I’m a psychoanalyst and I’m looking for a workflow to help me bill my patients.
Every end of the month I send a template WhatsApp message to each patient with the number of sessions and the total amount owned. I have to say it is something really boring to do.
Do you guys have a suggestion of a way to automate this?
Thanks in advance!
Just to clarify. My workflow, nowadays, is:
Schedule appointments on iCal - at the end tf the month I count the number of each patient - I send a template WhatsApp message to each one w/ the amount due and the number of sessions (the value varies depending on the patient)
My first suggestion would be, not to use something like WhatsApp, in any relation to the personal data of your patients.
Would you suggested other app?
What’s the reason for using a platform like WhatsApp? Do your patients insist on it / actively want it, or is it just convenient for you?
For something like psychological services, I personally would be deeply concerned if the therapist’s billing method was, effectively, text messages.
Are you subject to any industry restrictions as to what you’re allowed to use? If not, I would use a platform like Harvest to send invoices, with Stripe as the payment back-end.
I don´t know about the infrastructure in Brazil, but I would assume, that your patients would have an E-Mail Account?
So I would rather prepare the invoices with a kind of an writing program, and send them as a PDF to the E-Mail Addresses.
There are a couple of ways, too kind of “Automate” the writing of an invoice in that way.
I can`t provide you with a finished solution for that, but for example, Pages was just released again with a serial letter function. I haven’t tested it yet, but if it works similar to the function it has previously, you can store the data relevant for your patient in a numbers file, and create a serial letter with those data.
There are a couple of videos and tipps how to use the Pages-Function already, if you search the Net.
Also there are a couple of Apps, doing things like that for you in a more proficient way, than via a WhatsApp Message.
WhatsApp has a serious issue when it comes to privacy, and I would never want my data on a network like that, specially if it relates to something like consulting a therapist.
The Harvest software I mentioned will allow you to generate recurring invoices in a “draft” state if you want.
So you can have a recurring invoice for Joe Smith, with a line item for 1 session and the billable rate. And at the beginning of the month, open up the invoice, adjust the session count, and send.
The invoices are emailed, they look sharp, and the Harvest platform supports Paypal and Stripe.
And there’s no cost at all for Harvest if you’re not using their time tracking functionality.
Email is a much less secure way to communicate than via WhatsApp. Sending the invoice as a PDF via WhatsApp will wrap it in the same encryption as used by Signal. The information will also be well secured by default at the recipient.
Yes, the app is owned by Meta, but in the end, we need to trust someone. Also, there might be regulations in your jurisdiction that you need to be aware of.
Yes, but Meta and Google are pretty much the last ones, Someone should trust…
This is the sort of thing I was trying to drive at.
Absent specific regulations, if you ever had somebody complain about your invoicing and privacy, I think that more accepted technologies like email would be more defensible - to the average judge / jury - than using what’s basically seen as a chat app.
But yes - local regulations are important. If those exist, they should be followed.
Aside from any legal / optics issues with using WhatsApp that others have covered, it’s also not very easy to automate (if at all).
I’d use email which is far more automatable and customisable (you can send a nice branded up message) and you get a better chain of events that you get in WhatsApp. Plus it’s what your average consumer is likely to be expect to use.
The originator of the thread, @Luciano_Mattuella is from Brazil, and I assume from his profile location pin that this is where he operates from. Right Luciano?
Brazil is WhatsApp’s second largest market worldwide, so I guess that makes it quite common and expected. If Internet stats can be trusted, the user base is reported to almost 50% of the entire population.
Given the choice between eMail or WhatsApp, I would go with WhatsApp any day for the added security and privacy.
Thanks @airwhale - applying my local British/Australian knowledge doesn’t always (ever?) translate to everyone else. Thanks for clarifying
That’s it. I’m from Brazil and here - unfortunately, maybe? - people use WhatsApp as standard messaging app.
User @ldebritto just sent me a perfect shortcut that collects info from iCal and creates a message on WhatsApp. Thank you so much, @ldebritto !
I would post it here as well were not for loads of Portuguese comments and variables names. Translating would take too much effort for too little return.
I originally made this for my mom who’s also a psychoanalyst in Brazil. How impressed was I to see @Luciano_Mattuella with a pretty much the same use case!
Excellent conclusion to this story, and hopefully just the automated solution required to do the job.
I’ve seen WhatsApp effectively be the internet in the Philippines and Indonesia. Reason is everyone has a phone and 3G/4G is effectively their “broadband”.
Even banks and Insurance companies provide most of their services via WhatsApp. Some Indian insurers do too. It’s the only tool that has max reach, especially in rural areas.
In China they use WeChat and Singapore and Malaysia Grab. Essentially super apps that do almost everything from healthcare, payments, insurance, dr consults, ordering in restaurants, you name it…