence in the mental health world but maybe some of you haven’t heard of them and that’s totally fine. But suffice it to say SimplePractice has been around for quite a while and they know what they’re doing. It’s an EHR built for the helping professions.

So that is one thing I will highlight just right off the bat is that SimplePractice, unlike some of the others I will review, is built for not only mental health folks but also allied helping professionals. So if there are any of you out there, speech therapists, occupational therapists, chiropractors. They have a dropdown menu of really 10 or 12 different allied health professions that could work with SimplePractice. So just know that. That said, the codes that are preloaded in the system are for mental health. I  don’t know if those change depending on the health profession you choose, but that’s something to keep in mind.

Now, SimplePractice is priced pretty competitively with the others. They have kind of a lower like entry tier that’s $39 a month. And then for $59 a month, you get to upgrade to a number of things like, custom templates and notes which I think are necessary for testing folks, they do some website, building, telehealth is included in that, treatment planners- so they partnered with Wiley to offer treatment planners. If you do therapy, that might be useful. But I think it’s worth it to upgrade to the $59 a month. So let’s jump in. They do offer… sorry, I’ll go back. [00:06:02] They do offer a free trial as well that does not require a credit card, which is nice.

Okay. So let’s just talk about some of the pros of SimplePractice. As I discussed in my review of TherapyNotes, I like the look of SimplePractice. The colors are pleasing, It’s got a nice kind of vibe going on. I don’t… Well, I’ll hold off on the cons. Suffice it to say I liked the colors and the design is relatively simple. I really like how the calendar looks., I like that, the colors are different for the different appointments which is a little thing that goes a long way.  Let’s see, and the color palette, in general, is nice and it doesn’t hurt your eyes. So for me as a person, again, who’s kind of aesthetically natured, that was something cool right off the bat. Also right off the bat, when you log in, you’ll notice  SimplePractice walks you through a number of getting oriented steps. They have videos that you can watch. And then they have a checklist that is always accessible over on a sidebar. So, when you log in, I think it’s pretty user-friendly in terms of how to set up your practice and they have a number of resources and videos that will help you do that.

[00:07:33] Okay, another pro is that they have some relevant assessment questionnaires that are baked right into the system, by which I mean, they’ve preloaded the system with largely behavioral questionnaires like the PHQ 9, I think there’s a trauma questionnaire, I think that there’s the adult ADHD rating scale- I guess that one is called the ASRS adult scale. Anyway, I think you know what I’m talking about. It’s the free adult ADHD rating scale. It’s already built-in there. And when I say baked right in, I mean that you can send those questionnaires through the client portal and get the results back just like that. So they have developed an electronic version so you don’t have to do that via paper, which is nice. They have a number of other questionnaires that they have baked in as well. Some may be more relevant than others, but they do have a nice library of questionnaires that you can administer through their portal.

Speaking to the portal, it is easy to navigate and relatively comprehensive. So SimplePractice has gotten pretty good general reviews about their client portal.  So it can intake paperwork, clients can fill out that paperwork, it shows up like a fillable form, which is nice. They can type right in and then it sends it straight back to you. So the client portal pretty easy to navigate. It prompts you to sign clients up for the portal right when you input their information. So it’s built into the workflow when you enter a new client that you can send them an invitation email to the portal just right off the bat and they write that email for you and all you really have to do is choose what questionnaires to send and hit send. So that’s really nice. I know a lot of you value a client portal if you’re trying to go paperless.

Tele-health is offered as part of the professional plan like I mentioned. So if you’re doing telehealth, that could be helpful. I did not test out the telehealth platform to see how it might fit for remote assessment. So keep that in mind, but it is offered as part of the professional plan.

Now, in terms of testing specific positives, SimplePractice does give you the option of creating customized note templates for your testing appointments.

[00:10:13] Now this is as you’ll see, kind of a double-edged sword. The upside, of course, is that you can create customized note templates and make them look however you want to. So you can really dive in and customize those note templates. So that’s a plus I think. If you are someone who likes to have complete control over what your note templates look like, that would be a great option for you. So, those are just a few pros that I enjoyed with SimplePractice in my introductory experience with it.

Let’s take a quick break to hear from our featured partner. PAR has developed new tools to assist clinicians during the current pandemic. the RIAS -2 and the RIST-2  are trusted gold standard tests of intelligence and its major components. For clinicians using tele-assessment, which is a lot of us right now, PAR now offers the RIAS-2 Remote, allowing you to remotely assess clients for intelligence, and the RIST-2 remote which lets you screen clients remotely for general intelligence. For those assessing clients in office settings, PAR has developed in-person e-stimulus books for both the RIAS-2 and the  RIST-2. These are electronic versions of the original paper stim books. They’re an equivalent convenient and more hygienic alternative When administering these tests in person. Learn more at parinc.com/RIAS-2 _ remote. 

