Primer for Computer Phobic

By WEiDE, Bridget Ann | Family Therapy Networker, September/October 1995 | Go to article overview

Primer for Computer Phobic


WEiDE, Bridget Ann, Family Therapy Networker


ARE YOU SPENDING MORE TIME with your clients" paperwork than you are with your clients? Have you considered a computer program to manage your practice, but avoided doing anything about it yet because you are computer-phobic and afraid to make the time and/or financial commitment the software requires?

For years, practitioners have chosen one of three ways to manage their practices: sending their billing to a third-party firm, using in-house clerical staff to maintain written records or using general medical software. The trend in the late 1980s toward software programs designed specifically for therapists, and the increasing use of computers for correspondence and record-keeping in practices, has transformed the options. Therapists who may never have considered doing their own billing are becoming proficient at not only billing, but insurance form generation, automated managed care tracking and accounts receivable management. With a few simple steps, a therapist who before might have had little idea what his or her "per client session average" was, can generate reports that detail not only session averages, but male-to-female client ratios, age demographics, aging reports of outstanding receivables due and even client lists such as phone numbers or upcoming birthdays.

No longer is practice information difficult to track or expensive to maintain. With computers selling for less than $1500, and some practice management software programs selling for less than $200. even solo practitioners are finding the savings in time and effort worthwhile, not to mention the advantages reaped by analyzing practice trends.

In my five years of working with practice management software. I've seen the advantages these programs bring to private practices. For example, a common question on many managed care applications is, "What are the percentages of your clientele that fit in each age group listed below?" followed by a list of categories. In a non-computerized practice, the therapist may have to guess at the percentages. In contrast, with most practice management software, one or more reports can provide you with exact figures in just minutes. An insurance company provider relations department looking for a practice with sufficient experience in treating geriatric or adolescent issues may be persuaded by your actual practice figures, which can be both double-checked and updated frequently.

Other managed care or insurance company application information that may be completed using your practice management software reports include average number of sessions per client, average fee per client and percentage of cases of a certain type (for example, depression or anxiety). Before practice management software, you may never even have considered compiling this information, or you may have dismissed the idea as too complicated and time-consuming. The information necessary to calculate these figures is often in your client files: if you were using practice management software, a client intake form that only took a minute or two to enter may save you hours down the road.

Practice management programs can also encourage and support your marketing efforts, using information contained in the intake forms. Think of how much information you collect about your clients that is never analyzed or used: Do you know where you get most of your referrals? In which month of last year did you have the most new clients? Which is your most frequently used DSM code? If you know how to generate the reports, the basic information you enter in the computer as part of a client's intake form often can answer these questions. Analyzing your current practice trends often gives you important information that can lead you to increased business.

For example, most practice management programs allow you to quickly and easily generate a "referral source report." which indicates where your new clients came from. If you spent $1,500 last year on Yellow Page advertising and 48 clients indicated that they found you through the Yellow Pages, each prospect cost you $31. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Primer for Computer Phobic
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.