Medical offices are always a flurry of activity. Patients checking in, office staff on the phone with insurance companies, pharmaceutical sales reps trying to get past the reception desk to hawk their drugs. It can be a madhouse for the office manager. Luckily, there is no shortage of medical office software to help you tame the savage beast of your practice. The question is, how do you choose the right software for your medical office?
Below, we’ll review the most commonly used medical office software tools and how to compare your choices. We know that there is no one-size-fits-all solution. But here is some ammo to help you make a decision that’s best for your practice.
Electronic Health Record (EHR) Software
Client record keeping is important for any business, but for medical offices, it’s an absolute necessity. Chances are, if you manage a large practice with several doctors, you already have an Electronic Health Record system in place. For smaller offices that are outgrowing paper-based systems or are preparing for substantial growth, selecting an EHR tool that can grow with your business is a necessity.
Wondering how to select electronic health record software? You’re in luck! In 2012, InformationWeek outlined the six stages of EHR implementation, all packaged nicely in this handy EHR selection guide. It also provides an explanation of the Meaningful Use guidelines and reimbursement criteria, so that you can make sure your software selection is compliant.
Still need help? Don’t worry, that’s to be expected. The report also suggests that you consult with other practices of similar size for recommendations and warnings about EHR software.
Medical Billing and Collections Software
Part of running a successful business means getting paid for your work, and medical offices are no different. But add in the complexity of insurance companies and their accompanying co-pays, deductibles, plans, and group numbers, and suddenly it’s easier said than done. Without a robust software system in place, it’s virtually impossible to keep everything straight.
In addition to storing standard information like invoice numbers and payment information, there are five important medical billing features to consider when choosing your billing software:
- Appointment Setting
- Insurance Verification
- Prescription Safety
- Patient Records
- Security Protocols
By selecting a software tool that includes these essential features, you can ensure that your patients’ financial and medical information is safe and secure.
Patient Scheduling Software
There are a variety of Patient Scheduling Software tools on the market. Some are specifically for medical offices, while others are designed to be customizable for a variety of industries. Each has their strong points, but the main factor should be how well it fits with your practice’s needs.
When selecting appointment scheduling software for a medical office, be sure to choose a solution that is flexible, accessible from anywhere, and can integrate easily with other tools you are using. If you’re using an email marketing tool like MailChimp or Constant Contact, you want to be sure your appointment booking tool can play nicely with them.
And don’t be shy about getting the most bang for your buck – select a booking tool that has other valuable features like built-in reporting, time clock, and point-of-sale functionality. Check out whether the software has additional customizable options, like plugins and mobile apps.
Practice Management Software
Practice Management software is the multitasker of medical offices. Many practice management software tools handle both billing and insurance claims, and some even dabble in EHR management and scheduling. The benefit to selecting an all-in-one system is that you only have one tool to purchase. The risk is that if you don’t select the right tool, your entire practice could be held hostage by a system that is too complicated or not robust enough.
It may be to your advantage to select the practice management software that excels in the areas where other software doesn’t. For example, some practices find that the right blend of technology is using practice management software for billing and insurance and patient scheduling software for online appointment booking. Think of it like a Swiss Army knife. You really depend on it for the cutting tools, but you’d rather find a better go-to wine bottle opener.
The American Medical Association has a really useful practice management vendor toolkit, complete with scoring sheets and vendor survey templates, to help medical offices select a Practice Management system.
Clinical Documentation Software
Particularly for physical therapists, chiropractors, or other medical professionals who prescribe treatment plans, keeping accurate notes on patient progress is essential. Clinic documentation or clinical notes software is invaluable for tracking session history.
The good news is that this software can be relatively inexpensive to purchase as a stand-alone system, so the decision to purchase really depends on the volume of notes you need to store. If your note-taking tends to lean toward basic annotations per visit rather than extensive observations in progress, you would do well to find an EHR or appointment booking system that includes notes as part of patient data storage.
Office managers, how did we do? Are there any tools that you would add to this list? Let us know in the comments.
Would you like more about patient appointment scheduling software for medical offices? Appointment-Plus has over 12 years of experience in providing flexible, robust solutions to businesses of all sizes. Call us to schedule a quick demo, and let us show you how our software can help with scheduling, patient data records, email marketing, and more!
Ready to learn more? Schedule your free demo today.
Related Medical Articles
- What Are The Top 5 Medical Office Software Tools?
- Why Appointment Scheduling Is Important in Your Medical Office
- How to Schedule Appointments in a Medical Office
- Insightful Tips on How to Successfully Manage a Medical Office
- How to Make Your Medical Practice More Efficient
- Appointment Software Eases Transition for Mental Health Practitioners
- 3 Easy Ways to Reduce Patient Wait Time with Doctor Booking Software
- What Software Is Needed In A Medical Office