[00:11:49] All right, let’s get back to the podcast. Now let’s transition to things that were not so awesome about SimplePractice.

The first thing is that I didn’t love the flow of navigation of SimplePractice by which I mean, it is aesthetically pleasing, it looks nice, but the way that they have the menus laid out and the way that you get to certain options was not crystal clear. It wasn’t as clear as I would like it to be. So the menus kind of move around depending or hide themselves depending on what screen you’re on, the main navigation is over on the left, the font isn’t quite as big as I would like it to be, and then once you’re in the client window or the client area, the navigation again, the font is a little small and the links, it just didn’t flow quite as smoothly as I would have liked it to. I’m sure you can get used to that over time. And that’s just a nice asterisk with any of these EHR reviews. I’m sure that there are plenty of you out there who use the EHR who are saying Jeremy, no, this is so easy. You just didn’t do it the right way, and that’s totally okay. I’m glad that the EHR has gotten better the more you use them. This is just meant to be kind of an initial impression of the EHR. So, like I said, navigation did not flow as smoothly as I would have liked.

Another thing specific to testing is that it was hard for me to figure out how to specify add-on codes and units and just billing for add-on codes, in general, was challenging. It wasn’t clearly linked to the place where you create service codes. You had to go to another area in the software to specify how to bill for units. I just didn’t like that those two were separated. So, that was challenging for me right off the bat.

[00:13:59] Another thing that like I said earlier, could be, it’s a plus and a minus is that you do have to create your own template for testing notes. So, none of the baked-in templates that are already created really work for testing. So to write testing notes, at least in my experience you had to create your own. And I went through this process in the video. It was not immediately intuitive how I might create a testing note that has all the elements that I want. I think with some time you could certainly do it. And I know there are a lot of testing folks out there who use SimplePractice and have found a way to do this. So, as always, if you are that person and you know an easy way to do it, send me a message and we can chat about that. But for me, at least jumping into the software right off the bat, it wasn’t super easy as to how to create a testing note. I’d take that back. I mean, it’s easy to figure out how to create a custom note, but to make it look the way that I want it to look to capture all the information that I think is important on a testing note was a little more challenging. [00:15:18] So again, this is a great place where you could go to the video and see what I mean by this if you’re interested in seeing what that looks like.

So those are just a few things that jumped out that weren’t quite as easy for me to figure out as I would have liked. I think like I said at the beginning, SimplePractice has a lot of positive positive qualities and they’ve been around for a long time.  I know that there are a lot of testing folks out there using SimplePractice, but I have also heard of some downsides as well there.  I’ve seen quite a few questions about how to bill through SimplePractice and things like that. So, pluses minuses with everything. But all in all, I could see myself using SimplePractice. It seems like the learning curve is a little bit higher with this than with some of the other EHRs that I’ve reviewed, but it is a solid platform and the pricing is competitive and they have a number of positive features that I think would be super helpful especially if you are doing therapy as well.

[00:16:34] All right. Thank you for tuning in. I hope that you’re enjoying the EHR reviews so far. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to comment right on the blog post page here, or you can send me a message at jeremy@thetestingpsychologist.com, and we can have a discussion there as well. But I will be taking a break next week, I believe for the best of 2020 episode, and then after that, we’ll get right back to the EHR reviews. Like I said, I’ve got TherapyAppointment, TheraNest, Jane, and IntakeQ still on the list. So we’ve got a few weeks of EHR reviews to go and they will all have accompanying YouTube videos for you to check out when you get a minute.

Like I said at the beginning, if you are interested in a mastermind group to help keep you accountable and reach some of those goals in your practice, I would love to talk with you via a pre-group phone call to see if The Testing Psychologist Advanced practice mastermind could be a good fit. [00:17:42] So this group is starting on January 7th. It’ll run every other week for 10 sessions for about five months. So there’ll be about five months. We’ll end in May. The past groups have just been incredible. The one that’s going right now for advanced practice owners is awesome. So if you want some other psychologists to keep you accountable and try to reach some of those goals in your practice, give me a shout to the testing psychologist.com/advanced.

All right, everyone, enjoy the holiday season-whatever that might look like for you, and be sure to tune in next time for the… let’s see what’s coming on Monday, …we’re talking about The CADE Autism Assessment Tool with Dr. Anna Kroncke and Dr. Marcy Willard from clear child psychology. So tune in for that. And then the following week for the best of 2020 episode. In the meantime, take care y’all.

[00:18:55]The information contained in this podcast and on The Testing Psychologists website are intended for informational and educational purposes only. Nothing in this podcast or on the website is intended to be a substitute for professional, psychological, psychiatric, or medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please note that no doctor-patient relationship is formed here. And similarly, no supervisory or consultative relationship is formed between the host or guests of this podcast and listeners of this podcast. If you need the qualified advice of any mental health practitioner or medical provider, please seek one in your area. Similarly, if you need supervision on clinical matters, please find a supervisor with expertise that fits your needs.

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