Online scheduling for a therapy practice?
January 23, 2022 8:56 AM   Subscribe

A friend of mine is starting a therapy practice. I'm helping her set up a web presence. What scheduling tools should we consider? (I'm a web developer, so feel free to get technical.)

We're looking for something similar to the self-scheduling apps typically used by hair salons, doctor's offices, etc. Something which:

– allows her to offer different kinds of services, with (potentially) different costs and different windows of availability

– allows clients to self-schedule (and self-cancel, if needed)

– can either be embedded on her site (as an iframe or script), or hosted for her (e.g., herpracticename.schedulingapp.com)

– is generally easy to use, full featured, and attractive

– meets relevant security/privacy requirements (as a non-therapist, I don't know what those are)

– bonus points if it also handles invoicing, payments, etc.

Any recommendations?

Thanks!
posted by escape from the potato planet to Computers & Internet (12 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
Simple Practice seems to be widely used for this (and everything else) in my small sample.
posted by EL-O-ESS at 9:29 AM on January 23 [1 favorite]


Jane app is good, not sure if it's just Canada, though.
posted by EarnestDeer at 9:40 AM on January 23 [2 favorites]


Calend.ly is what's widely used here. People put their Calendly link in their email signature and it's really useful and easy to use.
posted by DarlingBri at 9:58 AM on January 23 [2 favorites]


I use calendly and its very versatile. I have a range of services and like to leave myself different spaces before or after certain appt types (for preparation or physical recovery) and it handles that. I am not sure if it has payment integration.
posted by eastboundanddown at 10:26 AM on January 23


I run 1 calendar that everyone can book any service into but It supports having separate hours for different types of work if you prefer that
posted by eastboundanddown at 10:26 AM on January 23


Calendly is great, but may not be HIPAA compliant.
posted by Blue Jello Elf at 10:42 AM on January 23


Jane is hands-down the best!
posted by legendarygirlfriend at 11:23 AM on January 23 [2 favorites]


Simple Practice or Therapy Notes. I use simple practice and it encompasses everything abs is HIPAA- compliant. I doubt that Calendly is.
posted by bearette at 12:34 PM on January 23


Came in to recommend Jane. It’s pretty standards across two or three practitioners I work with.
posted by nathaole at 12:42 PM on January 23 [1 favorite]


Thirding Simple Practice, which also gets down to the nuts and bolts of "do you want people to be allowed to cancel less than 1/2/3/ days in advance?" and "do you want someone to be able to schedule 2/5/27 weeks in advance?"

They will host your own URL or issue a subdomain for you, or it's easy enough to plop some kind of premade button onto a Wordpress or Wix site.

If she's in the US, she needs to be HIPAA compliant. A lot of therapists slide under the radar with non-HIPAA-compliant stuff because, before the plague, the costs of such things was occasionally ludicrous (c.f., HIPAA-compliant Zoom went from $200/mo to $15/mo during that time). Sure, you can skip HIPAA compliancy if you don't interact with insurance companies, but it's a pain and it's best to cover your butt (as I'm guessing her professional insurance might demure over covering a hacking incident if she isn't using HIPAA compliant whatever).

It has automatic payment via credit card and integration with Stripe (and it's easy enough to do manual entry for anything else).
posted by executive_dysfuncti0n at 1:49 PM on January 23


A lot of EHRs have this feature. She should check if hers does.

It's my understanding that an outward facing scheduling mechanism doesn't have to comply with HIPAA as the person isn't your client yet. And, they are choosing to send personal info. (Don't collect a social security number this way.) The info just needs to be sent to a container that IS HIPAA compliant.

For a long time I used G Suite as my EHR ($6 a month!) and GReminders as my scheduling app. You can pay for a plan with SMS appointment reminders. The basic one sends emails (clients can opt out manually). GReminders can be placed on your website. They will sign a BAA which is what you need for HIPAA compliance. (G Suite has to be configured a certain way to comply with HIPAA as well but it's fairly straightforward.)

(I tried Simple Practice and hated it. I now use Therapy Appointment which is pretty basic -- but that's what I want. It's also more affordable for smaller practices and covers insurance billing if needed. I switched from G Suite for the insurance billing. They don't have a public facing self schedule mechanism but you can have a public link to create a file in the EHR which can then lead to ability to self schedule.)
posted by crunchy potato at 3:49 PM on January 23


You (or your friend) really should understand the relevant security/privacy requirements (HIPAA in the US) before proceeding much further. The folks at personcenteredtech.com are really good with this and even have reviews (from a HIPAA kosherness perspective) of the various services out there for therapists.

SimplePractice EHR has a lot of marketing muscle but they've recently massively raised their fees and honestly aren't as easy to recommend as the no thinking default option like they used to be, imo.
posted by flamk at 7:22 PM on January 23


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