Importing your client list

Whether you're coming from another EHR or from paper and pencil records, we can help you import the clients you already have. 

In this article:

How does the data import process work?

Here is a summary of the 5-step process:

  1. Download the data import template in your preferred format:
  2. Review the Data Import Guidelines below. These guidelines contain important requirements about how your file needs to be organized. If your file is not formatted correctly, we will return it to you to modify.
  3. Copy your client data into the data import template.
  4. Store your completed file in the Johnny Appleseed test client.
  5. Contact the SimplePractice Imports Team by submitting a request through our Help Center. (Our team is HIPAA trained to handle customer client data. Make sure you don't forget this important step, or we will not know your data is ready!)

Note: The first couple rows of the Data Import Template contain instructions, and below the header field row (Row 12), we've included a sample row of data. Please replace this sample row by deleting the entire row and replacing it with your first client.  

Data import guidelines

Before storing your file in the Johnny Appleseed client page, please go through the following list to make sure your file is setup properly:

  • Required fields. All fields marked with an asterisk (*) are required, so must contain a value.
  • Data we are NOT able to import. The following fields should NOT be included in your data file: client occupation, client employer, scheduling or calendar data, notes and session data, diagnosis data, and billing data.

Note: If you’re worried about being able to keep and access notes from your other EHR, don’t be. We offer two HIPAA-compliant ways for you to store and access these in your SimplePractice account:

1. If you want to keep an archive of all of your client notes, simply create a ZIP file of all of your notes that you’ve exported from your previous EHR and upload them into the Business Documents section of your account. This option is best if you don’t plan to access these notes regularly.

2. If you want to keep an archive for each individual client that you’ll potentially access more frequently, you’ll want to create a ZIP file of the notes for each client and upload the correct file to the Stored Documents box in the client’s profile.

To learn how to combine PDFs to make them more easily accessible for your reference, these guides are great resources: Using Preview to Combine PDFs and Using Adobe Acrobat to Combine PDFs.

  • Insurance payer IDs. If you accept insurance and have client insurance data to import, you will need to include Payer IDs. A Payer ID is a unique ID number that is assigned to an insurance company for the purpose of transmitting claims electronically. Each company has a specific number, and it must be 100% correct in order to collect on each claim. How do I find payer IDs?
  • Clinician. If you have multiple clinicians, you will need to add a Clinician column to your import file that includes the full name of the clinicians, exactly as they appear in SimplePractice. 

Note: If you accept insurance, we recommend spending a little extra time making sure that you have the correct payer IDs in your data import file. This will prevent you from having to spend time later dealing with rejected or denied claims. Plus, when you have correct payer IDs and insurance information for your clients, claims get processed faster and you don’t have to wait to get paid.

Also, check that your file uses the following fields names and responses:

  • Gender. Responses include Male, Female, Trans M-to-F, Trans F-to-M, or blank.
  • Race. Responses include American Indian or Alaskan Native, Asian or Pacific Islander, Black, White, or blank.
  • Relationship status. Responses include Married, Divorced, Domestic Partnership, Separated, Widowed, or blank.
  • Employment status. Responses include Full-Time, Self-employed, Unemployed, Full-time Student, Part-time Student, Retired, Homemaker, or blank.  

Storing your completed file in the Johnny Appleseed test client

Here is the how to submit your file to the Imports Team: 

    1. Log into your SimplePractice account.
    2. Locate Johnny Appleseed’s client page by searching for him in the client search bar near the top of the screen.
    3. Click Store New Document on the right navigation bar.
    4. Navigate to your CSV or Excel.
    5. Upload your document. 
    6. Contact the SimplePractice Imports Team by submitting a request through our Help Center to let us know that your file is ready.

Available import fields

The table below provides a comprehensive list of available import fields. 


Note: Data imports can take 5 - 7 business days to complete. If your file is not formatted correctly, it will delay your import. Our Customer Success team is always happy to help, so let us know if you need anything!


Next: 0.3: Accepting Credit Cards


Quick Start Table of Contents

0.1 Set Up Practice Settings
0.2 Import Your Client List
0.3: Accepting Credit Cards
0.4 Send a Client Intake
0.5: Create a Note Template

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