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.
That’s a very good question, and hard to answer too . 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)
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:
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:
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 . 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.
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! Love all the good work you all do on continuing to improve Cliniko and listen to us that use it daily…
As a specialist practice, we liaise with other specialists who come through our doors to assist with patient care. We share the day schedule with them for this purpose.
As they are working in conjunction with our specialists, sending the appointment day list is not feasible as we will end up sharing other patient’s information which will breach the patient confidentiality.
Is there a feasibility of a reporting platform that will utilize the existing variables in data collection to customize reports as done with other EMR’s?
Once again, thank you for your response and I look forward to hearing more from you.
Thanks for your thread. I have lurked in the forums since I joined a few weeks ago, and must admit have been in two minds as to whether or not to put forward suggestions. Mainly because there were a number of threads that I was interested whereby there was no response from a Cliniko rep. How disheartening! Your thread sounded like one to at least get a response, but then I felt it defeated the object of having a forum, if the only guaranteed way of getting responded to was to contact the Founder himself.
I used to use a combination of Bac-pac for clinical notes, and Timely for diary management and moved to Cliniko so that I was only using one piece of software (and mainly now because you integrate with Xero). However there are some things with the functionality of the diary which just leave me cold. One example is that a recurring appointment will send the client a confirmation for EVERY recurrence in one go. I only found this out after emailing a few regular client 51 emails all in one go. It didn’t even occur to me that there wasn’t a ‘pencilled in’ option because I was so used to having one. There are other feature requests I would like, some of which have been sat in the forum, ignored, for over a year. What would you suggest?
Thanks. I’ll look at options for filtering on that report.
As for reporting platform, it’s something we’ve discussed. I’m not sure if we’ll do it ourselves, or improve our API to allow a 3rd party data visualisation app to have better capabilities. We’d like something for this though.
Sorry you’ve had a bad experience already with these forums. Our intention for the community site was more around giving our customers a place to interact with each other, more than another channel to contact us. We have the chat in our app that’s the fastest, most direct way to reach us. We’re also active on our Facebook page and Twitter. Obviously we haven’t communicated that well, and also it may just not have been a great idea. I’ll see how we can be more responsive here, to match how we are in other channels.
To be clear though, you don’t need to contact me to get responded to, the in-app chat has a median response time from us of approx 10 minutes, 24/7.
As for your questions:
Recurring appointment notifications is a problem, we have that as a thing to fix. I don’t have an ETA yet, but I agree it’s bad.
For feature requests, you can post them in the forum, we do read them all. You can also submit via chat in Cliniko, when our support team receive them, we have a place we discuss them. Lastly, you can still post it here if you want my thoughts on it.
I appreciate your response - thank you. It’s much appreciated.
The Feature Request section of the forum is enormous, and it apparently has 25 topics added each month, so in some way’s that section is the forum! I also assumed that the chat was for ‘troubleshooting’ not as a general “contact us” - thank you for clarifying that, it’s really helpful. I’ll compile my wish list and ping it through.
I do hope that you get around to updating the calendar functionality soonish. It’s my most used function, and therefore causes the most irritation.