Why Get an Integrated Product?

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Why Get an Integrated Product?

Susan C. Litton, Ph.D.    |    March 22, 2020

As a therapist, you can amass your digital tools one at a time or you can invest in a well-integrated bundled product. For example, let’s say right now you’re mostly looking for a video platform so you can do telehealth. There are companies that ONLY offer subscriptions to video platforms. But is that the best choice?


For example, what happens if, after you sign up for your standalone video product, you realize that you also need a way to collect your fees from your telehealth clients. And maybe you need encrypted email so you can contact people in a way that’s secure. Or maybe now you need HIPAA-compliant file storage, as your clients begin to send you documents via their new encrypted email. Or perhaps a way to schedule clients online. Or maybe a way to efile and also to send statements and receipts digitally. That’s a LOT of tools and we’re just getting started!

Many therapists end up in boats similar to this and often find themselves sinking in a morass of different URLs to remember, all with different usernames and passwords and different user interfaces to master. Each time they need to update client information, they have to open each application separately and update each. If they have a separate program to run client credit cards, they have to enter the payment information in that tool AND they also have to enter it in their billing and accounting programs. These duplications of effort not only waste time, but they also make it easier to introduce errors in your records. To make matters worse, it can end up being fairly costly. Even if each of your products is only $20 or $30 a month, and maybe one or two of them is free, when you keep adding standalone tools to your telehealth arsenal, the amount you’re spending can creep up on you.

Another issue with purchasing standalone products is that your clients’ medical records end up being scattered throughout several programs. Even email you exchange with a client is considered part of their medical record. That means if you use a standalone email product – even if it’s encrypted – you would still need a way to collect all of those emails should you ever be required to produce a complete medical record for the client.

The alternative is to invest in a well-integrated product that has all the tools you need in one bundled app. PSYBooks is that kind of product. You’ll have one URL and one username and password to remember – one user interface to learn. The animated gif below shows how easy it is to change an appointment on the PSYBooks calendar that was originally scheduled to be in the office to a telehealth appointment:

Switch an Office Appointment to a Video Appointment

What you DON’T see in the animation is everything that happens behind the scenes. PSYBooks automatically looks up your client’s time zone, and either email address or phone number, to make sure the appointment is scheduled correctly and that they receive the reminder and link to attend the session. The reminder has a link so the client can RSVP so you know whether or not they plan to attend. An additional reminder is sent as the time for the session approaches. To begin the session, all you have to do is click the video camera icon on the appointment block.

Once you’ve finished the session, you can click the couch icon on the appointment block to add the session and either efile and/or create a digital statement to send your client. You can collect your client’s fees automatically as you enter the session, by using the credit card you have on file for them. PSYBooks calculates the payment and updates their balance so your accounting is also automatically done for you. This is what we mean by “bundled and well-integrated” as opposed to standalone products. In a bundled product like PSYBooks, all of your tools are RIGHT there. You don’t have to go looking for them.



By |2022-05-17T22:32:41-04:00March 22nd, 2020|Current, Features, Telehealth|Comments Off on Why Get an Integrated Product?

About the Author:

Susan C. Litton, Ph.D. holds degrees in both psychology and IT. In addition to being the developer of the PSYBooks EHR & Portal, she's been a practicing clinical psychologist in Decatur, GA, since 1985.