Yvonne O' Halloran is a forward-thinking dietitian and nutritionist with a diverse, global client base. Even before Covid-19 – and before she discovered Cliniko – Yvonne worked entirely from home via virtual consultations.
“Most of my clients are based in Australia, but thanks to telehealth I can also work with people in the UK, America, and New Zealand.”
She sees patients of all ages, including parents seeking expert support managing their young (typically under four-years-old) children’s nutritional needs, and adults of all ages seeking to improve their diet and wellbeing.
But despite the variety in her caseload, Yvonne serves a specific niche: clients interested in achieving their health goals with a whole food plant-based diet, free of animal-derived products like dairy, meat, and eggs.
Surprisingly, not all who reach out to work with Yvonne are vegan.
“I see a lot of patients with chronic diseases. For example, people who have been told by their doctor that they have Type 2 diabetes. They do a bit of research themselves and realise that maybe a plant-based diet is the best choice for their health. So they come to me for health reasons, nothing to do with ethics. I’ve had great results with those people.”
The amount of time she’ll work with each client varies based on their needs. On average, she’ll see a client for around six months, but everyone is different. She says, “some people come to me on a one-off basis, some people are looking for a bit of longer-term health coaching over the course of a year or so.”
Since launching her website and signing up with Cliniko, Yvonne has gone from strength to strength with her business. She also published a children’s book called Plant-Powered Animal Protectors in May this year!
Why did Yvonne decide to try practice management software?
Yvonne’s main “shopfront” is her website, as she has no physical clinic space for patients. This has worked best for her from the time she first started her own business. But things were a little bit different before she began using Cliniko in the summer of 2020.
Before Cliniko, Yvonne would use generic video conferencing tools alongside her own notes to run her consultations:
“I was just setting up video calls as I needed them at first. But then, things started to get a little bit busier and I started to question the safety of Zoom, the video platform I was using at the time. I was mainly concerned about patient confidentiality. I saw that Dietitians Australia listed Cliniko as one of the practice management systems that they recommended to be safe and secure for use with clients. Zoom was not on the list!”
With that, she decided to do a little research into Cliniko and was impressed with the reviews. She asked colleagues and other health professionals what they thought about Cliniko: “I didn’t know that they were using it before I asked, but they had a lot of positive things to say.”
Yvonne then started a free 30-day trial to see if Cliniko could satisfy her next biggest requirement after security: would it be easy for her and her clients to use?
Why did Yvonne choose Cliniko?
Yvonne knew the most important features she needed from a PMS were telehealth for video consultations and online bookings. But beyond the functionality itself, Yvonne really wanted a system that she could start using right away, without a lengthy on-boarding period.
“When I tried Cliniko, I thought it was an excellent software system to use. I use the telehealth application all the time. I’ve rarely had connectivity issues and my patients also find it very easy to use.”
She also tried Coviu, another video conferencing app which optionally connects with Cliniko. But she felt Cliniko better met her needs.
How has using Cliniko helped improve Living Vegan?
Using online bookings and payments, Yvonne’s clients – whether existing or new – are able to self-serve, select, and pay for their ideal appointment type directly on her website.
“It’s made everything so much easier. Everything is in one place, it’s generally easy to use, patients have no problems. Clients can now go to my website, choose the treatment they want, book in, and it’s all confirmed via email. I’ve never had a client say to me, ‘oh you know I couldn’t do something with your system.’”
Since getting started with Cliniko, Yvonne has also set up personalised patient forms to gather information in advance about their medical history, goals, and reasons for booking.
“Having the forms just saves me time. An hour-long consultation can fly by, and sending the form helps me to focus appointment time on my client, rather than going over basic information,” she says.
Yvonne was also apprehensive about claiming through Medicare (for Australian allied health practitioners) for telehealth appointments at first, but Cliniko’s integration with Medipass made it simple: “I have a lot of clients who want to use rebates and, at first, I wondered if it was going to be a big complicated nightmare. But I reached out to Cliniko’s support team who gave me a couple of tutorials, and actually it was really, really easy!”
How could Cliniko be better for dietitians and nutritionists?
“In my year of using Cliniko, I’ve only had an issue with the telehealth feature not working once, which was a little bit awkward because I had a client consult booked in. Luckily, it was with a client in Australia so we could switch to phones, but it happened just once so far. Technology happens!”
Yvonne also told us that she uses a separate app to create and send meal plans. For specialised functionality outside Cliniko’s core features, we offer integrations with connected app partners. And the good news is that any healthcare app can integrate with Cliniko using our developer API to sync data between the two.
At the time of writing, we also already have a Foodzilla add-on ready to go! Foodzilla allows nutrition professionals to set up a mobile app for clients, create meal plans and recipes, and offers specialist charting and intake functionality, among many other things.
However, just be aware that using a connected app may mean paying for an additional app license on top of Cliniko’s subscription fee.
Yvonne’s advice for dietitians looking for practice management software
“Look for what’s easiest to use, the most user-friendly for your patients, and what’s most affordable for you. Obviously, also make sure it’s going to meet all your needs so you can have everything you need in one place as much as possible, rather than needing two or three applications for online bookings and video consults.”