This article discussed implementing practice management software for small and medium-sized clinics.
Not surprisingly, this technology leaked to fields that, at first glance, do not seem technological. And we are not talking here about an improving treatment approach. However, robotic surgery and AI diagnosis are not the future anymore but the present, at least for some. This time we want to focus on less sophisticated technologies that are important nonetheless important. These tools do not save lives, but they ease day-to-day operations.
Medical institutions deal daily with a huge amount of papers, bills, and medical records. Frequently, such a volume of paperwork affects the quality and quickness of service. This is the case when management software comes in handy.
What is Practice Management Software?
To start, let’s dive into some general terms. Medical Practice Management Software (PMS) is a form of software that captures patient-related data. It can be patient demographics, medical records, or insurance information. The software can perform various tasks, like scheduling and billing assignments. PMS is not the one and only. There are vast multitudes of systems that differ in functionality and purpose.
Every medical management software has its own functionality. Some lack certain features, while others are full of various features. You could agree that finding the perfect match is an unenviable task, but it is still possible. Mostly, PMS includes different systems that allow users to track patient treatments, make appointments and manage insurance claims. We would like to elaborate on basic features that can seamlessly meet the needs of every medical practice:
A significant part of day-to-day operations takes managing doctors appointments for patients. Every day an administration office can process hundreds of requests. The system must create appointments for patients and assign their appropriate doctors. Also, the system should enable to make changes and modifications.
- Personal patient information
Clinic software is used for capturing patient information. After entering the doctor’s cabinet, everyone fills out the form with their personal information. It could be names, phone numbers, home addresses, and email addresses. When a client makes an appointment online, the software can assemble necessary personal data. Furthermore, the software can collect info about patient employment and insurance information. It allows the administration office to verify whether patients are eligible for insurance refunds.
A billing option is the next important feature a useful management software shouldn’t be lacking. The software helps to enable different components of payment, such as charges or discounts. The payment rate usually depends on the type of treatment or the service provided.
User Experience of using the Practice Management Software
No wonder medical practice involves diagnoses, medical history, laboratory test results, etc. All these components are important and should be assembled in one place. It can cause bad consequences when something is missing. You could say that different systems can manage all health-related data. True, it may be, but is it convenient?
When researching this article, we saw different opinions about medical software and its convenience. Medical institutions claim that medical management software has advantages. It gathers all patient information, keeps data in one place, and reduces paper usage. However, it has considerable negative feedback.
First of all, such software is complex. If it is hard to use, it will be hard to learn. Frequently, it requires time and money to teach administration staff to deal with the software and use it correctly.
Second of all, it is tedious to integrate systems into one another. If you use more than one management system, you probably know what a chaos multi-systems can be. It is not easy for staff to compare, analyze and interpret results from different systems. Sometimes, Usually, it can prevent getting a complete picture and starting the correct treatment. Devices and systems generate the most accurate information about the patient’s condition. But still, it does not guarantee that these devices are used to their full potential. Therefore, doctors receive narrowly specialized data in various, often incompatible formats. This is especially true for emergency cases that call for a rapid response.
According to the West Health Institute report, financial loss due to lack of medical device interoperability equals $430 million. The same report states that eliminating existing problems will cost the healthcare industry nearly $30 billion annually.
Custom Practice Management Software vs. Off-the-Shelf Solution
Outsourcing software development may be an option for the medical industry. As discussed above, ready-made software is imperfect and may cause certain inconveniences during usage. Let’s look more closely what are the reasons you can decide to refuse to use commercially-available software products:
- doesn’t fulfill your company’s needs;
- too pricey;
- too complicated and difficult to adopt;
- doesn’t design to meet requirements specific to your practice.
With the proper design and application, custom software provides an advantage that off-the-shelf software cannot compete. It can be specifically developed considering all the needs and requirements of your medical institution. In the long run, custom medical software will save you time and money.
The custom-designed solution is cheaper than off-the-shelf, but it still costs money. That is why you’d better understand clearly what advantages it will bring to your practice. But which is the most important if you need such a step?
We want to take a more detailed look at the differences in functionality and price between commercial practice management software and the custom counterpart. As long as the custom solution is designed to fulfill the client’s specific needs, it excels in the commercial version in quality and in the feasibility of functions.
Price of the software usually depends on the time and effort spent on development. But we would like to make general estimations from our previous experience and compare it to the prices of commercial products available on the market.
Practice management software is a useful tool that should be in every medical practice regardless of size. Choosing a custom or an off-the-shelf solution is a choice you should make. While it is understandable that commercial medical software seems more reliable and secure. However, if you want to try custom software, we guarantee you will be satisfied with the result.