Why Buy Medical Practice Management Software?
When you are part of a small to medium-sized practice, there are many responsibilities that you may not be the most experienced or qualified to handle. If you are a medical professional, you might not know the ins and outs of managing an efficient schedule or tracking insurance claims. If you are a medical biller and coder, you might not know about what charge slip layouts are best for the type of patients who come to your clinic and the providers who treat them.
Everyone has his or her own way of running certain administrative and financial tasks around the practice or clinic. This situation might result in staff who don't communicate needs well to others, which can waste valuable resources. Medical practice management (PM) software can streamline communication between staff members so everyone is on the same page. This software can also increase your practice's day-to-day efficiency when interacting with patients, other medical providers and insurance companies. Your staff saves on resources, you can take better care of your patients and your practice runs more efficiently.
We looked over numerous medical practice management software options and found that AdvancedMD, Kareo and iSalus were among the best in this field. You can also read one of our articles on medical practice management software for more information on what to look for in the best software for your practice and why you should consider using it.
Medical Practice Management Software: What to Look For
Medical practice management software handles many general financial and administrative tasks in your practice. Good software has customizable and powerful scheduling abilities that work for the number of providers in your practice. When considering specific software and companies to integrate into your office, you want to look for software that can fully handle both front-office and back-office responsibilities as well as provide great software security and good help and support resources.
The best software helps your staff efficiently manage scheduling by providing enough customization to fit each practice and provider. Most software has automated appointment reminders so your staff doesn't have to use their time contacting and reminding patients. Another important part of PM software is the ability to check insurance eligibility. The best software lets you do this in real time when your patients arrive or even before appointments. You should also consider looking at software that integrates with payment options so you can collect copays during check-in.
A good practice management system helps with both your practice's administrative and financial requirements. Good PM software makes collecting payments and filing insurance claims as easy as possible for your staff while using the least amount of resources. Software should include the ability to scrub claims for errors so you don't have to waste resources managing claims denied for simple reasons. Some companies also offer means for your patients to make payments online.
Security & Integration
Most companies offering practice management software also have an electronic medical record (EMR/EHR) counterpart that integrates directly with the PM system. Some companies only sell both software options as a complete suite while others let you choose what you need. If you already have an EMR system for your office and you don't want to have to switch, you should look for companies that partner with common EMRs and help integrate their PM systems with your current EMR system.
While not all PM and EMR systems can work together, all software should follow basic safety and privacy standards. All medical software and hardware need to be compliant with guidelines set by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.
Support & Hosting
Because medical practice management systems are vital to your day-to-day operations, the company you choose should offer support that matches your practice's needs. If you work primarily during normal business hours, a company that offers live support during that time works well. You also need to consider the type of hosting you need. If you don't want to worry about buying and maintaining extra hardware, such as servers, then a company that offers software-as-a-service (SaaS) will take care of hosting the hardware and software for you.
The best medical practice management software for your staff depends on what you want to get out of the software and your clinic's requirements. However, a good PM system can greatly increase your practice's day-to-day efficiency. Your front- and back-office staff, your providers and your patients can all benefit from your clinic implementing a well-rounded PM software.