I'm Joel, Cliniko Founder. Ask me anything!

Love Cliniko for its simplicity. Lack of integration with HICAPS and Medicare without using third parties is one of the main considerations for our psychologists in considering whether to stay with Cliniko or move to HealthKit.

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HI Joel,
I started to use cliniko for many years when we were only 5 in the practice. Now we are growing and we change price plan on cliniko over the years. No we have about 12 practioners and would need to have more. ( for example if i take extra practitioner or even hiring a new one) unfortunately your price plan after 12 practitioner jumps from 13 to 25 which cost 70£ more per month. So has practices grow slowly, once you reach this point cliniko start to no be worth it pricewise and i am starting to think about moving to another management software for this only reason. Do you think it would be possible to have a new plan for example for 13 to 19 or else so there is a shorter price gape. Because paying £70 more per month just to hire one more practitioner is too high.
Thanks for this discussion and congratulations for Cliniko

Any developments for a proper APP for iPhone/Android/Phone and Tablets? The current way via the website on the phone’s ‘desktop’ is not as flexible, needs signing in and restating certain settings (such as number of days in workweek) and so on. Would be much easier to have an App for this as much more flexible. As an independent/small practise, this is really important to have as it saves time.

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Hi Joel,

I have a number of practitioners working with me and most of them work across two locations.

In Cliniko settings I’d like to have my practitioners as each “business” rather than the location. But I then need a way to let the client know where their appointment would be within the automated email.
Any ideas?

Or perhaps, would it be possible to Sync matching display names into one calendar?

I.E. still have the business by locations but use the practitioners name as the display name for the clinics they work at?

The problem I’d like to solve is being able to have one calendar for each practitioner, showing the locations and availability but without confusing clients at online booking or in email reminders over where their appointment will be.

Hi Joel,

I’d like to ask what method you are using to prioritise your feature roadmap, and what role we as customers can have in that process. The Feature Request area in this forum doesn’t appear to an effective measure for this - there are many issues created in the Feature Request section that have absolutely no interaction from Cliniko, and the most common and consistent requests that are viewed and commented on have sat idle without a response for up to two years.

If this isn’t the right forum or way to influence the roadmap, then what is? How can we help you to make a better product, and a product that assists our ongoing needs?

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@Laura_Saul HICAPS yes, Tyro not currently. We’re getting very close on Medicare integration now, then we’ll be looking at HICAPS shortly after.

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@Abi We do want to improve on this, however it’s not something we have planned for right now. So in theory yes I agree completely, we need to make changes for this, but realistically, it won’t be soon. I know that’s rough, especially as we know we need it, we just have a set amount of development hours per day, and a long list of todos.

@Belinda_Birtles another one we plan to do, but not just yet. I do have this quite high though, so I hope it’s not too far off. We’d like to combine it with the ability for clients to reply yes/no to SMS reminders and have it confirm them automatically.

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We’ll have Medicare soon. HICAPS will be worked on after. We are using Medipass to assist with this, but we think our customers will be happy we chose them. The integration with Medicare is looking really good.

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It’s a problem I’ve heard many times, and honestly I regret bundling our price into packages like that. We are planning to change our price model to a price for the account, plus an extra fee per practitioner (plan could change, but it’s current frontrunner). There’s a lot of complications in changing pricing, which is a large part of why we haven’t (it’s the same as the day I launched Cliniko in 2011, despite all the changes).

With all that said, there’s probably two relevant things:

  • It’s unlikely we put a package in the middle, when we’re trying to change pricing soon anyway, in a way that solves this properly.
  • I still believe Cliniko is very good value at any number of practitioners. We have 34 people on our team that work every day on improving and supporting Cliniko. We release updates to it many times per day, every day. We have support nearly 24/7. Also it’s now had 9 years of development put into it, by many people. So even when you hit the next tier, I do feel like we’re providing much more value to our customers than we’re taking in fee. Of course, I have a teensy bit of bias in my view here too.

I hope that helps a bit, even if not the answer you were hoping for, and thanks for using Cliniko for so long!

Hi, it’s a conversation we’ve had on and off for years now. Some in the development team are not keen on it, as it adds complexity to updates and can slow our development down overall. My general feeling is that it’s worth it, and I’d like to have native apps.

The reason we haven’t yet, is the reality of what it entails. I’d need to hire extra developers, probably 2 or 3 per environment we support (ie. iOS, Android) to build these apps. Their full time roles would be catching up to where Cliniko is now, then maintaining/improving it as the web application improves. If we can add 4 to 6 developers to our team (which is a big jump for us), I think our customers get more value by hiring that many web developers to add features/improvements that are wanted. I don’t think the native apps would be more valuable than that. Also they would come at a cost of complexity and process that would slow us a bit.

It’s not to say we won’t do it, as mentioned I’d like to, I just don’t think we’ll hire and start that too soon. I think there’s still a lot of low hanging fruit to deal with in the web application before then.

Also, if you have settings not saving or re-login required, reach out to our support team to help, that shouldn’t happen. Our web application on your phone should work great, if it doesn’t, something’s up. You can add it as an icon, stay logged in, preserve settings and all. It really shouldn’t be much different to a native app.

I think separate businesses is going to create more complexity than problems it solves. Would you mind reaching out to our support team with the scenario you have and what you’re trying to achieve, in a bit more detail. There might be other options available. That way we can get more specifics about your business that may not be best to share here.

