Earth Day 2020: a paperless clinic could benefit more than just your balance sheet

In honour of the first-ever digital Earth Day, we’d like to point out some Cliniko features that may help your practice cut back on the amount of paper you’re using. You could play a role in healing our environment and might even reduce your expenses in the process.

Doug Pohl·

Illustration of the Earth in space with a heart

Earth Day’s 50th anniversary is 22nd April, and because of the nearly world-wide precautions against the spread of the coronavirus, most of the day's planned events will be held online. That's right—a digital Earth Day.

That got us thinking about some other things we can do online to protect and heal our planet. ‘Going paperless’ when we have the option seems like it could be an easy and practical way to make a difference. It might also be a way for business owners to cut costs, and, for clinics working hard to stay open during this pandemic, even a small savings could have a big impact.

With such a constant flow of digital innovations across every industry, it might be easy to think paper usage is declining. The reality, though, is quite the opposite. According to The World Counts, ‘We use more than two pieces of paper for everyone on Earth every single hour. Demand for paper is expected to double between 2005 and 2030’.

You may not be able to eliminate all paper from your practice, but if you’re looking to reduce the amount of paper, ink, toner, and electricity you're using—and maybe saving some money in the process—Cliniko has some features that might help.

Cliniko’s paperless features

Online payments

You now have the option to offer online payments when your patients book their appointment through your website. This has proven to be an especially helpful tool during the COVID-19 crisis because practitioners are now able to keep the entire appointment process online. Bookings, payments, telehealth consultations, and recalls can all be handled remotely with no paper required.

If patients don’t pay online, you can still keep the payment process paper-free by using the email address in their file to easily send invoices and payment receipts.

Patient forms

In the past week, Cliniko has released online patient forms. Now you can quit relying on photocopied intake documents, and stop wasting time entering patients' written responses into their patient file. Best of all, you have the option to include these forms with your confirmation emails and appointment reminders, so when clients arrive at the clinic—or in the video call—their info will already be in place.

Calendar events

By automatically including calendar events in your confirmation emails, you can finally stop handing out appointment cards that your patients will likely lose or toss in the bin. Instead, all they’ll need to do is open the event attachment and add it to their digital calendar.

Also, if you’re relying on a paper diary or the dreaded ‘sticky notes’ for your appointment waitlist, Cliniko has you covered there, too. The small bits of paper don’t seem like much on their own, but they can add up over time.

Bulk Messages

If you need to get a simple note to all your patients, you could keep it paperless by sending a bulk email. Your clients will all receive the same message, but you’ll only have to send it once. That’ll save paper, of course, but it will also save you the time spent licking stamps and sealing envelopes.

If your message is urgent and you want to make sure your clients see it right away, you also have the option to send a bulk SMS text instead.

Digital records and notes

During an appointment, digital health records and treatment notes make it easy to access the information you need. You'll be able to review previous notes and create new ones on any device, without paper.

This is especially helpful for telehealth appointments, because once this crisis is over and you’re ready to re-open your clinic doors, you won't have to hassle with any data entry or file transfers. Everything you need will be right where you need it.

Connected apps

You also have the option to integrate some connected apps and take your paperless goals to a whole new level.

Physitrack allows you to prescribe customised treatment programs. In just a few steps, you can send fully-narrated, peer-reviewed exercise videos directly to an app on your clients' smartphones. You can even upload your own videos and PDFs to share with your patients—no more printouts or pamphlets.

With Medipass, you’ll be able to process all your Medicare and private insurance claims online, over the phone, or via SMS. You can enter the payment information yourself from any device, or you can send an SMS to your clients with a link that lets them complete the payment themselves. Either way, it's quick, easy, and paper-free.

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If you’re feeling the itch to participate in some of Earth Day's online events, you might want to take a look at this search tool from the Earth Day Network (the organisation behind the movement).

And, as always, if you have questions about any Cliniko feature, please reach out to our friendly support team. They’re always here to help!

Author information

Doug is our in-house writer and one of the newest members of the Cliniko team. When he's not writing for Cliniko, you'll probably find him chasing chipmunks on a mountain trail somewhere.

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