The phrase “patient management software” (PMS) refers to a number of efficient automated systems for tracking patient information, diagnoses, prescriptions, interactions and encounters within healthcare organizations like medical clinics or hospitals as well as integrations for obtaining and storing information from medical devices. Some of these software applications focus on general patient management while others address specific processes such as inpatient tracking or blood testing.
Benefits of Patient Management Automation
Administrative staffing is one of the big drivers of high healthcare costs. Automating routine processes, like patient flow management, helps medical clinics and hospitals minimize their administrative expense while maintaining efficiency and excellence in patient care.
Solo practices benefit significantly from automation because of their limited resources. A patient management solution streamline recordkeeping, patient appointment scheduling, claims processing and billing functions. The physician has instant access to patient information and a reliable method for updating charts, noting medications and other important data. Accurate billing and bookkeeping keeps the practice running smoothly.
Larger clinics and hospitals enjoy similar benefits while also making patient-related processes more efficient. PMS delivers more accurate, timely and better quality patient care. A comprehensive management program enables immediate record transfers, enhances patient workflow and eliminates treatment errors that result from inaccurate or incomplete paper records.
Digital storage capability saves actual space for a neater, more welcoming office. Additionally, digital information is more secure than paper files, so patient management programs help clinics and hospitals comply with HIPPA privacy regulations.
Automated process management streamlines and standardizes many administrative tasks, freeing medical staff to focus on what they do best: patient care. As a result, staff members find their jobs to be more fulfilling and patients enjoy a higher standard of medical care.
Efficiency, accuracy and fewer errors directly benefit the facility’s bottom line. Patients who receive quality care from a professional and focused medical team will remain with the practice and tell their friends. With management software in place, clinics and hospitals have the ability to increase their patient capacity while still providing quality care. More patients mean more profit.
Functions of PMS
Not all the features of patient management software listed below are included in any single software application. However, each feature is part of an actual patient management system currently available.
Medical Records Software:
- Records, updates and archives electronic medical records
- Produces a medical records flow sheet for each patient, which shows immunizations, illnesses, surgeries, test results and other patient information using graphs and charts
- Combines electronic health records from all providers treating the same patient
- Issues alerts when preventive care appointments are due
- Books appointments online 24/7
- Makes automated appointment reminder calls/texts/emails
- Reserves required equipment for scheduled appointments
- Cancels and/or reschedules appointments
- Records appointment history for each patient
- Patient portal for self-service
Patient Encounter Software:
- Provides electronic office check-in
- Generates electronic intake forms that streamline a patient’s initial clinic or hospital visit
- Tracks the time each patient must waist in the lobby
- Monitors exam room availability
- Tracks the progress of each exam
- Engages patients remotely
- Monitors patients remotely for medication compliance, diet and exercise schedules
- Automates patient checkout, including copay collection
- Schedules follow-up appointments
- Captures patient reviews
Software for Inpatient Encounters:
- Manages admissions
- Plans and manages patient discharges
- Generates e-charting
- Schedules bed occupancy and maintenance
- Tracks patients’ locations
- Monitors patients’ vital signs
- Tracks patient waiting times
- Graphs patient flow
- Manages medication
- Coordinates emergency response
- Schedules surgeries
- Manages lab workflow
- Manages ER patient workflow
Medical Billing Software:
- Manages patient accounts
- Automates billing processes
- Issues payment reminders
- Coordinates insurance billing
- Verifies patient insurance coverage
- Tracks claims status
- Reviews claims for accuracy
- Enables online patient payment
Electronic patient management sets new standards for excellence in patient care. It provides healthcare facilities of all sizes with greater economy, enhanced quality of service, accuracy and efficiency. Programs are available to suit a variety of medical practice needs. This type of software has become so integrated into the practice management as well as patient information portal, that the FDA now considers digital health tools like this “Software as a Medical Device”.
Patient management and practice management software are often synonymous. We’ve created a report on the top patient/practice management software here, as well as a large product directory. Have a look around and request the full report if you want to get more in-depth information about the best software options available.