When selecting a practice management software, it’s very easy to get carried away by all the bells and whistles that are on offer. However, choosing the right system is much like learning how to practice medicine in a number of ways. Most particularly, it’s vital that you study the fundamentals and make sure you can get the basics right before you progress to greater things.
No matter how big or small your clinic is, finding the best practice management software for your needs is essential and here’s what you should look for:
- See that you get the practice management fundamentals right
- Easy-to-use not only for you but also for your colleagues
- Match your workflow to the capabilities of your system
- Make sure that customer support is free and accessible
- Ascertain how to transfer all your data to the new system
- Make sure you can add all your patient records
- Ask about integration with your clinic’s partner companies
- Ensure you have a chance to ask questions at any time
- Check your chosen system is secure enough to handle confidential data
Where to Find Practice Management Software
There are all kinds of ways to help you understand which practice management software will be the right one for your clinic. A wealth of information is available online if you know where to look. Practice managers in the UK typically use a range of different methods to learn more about software tools for clinic management.Try using the following methods to find practice management software:
- Search on Google
- Look for online reviews on websites like Capterra
- Online and offline recommendations from peers
- Social media pages
How Do I Know This Practice Management Software Will Suit My Clinic Well?
To understand whether a particular system is suitable for use in your clinic, it’s a good idea to see whether a given software developer offers advisory sessions with consultants. It’s even better if you are able to speak to consultants who have experience of both healthcare management and clinical practice so that the solution you choose is perfectly suited to your needs.
During your advisory session, make sure the chosen system:
Tells you which data you need to prepare for migration and in which format
Shows you the most sought-after features coming up this year and next
What Mistakes Do Practice Managers Usually Make When Choosing Practice Management Software?
In our experience, even when practice managers and other decision-makers are acutely aware of the challenges they are facing in their work, it can often be difficult to understand what the exact solution to a given problem might be. This is true to such an extent that we see the same errors occurring time and time again. Make sure you don’t join the ranks of those who’ve chosen the wrong system for what they think are the right reasons.
What You Should Definitely Pay Attention to When Choosing a Practice Management Software
When selecting a PMS, there are several different aspects involved in the decision-making process. While it’s vital that you consider how your chosen system will help you to render services and provide top-class clinical care, there are other matters that you should also think about. In terms of fundamental business features, a practice management software should enable you to:
Select and perfect your patient acquisition channels
Discover how much each channel costs per patient acquired
Calculate whether your channels are cost-effective
Make cost-effective marketing decisions
Learn when a channel is costing you more than it generates in revenue
Find out how different patient subgroups react to various marketing approaches
Provide an excellent patient experience
Show patients what to expect before they arrive at your clinic
Provide transparent online booking options
Retain patients and grow your practice
- Send automated SMS/email reminders at just the right time
- Manage and act upon feedback
Store your confidential data securely
- Save all of your work on a secure, encrypted platform
- Rely on cloud storage and never lose a document again
How to Get Your Practice Prepared to Use a Practice Management Software
Whether you are switching from another system or it’s your first time managing a clinic with the help of digital, how you approach this change is what makes all the difference. Ultimately, it’s all about involving your colleagues insofar as they are able to comment based on their specific role within the clinic. After all, a receptionist is typically going to be far more aware of what scheduling features would help them in their daily work whereas a clinician would be much more able to say what kind of automated note-taking features would be the best for their workflow.
Give yourself the best opportunity to adapt the practice management software to your needs by doing the following:
- Make a genuine attempt to understand your current workflow
- Discuss how your workflow can be adapted and improved for the digital world
- Involve your colleagues in the decision-making process
- Check you can generate documents specially for your clinic, e.g. custom prescriptions
How to Train Your Staff to Use a Practice Management Software
The tools we use are only ever as good as how we use them. This is true of digital tools like practice management systems too. To ensure that your practice gets the most out of a PMS, you’ll need to train your colleagues in how to adapt their workflow to the digital world. Fortunately, this is exceptionally easy when you take advantage of on-screen training options provided directly by the software developers.
What if I’m Going to Switch Over to a New Practice Management Software
Transferring from one practice management system to another can be fraught with troubles if you don’t use the right methods. Different platforms offer varying features, some of which may not have an analogue in your newly chosen system. Follow a systematic approach to staff training and workflow adaptation so you won’t have to worry about your new platform putting a spanner in the works.
Ensure that your transition to a new practice management software goes ahead with a hitch by:
- Compare the features offered by your previous and current PMS
- Take the opportunity to examine your current workflow and improve it
- Seek as much support as you need from your new PMS account manager
How to Improve (and not ruin) Your Patient Relationships with Practice Management Software
Patients notice very quickly when your clinic has adopted a new PMS without taking the time to get to grips with it. Likewise, starting work with a new practice management software can open up a world of opportunities to improve and not ruin your patient relationships.
Take your chance to use a medical practice management software to improve your relationship with patients by:
- Allow transparent online booking options for use with services and practitioners
- Link chosen services with patient subgroups to learn what different patients expect
- Send automated SMS/email appointment confirmations
- Offer frequent reminders to let your patients know you haven’t forgotten about them
- Make note-taking quicker to facilitate better patient-doctor rapport
What Should I Do If I Am a Solo Practitioner?
Maintaining a private practice as a solo practitioner is full of challenges that can only be overcome with the proper tools at hand. For example, you might be working at varying locations on different days of the week and you certainly don’t want to book a patient in at the wrong location. You need a tool that can prevent this from happening.
Furthermore, you will be fulfilling multiple other roles while practising medicine. You will need access to a practice management system that helps you minimise distractions and provide a top patient experience right from appointment booking all the way through to service provision and the patient’s next visit.
Solo practitioners in particular will benefit from the following key PMS features:
- Transparent online booking linked to your schedule by service and location
- Marketing reports to make your self-promotion more cost-effective
- Automated document generation to reduce the need for support staff
Choosing a practice management system is a multi-stage process which can be made much simpler when you take the right approach. The articles linked on this page will give you everything you need to understand whether a given PMS is suitable for your practice.
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