Dr. Joey's Story: What Private Practice Means in the 21st Century

Callie Norton
January 22, 2024
min read

Dr. Joey Nichols Used PracticeQ to Build a Thriving Hybrid Telehealth Practice

Here’s Why He’s Optimistic About the Future:

When Joseph (Joey) Nichols, MDD, MPH, FAAFP, established his private practice, Canopy Family Care in Takoma Park, Maryland, he was in a unique position. With over a decade of experience in community health centers in Baltimore and the evolving realm of telehealth, Dr. Joey witnessed firsthand how technology can transform patient care.  

He knew the ins and outs of telehealth and health information technology, skills that led him to practice across 25 states. Over time, his mission to make healthcare more accessible for all took a different shape. Subsequently, he pursued a hybrid practice model, blending traditional care with advanced telemedicine.

As a result, his needs for practice management were as unique as his background.

This need led him to IntakeQ, a digital forms solution, along with its comprehensive practice management platform, PracticeQ. In only one year, PracticeQ enabled him to redefine the family medicine experience in the 21st century. Here’s Dr. Joey’s story, from adapting to modern healthcare challenges to establishing a successful hybrid practice with IntakeQ.

A Hybrid Care Model: Merging Telehealth & Traditional Care

Telemedicine has emerged as an innovative tool, largely due to the pandemic’s push for virtual care. It reignited Dr. Joey’s passion after burnout at Baltimore’s health centers. For three years, it remained his primary care model — a model he sought to change following the pandemic.

A transition toward a hybrid care model combined the best of both worlds to offer convenience with a human touch. Furthermore, while it allowed him to meet changing preferences, he recalls what truly inspired him:

“I noticed that those communities where people really reached out to their neighbors and helped one another were doing a lot better. That helped me to rediscover my love for office-based practice and work up the courage to start my own practice in my own local area. I saw all these people out my window helping one another as neighbors and realized what a great community I was in."

"I really wanted to figure out, what does it mean to be a 21st century small town family doctor?”

Meanwhile, while COVID-19 pandemic popularized virtual visits, the need for in-person healthcare delivery never faded. Dr. Joey quickly began to notice this in his newly hybrid practice.

In the first month of opening his physical office space, he saw 95% of his patients online, with 5% in the office. But eight months in, it completely switched; 70% of appointments were office visits, with only 30% online. Dr. Joey credits this to a pent-up demand for more in-office care.

Moreover, merging his love for in-office practice with Telehealth’s convenience required balance. Ultimately, it was important these offerings didn’t clash or hinder productivity.  

Balancing Hybrid Care with PracticeQ

Fortunately, Dr. Joey was able to merge his workflows seamlessly with the help of PracticeQ.

The great thing about IntakeQ is that it makes it a seamless transition. I don’t have to choose [between in-office care or telemedicine] because it supports my patients equally well, whether they live 1,500 miles away from me or right down the street. Whether a patient books online or in person, with PracticeQ, it doesn’t matter to me. It’s the same experience on my end. I don’t have to maintain multiple systems with multiple workflows and wonder like, which link should I click on? Where do I go? All that’s handled for me automatically.

Thus, with IntakeQ’s seamless platform, Dr. Joey has been able to combine his original mission — to provide quality care through innovative health technology — with a traditional, personable approach.  

Advanced Solutions to Meet Modern Demands

For many providers, the pandemic sped up a digital demand, long-awaited by younger generations. Dr. Joey’s ability to balance technology with tradition enhanced the patient experience for today’s digital natives, notably millennials and Gen Z-ers. With PracticeQ, he’s able to offer online scheduling, texting, patient portal messaging, and email — necessities for staying competitive.

And another bonus: As a millennial, Dr. Joey can run his entire business from his iPhone – without the help of administrative staff or a virtual assistant.

Customized for His Private Practice’s Every Need

A proponent of the No Code Movement, Dr. Joey was unwilling to build a system from scratch. Fortunately, IntakeQ’s robust APIs and integrations enabled him to create a custom system to support his unique operations:

“I was able to tweak it and build for myself this whole end-to-end practice management platform. It allows patients to schedule their own appointments, sends them reminders, handles my billing, and seamlessly integrates with Zoom for telemedicine.”

