Isosconnect is a platform built specifically for counsellors and practitioners to manage their day-to-day business, meet their compliance responsibilities, and offer the best client experience. We are thrilled to have joined the National Counselling Society and we actively support the setting of standards around what it means to be a service provider in this industry.
Over the last two years, private practice has had to change the way it operates, whilst protecting quality and outcomes, and in particular the world of counsellors and solo practitioners. Many in the profession have turned to technology to manage client sessions online, as well as keeping up with in-person appointments. Businesses are in a different position to where they were pre-pandemic, and so it’s no surprise that now we look to the future and wonder what it may entail.
Understandably, these changes have raised many questions and concerns for practitioners about the associated responsibilities of online compliance standards, business efficiency, and keeping an eye on what other service providers are up to. For many, managing a business got a whole lot more complicated. For those just starting out, there are now many more things to consider.
We want to use this article to talk through some of these concerns and to share how our isosconnect platform can help you take advantage of the new opportunities that are now presenting themselves.
Let’s start with a quick question, do any of the below points sound familiar?
Juggling all your different social and communication channels is eating into the time between clients. Usually reserved for reflection and rest, it’s now dominated by notifications for messages, everywhere
You spend a lot of time setting up appointments, copying and pasting video links and updating your diary, sending/deleting and resending information
You’re not able to put the work into building your business, because being ‘online’ takes up a lot of your time
If the answer to any of the above is yes, then rest assured you’re not alone - managing a small business is a challenge, and these experiences are not uncommon. Given the rate at which practitioner businesses have evolved recently, now is a perfect time to take advantage of new opportunities which will present a much simpler and more efficient way of running your business, smoothing out the whole experience for you and your clients.
The new opportunity for counsellors and practitioners
New ways of working will always present a number of new opportunities. In this setting, it's about connecting services to an emerging digital health opportunity that’s happening everywhere. The pandemic disrupted the healthcare industry and drove hordes of people (aka potential clients) to seek out online services and digital health products. ORCHA, (the Organisation for the Review of Care and Health Apps) reported searches for digital health products surged 343% during UK lockdown
At the same time, there has been a huge increase in acknowledging mental health conditions, which in turn is driving up demand for services.
These trends are coupled with the fact that location of services is no longer a limitation; people will choose a counsellor or therapist based on other factors, such as their high standard of service, or particular expertise, looking for a great connection. So we are seeing an increase in potential clients, together with unrestrained location - a perfect combination.
Given the above, a high standard of service is therefore key. If you think about it, traditionally, high standards of service would, quite rightly, be all about the level of care provided, as well as a physical location that offers clients a safe, comfortable space. Good client communication and client privacy are also vitally important. These factors will always be important no matter what.
But how can these high standards of service be maintained and improved as we move forward and experience new ways of working? Without a doubt, level of care is always going to be of paramount importance, but counsellors and practitioners are now exploring how they can offer their clients an even better client experience as well as a safe, online space to take advantage of the growing trend of online appointments.
isosconnect allows you to take advantage of these opportunities through the use of a single platform. We’ll enable you to offer a high level of service to your clients, and, importantly, make things easier for you as a business owner too.
We’re talking about:
a simple, yet professional booking system for clients, providing a single destination for all appointment bookings, available to clients 24/7
all of your client information in one place to which only you have access, with client records and data right at your fingertips
an online space which is considered just as safe, calm and inviting as any physical space
keeping up with what competitors are offering
a way to meet your online compliance responsibilities
It’s also worth remembering that now potential clients aren’t necessarily local, you’ll find that they are quite literally looking for you on Google, so our advice is to make sure your Google business page is up to date to reassure clients that you’re open for business.
Data, Privacy and Security Responsibilities
Understandably, online compliance can be a bit overwhelming, so we wanted to spend a bit more time discussing this. In a traditional therapy room setting, the whole process of delivering healthcare and well-being services was built on robust and well-learned processes. There have been careful considerations around privacy and security, culminating in what we have called a ‘safe-space’ for many years.
It makes sense then, that the same consideration needs to be given to online sessions with clients. The problem, however, is that many well-known video conferencing providers cannot meet healthcare related requirements unless through specific subscriptions, because they are designed for broader audiences and intended only for more general business use. One example is that your client has to share personal data to work with you when using apps, data that you might not control.
After a decade of building and placing telehealth services across the UK, our team is collectively driven by a belief that self-paid therapy services should be more accessible to everyone; ‘isos’ means equal. Services should also be as safe as possible, in accordance with developing policies here in the UK.
isosconnect is a UK company, and this means we’ve built our platform with UK regulations in mind. With us, you can rest assured knowing that your data will never be shared with third-parties, and that all calls are end-to-end encrypted, giving peace of mind for both you and your clients. And don’t worry, all the handy functions you’re probably used to using, such as inbuilt backgrounds and screen sharing, are all still available to you. We focussed on making it the simplest system around, and the best looking!
“As the Director and CEO of Privacy4 I am always looking to find applications that enable me to carry out my duties as a Psychotherapist that are both easy to use and provide all the necessary data protection faculties. isosconnect has been a joy to use and has a fantastic User experience (UX) and is performing better than other platforms out there in terms of video conferencing. This allows me to work both lawfully and ethically and is in line with the directions of DCMS, The ICO, UKCP and the NCS for providing a sound service to my clients and upholding my integrity”
Dr Catherine Knibbs, NCS Member
All NCS members are welcome to 30% off, for life
Since we’ve been given the privilege of sharing the benefits of our platform with you, we want to say a huge thank you by offering all NCS members 30% off when they sign up to our isosconnect platform - the discount will be for life! Simply go to www.isosconnect.com/ncs