Expanding your practice to an online platform most likely means you will need to store and share electronic files for bookkeeping and your standard practitioner procedures. This could include information you want to send clients such as brochures or guidelines about specific mental health conditions or information that you require from them. For example, it is quite common to have in your in-person practice a client retention form and you will want to continue with this methodology in the online world as well. You might also want to use self-assessment forms or have other ideas on how to monitor your client’s progress.
You and your client can securely and privately share files between the two of you using your PlusGuidance accounts. The files are encrypted and securely stored on our server. Both you and your client can easily retrieve these files to your personal computers from the Documents section of your accounts.
To start sharing files you will have to make your way through to the Manage Clients page. Click on the 'Documents' tab between 'Sessions' and 'Notes' (Figure 1 below). Make sure you select the client you want to share files with from the “My Clients” list on the right hand side. To send them a file click on the “Add New File” button.
Figure 1: Sharing your first file
As seen in Figure 2 below, the only file types you can share are .pdf .doc and .docx, with the maximum size of 5MB. Files larger than 5MB should (if applicable) be broken down into smaller components.
Please bear in mind that although you might already have some of your files in electronic format, the way a person completes a printed form will be different from the way they complete an electronic one and that some file formats are more permissive to manipulation than others. This is particularly relevant with the files you want clients to sign. Therefore, you might have to change some of the files/forms you have before using them for online work. You can still use your regular files, but the client will have to print, complete by hand, scan and send them back to you.
Clicking on “Upload Document” will open your file folders from which you can easily select a file stored on your computer or connected device. You will then be prompted to insert a title for this file. This file name will be visible to your client on their PlusGuidance account.
Figure 2: Uploading a file
When you’ve sent a file to a client, he/she will receive a notification on PlusGuidance and via email. The exact same thing will happen for you when a client uploads a file. You can also use the free instant-messaging chat in 'Messages' to prompt each other to check the documents area or to request file uploads.
Figure 3: Notifications in your account
Figure 4 shows how the 'Documents' tab looks once you’ve received a new file from your client. The “New” yellow label indicates any file you have not seen yet. Again, make sure you select a specific client from the list on the right hand side in order to view your file exchange history with that person. You can only delete the copies that you upload and it is advisable you download exchanged files to a secure place on your personal device as soon as you receive them. Clients have an almost identical view and file upload process for the 'Documents' tab as you do.
Figure 4: The 'Documents' tab