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Medical Practice Management Software: A Quick Guide
Running a medical office gets complicated fast. You have to worry about your patients’ appointment times, many different files, deal with multiple insurance companies and if you have multiple doctors you have to deal with their area of expertise.
Medical practice management software is a great way to stay organized, as well as keep up with all of the patient confidentiality laws.
HIPAA and Your Software
HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) has many rules and regulations to keep patient information confidential. HIPAA now requires all patients’ records to be digitized—and most medical practice management software options allow you to do this easily. In many cases you will be able to bill insurance companies instantly, and be able to manage any errors in insurance billing much more quickly.
Finding the Right Option
When looking for software, you should figure out what type will work best for your office. There are three types of software to choose from, desktop-user software, client-user software, and Internet-based software. All are great options; however, it comes down to what is the most user-friendly for your needs.
Another important question you should ask yourself is whether you want to host the software in-house or get it on the cloud. If you decide to host the software in-house make sure you have enough server space and have the IT support to handle the software.
When looking at the many different software options to choose from, one thing to think about is the functionality of the software itself.
- Does it take many steps to get your patients’ information in the computer?
- Will there need to be a long training period before your staff can manage it easily?
- Do you need to have the software manage your billing as well?
Talk to all potential vendors and weigh what features can make your staff work the most efficiently. Having the software bill insurers easily is one way you can streamline the process for everyone involved.
Head to the Buyer’s Guide for more Medical Practice Management Tips.
Take Advantage of Trials
One of the best ways to know the software works well for your office is to test it out. Many companies can set up trial runs with your office. This can be extremely helpful, and can enable your staff to get familiar with the software before it is fully implemented.
One of the most important aspects to consider is how many users will be accessing the software and how many computers will the software be able to be accessed on. Many medical practice management software providers bill per user. If you are on a tight budget, see if you can limit the amount of users who will be dealing with the software. With that being said, also make sure you are taking into account how fast your office is growing. If you plan to have double amount of patients in 3 years, you should factor that in as well.
Once you have narrowed down your search to around two or three vendors ask each of them for references. If your vendor will be hosting the software on their system this is even more important.
They will be part of your team, and just like you would ask for references for someone interviewing for a job, you should do the same for the vendors. Getting a firsthand account of how the system works, and how well the vendor did in a crisis situation can help immensely.