Technology plays a crucial role in every aspect of our lives, including healthcare. Many medical practices have made the transition to paperless or paper-light practices – replacing paper files with a digital solution.
While medical practice management technology has evolved since its early days, it can still be a complex decision to choose the right solution for your practice. We’ve put together a checklist of the top 10 features that a good practice management solution must have to help you run a more successful medical practice.
- User-friendliness: This is top of the list when choosing medical software because technology is only as good as its user. True user-friendly solutions should be easy to use, intuitive, and support the natural workflow of clinical and admin staff. Training and ongoing support from your technology provider should be included in your contract.
- Functionality: You don’t want to choose software based on the number of features it has but rather its ability to effectively manage critical tasks and information. This includes patient records, appointment scheduling, billing, claims submissions, patient collections and other critical aspects of your business. Steer clear of complex systems that come with built-in features that you may never use but must pay for.
- Integration: This is a big one. The software you’re considering should be able to integrate with other systems, such as electronic medical record (EMR) systems, lab systems, and telemedicine platforms. You want seamless communication and data sharing between systems across the practice. Be sure that the solution can integrate quickly and easily – not being able to integrate will not deliver the true value of a digital practice.
- Compliance with regulations: The technology should be compliant with relevant laws and regulations, such as POPIA. Seek out technology partners who are committed to providing solutions that help your practice operate within legal and ethical guidelines.
- Comprehensive reporting: Comprehensive shouldn’t mean complicated, hard to read or understand. Your software should allow you to generate reports about all aspects of your practice. From your practice finances to patient demographics, efficiency and practice performance. You should be able to generate reports at the click of a button that actually help you make informed decisions about your business.
- Cloud-based: Software that can only be used on certain devices or server-based systems create barriers to benefiting from a digital practice. Cloud-based technology stores practice and patient information safely and securely. The data is accessible from any location and on any device. This not only ensures your patient and practice information is safe from theft, damage or loss, it also doesn’t take up the physical space you need to store paper records in filing cabinets.
- Scalability: The software you choose needs to be able to accommodate your practice growth. You don’t want to have to upgrade or change systems to manage an increased volume of patients, appointments, and billing information. Your software should have the capabilities to grow with your practice and intuitively provide the necessary tools and features to manage a busier practice.
- Patient-centric: The right practice management solution should improve the overall patient experience. Allowing patients to make their own appointments on an online booking platform, sending appointment reminders by BulkSMS, and reducing wait times using a virtual waiting room are important to patients. Patients that are limited to making calls to book appointments or have to submit invoices to medical aid themselves can mean the difference between a loyal patient, and one that is going to move on – sometimes, regardless of the quality of care.
- Automation: There are several tasks that you want to be automated, like updating annual changes in medical aid rates. You also want to be able to select the right ICD-10 and procedural codes without time-consuming searching. Practice management software should automate routine tasks such as appointment scheduling, billing, and record-keeping, freeing up staff time to focus on patient care. This can greatly improve staff productivity and efficiency – a major benefit of digital practice management solutions.
- Designed together with clinicians: A major flaw of early practice management systems was that they were designed without input from clinicians – the end user. Although it’s been acknowledged that solutions need to be designed around a doctor and practice’s typical workflow, some systems only pay lip service to this principle. A potential technology provider should have regular, ongoing consultations with working clinicians to develop solutions that provide the most value to busy doctors.
In conclusion, investing in practice management software with these ten essential features can streamline your practice operations, boost productivity and profitability. With the right solution in place, you can focus on what matters most – providing high-quality care to your patients while growing your practice.
If you need more guidance on choosing a solution for your practice, contact Healthbridge for a free practice health assessment by one of our experienced Business Consultants. Get in touch at email@example.com and take the next step in catapulting your medical practice to the next level of success.