Practice management software is essential for the effective and efficient coordination of communications, transactions, and interactions among patients, providers, and systems. What is most important to consider in the purchase of this software? Experts at TechnologyAdvice, OpenEMR, and MTBC, 3 healthcare information technology companies, weigh in on the features that practice managers should consider.
Appointment scheduling and patient–clinician communication may be facilitated by the inclusion of an electronic patient portal, which is a secure website that enables patients to access their personal health information. In addition, appointment compliance may be improved through the use of automated appointment reminders.1
A feature that allows preregistration of patients may improve clinical workflow. “Perhaps one of the most critical elements of a medical practice management solution is the organization and management of patient information. More specifically, the collection and organization of this information during the patient’s first visit and registration process,” notes Reuben Yonatan, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, GetVoIP, New York City, who writes for OpenEMR. “By utilizing a digital form from the beginning, you shed the reliance on paper data and improve organization.”2
Mr Yonatan is also an advocate of insurance verification through practice management software. “One of the most crucial elements of any medical practice management solution is the ability to organize and manage insurance information. Beyond storing sensitive info like insurance claims and details, search for a solution that includes advanced functionality like insurance verification,” he wrote.2
Visual resource planning software can help manage examination room flow, and notifies staff, nurses, and physicians that a patient is ready to be seen. After a clinician sees a patient, some practice management systems will suggest appropriate International Classification of Diseases codes for these encounters and some offer outsourced billing and revenue cycle management solutions. In addition, many systems often include e-prescribing and accounting management (eg, payroll and timesheet management).1
MTBC recommends that “you choose a practice management software that has the ability to integrate with your [electronic health record] software so you can manage your practice from a single interface. This key enablement will optimize your productivity and transform the clinical, financial, and operational aspects of your practice.”3 TechnologyAdvice agrees, stating that “implementing an integrated solution will cut down on gaps in functionality, interfacing issues, and meaningful use attestation difficulties.”1
Secure internal messaging may promote HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) compliance and decrease violations. A function for inventory management of medications may be particularly useful in the pharmacy setting. Payment features, such as credit card processing, may also be useful.1
A built-in laboratory information system or other laboratory management system that automatically sends orders to medical laboratories or diagnostics centers may also be desirable, according to TechnologyAdvice.1
- TechnologyAdvice. TechnologyAdvice guide to practice management software. Updated March 30, 2020. https://technologyadvice.com/practice-management-software/. Accessed March 30, 2020.
- Yonatan R. 7 features to look for in your medical practice management software. September 8, 2018. www.open-emr.org/blog/7-features-to-look-for-in-your-medical-practice-management-software/. Accessed March 30, 2020.
- MTBC. 9 practice management software features required for a provider. June 18, 2018. www.mtbc.com/learningcenter/practice-management-software-features/. Accessed March 30, 2020.