Choosing Medical Practice Management Software
Proliferation of Practice Management Software
At one time, there were less than a clutchful of medical practice management software types available. Today, there are a very large selection out there. Its crucial that you have an idea of what you are after in the software, and how your hardware, if you have any, will work with that software – this will drive your purchase decision. Not optimizing the interaction of the software and hardware, will result in less than perfect implementation and usage, and set you up for problems later.
Many medical and dental practitioners prefer to get into bed with a company that is well known. This is not necessarily because the practice management software is of superior quality or functionality, but rather because initial setup can be tedious, so on balance a larger vendor (with more experience) is more in tune with that migration/take-on process.
Also you have to look at the long term. Longevity, upgrades, and various fixes or patches that are bound to be needed. Smaller companies can have impediments, as this recent recession has proven with most companies out there.
The medical or dental practice will usually call around and get a representative from one of the vendors to provide them with a quote for their practice management system. They might need to know how many computers are to be installed and if the ijnstallation would need to be extended to other remote locations.
The type of network, workflow and locations can easily drive an installation from simple to complex. Being prepared for a migration is quite important. Many practices try to make too many changes with the pending practice mamnagement software, and end up prolonging the implementation process much further than necessary.
Some medical software companies will include free installation and initial training on the software at inception. Just like with any medical software, there are updates and patches, and sometimes you will need to get a trainer to come out and train on the updates. That would generally attract an additional fee.
It’s important to realise that without proper training, and specific business rules in place, even the best practice management software can fail you. There has to be a functionality, and acceptable methods of use.
All of the medical software vendors offer technical support for any questions or problems. There is something here to watch out for, though. Some support is only free for a short period of time. Telephonic and or remote support can be based locally, or it could be situated in a different geographic region. Make sure you can work with them frictionlessly, as the investment you’ve made is too large to uncover problems at a later stage.
Practice management software is not only for just being able to schedule appointments and sending off medical aid claims, they can be the first move in the right direction in the strive for paperless practice. Even digital X-rays can be stored on the system and allow more efficiency in the practice. Being realistic in the setup of the medical software is important though, also check your requirements of the medical newtworks you represent.
Don’t short change on the research on what would be best for your practice before choosing an actual medical software system, as the investment can be quite significant. A proper investment here can allow you to focus on other related technologies, e.g. connectivity, to increase profits.
Decent practice management software can last for several good years. As hardware and operating systems change, look for a medical software package that can grow with those changes and your practice.
When shopping for medical and dental practice management software keep several main things in mind. Your hardware is important. How you want it to work with your medical or dental practice is another. How you can bill and claim from patients and medical aids is important as well. Medical software is not just about price, but what it can really do for you and your practice.