Having an online therapy practice is one of the lowest barriers of entry for operating independently. You’ll be thrilled to find that you can be all in your first month right around $1000. Why? Because you’re footing the bill for a building and utilities.
In this post, we’re giving you the ultimate shopping list for getting your telehealth practice furnished. We’re going to start with the bare minimum — 5 things, 4 of which are all online subscriptions. And then we’ll cover 4 more things you can add to the list if you want to start super strong and professional.
Required #1: Good Wifi
Most of your communication with clients will happen online and your video calls certainly will. Make sure you have strong fast WiFi. If you can stream Netflix or YouTube without having to wait for the videos to load, you have strong WiFi. If your WiFi needs a boost here’s 6 things you can try:
- Select a good place for your router, away from metal objects, and in a central location.
- Get a stronger antenna
- Cut off WiFi leeches by encrypting your WiFi and choosing a strong password. This limits the number of people who can randomly hop off and use up your WiFi strength.
- Buy a WiFi Repeater/ Booster/ Extender which amplifies the signal you already have. You should expect to spend about $100.
- Switch to 5 GHz. This provides much faster internet and your router might already support it, all you’ll have to do is switch to it.
- Don’t forget to reboot. When in doubt a reboot clears a router’s memory and allows updates to install.
Required #2: Laptop
If most of your professional life happens online in the telehealth world that means you’ll need a laptop to have all that online activity. When looking for a laptop considering the one you already have here are two things it needs:
- Integrated webcam
- Integrated microphone
Technically, a desktop computer can get you by. However, we recommend most modern laptops because they will have an integrated webcam and microphone. This will make your session experience and taking clinical notes the most effortless and positive.
Best World says that these are The Best 5 Laptops for Skype in 2020
Required #3: Payment Processor
If you’re going to be getting paid for the work that you do AND everything is happening online cash and checks don’t really work as a form of payment. So, you’ll need a payment processor. When choosing a payment processor, be sure to read the fine print so that you’re not surprised by any extra fees.
Required #4: Client Management Platform
This is where you are able to store all of your client information and clinical notes. Some client management platforms even process payments and allow you to store credit card information.
Required #5: HIPAA Compliant Communication Platforms
When scheduling meetings with your clients or discussing concerns and progress between sessions it’s important that you’re compliant with HIPAA regulations. There are secure email, text, phone, voicemail, and fax software that allow you to communicate with your clients while remaining HIPAA compliant. You will also want to find a secure video platform so that you can have HIPAA compliant sessions.
Does that already sound like a lot? Don’t worry. We’re here to make your practice as simple as possible so we created a monthly membership that includes a client management platform with a payment processor that saves credit card information, HIPAA compliant communication channels (email, text, phone, voicemail, and fax), secure video platform, and live support! If that sounds something you could use schedule a demo here!
Extra #1: Background
Whether or not you get all fancy with your background be sure to create a therapeutic space. You can start by finding a blank wall to stand in front of. Make sure the fan is turned off and clear distractions. If you want to take it a step further you can add simple decorations. Healthcare providers tend to stick with neutral colors and live plants. Stay away from words and detailed pictures.
Extra #2: Lighting
A simple way to come across as professional when on a video call is to make sure your lighting is on point. Pro tip: stand next to a window, there’s nothing better than natural light when you’re on camera. If you’re having sessions in the evening it might get a little dark so a simple ring light can make a HUGE difference.
Extra #3: Microphone
A high-quality microphone can decrease static, increase voice clarity, and decrease background noise. Decent microphones typically run between $15-$50. Here’s one we recommend.
Extra #4: Webcam
If you decided not to upgrade your laptop when you jumped into telehealth you might want to get a better webcam. These will improve clarity, depth, and color. Here’s one that won’t disappoint and is at a comfortable price point.
If you’re considering starting an online practice we want to know that it is in your reach. Carol O’Saben, one of our clients, started her online practice little by little after she got burned out working as a therapist in university centers. She started her own online practice because it was the lowest barrier of entry. Today she’s earning more than she’s ever earned and working fewer hours than she’s ever worked. You can read her story here.
If you’re ready to go all-in on this online therapy practice of yours we’d love to help or answer any questions that you have. Schedule a call with us here!