Every medical practice has 2 main responsibilities:
- Providing the best care possible for its patients.
- Running the practice as a business—making sure that the medical staff have all the resources they need to work as effectively as possible, hiring new staff, managing the administrative aspects of the clinic, and so on.
Medical practice management software is a type of system that helps with both - it allows your clinic to run as effectively as possible, while delivering the best patient care, and more.
In this article, we’re going to teach you everything you need to know about practice management:
- What Is Practice Management?
- What Is Practice Management Software (PM Software)?
- 7 Essential Benefits for PM Software
- 7 Most Common PM Software Features
What Is Practice Management?
But first, let’s start with the basics.
Practice management is a general term for all administrational and business processes of a medical clinic. This includes:
- Scheduling patient appointments.
- Performing billing procedures.
- Generating reports.
- Communicating with patients.
- Hiring and training medical and administration staff.
Larger hospitals usually have dedicated professionals called “practice managers” to handle the administrational work.
For smaller hospitals or private practices, however, this work falls for the practice owner, administrational team, or the receptionist.
What Is Practice Management Software?
Practice management software (or PM software in short) is a type of software that helps you manage the administrative and business aspects of running a clinic.
For example, they allow you to streamline report generation. Instead of having to hunt down data on several physical, paper forms, all you have to do is log on your PM software and generate a report in a single click.
Or, to give you another example, more advanced practice management solutions like Medesk allow you to create your own online booking portal. You integrate the software with your website, and then your patients can book appointments, communicate with your staff, and more.
7 Essential Practice Management Software Benefits
You might be wondering if patient management software is really all that useful.
And, more importantly, is it something that your private practice needs?
Our answer? Definitely!
Practice management software comes with so many benefits that it’s basically essential for any clinic worldwide. Here’s how it helps:
- Less time spent on administrative tasks. PM software can automate a ton of administrative tasks, such as patient bookings, keeping track of patient notes, and more.
- Faster & easier billing. You can generate invoices and keep track of payments via the practice management software.
- Reducing no-show rates. You can send automated appointment reminders to your patients if the PM software comes with medical CRM functionalities.
- Better communication with patients. Your marketing team can send targeted SMS or emails to specific patient segments.
- Centralized data. You can access all your clinic data via a single software. Want to check information about a specific patient? Revenue for the past month? Efficiency of specific marketing channels? All of it is available via your practice management software.
- Online consultations. The best practice management systems allow for telemedicine. Meaning, you can book and carry out online consultations with your patients.
- Remote clinic management. Most practice management solutions run on the cloud. Meaning, you can run your clinic via the practice management tool from wherever you might be.
7 Most Common Medical Practice Management Software FeaturesConsidering adopting practice management software for your clinic?
You’ll have to pick the one that gets you the biggest bang for your buck.
There are a ton of solutions on the internet, but the very best practice management tools give you a lot more features than the rest.
So, when picking your software provider, look for these features:
- Online booking portal. You should be able to completely manage your booking needs on the internet.
- Electronic health records. The right practice management software should also have EHR features. While you can also use EHR software separately from your PM software, it’s just going to be a waste of money.
- Billing and financial reporting. You should be able to manage all your invoicing and financial reporting via your PM software. Additionally, you should be able to generate a customer invoice in a single click, and at the same time, also generate reports.
- Reporting and analytics. The more data you have access to, the better business decisions you’ll be able to make with your clinic. The best practice management tools allow you to generate desired reports with ease.
- Telemedicine. Over the past few years, telemedicine has been growing in popularity. Your PM software should give you the option to hold online consultations with your patients through it.
- Medical CRM. The CRM functionality allows you to keep track of patient data and interaction. E.g. your marketing team can segment a specific audience and send out a message specifically relevant for a given audience.
- Stock and inventory management. Finally, your practice management software should let you keep track of your medication and consumable items, and request new stock when needed.
Want to learn more about these features and why they’re so important? Check out our article on the 9 best medical software features!
3 Types of Practice Management Software
There are 3 ways you can deploy practice management software for your clinic:
- Desktop-only. The software is deployed on a single desktop computer that the staff have to use on-site.
- Client-server. The software is deployed on a server that’s either physically located at the clinic or rented from a 3rd-party dedicated server.
- Cloud-based. The software runs on the cloud, eliminating the need to purchase a server.
In 2021, the best option out of the 3 is cloud-based software. It allows you to manage your clinic from anywhere in the world and requires way less hassle to set up.
To boot, cloud-based practice management tools like Medesk use bank-grade security practices to make your patient data as secure as possible; more so than if you had to take care of your own security.
Practice Management Software vs Electronic Medical Records (EMR) - What’s the Difference?
Electronic medical records (or EMR, in short) are digitized patient records.
Instead of keeping your patient data on paper, you upload it online. Its benefits are very clear:
- Better patient care quality. Doctors can access patient data faster and easier.
- Improved data accuracy. Physical records can be misplaced, mismanaged, altered, etc. One doctor might even simply not understand another’s handwriting.
- Better security. Data stored in your systems is much safer than physical records.
- Interoperability. EMR makes it easy to transfer data from one system to another. E.g. if a patient changes type of treatment or care provider.
At this point, most clinics worldwide are using EMR to manage their patient records. In fact, according to research by ONC, over 96% of US hospitals use certified EMR technology.
Now, you might be wondering, what’s the difference between practice management software and EMR?
More often than not, practice management software comes in-built with EMR as a feature (as is the case with Medesk). Most EMR tools, though, don’t have practice management capabilities.
So, you have 2 options:
- Get a practice management tool that does both.
- Get EMR and practice management tools separately and integrate them together.
Optimally, you want to go for the 1st, as integrating two solutions together is never easy and requires a lot of technical work.
Try Medesk - Industry-Leading Practice Management Software
Not sure which practice management software to go with?
Our solution comes with dozens of essential PM software features, including:
- Customizable online booking platform. Tailor our platform to your brand and allow your patients to book appointments online.
- 40+ ready-made reporting templates to help keep track of your clinic’s performance. Understand which of your services are most popular, which marketing channels work best, and more.
- Cloud-based platform. Access your practice management software whenever, wherever, and manage your clinic from anywhere in the world!
- Robust medical CRM features. Give your medical marketing team the edge it needs - set up automated SMS and email communication in minutes!
- Centralized data. Put all your patient data in one place with our electronic health records.
Click here to head over to our homepage & register for a free trial!