Cliniko This Week: Telehealth, a COVID-19 cancellation reason, and more

There’s not much to say right now that hasn’t already been said—this week has been a weird one for a lot of reasons. First and foremost, we just want to say that our thoughts are with you. If you’re in the midst of travelling, changing your business operations, or separated from your loved ones—we get it, and we’re all in this together.

We’re trying our hardest to make sure that Cliniko helps you as much as it can during this time. We’ve rolled out several new features over the past few days, and we’ll be releasing more in the coming weeks—and each one of these changes is being made with COVID-19 in mind.

Cliniko founder Joel shared an update about how COVID-19 will be affecting Cliniko. If there’s one thing to take away from that update, it’s this:

We’re 100% focused on how we can help you through this COVID-19 pandemic.

And it’s true—we are. This week, our team has been absolutely focused on everything related to COVID-19, and we’ve been working to ensure that we’re making changes and releasing features that will help you get through this.

First, we’ve created a “COVID-19 hub” on our support site. We’re adding to this regularly, and it’ll be a one-stop-shop in case you need assistance with how to modify your Cliniko usage to accommodate the current state of affairs. (We’ll be regularly adding to it, as well—and if there’s something you’d like to see there, just let us know!)

Second—and this will probably be quite useful in the coming weeks—is telehealth. Joel sat down (at a safe, virtual distance!) with Karen Finnin, physiotherapist and founder of Online Physio. They discussed all things telehealth, and we think you’ll find their conversation quite interesting and useful!

Third, we’ve released a few new features this week. While certainly handy in regular circumstances, the driving factor behind all of them was to help make your life easier with everything is happening in the world right now. There’s a new COVID-19 related cancellation reason, the ability to disable appointment reminders for specific clinics, a new feature to add a notice/alert to your online bookings page, and—in rather exciting news—some design changes to the online bookings process. Why is this exciting, you may ask? Well, it’s in preparation for something that’s very important—online payments! (We’ll have more to share on this in the very near future.)

Rachel’s covering everything in video-form below—so have a watch if you’re looking for some visual demos of the changes we’ve made this week!

Finally—we just want to say thank you. Times are strange right now, and nothing is in its normal rythym. We’re so glad you’re sticking by us, and we’ll do the same for you. As always, if you have any questions or comments, please reach out to us. We’re here to help.


Hi everyone

The interview between Joel Friedlaender and Karen Finnin from Online Physio has highlighted, in my opinion, the deficiencies of Cliniko to handle Telehealth.

It is the inability to collect payment at booking time for a Tele-appointment that troubles me.

Karen uses COVIU and there is a level of Cliniko integration. I think this integrates a COVIU appointment ID with the online appointment in Cliniko to enable both the practitioner and client to easily access the tele-appointment.

However, how does the client make payment and how is this enforced before an appointment? Collecting during a tele-appointment is not optimal let alone practical.

Karen mentions use of Stripe which as many of you would have read, may or may not be integrated with Cliniko in the longer term. There is a vacuum of information despite questions about this over the last 10 months.

It would be great to know in detail how Karen accepts payment.

I did speak with COVIU and clarified they have a product named Customer Connect which will take bookings and also accept Stripe payment. The bad news is that I was advised Customer Connect does not synchronise with the Cliniko calendar and therefore is not a feasible option. Unless of course I ditch Cliniko and use Customer Connect for both on premise and tele-appointments.

Hopefully someone out there can share knowledge about how to take payment in a tele-appointment scenario before an appointment starts…without significant admin overhead.

@PetaB thanks for these questions. Ordinarily, we play it very safe with promising what’s to come, or predicting time frames. This is because we’ve have done them in the past, and it hasn’t worked out well. When we’re wrong, people have made decisions based on our estimates, and we’ve let them down. You mention “there is a vacuum of information, despite questions”, this is probably why.

Right now though, we’re in very different circumstances. So in response, we’ll also respond a little differently. I’ll give you what we’re working on right now, and when we think we’ll be done with it. However, I need to be really clear, that estimates can be quite off, and nothing is guaranteed until we actually release it.

So payments is the biggest one you mention. We’re working on integrating online bookings into Stripe right now, at a rapid pace. You will need your own Stripe account to plug into Cliniko, and we’ll connect it to online bookings. We hope to have this ready by the end of next week.

We’re also working on a solution that fixes the issue with online bookings for Telehealth consultations, that will mean they are in your calendar, and working seamlessly. Again we’re hopeful to release this by the end of next week.

I did the video with Karen, knowing we have deficiencies in Cliniko for Telehealth and knowing it can highlight them. To me, it was much more important to share what I think is very important information with you, as soon as possible, than wait til we have Cliniko improved to match. I hope people use Cliniko for Telehealth, but if not, mostly I hope businesses switch to Telehealth to help their survival through the next few months. With Cliniko or not, that’s more important.

As mentioned above, next week will be critical for us to transform Cliniko into the best option available for Telehealth. I believe we’re up to that challenge, and we’re doing everything possible to achieve it.

I hope this info helps, and please if I haven’t addressed anything, let me know and I’m happy to share whatever I can.


Thanks @joel. Your candour and openness is appreciated. The prospect of having the telehealth support in 1 week is tantalising. (Hopefully that does include prepayment using Stripe). I know I will initiate getting a Stripe account now.

I do understand that it is an estimate. If it is looking likely to slip, it may be useful if you could request Karen to kindly publish how she uses Stripe as an interim measure, but hopefully it won’t come to that.

Thanks heaps!

I’m sure Karen would be happy to share how she does Stripe payments either way. I’ll reach out and see if I can get an answer.

Hi @PetaB,

Karen was kind enough to share her tips:

We have a stripe payment link embedded into our intake/subjective assessment form, so people enter their payment details into that and it is processed automagically when they click send.

For consultation package extensions (where a form is not required), we have a hidden page on our website embedded with stripe payment links for the required amounts.

But the simplest option, for those getting started, is to

Log in to stripe




Add new customer if required

Create an invoice

That will email them a link to pay via stripe.

Once they have paid once and their details are on the system, there is an option to ‘automatically charge a payment method on file’