The purpose of medical practice management software is to run your practice with one platform. But too often, medical practices — especially small practices — choose systems that aren’t robust enough. They end up with several systems that end up adding more manual tasks than they automate. In short — their practice management software isn’t integrated with other medical software.
Check out some of the top vendors for the software categories listed below in our medical software comparison report
The goal for any medical practice should be to find a centralized practice management software. A centralized platform keeps everything automated, leaving more time for more important tasks. For example, you can focus more on providing outstanding patient care. So if you’re looking for practice management software integrations, what systems should you look for?
Medical Billing Software
Although your number one priority should be your patients, your practice is still a business. To run it successfully, you need to stay on top of your billing at all times. Medical billing software automates the billing process, sending bills after appointments and tracking payments. The last thing you want is to have bills that never get sent out. After all, you’re not a free clinic. Integrating a medical billing system also allows you to view your patients’ health and billing information side-by-side.
Speaking of health information, an electronic health records system (EHR) is another critical integration. First of all — no, EHR and medical practice management software aren’t the same thing. An EHR is one of the most useful tools in a medical office’s arsenal. EHR stores patient information for doctors to use later on. They can also communicate with EHRs from other providers in order to collaborate on the care of a particular patient. What EHR is most useful for, however, is as a database for your patients’ health data. This data includes chart notes, patient histories, allergy information, test results and previous diagnoses. Doctors use this data to get a comprehensive overview of the patient’s history to quicken diagnosis and prescription.
Similarly to EHR, an electronic medical records system (EMR) also stores patient data. However, EMR and EHR software are very different systems. But an EMR system is nonetheless a major component of maximizing your patient care. As a type of business intelligence tool, they’re most useful for tracking various patient data. This alerts your practice and, in turn, your patients, when they’re due for a preventative screening, vaccination or regular check up.
Medical practices are increasingly expected to offer a patient portal. Also known as a patient care portal, this tool is quickly becoming an industry standard. As we increasingly use the internet and the cloud, consumers in every industry expect their information to be accessible anytime, anywhere. A patient portal lets your patients log in and view their health history, diagnoses, prescriptions, bills and other important information. In addition to helping automate processes such as billing and scheduling, it increases patient satisfaction. Thus, it’s also a great marketing strategy for patient retention. Just make sure that it’s optimized for mobile devices to enhance the user experience.
Where does your practice’s relationship with a patient start? Is it during their first appointment, or when they schedule that first appointment? We’ll give you a hint — it’s the second one. Therefore, integrating scheduling software, also known as an appointment scheduler, is a major help. Small practices especially can benefit from scheduling software. Chances are, you can’t afford to have your receptionists manage appointment scheduling and reminders all day. Scheduling software automates the entire process, allowing patients to go online and select a time that works for them. This usually happens within a patient portal (see how helpful multiple integrations are?). Additionally, you can set an automatic reminder to send before each appointment. This makes it easier than ever to reduce the number of no-shows, which also means increased revenue.
Let’s face it: doctors don’t always have the best handwriting when writing prescriptions (no offense). Although it’s relatively rare, prescriptions occasionally get mixed up due to poor handwriting. An ePrescribing system makes the prescription fulfillment process easy for doctors, pharmacies and patients. After diagnosing a patient, you can fill out an online form that sends directly to the pharmacy. Pharmacists will no longer misread a prescription note (luckily for patients everywhere). This streamlines the process by eliminating time-consuming calls or making the patient wait after bringing the note to their pharmacy. With an ePrescribing integration, the prescription data automatically updates into your EHR after it sends. So you get to say goodbye to manual data entry, too.
Finally, we come to a tool that’s commonly thought of as big-business software. Business intelligence (BI) is useful for every size and type of business. Although it doesn’t serve a medical purpose, it can be very valuable for the marketing side of your practice. BI software provides real-time insights into your customers (or in this case, your patients). For example, you can get a demographic overview of your patient base. Let’s say you’re a family practice; you might look at the marriage status of your patients and find that you’re actually attracting more singles than families. This type of insight can lead you to switch up your marketing efforts to attract more families. More families means more patients, which means more revenue and a more successful practice. Integrating a BI tool with your practice management software allows all of your data to work together, both eliminating data entry and providing you with powerful insights.
Although using practice management software is a great way to improve your practice, you’ll get the most out of it with integration. Integrating these seven systems have already helped hundreds of medical practices run more efficiently. What do you think your practice could do if it was more efficient?