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Making sure your Professional Website is compliant

Making sure your Professional Website is compliant


A testimonial from a client or colleague can be a valuable tool for prospective clients seeking a new therapist or wellness professional. A testimonial given by a client, they can be a helpful reflection of the relationship clients can expect when they join your practice. If the testimonial comes from a colleague, it can give credence to your expertise in the field while also supporting the growth of your professional network.

Contrary to popular belief, asking for testimonials to use in your personal marketing is not a breach of ethics, as long as it is done the right way. This post by Dr. Ben Caldwell goes into detail on how to properly obtain consent from your clients and colleagues and use their review in compliance with HIPAA: The Truth About Using Testimonials to Market Your Practice.

If you’d like to start collecting testimonials to use on your Professional Website, here’s how you can get started:

Collecting Testimonials from Clients or Contacts

  • Go to the Template Library and in the Intake Forms section, locate the Intake Form templates titled “Testimonial Release Form.” There are two versions of this template, one for clients who are willing to add their first name and last initial to the review, and a second version for clients who  have requested their name and initials be withheld. Feel free to add both templates to your My Notes & Forms by clicking on the +Add button.
  • After you’ve spoken with your client and confirmed they are willing to provide a testimonial, ask them whether they would like to include their name. Based on their answers, click Share and choose the appropriate Testimonial Release Form to send them a document request through the Client Portal. Remember, you can ask both former and current clients for testimonials. 

Collecting Testimonials from Colleagues

  • Go to the Template Library and in the Intake Forms section, locate the Intake Form template titled “Testimonial Release Form - Colleagues.” Add it to your My Notes & Forms by clicking on the +Add button.
  • After you’ve spoken with your colleague and confirmed they are willing to provide a testimonial, we recommend creating a new client named “Colleague Testimonials” to which you can attach your colleagues as Contacts. To do this, click + Create > Create Client in the blue header bar. Name the client “Colleague Testimonials” and Save it.
  • Go to the client’s Overview page and click Edit > Contacts.
  • Click + Add Contact and add your colleague’s name and the relationship type for the client “Colleague Testimonials.” We recommend choosing the relationship type titled “Other.”
  • Add the colleague’s  email address and make sure you check the “Email okay” option. Save your changes.
  • Return to the Overview for the “Colleague Testimonials” client and click Share. Check only the colleague from whom you want to collect a testimonial and uncheck all documents except for the “Testimonial Release Form - Colleagues.”
  • Make any edits to your email, and Share the form with your colleague. They’ll be able to sign into your Client Portal and complete the form using just their email address.

Adding testimonials to your Professional Website

Once the client or colleague has completed the appropriate Testimonial Release form, you can find that form by going to the Overview page for  the client who completed the form or (in the case of colleagues who completed forms) the client “Colleague Testimonials” whom the colleague is attached to. From the document filter, select Questionnaires to find the completed form. Open it, locate the testimonial, and copy that text.

  • Next, go to Settings > Professional Website > Customize your Website to open the Professional Website editor. 
  • Click Edit Website to open the website configuration settings panel and choose Sections.
  • Click the toggle next to Testimonials to enable that section, then Save your changes.
  • Close the settings panel and scroll down to the Testimonials section, and click Edit on that section to open up the Testimonials panel.
  • Paste the contents of your client’s or colleague’s testimonial into the field, specify who wrote the testimonial, and Save your changes.

Notice of Privacy Practices

If you're handling protected health information (“PHI”) as part of your practice, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”) requires you to include a Notice of Privacy Practices on your website in a place where it is easily accessible to both new and existing clients. With the SimplePractice Professional Website, we’ve made it easier than ever to quickly add and update this document.

Here’s how to add it to your site:

  • Go to Settings > Professional Website and click “Customize your Website” to open up your website editor.
  • Click Edit Website in the upper-right corner to open up your website configuration settings.
  • Click on Practice Details and scroll to the bottom where you’ll find the Notice of Privacy Practices section. Here you can upload a PDF version of your existing Notice of Privacy Practices (hereafter, “notice”). If you do not currently have such a notice, you can click on Use our template to create one.

Important: Make sure you review the template and update it to include the policies for your practice and the requirements of your state. You as the practitioner are responsible for ensuring your notice describes the ways in which you may use and disclose PHI and adequately informs clients of their legal rights regarding PHI. SimplePractice does not provide legal advice and does not warrant the templates we provide are legally sufficient for use in your jurisdiction. 

  • To copy the template, review the legal disclaimer and click Continue. You’ll be prompted to make a copy of a Google Docs file containing the template. If you choose to use this template, please make sure to add your practice name, address, contact information, and effective date of the notice. 
  • Click File > Download > PDF Document (.pdf) to download your newly created notice as a PDF file.
  • Go back to your Practice Details settings and click Click to Upload PDF and choose your customized notice. Remember to Save your changes.
  • Once your notice is uploaded, visitors to your website can access it from the footer underneath your practice name and contact details. Clicking this link will open up your notice in a new window.

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