Pretty sure I'm not the only one

Cliniko team: your product is a pretty good calendar and booking tool.

It is severely lacking, however, in customisability (invoices, letters, emails, etc.), modern look and feel, usable letter templates, payment integration, and secure messaging connections. Your two main competitors offer all of these extra functions.

Running a small practice, I spend too much of my time doing reports. Currently, with Cliniko, I pay for your product, and have to use Word and Efax to send reports to GPs.

You’ve acknowledged that your letter template needs work, and you keep promising more transparency around your roadmap for development and adding features. So far there has been nothing. It’s pretty disappointing.

I’m about to trial Halaxy and Coreplus - I’d love to stick with Cliniko, but unless you can provide some indication of when you’ll update the product to match the essential, modern-world features of other PMS systems, I (and I imagine quite a few other users), will be leaving.

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I agree. I changed to Cliniko 1 year ago and was pretty excited about it. However, some of the most important functions are not up to scratch - for me it is the letter templates, and I have started threads about this but to no avail. I also don’t like not being able to view notes while writing letters, or the clunky options for scrolling through multiple pages of notes etc. I am at the point where I am also considering other options. For me it will likely be Power Diary, which was my other choice initially, and about which I have heard great things. Like you, I really don’t want to change, but I am slowly getting fed up with some of the clunkiness of Cliniko.

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I agree! We are also considering other options due to the lack of useful updates and Clinico’s inability to respond to requests. The last PMS I used was extremely efficient at adding features and thereby improving their product.

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I agree, my initial excitement at using Cliniko is waning. It’s so clunky it is not time efficient to use. I need to be able to invite contacts to appointments in my calendar, invoice for more than one session at a time, send invoices to 2 3rd parties without having to download the invoice and send it through Outlook, have flexibility when emailing clients and contacts through Cliniko and so many more options I thought would be available but aren’t. There was also a promise that Cliniko integrate updates often and take feedback from users… I am yet to see this happen at a pace that makes it worthwhile sticking with.

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Hi Sally

We are just in the process of changing from Power Diary back to Cliniko after 2 years. We found that while it had a few functions that were really good, the system as a whole was not as good as Cliniko. We found that the request for updates was always met with the exact same generic answer, send us an email and we’ll keep track of the number of people making this particular request. I’ve seen comments in the Facebook Power Diary User Group from many people with the same requests that dated back more than 2 years with no action even though there have been a large number of people making the request. So before you make the switch to Power Diary, make sure that you research very deeply because I can tell you from experience that it is a huge job to make the switch. I am not a practitioner, I am the practice manager so I can only really comment from my perspective but I found Power Diary much less effective than Cliniko. We are all after different things though so it may suit you better than it did us.

Sorry for the long reply.

Debbie

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Thanks Debbie, that is helpful and certainly food for thought. Unfortunately Cliniko isn’t doing some important things for me that me old PMS was doing in 2011 (esp. personal pronoun placeholders and general letter functionality)! I will certainly do a prolonged trial before moving, as I prefer to stay with Cliniko if possible - changes are disruptive to my team and time consuming! Thanks for taking the time to share your experiences.

No problem Sally. I hope that you find one that works for you! Just another quick comment. I am a bookkeeper and I found that Power Diary is not very strong on the financial side but then most PMS systems are not because they are primarily for practitioners I suppose. What PMS did you use previously?

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I use Cliniko and I also work at a business where they use Galaxy. Chalk and cheese! Beware Halaxy, we use it as we are NDIS providers but it is groaningly inadequate in so many areas!

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Thanks for the feedback (Halaxy is off the list) - but this has got a little off topic. The initial post was actually a cry out to Cliniko (are you listening Cliniko?) to please provide some transparency about the ongoing road map - especially the awful letter writing component…

We are listening! There’s really just not a lot of substantial information I can give on this. Joel posted a while back about how we handle feature requests, feedback, and the like. I'm Joel, Cliniko Founder. Ask me anything! - #29 by joel

The major tasks he mentions there are all long completed, but the general process of how we prioritise tasks is still very much the same. I’m afraid that improving letter writing isn’t something that has made it in front of a developer just yet though, sorry!

