The market for digital technology has steadily grown in the last decade, giving private practices several options to augment their services and provide truly transformative care. This can seem like a big step for those who find comfort in analogue tools like good ol’ pen and paper, but there are quite a few benefits that come with making the switch. Cost Savings The initial investment into starting a traditional private practice can be stressful, as the expenses start to stack once you get into office supplies and peripherals. A printer, toner, pen, and paper - these might not seem too expensive for smart shoppers, but lead to long-term dependence with continued use. To continue maintaining paper records for all your clients, you need to keep spending money on ink and paper which can become a mounting source of expense as your practice continues to see success. For those with ambitions to move beyond a solo operation or transition into a multi-disciplinary practice, this is something to keep in mind. This overhead disappears once you go paperless. Without the need for printing and photocopying, the cost of office supplies starts decreasing substantially. Digital solutions also have a transparent pricing model, reducing the variability in your monthly expenses. Data Security The gold standard for security when it comes to managing paper records is the filing cabinet. However, it goes without saying that it doesn’t take too much effort to breach this level of security today. The information that is shared with you by your patients is incredibly sensitive, and any potential breach can lead to great harm to recovery, and can even cause permanent harm to the trust you have worked so hard to build with each patient. To achieve the level of security that is owed to the private information you’re handling, paper just isn’t going to cut it. Digital protections offer an elegant solution to anyone concerned with the security of their patient information. In a post COVID world, a digital system is also conducive to both travel and all remote working situations. Rather than managing a heap of sensitive information on paper while you’re on the go, you can access this information on a trusted device anytime you need it, knowing full well that your information is kept secure from prying eyes. Environmental Conservation This one is an often overlooked benefit of going digital with your private practice. You might not realize it, but becoming a digital practice can actually help save the environment as well! You are doing your part to save forests that are being cut down to produce the paper that would have otherwise been used to power your office. This contributes to reducing CO2 emissions from logging efforts, as well as the additional CO2 processing conserved by the trees that are saved. Without the need to purchase all the office supplies we mentioned earlier, you can actually save on space in your office as well. With a smaller office, the expenses for heating and other utilities also start going down, all of which will contribute to reducing your carbon footprint. If space reduction doesn’t seem realistic, you can also use that saved space to make your office more comfortable for your patients, which creates many passive benefits to the quality of your sessions. Talk about a win-win! Emergency Response and Disaster Recovery The header might seem a tad dramatic, but life has an interesting way of throwing curveballs when you least expect it. People go to great lengths to insure their most valuable possessions for good reason, and your client data deserves the same treatment. Digital information management goes a long way here, as regardless what happens to hardware or your physical location, once you gain access to stable internet, you can always access your client information without worry. In the event of hardware going missing or a natural disaster affecting infrastructure and your ability to work, you do not have to worry about the additional complication of your client information getting lost or being mismanaged. Their data will be secure regardless of what happens, so go ahead and take care of yourself without worrying about the details! Simplified Notes Management One of the biggest concerns therapists have when considering a switch to a practice management solution is what to do about their note taking process. Going from a completely analogue note-taking process in session to a digital alternative will result in a pretty different experience for both you and your patients. There are a handful of tools to make the transition easier, such as a digital stylus that will automatically convert your handwritten notes into digital notes once the session is over and you save the file. However, we find in most cases that therapists take the opportunity to write brief and often disorganized notes during a session, and take some time to clean them up at the end of each session or at the end of each day. This wrap up can easily happen in a digital format. Others work with a small laptop or tablet directly in session to keep notes in their chosen platform. Given the drastic rise in Telehealth sessions over the past two years, it has actually become much more convenient to write notes on your computer, since most sessions are happening on a video conferencing tool while therapists write down notes on a separate window. Taking the First Step Thankfully, there are many digital electronic medical records and practice management solutions out there that can help you go paperless, and Speakbox is one of them! Being both HIPAA and PIPEDA compliant, data secured with Speakbox for practices in the United States and Canada can sleep easy knowing they don’t have to worry about unsecured client information. Transitioning to a digital practice helps save you money, time, and protect the environment. Digital notes enable therapists to find the information you need quickly and securely. If you have any questions, please feel free to start a free trial on our website and chat with an expert to learn more!