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Virtual reception & Cliniko: a guide for virtual receptionists
Virtual reception & Cliniko: a guide for virtual receptionists

If you're a virtual receptionist who's working for someone with a Cliniko account, read this guide for tips on how to get set up properly.

Emily avatar
Written by Emily
Updated over a week ago

If a practice manager (or practitioner) has hired you to do virtual reception for their clinic, you might have a few questions! Whether you've used Cliniko before, have done reception for a clinic that used a different practice manager software, or this is simply your first foray into the world of virtual practice management, we want to make sure that you feel comfortable and ready to get started. In this guide, we'll go over a few key things you'll want to make sure you have in order before starting, as well as some tips to help make your job run smoothly! This includes:

Read on below for more information!

Getting set up with the right access and permissions

First things first, the practice manager who has hired you will need to get you added to their account. Please be sure to ask them to set you up with your own user account. This means no shared logins of any sort—if they offer to have you sign in under their email address, or a shared "reception" address that other users also sign in with, we strongly advise that you request your own user account.

Why is this important? Because if you have your own user account, then you control the email and password, and only you can sign in under those credentials. Shared logins might be convenient, but what happens if someone else changes the email address or the password and doesn't tell you? You'll then be locked out of the account until you have the information you need, which isn't great when there's a lot to do!

So, as the very first thing you do, make sure to ask the practice manager or person who hired you to set you up with your very own user account. If you'd prefer not to use your personal email address, there are many free email services that will let you create a new one, such as Gmail.

Setting up 2FA

It's quite possible that the clinic you're working for has asked you to set up 2FA (2 factor authentication). This means that you will need to download a special app and enter a unique 6-digit code in addition to your email and password.

If you've used 2FA before, then you probably know most of the ropes—you'll need to scan the barcode that Cliniko provides, and add your Cliniko account to your list of 2FA accounts in the app you use.

If you haven't used 2FA before, we recommend checking out this guide. It will walk you through how to get it set up—and first, you'll need to download a 2FA app to use. We recommend Twilio Authy (Free).

Make sure you verify that you're downloading "Twilio Authy" directly from Authy Inc. The application should be available for free in the app stores.

I don't really get it. What is 2FA, and why would I need to use it?

2FA can be kind of a transition if you've never used it before, purely because it adds an additional step to the sign-in process. However, it's the single most important thing you can to to secure your Cliniko account, which very likely includes confidential patient health information.

With 2FA, the login process requires "something you know" (your email and password) and "something you have" (your phone). If someone were to get ahold of your email and password, it's possible they could log into your account and access information that they're not supposed to be privy to. The idea behind 2FA is that only you have your phone, so only you have access to the unique 2FA code that's required to log in, in addition to your email and password.

If 2FA is enforced on the Cliniko account you're using, you will need to download a 2FA app. There is no way around this. However, we're aware that in some circumstances it might be difficult, due to a number of factors outside of your control. Perhaps you aren't allowed to have your phone at work, or don't have a smart phone. Below, we'll go through some of these scenarios and offer suggestions on how you can navigate them.

I'm not allowed to have my phone at work, but the Cliniko account I use requires 2FA. What should I do?

You will still need to use 2FA, but there are several 2FA apps that offer a desktop application, which means that the 2FA app can be installed right on the computer that you're using. You can then open the app and enter the unique code so that you can log into Cliniko.

However, if you're using a desktop 2FA app, then it means anyone who has access to that computer could potentially access the app, and therefore the codes. If a desktop 2FA app is being used, we strongly advise that that you protect it with a secure password, as well as log out of the computer each time you are done using Cliniko. This makes it far less likely that someone else, who may also use that computer, would have access to your desktop 2FA app.

2FA desktop app suggestions:

I don't have a smart phone, but 2FA is required. What should I do?

Similarly to the "no phone at work" situation outlined above, you can download a desktop 2FA app. Several 2FA apps offers this, and it means you can access the 2FA codes right from your computer. However, please note that the app being installed on the computer means that anyone else who uses that computer can potentially access it. We strongly encourage you protect it with a secure password, as well as log out of the computer each time you are done using Cliniko.

I work as a virtual receptionist for several different Cliniko accounts. Can I use the same 2FA codes for each of them?

No. Each Cliniko account is considered independent, and each may require that you set up 2FA. If you're required to use 2FA on more than one Cliniko account, you will only need to download the app once, but you will need to set up 2FA for each Cliniko account, which may mean that you have multiple 2FA "tokens" within the app. (The free app, Twilio Authy, calls every different "account" you have stored within it a "token".)

If you have multiple Cliniko "tokens" in your 2FA app, it might get confusing to know what's what! Luckily, you can give each token a unique name. For example, let's say you work for three clinics: Moving Forward Physio, Getting Healthy Osteo, and Happy Feet Podiatry. Without renaming each "token" in your 2FA app, they would each just say Cliniko, which isn't terribly helpful! But you could rename them to be something like Moving Forward, Getting Healthy, and Happy Feet. That makes it easy for you to know which token belongs to which account.

I share a computer with other virtual receptionists who also work for the same Cliniko account that I do. Can we all use the same 2FA app?

No. You will each need your own 2FA app. Even though you're sharing a computer, your email and passwords should all be unique (so, you're not sharing a generic email address, such as, which means you will each have your own individual user account. Each one of you will need to download a 2FA app and set 2FA up on your account.

You can learn how to set 2FA up over here, but if you still have questions, feel free to reach out to our support team for assistance!

Frequently asked questions about account access

There are a few of us who do virtual reception for the same clinic. Can we share the same email address and password for signing in? It's easier for us, and more convenient.

Please do not do this. We strongly advise against sharing sign-in credentials, because doing so puts the security of your account at risk. If multiple people know the email and password, it means that any one of them could change either of those things, and therefore lock the rest of you out, which wouldn't be good! Also, it will be impossible to use 2FA with shared sign-in credentials.

But my practice manager set my email address up for me, and said that other people would be using it to sign in, too. I still can't use a shared email address?

Again, we strongly discourage this. If you have concerns that your practice manager may have set up a shared account for you, we recommend reaching out to them and asking if they can set you up with a new user account, where you can use your own email address. Adding a reception user will not increase the amount they're paying. They can certainly reach out to our support team if they have questions!

My practice manager said I should just log in under their email address and password.

Please ask them to set you up with your own user account. It's quick and straightforward for them to do, and will ensure that their account—and yours—adheres to best practices for account security.

My practice manager set me up with my own account, and I got a welcome email, but now I can't log in. What should I do?

First, we recommend resetting your password. This should (hopefully) help you get logged in. (Be sure to check your spam folder if you don't receive the email!) If you're still having trouble, you may want to double-check with your practice manager that they have "enabled" your account. You may be set up, but your account might be accidentally restricted. Your practice manager (or whoever invited you to the account) should be able to check this.

You can also reach out to our support team, and we'd be happy to assist!

Getting started with Cliniko as a virtual receptionist

Now that you're all set up with your own user account as a virtual receptionist, you might be wondering how things work. We recommend having a look at this training guide, as it outlines some key features of Cliniko!

We'll also share this list of some of the key things you might need to know about as a virtual receptionist:

That's certainly not an exhaustive list, but it should get you pointed in the right direction. If you have any questions, our support team will be happy to help out!

Are you a practice owner who needs more information about adding a virtual receptionist to your account?

We recommend checking out this guide, which walks you through the steps of adding a virtual receptionist and outlines the best practices for their access and permissions. Head over here to learn more!

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