Monique Goss’s Melbourne practice, Om Osteopathy, is just over a year old. She started it in July 2021, when the pandemic motivated her to embark on a new challenge. “During COVID-19, with healthcare restrictions, I felt work had become quite repetitive,” she shares. “I had a lot of time outside of work to do nothing, so figured what better time to start my own business?”
With a background in competitive dance and a fascination with the human body, Monique says a career in healthcare was always on the cards for her! “I was the child that would give my mum and dad massages at home,” she remembers. “Looking back – lucky them.” We agree! Free massages sound pretty good to us.
Monique’s interest in health and the body continued throughout her schooling. She created a brochure on osteopathy as part of a year 11 assignment – and in the process convinced herself that profession was for her. “You could say my brochure was very convincing,” she jokes. She graduated from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) in 2016 and worked in osteopathy clinics until taking the plunge last year and opening her own practice.
About Om Osteopathy
Monique is a solo practitioner – “I’m a one woman show,” she says. But she works in a nice space (Meraki Holistic Health) where she has contact with other practitioners, which gives her a sense of community.
Although opening a new practice can have its challenges, Monique enjoys what she does, especially reaching new people with her online posts: “I usually enjoy the content creation I do on social media, however time consuming it can be. I feel like I can educate a broader audience on what osteopathy can offer, while bringing a bit of humour to the party.” Indeed, her Instagram and Facebook pages provide information about a whole range of different issues – from women’s health to osteopathy techniques.
Why Monique chose Cliniko
Even before Monique decided to open her own clinic, she’d seen the value of practice management software firsthand – it’s something she views as a clinic essential. “I think there’s really no other option in 2022,” she says.
She has been using Cliniko since 2014, when she first encountered it as a receptionist at the osteopathy clinic she worked at. When it came time to open her own practice, she was clear that she wanted to keep using the software. “I chose Cliniko for a few reasons, but most notably: the price point, the ethos of Cliniko as a business, and the customer service experiences I’d had with them in past clinics,” Monique says. “An osteo created software just made sense,” she adds. (If you don’t know the story, Cliniko was created by Liora, an osteopath, and Joel, a software developer – so we definitely understand what an osteopathy practice needs!).
How Monique uses Cliniko in her osteo clinic
Monique says the set-up process for her Cliniko account was easy. And, when she had it up and running, she was pleasantly surprised by some of the Cliniko features. “During COVID-19, I managed to set up online yoga class bookings and payments, which was an amazing feature I’d never considered doing,” she recalls.
There are a few things Monique finds particularly useful about Cliniko:
One of the greatest advantages with online bookings is that Monique doesn’t need to be on the telephone much – which isn’t really her thing. “I personally struggle with phone calls,” she shares, “so having online software makes it easier and more accessible for clients to book their own consultations.” Patients can head to her website and simply grab an appointment time that suits them.
The treatment note function is another big one! “Clinic notes can take up a lot of your time, especially outside of treatment hours,” Monique observes. “Being able to streamline treatment categories and examination findings to reflect how I uniquely treat as an osteopath speeds up the note taking process. For example, as I've evolved as a practitioner over the past six years or so I've become interested in visceral (organ) treatment, gut health, and women's health. Each time I learn a new technique or treatment style, I can change my note templates to reflect this.”
“As a business impacted by COVID-19 cancellations a lot in the past year, SMS reminders are an absolute must,” Monique says. An extra reminder never goes astray! An automated SMS can prompt patients to cancel or reschedule their appointments if they can’t make it anymore and is also a way to reinforce your cancellation policy.
“Online forms are a blessing to stay relatively paperless as a business,” notes Monique. Rather than collecting paper forms (and making patients fill them out on clipboards, old-school style!), online forms are a way to keep everything electronic. Neat, secure, and all in one place!
Monique feels that Cliniko has ultimately improved her business by freeing up her time and simplifying her day. “Automation of a lot of features has saved me an immense amount of administration time, leaving me free to actually be a practitioner,” she told us. “Integrations with other platforms i.e. Medicare and Xero reduce stress in the same way.” As she says, “it keeps my hands free to treat more people.” It’s true for every clinic, but particularly if you’re a solo practitioner, saving up every bit of time possible is essential!
How could Cliniko be better for osteopaths?
Despite her positive experience so far, there are still a few things on Monique’s Cliniko wish-list. She says: “I would personally love an autofill type feature in treatment notes for certain clinical presentations i.e. specific to an area – lower back sprain, headaches, pregnancy etc. Also, an inbuilt chat function to message people within the software from different treatment rooms or parts of the clinic would be cool for growing businesses!”
Our development team is continually working on ways to improve Cliniko and we’re always keen to hear feedback from our customers. We can’t promise that Cliniko will do everything you want it to immediately, but we do listen to everything you tell us and take what you’re saying into consideration. You can find all of our software updates on our blog.
Monique's advice to osteopaths looking for practice management software
Monique points out that any kind of technology will inevitably have its ups and downs: “at some point you’re going to need assistance with your software – naturally there will be crashes, hiccups and glitches along the way.”
But the most important (and revealing) thing is how problems get handled when they do arise. As Monique says, “a company with transparency when things go wrong, adaptability when climates shift, integrity with delivering on what they say they will, and always being present for support is a must."
“The donations to charity are an extra bonus that helps me feel impactful,” Monique adds. That makes us happy! You can read more about our charity work here.
Congratulations to Monique on the first year of OM Osteopathy! We look forward to watching her practice keep growing and developing. Whether you’re just launching off on your own, like Monique, or the owner of an established osteopathy practice, Cliniko can help make running your business easier.
But don’t take our word for it! If you’re curious, check it out for yourself with a 30-day free trial.