Hi @pure_rdm,

That’s a very good question, and hard to answer too :slight_smile:. Warning, you’re going to get a lengthy answer here.

For me personally, there are some parts of running a company like Cliniko where I find there’s no right answer and I’m always battling for that epiphany moment where things make sense and I’m certain. Prioritising tasks is easily up there in my top 3 of these.

I guess first up, would be explaining the sources of “influence” or “inspiration” we get for prioritising tasks, they include (but am probably forgetting some):

  • Emails/Chats our support team have with customers
  • Direct interaction with customers/potential customers (ie. at conferences)
  • Feature request forum
  • Our development team (they often are catalysts for security, performance, refactoring, bug fixes)
  • Error reports (we have logs of errors that occur in the system)
  • Our support team (not necessarily from a requested feature, but ideas when they seem customers struggling with certain parts of the system)
  • Social media comments/posts
  • Our vision for the system (it’s our job to consider what could be done, that perhaps people don’t know to ask for)
  • Technology changes (either to keep up, or to take advantage of new possibilities)
  • Legislation changes (eg. GDPR)
  • Integrators

Easily our most prolific source of information comes via support emails/chats. We have hundreds per day, the quantity far outweighs the activity on the forum here, which relative to the number of people using Cliniko (30,000+) is quite small. I raise this not to diminish the feature request forum, we do use it for ideas and appreciate the communication there, but it is one of many sources of information for us…

Some of the considerations we make in prioritising are:

  • Effort to develop the change
  • Number of customers we expect to be impacted
  • Importance to the customers that are impacted
  • Is the change in the direction we want Cliniko to be in future (ie. does it solve the problem, or is it a temporary fix)
  • What will the maintenance effort be like to support the change ongoing

And some things that just send them to the top of the list are:

  • Security
  • Performance
  • Critical bugs

In the past, I’ve tried techniques like development a matrix where I have the features we are considering in one column, and the criteria across the top. Then give each a score out of 10, and potentially weight the columns. We get a number at the end that prioritises the feature. What I found in the end, is there’s a non-tangible that didn’t feel right about the rankings. Sometimes there’s a reason something should be above something else, even when it didn’t rank higher by the criteria.

What we have at the moment, is a development board with ideas to work on. Things are customers have requested, things we know we want to do. We pretty much have 3 columns, “to be considered”, “todo”, “this would be really neat”. With the third column being things we’d like to prioritise higher. Then developers can choose from that board, usually they pick from the higher priority column. Developers are best suited to choose something that fits their skill set, matches the time they have available, etc.

Right now, we have a slight shift to that, because we have 4 things we need to get done as a priority (with somewhat looming deadlines). We need:

  • Medicare Integration
  • We’re integrating Cliniconnect that we acquired (data importing into Cliniko)
  • HIPAA compliance (privacy legislation in the US)
  • Separate hosting in various countries (we need Cliniko to be hosted in other regions for data sovereignty and upcoming privacy regulations).

So as we speak, most the team has shifted to those 4 things. The other significant task on the go is payments for online bookings.

There’s of course more currently happening, but that’s the bigger things we’re doing right now, and each have very compelling reasons.

Coming back to how you can influence things. The feature requests forum is a great place, we see all the posts there (I do personally also read them all, I get notifications from there when a comment is made). To go one step further, when requesting something, it’s important we know what you’re trying to solve and why. Often when we receive a request for a feature, what we really want is what’s the problem to be solved. Then we can design a solution for that, which may not be how others have handled it. When we understand the problem properly, the importance for you, etc., it helps us to prioritise it.

Something though that I guess is a caveat to all of this, and I’ve mentioned in previous posts, we have a set number of development hours per day. We’re a team of 34, we have 15 developers in the team. Of those, at any given time, 2 are dedicated to what we call “duct tape” although the name doesn’t favourably describe what it does :slight_smile:. It’s basically 2 developers always available to help our support team with enquiries or issues.

Also with a system our size, there’s always a lot of development time spent on maintenance work, which is basically making sure it runs bug free, secure, fast and available. If you use other software, you probably know that bugs and issues are common place in larger systems, we work very hard to make sure that’s not the case in Cliniko.

We of course will expand the team over time, but doing so too fast can be a mistake, so like the last 9 years, we continue to grow, but at a sustainable pace. We want to be around for the next 20 years, and we’re conscious that our decisions now impact that.

I hope some of this information is useful, I’m not entirely sure I even answered what you’re looking for, now structured this in the easiest to digest way. It’s a complicated topic, and one I don’t have great answers for either. We review and change how we prioritise things, I know we can do it better than we do, but also I think we do an okay job of it now. The main thing I’m sure of is that our team are productive and adding value to Cliniko.

Joel

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Joel, Medicare integration would be AMAZING. Please tell us more!!

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What if I do one better and show you @Laura_Saul ?

It will change slightly before release, but gives you the idea.

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THIS IS AMAZING.
Really hope this gets going ASAP it would make our lives so much simpler.
Thanks

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Thanks Joel… Good to hear about appointment confirmations, that would be fabulous! Is so arduous working out who has confirmed and who hasn’t … would be good if the appointments changed colour once confirmed like they do on Power Diary… They change from blue (pending) to green (confirmed) and red (if cancelled) … something like that would be amazing! :slight_smile: Love all the good work you all do on continuing to improve Cliniko and listen to us that use it daily…

Does this mean that the Medicare rebate will go automatically into the patients account?

Yes. We have patient claims that go directly to them, and bulk bill that goes to you.