Thus, crafting this type of care system system provided him with flexibility and efficiency to manage his hybrid practice. Not to mention, it allows him to make changes if necessary.

“Any change I want to make in PracticeQ, I could make it on the fly. I can change the workflow, the pricing, the scheduling rules, the actual construction of the questionnaires themselves, right in the middle of my day, without blowing up my entire schedule. I can do it in between patients.”

Tangible Savings to Pass Along to Patients

Having reviewed 150+ systems, Dr. Joey appreciates how IntakeQ’s savings have made running his business even more seamless. Moreover, unlike other direct primary care (DPC) doctors, Dr. Joey says he doesn’t need to invest in several different platforms. PracticeQ has everything he needs:

“I’m a part of the direct primary care movement here in the United States. DPC doctors often look at a handful of EHRs, and vendors that are the standard tech stack. Again, that could be at least two to three times as expensive, per month, to get the same functionality. I don’t need to have three different vendors for communications, for billing and membership management and EHR.”  

Not to mention, Dr. Joey was able to build a personalized system for a fraction of the cost of other platforms. According to Dr. Joey, there’s hardly a better deal out there.  

“There is no competition in the market as far as I’ve seen for PracticeQ in that way. Any other kind of no code system that you wanted to leverage as an EHR, you’ll be building everything from scratch. You’re talking an initial investment of $30,000 to $50,000 of custom development. You could build it in Salesforce, but it’s going to cost you about 50 grand to get it off the ground.”  

Add to that the high recurring monthly fees, add-ons, and maintenance fees, and costs can add up significantly. With PracticeQ, Dr. Joey saved his practice from sinking into a financial hole just to meet his operational needs.

And, in the end, it’s worth it for his patients. He’s able to pass along the savings so they can have the quality, affordable healthcare they deserve.

A Bright Future Ahead

Always evolving and adapting, Dr. Joey’s journey in healthcare has looked different throughout the years. But there’s one change he doesn’t foresee — his practice management solution.

Moving forward, Dr. Joey is confident PracticeQ can meet his and his patients’ needs as healthcare evolves. He sees a bright future for small, independent practices, especially with tools like PracticeQ.

“Being small and armed with technology tools like PracticeQ, we can create patient experiences far superior to those at large local health systems. We’re nimble, responsive, and customized to the unique needs of our patients. Five or six years ago, I couldn’t have done what I’m doing now. I’m incredibly optimistic about the attention being given to companies geared around small independent practices. The pandemic has shown that working for large health systems can be challenging, but small practices can be more nimble and creative. PracticeQ lets you work smarter, not harder. You can run your practice and business efficiently, at a fraction of the cost. It’s not just a starter solution; it’s something that can grow with you and your practice.”

IntakeQ and PracticeQ Helped Dr. Joey:

  • Seamlessly merge telehealth and in-person care, enhancing the flexibility and efficiency of his private practice.
  • Customize his practice management system, tailoring it precisely to meet the specific needs of his practice.
  • Save significant costs by avoiding the need for multiple vendors and expensive custom development, typically required by other platforms.
  • Stay agile and responsive to patient needs, offering superior experiences compared to larger, less personalized health systems.
  • Maintain a competitive edge as a small, independent practice, harnessing the power of technology to provide high-quality care.

Ready to experience how PracticeQ can transform your patient care and operational efficiency? Join Dr. Joey and embrace a practice management solution that grows with you.

A version of this article originally appeared on


Cassio. (2022, February 25). Getting Started with Telemedicine: What You Need to Know About Delivering Care Virtually. IntakeQ .

Makerpad. (n.d.). What is No-Code? A Simple Guide to How No-Code Works. Makerpad; Zapier.

MD, P. A. (n.d.). Telehealth and the Future of Hybrid Care. Oliver Wyman.

Nichols, Dr. J. (2023). Meet Dr. Joey. Canopy Family Care.

Ripton, J. (2019, October 22). How Millennials and Generation Z Are Driving the Digital Healthcare Revolution. AJMC.

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