A thought about biased reviews
It’s becoming quite common to find a software comparison review, on a website by one of those companies in the review. Similar to what this page would have been, if it was actually a review of Cliniko vs Smartsoft’s Front Desk.
The problem is, these pages are often a sham. The company hosting it does the bare minimum to provide a balanced review of both systems, to try to look legitimate enough, while clearly edging towards their own. At best, the page will be factually correct and just have bias, at worst they can be outright fictitious.
The reality is, you’ll never find great information comparing two systems, when it’s written by one of those systems.
So why does Cliniko have a page like this?
The same reason others do, it’s great for SEO (search engine optimization). When someone searches for the difference between Cliniko and Front Desk, or even just searches for Front Desk, there’s a good chance this page will appear in the results (you probably even found it that way now).
This can be a really good way to get extra awareness about Cliniko, while people are looking to choose a Practice Management Software system (I’ve thrown in a buzz word there, because it does well in SEO for us).
With that said, we need this page to help us with our marketing. However, we can’t bring ourselves to write one of those biased reviews, so instead we just want to be candid with you.
Where to from here?
Here’s the thing… we don’t know a lot about Front Desk. We would rather spend our time improving and supporting Cliniko than playing with our competitor’s systems. We also don’t like to be actively influenced by what we’ve seen elsewhere, so we can design solutions truly for the problem at hand, not just do what others have done.
Don’t leave just yet though! You’re probably here because you’re looking for software for your healthcare business and it’s very tough to choose which one to use. In an effort to not have wasted your time by bringing you here, we’ve compiled some tips on how to choose a Practice Management Software system (yep I need to use that phrase more than once in here). Spoiler: none of the tips include trusting a comparison review written by one of the systems themselves.
“Aha!” you might be thinking, “Now they’re going to give us biased tips that make Cliniko look good”… and you’d be kind of right. You see the tips below are actually quite good ways to choose a Practice Management System, and lo and behold, if you’re choosing based on a good methodology, you end up with Cliniko looking good, because it is! Tada! And our marketing person thought I wasn’t going to sell Cliniko here.
We hope the tips below can help you a bit. When you’re done reading them, you may as well go and check out some other pages of this website too to see what Cliniko is all about… you’re here anyway right?
6 tips for choosing software for your healthcare business
1Can you afford it?
If you can’t afford it, there’s no point seeing how good it is. First step is make sure it meets your budget. Most systems will have a pricing page on their website.
We don’t believe price should be your deciding factor, you don’t need to choose the cheapest, the system you choose will be very important to your business. It just needs to be affordable, to be considered, and hopefully offers you more value than it costs.
You can find our Cliniko pricing very easily. Of note, Front Desk also have their pricing shown on their website. You’ll find our plans include everything, all the bells and whistles. With Front Desk, at the time of writing, you need to choose an appropriate plan based on the features you’ll need.
2Is it compliant for you to use?
If you’re considering Cliniko and Front Desk, you’re likely storing patient information. There are laws the govern the storage of sensitive information like this. It’s important to choose a system that’s “built for purpose” and meets the privacy requirements.
There’s a good chance Cliniko will meet these requirements for you, but you’ll need to see our Security page to confirm, based on your region and needs.
3Does it have the features you need?
It wouldn’t be much good if the system was affordable and met regulations, but didn’t actually do what you need. So best to check that out too! Practice Management Systems are generally quite comprehensive when it comes to feature sets. Just make sure the things you know you need, are handled by the system you choose.
You can see most of our features on our aptly named Features page. We’re pretty sure Front Desk also has features… that’s the kind of diligent review this is.
4Does it work on the devices you use?
Are you on Mac or PC? Do you want to use it on your iPad, Galaxy Tab, iPhone, Android Phone, or Sandwich Toaster? You’ll want to make sure it works on all the devices you plan to use. One step better, make sure it’s great on those devices, not just that it works.
As a note, Cliniko works on all of those devices above, except one… but we won’t tell you which.
5What is the support like?
Let’s face it, no matter how good the system is, you’re going to be needing support at one time or another. It’s best to not wait until then to find out it’s rubbish.
You can of course read about companies support on their website, but we’ve never spotted a website that says “Our support is terrible, 98% of people hated speaking with us… and that’s from the small portion that actually got through”. That said, there’s plenty of companies where that would be accurate.
Our tip, try it out. That’s when you’ll find out the truth. Want to try ours out? There’s a little chat bubble in the bottom-right corner. Go see who’s on the other end!
6Do a free trial!
Similar to above, you can’t believe everything you read on a companies website. Like those less than honest comparison reviews, websites have a tendency to highlight the good points, and skim over (omit) the bad. Any system that you consider, should be offering you a completely free trial. Changing systems is a big deal, you shouldn’t be going into that blindly.
Start a free trial with all the systems you’re considering, and really kick the tyres, make sure you’re making an educated decision based on what you’ve seen, not just what you’ve been told.
At a glance, it would look like Cliniko and Front Desk might be similar, we do believe the free trial will help you separate them.
The above tips are certainly our main recommendations, if you’re still looking for other ways to analyse them, we’ve got some bonus tips for you:
- Is the system regularly improved?
- What is the up-time/availability like of the system?
- Does the company communicate well about changes or issues?
- How fast is the system to use?
- What is the usability like? Is it easy to use without training?
Thanks for reading
We know this isn’t what you came here for, so thanks for making it this far. If we thought we could do a fair comparison between Cliniko and Front Desk we’d have done so. Integrity is important to us and we didn’t want to put a misleading review out into the world.
We obviously do know of Front Desk (otherwise we wouldn’t have created this page), and we think Cliniko is a pretty decent pick if you’re going to choose. The best thing to do from here is to find out for yourself. Our number one tip is to try the systems out, and you can start a free 30-day trial with Cliniko in just 30 seconds. Enjoy!