September 18, 2023

Dear Client,

At Palmetto Counseling (Palmetto), we sincerely appreciate and value the trust you place in us to provide you and your loved ones with caring, compassionate treatment, and outstanding customer service. Founded on September 11, 2008, The Team at Palmetto feel extremely blessed and appreciate the opportunity to serve our community these past fifteen years and look forward to serving you in the years to come.

Since the onset of the pandemic and like many other industries, our practice has been impacted by several challenges that include high call volume, labor shortage, and staff turnover during a time of unprecedented need and demand for quality behavioral healthcare.

Since introducing medication management / psychiatric services in 2021 and offering counseling services in both of our locations, our inbound calls increased from an average of 1,500 / 2,000 to over 4,000 inbound calls per month (with a high of 4,700 during our most recent quarter in 2023).

As a private, independently owned behavioral healthcare practice, our call volume is being handled between 1 -2 full-time administrative staff using a multi-line VOIP phone system with auto-attendant features. All inbound, outbound calls, and faxes are electronically documented, and dispositions of calls and faxes are recorded in our call log.

Being a small – medium sized outpatient group practice, we do not have the resources such as a call center (domestic / near shore / or offshore) that you may see in a larger, corporate-owned healthcare setting.

An intake call to schedule and register as a new client with Front Desk typically averages between 10 – 15 minutes per call from start to finish (approximately 4 per hour). Given our high call volume (4,000+ inbound calls per month), this poses a significant challenge to meet the increased demand.

Unfortunately, this often leads to rounds of ‘phone tag’ between our Front Desk and clients attempting to reach us. We understand this can be frustrating, time-consuming, and inefficient.

In response to client feedback and concerns, the Team at Palmetto has been diligently working on several solutions to improve customer service and expedite the intake process, so clients have a more seamless, efficient, and positive experience when seeking our services:

  • Due to the labor-intensive requirements of medication management and challenges associated with the current labor shortage, Palmetto will no longer provide psychiatric medication management services effective September 16, 2023.
  • In consideration of the above, Palmetto will solely focus on providing exceptional mental health counseling and therapy services at both of our Rock Hill and Fort Mill locations. Our goal is to provide clients with the highest quality and level of care that Palmetto is known for.
  • Palmetto is excited to announce that we have upgraded our electronic medical record (EMR) system to a nationally recognized platform (eClinical Works) that will offer our clients many benefits and convenient features:

    • A new secure, user-friendly, HIPAA-Compliant Patient Portal to improve the client experience and provide a faster, more efficient way to reach us and communicate with your provider (available for free as an app for smart phones, tablets, and other electronic devices.)
    • Secure Messaging Via Patient Portal: Send and receive messages securely to our healthcare team, addressing your questions and concerns without the need for a phone call.
    • Allow clients convenient ‘Open Access’ so you can quickly schedule, register, and book appointments online with the provider of your choice without having to call or leave a message.
    • Provide clients with the convenience to check-in for their appointments and pay applicable co-pays through our secure portal or via a Patient Self-Check in Kiosk.
    • New Patients: For new patients who would like to schedule an appointment, please visit our Contact Page to submit an appointment request. This method is much faster than calling as it provides our Front Desk with the information required to register as a new patient.
    • Established Patients: If you are an active client at Palmetto, please utilize our HIPAA-Compliant Patient Portal to schedule an appointment, check-in, reschedule, cancel, send a secure message to your provider, or pay for your appointments at your convenience, without the need to call the office.

Instructions to Register for the Patient Portal:

  1. Under the ‘Schedule an Appointment’ Drop Down Menu at the top of this page, click on the “Access Patient Portal” link.
  2. Follow the prompts to create your account.

As the President / CEO / Founder of Palmetto, I encourage you to reach out to me or any member of our Administrative Team so that we can address your concerns directly. It is our goal that we make things right if you are unhappy with your services and explore options that you find satisfactory as we work together.

If you have any questions or need assistance with the patient portal registration process, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at 803-329-9639 or [email protected].


Rich Schlauch, MSW, LISW-CP
President / CEO / Founder