If it’s time for your practice to ditch the paper and tackle technology, consider using medical practice management software. Medical practice management software streamlines the clinic’s business by:
- Capturing patient demographics
- Determining patient financial responsibility for collection at the point of care
- Generating reports
- Maintaining insurance payer lists
- Managing patient records
- Performing billing functions
- Preregistering patients including insurance eligibility and benefit checks (1)
Medical practice management software is different from electronic health records, which focuses more on patient data rather than the administrative side of running the clinical business. Both are needed as medical practice management software will help improve the clinic’s business operations while electronic health records will help improve patient care. (4)
Medical practice management software uses
To help determine which is the best medical practice management software for your clinic, it’s important to analyze functionality and features. According to the American Medical Association (AMA), when choosing medical practice management software consider looking for features such as:
- Clinic documentation and interface
- HIPAA privacy and security compliance
- Medical billing and collections
- Patient communication
- Patient scheduling and information management
- Revenue cycle automation
- Systems reporting
- Technical specifications
- Vender fees
- Vendor support (1)
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Other medical practice software considerations
When selecting medical practice management software for your clinic, it’s also important to consider factors such as cost, accreditation, and training requirements in addition to the features it offers.
It’s important to understand how easily and costly it will be to migrate present practice information such as billing and patient information to the new medical practice management software.
There are some options for free medical practice management software, but more often, you will get a free trial, which is beneficial so you can try the software out before making a financial commitment.
Some medical practice management software companies will offer a month-to-month contract, but others may require a year or more minimum. The downside to lengthy contracts is that you can’t change software programs until your contract expires, so be sure to settle on a contract length that will work for your clinic.
It will also help to choose a medical practice management system that has gone through the Practice Management System Accreditation Program (PMSAP). This third-party accreditation program gives medical practices confidence that the medical practice management software vendor meets standards set in areas such as operating rules, operational functionality, privacy, and security. (2)
Another consideration is the learning curve. While the purpose of medical practice management software is to streamline office efficiency, it may take some time for office personnel to get up to speed, so there actually may be a slowdown during that learning period. Be sure to ask about training, and support and choose a medical practice management software vendor that has a good reputation with both training and support.
Practice management integration
Easy integration of medical practice management software is key because it can save both time and money. Fullscript offers an automated integration system to cut down on duplicated work and streamline treatment plans and other tasks. Integration also allows the practitioner to enhance personalized patient care with simplified access to powerful data and tools.
In addition, practitioners can more easily manage patient progress to help improve patient outcomes. Estimates show that when practitioners have a seamless integration plan, on average their practice revenue grows by 16%. (3) The Fullscript team also offers support to optimize the practitioner’s integration experience.
The bottom line
Medical practice management software is all about improving office efficiency, which will help improve the clinic’s bottom line and the patient’s overall clinical experience. And we know that happy patients are more likely to come back to the clinic and also refer their friends, which is another added benefit to improved efficiency.
It will take time, attention to detail, and likely an initial investment but in the long run, most clinics find that it’s worth the effort.
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- American Medical Association. (Accessed 2022, September 22). How to select a practice management system. https://www.ama-assn.org/practice-management/claims-processing/how-select-practice-management-system
- EHNAC. (Accessed 2022, September 22). Practice management systems. https://www.ehnac.org/practice-management-system-accreditation-program/
- Fullscript. (2021). Doubling down integrations (Tucker P.). Unpublished internal company document.4.
- Menachemi, N., & Collum, T. H. (2011). Benefits and drawbacks of electronic health record systems. Risk management and healthcare policy, 4, 47–55. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3270933/