Hi Jim, just an indication that it’s on your list with even a vague timeline would be useful. From my perspective I need to know that it’s something that’s on your development roadmap. If it’s going to be sorted in 6 months, I’m willing to stick around. It’s the lack of transparency that’s the problem!

It’s definitely not a lack of transparency - there simply isn’t a roadmap to share. I don’t think we’ve ever promised to show a roadmap, though we’ve looked at a lot of different tools to try and gather more data on feature requests.

We know that right now we aren’t working on improving the letter feature, so I can say definitively that it won’t be something that you would see improvement on in the next month or so. For upcoming development, we’re keen to work on online payments (through that Stripe integration), Telehealth, and the stability issues we saw last month. could take the focus of some of our developers for the next 6 months, though certainly not all.

The letter tool isn’t ever going to replace Word though. If you’re looking for a full editor that has that level of editing power - Cliniko isn’t going to do that. But adding pronoun placeholders is definitely doable. What other types of functionality would you like to see built in?

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Thanks Jim,
Pronoun placeholders would be great
Footer to make the template more professional would also be fantastic.

To make the letter delivery more professional and overall for all emails, a signature on emails would top it off.

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Thanks heaps for asking Jim. As per Danni, pronoun placeholder + letterhead options (for a professional letter that includes logo, practitioner name, ABN, provider number, Health link ID, contact details, etc.) + being able to pull in referrer details to letter (name, title, address) + being able to add a list (table form) of appointments attended over a date range - all a great place to start.

And being able to export to secure messaging (maybe an API plugin with Healthlink as per Coreplus?).

Thanks @Jem and @Danni .

I’ll use this as a springboard to open up further discussion with the team and see what could be prioritised.

Secure messaging is unfortunately a whole other can of worms that I don’t foresee being done soon. The trouble with it is the amount of fragmentation in the market. Integrating with Healthlink helps some clinics, but not those that need/use MedicalObjects, or Argus, or any of the other many tools that are used around both Australia and the rest of the world.

As much as I wish we could help solve the trouble with secure messaging, it’s not an easy task.

Thanks Jim. Secure messaging would be the cherry on top - but having the letter system updated to have something that saved heaps of time by prefilling 90% of details, and then outputting a professional letter (with letterhead) would go a long way.

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I agree, it’s been getting harder and harder to stick with Cliniko lately, the NDIS adds so much more complexity and not being able to assign contacts as primary billers, client fields for NDIS numbers (which can be used on letters) and signatures on letters + the lack of other letter variables has made us start looking into different software like Splose and Power Diary. It’s a shame cause we’ve been with Cliniko for ages and I and the team love it but we hate how much our other software improves and releases needed features but cliniko for the most part stays the same.

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I’m not too concerned about letter’s functionality - however - our biggest issue is the inability to block certain appointment types at certain times. For instance, if you have a new patient spot ‘earmarked’ for 30-mins, 15-min regular/follow-ups can book in there because it fits. This ‘eats up’ the spots.

Also, this is an issue if you want to open up 2 consecutive follow-ups (ie. 2:00 and 2:15), a 30-min New patient can book right in there grrrr…

Having the ability to say ‘NP’ can only book at “10:00, 10:30, 2:30, 3:00” in the online booking/appointment type area this would be a game changer!!

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Being able to improve the formatting of letters is a big one for us. Would be great to see where the page breaks are going to be seeing as we have to print and fax letters.

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Hi Jim,

In addition to the personal pronoun placeholders, it would also be great to have the ability to fully justify and centre text to allow for correct formatting of letters.

It would be great to be able to send letters from Cliniko via email with a letterhead on top (maybe by generating a PDF as you can with the treatment notes?)

A big one for me would be being able to scroll through treatment notes while writing a letter – i.e., having a split screen to allow for this as well as a full-screen view to allow for editing of letters in print view.

I would also appreciate a larger viewing pane option – to be able to view in print layout to format correctly.

I am puzzled by your comment about the letter tool not replacing word. My previous PMS was doing all of these functions (except for the viewing notes while writing letters - a feature they were introducing when I changed to Cliniko) in 2011. While I am sure that none of us expect full Word functionality, being able to format a letter correctly from within Cliniko seems a reasonable request.

I hope that some of these smaller changes that would add so much might able to be made sooner rather than later.

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