A client recently engaged us to identify the “best fit” practice management software solution for their mental health practice using Xero as the back-end. They had three practitioners operating in three rooms with a number of subcontractors also using the rooms. Moving on from manual booking sheets can be intimidating (not to mention the additional cost), but having an efficient, fully integrated practice management / CRM tool you can access from anywhere can be worth its weight in gold.

The core requirements

The following outline the main requirements of the desired system:

  • Cloud-based solution that can be accessed on all devices
  • Multiple diaries for different staff
  • Ability to have multi-room bookings
  • Online Medicare claiming
  • Integrated to Xero
  • Referral details (doctor, date, etc)
  • Reporting functionality
  • Value

The contenders

While there are a plethora of options out there (and that number is growing), we honed in one three solutions operating at different price points that initially appeared to meet the bulk of requirements, as well as systems referred by other clients. Namely, the contenders we identified for further investigation were:

  • Timely
  • Cliniko
  • Power Diary


 Timely  Cliniko  Power Diary
Base $19 month per first staff + $9 add staff $95 per month for up to 5 staff $5.50 per week per staff member
Discount None identified (could possibly be negotiated) None identified (could possibly be negotiated) 50% discount for first 12 months (as at March 2016)

The pros and cons

Timely  Cliniko  Power Diary
Pros – Neat interface, simple navigation
– Well priced for single user businesses
– Good suite of reports available (though stored info is limited)
– Manages inventory for multiple items
– Designed specifically for health practitioners
– Client files, session notes, correspondence, etc are easily stored in patient section
– Neatest interface and user experience considering the amount of detail contained in the system
– Designed specifically for health practitioners
– Online Medicare claiming
– Great “bang for buck”
– Client files, session notes, correspondence, etc are easily stored in patient section
– Synchronised with google calendar
Cons – Doesn’t cater for more than one room, nor many of the medical features of the others
– Cannot have rooms as separate resources
– Relatively expensive compared to others in the market
– No online Medicare claiming through system
– Room booking system not as effective as other systems on the market
– Interface/design appears a little dated
– No known email marketing integration tool for bulk emails
Suits Single practitioners such as hairdressers,  beauty therapists, health and fitness trainers, etc Mid-sized medical practices who value the aesthetics in their practice management system Medical practices who are not fussed on having the most beautiful interface and would lean toward the option that fit better within their budget


All three offer great sales service teams that respond to your queries, which is very useful when performing your due diligence. Ultimately, based on our client’s requirements it was decided that Power Diary was the best fit.


Timely: http://www.gettimely.com/ 

Cliniko: https://www.cliniko.com/

Power Diary: http://www.powerdiary.com/


The above scenario was based on a case study of work performed for a business in the mental health industry at a specific point in time. The software industry moves very quickly so it always pays to do thorough homework before deciding on which system you will commit your business to – use the free trials and ask their support staff as many questions as possible!