Medical Practice Management Software (PMS) and clinical software have gone through several changes over the years.
They still help practices organise medical records, billing and appointments; but applications now perform other functions too, such as automation of recalls and reminders, ePrescribing, patient kiosks, online appointments, patient portals – some all in the one program.
We’ve evaluated numerous medical PMS options over the years. What has changed the most is how software packages are bundled and delivered; plus all the programs have improved by adding new features or integrating with other software solutions. It is a very exciting time for practices and patients with regards to health industry technology.
Important factors to consider when looking for the right PMS for your practice
- Making sure it is easy for the entire office to use, with the ability to reduce administration workload and be user friendly
- Excellent support (that conforms to your practice) provided by the vendor. This includes the vendor having a proactive approach to new ideas (not just the vendor’s ideas)
- Software which can increase productivity, so your staff time can be utilised servicing patients not the software!
- Affordability. This means a reasonable amount for licenses i.e. not paying FTE for a doctor when the professional only works for half a day per week
- A software product which is going to help you market your practice! A medical centre is a business and you need to create an edge to attract a patient base. Fantastic patient service is important, however, bear in mind that people have busy lives too – so new technology appeals to patients as well
- Ensure you understand the process for downloading the new software. Some companies just send the software to you and you are expected to get on with it. This includes training. There are companies out there who download the software, train your staff and are also there on your first day
Venture out of your comfort zone a little
There is no need to stay with “mainstream” medical software vendors. In fact, with the technology available now, some of the smaller products have much better features and the companies are willing to work closer with the practices.
It is time for practices to take the power back. Write down a list of what features you want from your software product.
Look at applications that offer the “whole suite” first. If they are not available, ask when the features will be available. They are out there!