This is our take on the pro's and cons of the value of the different video conferencing platforms as well as getting yourself setup to do tele-health well. As always please contribute to the discussion in the comments.
The Winner is...
|Zoom for Business|
|Zoom Business||Zoom Pro||Coviu
|Cost per user per month||$30*||$21||$48||$0|
|Complies with Australian Privacy Act security requirements||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes|
|Client first connection experience||Easy||Easy||Easy||Easy||99% will find it easy but 1% will struggle to clear cookies and set security|
|Set and forget meeting reminders (perpetual links)||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Not per clinician but only per client|
|Allows clinician screen sharing||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Allows whiteboard type functionality||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Allows client screen sharing||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Control meeting attendees (prevents gate crashing if link shared)||Yes (Waiting room)||Yes (Waiting room)||Yes (Waiting room)||Yes - one link per guest|
|Adjusts to reduce bandwidth on poor connections||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Maximum duration||30 hrs||30 hrs||40 mins|
|Break out rooms||Yes||No||Yes|
|Cloud recording limits||1 GB||1 GB||n/a|
* Zoom Business offers a unique and personalised url for each user like https://zoom.us/my/yourname along with other advanced features. But it has a minimum of 10 licences to access this capability at $280 AUD per month. CPC has a Zoom Business licence and we can manage and onsell single licences to help you get around these limitations.
Zoom normally start their “Business” package with a minimum of 10 users. We can give you a firstname.lastname@example.org email address and then you can access on of these licences for $30pm.
The nice thing is the links get customisable - so to access your waiting room, clients only need to go to zoom.us/my/adamdavis.cpc for instance which looks great on a business card or email signature. You'll also likely save money on your SMS reminders.
Zoom has a couple of ways It can be used. You can create ad hoc “instant” meetings as though you’re walking into someone’s personal office. You can schedule explicit appointments as though you’re booking a private meeting in a meeting room or you can run webinars akin to a conference online (which requires an extra licence).
At CPC we can offer the configure your Zoom account so that by default clients go to your personal “waiting room”. They initiate a session with you from either your email signature or the appointment reminder link. You might be in another Zoom session and you can actually see on the right hand side in the Manage Attendees list that the next client has arrived – just like a normal waiting room, but your current attendees won’t see it. You can run couples sessions where you ask one or the other to step back into the waiting room etc. etc. There’s lots of functionality to explore. Be aware though you need to open Zoom in the same way as you might go to work. If you're using headphones and go to the bathroom you won't hear the "ding ding" telling you a client would like to connect – you need to keep an eye on your waiting room.
PowerDiary is configured with the automatic appointment reminders and you simply need to choose which location the appointment is using. You can even run one person in the room and another via Zoom and they will each get the correct reminders
Share your screen:
You might have a resource or you want to discuss a questionnaire graph or similar – you can broadcast your computer or even just one application rather than the whole desktop using “Share screen”.
Using a whiteboard:
Even if you don’t have a touchscreen you can use a whiteboard in a Zoom session. Check out this setup of an iPhone iPad. You just install on you iPhone/iPad connect to your own personal ID (https://zoom.us/my/yourname.cpc) and start a broadcast and then broadcast that device alongside your camera.
Host a family / couple session and ask someone to step back out to your waiting room:
In larger groups such as DBT you might agree on a protocol such as unmute to talk, but even in a family session you can open up the “Manage Participants” panel then you can mute people, ask them to go back to the waiting room etc.
Recording and downloading whiteboards:
You can record sessions, download and save whiteboards and similar. You can also choose if you want to allow participants to do the same or not.
Imagine a large group where you ask everyone to turn to the person next to them and chat for 5 minutes – you can do the same and you can pop into their (private) room and then pop into the next
Client Experience in PowerDiary:
PowerDiary is configured with the automatic appointment reminders that check which “location” you have setup the appointment for and will then send the appropriate reminder. E.g., if your standard format is Zoom because of Covid 19 then all you need to do to create a Zoom appointment is create the appointment and leave the default location alone. But if you want to change it to Phone or Face to Face you just change the location.
Without intervention, the location now drives the automatic reminder message to your clients as follows:
There’s absolutely no reason why you can’t have a mix of face to face and Zoom appointments if you’re doing couple or family work. Whatever is agreed to per person should be represented with that person by setting their specific location.
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