Choosing a Practice Management System
Choosing to move to a practice management system is a big step for the growth of your medical practice. Making the right choice can save you time and money in the future. Use the criteria below to help navigate the process and move forward with this transition.
- Determine what you want the software to do. Are you only looking for scheduling software? A complete billing service? Perhaps you’re interested in a combination of practice management system and EMR’s. By determining what you need in terms of services, you can better assess a budget and begin searching for the best software fit.Cloud-based or server-based?
- Determine if you prefer server-based or cloud-based software. The upfront cost of a server based practice management system is going to be larger for IT resources, security and upgrades in the future. Cloud-based practice management systems are more affordable for smaller practices. You can read more about data security in our blog, Data Security Best Practices.
- View multiple software demos. Once you learn as much as you can about a chosen product type, it’s time to set up a demo to get fully acquainted with the options. Make sure the software type you are considering does everything you want it to. Allow other people in your office to give it a try too, especially those who will be using it on a daily basis.
- Verify HIPAA compliance. Speak with all vendors regarding their data security measures to ensure they are HIPAA compliant. Sensitive information in EHRs should be protected across the board, so check the security practices to ensure everything is secure.
- Inquire about training and tech support services after installation. What types of training will you and your staff receive once the software is installed? What is the upfront cost for this training, and what types of ongoing training will be available if necessary? These are all important questions to consider.
- Will there be ongoing support and maintenance available? Ongoing software updates and maintenance may not automatically be included if you choose to manage software on your own. Subscription based services will generally provide remote updates which would be included in your subscription fees, but be sure to verify this fact prior to making a final decision. There may also be maintenance packages available for purchase. In that case, the vendor would take responsibility for compliance upgrades and even hardware repairs or maintenance.
- Look to the future. Do you expect your practice to grow in the future? Will you be adding providers? Speak with vendors regarding future growth and the scalability of a practice management system. You should also make sure that the vendors are ready for the future ICD-10 implementation in March 2015.
- Make your final decision After considering all the above criteria, you should be able to make a final decision based on your practice’s needs.
- Decide on a timeline for implementation. Plan time for installation and proper training for your staff. Rushing this process is not conducive to a successful transition for you or your staff. Be sure to allow time for proper training – you may need to bring in help if necessary
Billing Advantage has teamed up with Kareo practice management software, an organization that strives to offer the most complete services to small practices on a budget. We recommend Kareo practice management software, especially for it’s billing options and ease of use. Learn more about Kareo and Billing Advantage features here.