Once you are nearing the end of the practice management software selection process, you need to take account of the following:
- Be ready for plenty of prior preparation
- Expect to be asked lots of questions about your exact needs
- Examine a trial version to work out the fundamentals
- Ensure there is a defined onboarding process
- Ask about support options like on-screen tutorials and live chat
- Ascertain how far you can go with customisation of documents and reports
Prepare Your Practice in Advance
Your practice is made up of a number of different experienced professionals with all kinds of expectations and needs. Getting a practice management system up and running properly means making sure that all of your colleagues are on your side. The last thing you need is having an admin team that simply does not want, or perhaps can't, engage with the software you have chosen.
To ensure that your practice and all your colleagues are ready and willing to move over to a new way of handling their work, you will want to:
- Involve your colleagues in the decision-making process
- Encourage staff to give and receive constructive criticism
- Ensure that everyone has a voice proportional to their role
- Outline your expectations to the software provider
Read more: The Best Ways to Train Receptionists
Ensure You Know What Your Needs Really Are
Regardless of how much experience you have in running a private healthcare facility, you will find that your perceived needs do not always match up with your actual needs. When a practice management system is demonstrated to you and your team, you should present your requirements in such a way that the representative can interpret your words and suggest solutions to problems you weren't even aware of.
To find out whether the software meets your known and unknown needs, the demonstrator should:
- Ask plenty of questions from the provider
- Make a genuine attempt to understand your current workflow
- Offer improvements for optimising your workflow
- Provide you with trial access
- Show the generation of some documents specially for your clinic, e.g. prescription
Don't Be Afraid to Try Software
The proof is in the pudding, as it’s often said, and there was never a truer word spoken when it comes to trialling practice management software. At the very least, a good medical software provider will guide you through their system using an interactive approach on-screen. This will enable you to get a flavour for the tasks and business processes that can be handled effectively.
Whether you are watching an expert show you the ropes or you are having a crack at a trial version yourself, it’s important that you match up your needs and the software’s capabilities in a systematic fashion. While practice management platforms can be invaluable and powerful tools in your clinic, there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution right out of the box. That’s why the best providers will work with you to understand your exact workflow and then adapt their offering to meet your requirements as much as is possible.
Learn About the Onboarding Process
Even when a practice management system seems to have all of the features you have been looking for, it all comes to back to the concept of only getting out what you are willing to put in. This applies to training your staff and indeed yourself as much as it does to providing the raw materials to get things started.
The ideal onboarding process has 5 main stages, which are:
- Welcome call and planning
- Initial configuration
- System administrator training for main stakeholders
- Receptionist tutorials
- Clinician training
The idea of the welcome call goes far beyond mere pleasantries and will cover comprehensive planning for the implementation of the platform and subsequent training. It is your chance to ask any outstanding questions and direct the overall direction of your relationship with your software provider representative.
The initial configuration step will allow you to understand what you can set up off your own back and what will require the input of your account manager. This may include creating a practice profile and filling out a questionnaire.
System administrator training will ensure that the main stakeholders of your clinic having a working understanding of the software and how it influences the success of the business. This is vital as people will always want to know that they are getting what they paid for and they will be glad to have an opportunity to see that their software provider is going above and beyond the call of duty right from the start.
Training for receptionists and clinicians is as straightforward as it sounds. Once the foundation has been laid, your account manager will already know exactly how to teach your colleagues to fulfil their roles in the best possible way.
Check Support Options Match Your Requirements
Even the best software should be supported by a series of support options that tailored to your specific needs and those of your colleagues. At the very least, there should be an easy way to get in touch with your account manager with a minimum of fuss. At Medesk, we recommend that you have the following means at your disposal:
- FAQ articles
- Step-by-step guides
- Video tutorials
- Annotated screenshots
- Live chat with a response time of 5 minutes or less
- Remote on-screen support upon request
With the right support, getting a practice management system up and running is as easy as pie.
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