How Does Practice Management Software Help Medical Practices?

Posted by: Alok Prasad

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Purpose of Medical Practice Management Software

Medical management software is the lifeline of Practice Managers in any practice - whether small or large and accomplishes a lot of functions. Listed below are some of the uses of practice management software.

1. Streamline Workflows and Processes

The most valuable, and most widely reported, benefit of medical practice management software is added efficiency; specifically, in regard to workflows and processes. In a fast-paced, dynamic care environment, adding efficiencies and streamlining processes has a direct impact on throughput and the clinic’s ability to achieve quality patient outcomes.

Medical practice management system offers a standardized system for maintaining peak performance – minimizing errors and redundancies to help staff operate smoothly and efficiently and reduce patient wait times. The software’s monitoring and reporting capabilities also help in the early identification of issues for troubleshooting and proactive interventions.


2. Improve Practice Organization Allowing Focus on Quality Patient Care

By systematically organizing medical practices, practice management systems allow providers to focus on quality care rather than burdensome, administrative tasks. This benefit is achieved by assuming and automating processes such as scheduling, billing due dates and patient tracking. As the documentation required by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) increases, this function will become increasingly important to providers.


3. Enhance Automation Leading to Increase in Efficiency, Productivity and Profitability

Medical Practice Management Systems better leverage staff time by automating standard tasks. For example, PMS is often capable of automatically sending appointment reminders and maintaining sufficient supply inventories, which are triggered to automatically re-order when inventory is low.


4. Improve Billing Processes Leading to Faster Reimbursement

Medical management systems streamline payment processes and facilitate faster reimbursement. This added efficiency is achieved through the system’s ability to verify insurance eligibility early in the process when the patient’s appointment is scheduled. PM software also provides billers with critical access to patient records and reports, which can be searched to address questions and fill in critical gaps in claims information. Such access greatly expedites the reimbursement  process by minimizing the “back and forth” between practices and billing entities that can often result in costly delays.

Medical practice software can produce and send electronic bills and an e-commerce component allows providers to collect payments online. The software can even proactively identify claim errors that could potentially delay payment so that proactive measures can be taken.


5. Enhance Documentation and Fewer Errors

As healthcare technology evolves, digital systems for medical documentation have become the norm. This transition to paperless record keeping combined with a growing emphasis on documentation – both within Medicare standards and insurance practices – has established appropriate documentation as a priority within all claims and billing processes.

Enhanced documentation is a key benefit of practice management software, as the technology provides a standardized system that effectively reduces errors compared to hand-written provider notes. Documentation can often be done via mobile device, such as a tablet, at the patient’s bedside or at the point of intervention. The ability to instantly document, chart or code further helps minimize errors that may otherwise occur when lags exist between the point of care and documentation.


6. Comprehensive, Turnkey Compliance Solution

Virtually every PMS solution is designed around healthcare mandates and regulatory requirements, such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) rules, the HITECH Act and various provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Maintaining compliance is a constant priority for medical practices, and implementing medical practice software can help ensure that all facets of your clinic are in full compliance.


7. More Focus on Quality Care

By streamlining and automating processes and administrative tasks, medical management systems allow providers to focus on the most important factor in the care equation – the patient. The less practitioners have to worry about standard tasks and processes, the more time and energy they are able to devote to the patient, which in turn yields better outcomes and fosters an environment in which quality care – and not documentation, scheduling or various other considerations – is the top priority.


8. Enable Advanced, Hassle-Free Scheduling

Practices nationwide can attest to the fact that practice management solutions take the pain out of scheduling both patients and staff. Intuitive scheduling and calendar tools allow medical personnel to input appointments and make calendar adjustments without fear of double-booking or scheduling during a time slot when a given provider is otherwise unavailable.

The scheduling module in many systems also includes alerts, such as patient balance due or authorization, which helps proactively address potential patient issues prior to the appointment and lessens the burden on front office staff.


9. Improve Accuracy and Better Error Reduction

Through the aforementioned billing and scheduling features, practices have the ability to quickly and easily update patient records and information. From direct links to update contact information in appointment reminder emails, to intuitive programming that auto-corrects erroneous entries by staff, medical software is a trusted tool to ensure patient information is accurate and up-to-date.

The fact that practice management systems are integrated with insurance and billing processes ensures that changes made in one system are reflected in the other components “talking to” the PMS as well.


10. Provide More Versatile and Scalable Technology

As demonstrated by the aforementioned uses, medical office software is equipped to manage a range of practice functions and challenges. In addition, the barriers to entry for implementing a PMS solution are few – generally all that is required is a networked system of computers and a reliable internet connection.

Medical management systems can be implemented in practices of all sizes – solutions are available for small, midsize and large offices alike. The technology is also scalable, as its storage and processing capabilities are not limited like a traditional, physical storage room. Systems exist capable of accommodating even the largest and most demanding practices with the help of massive databases and unlimited storage.


11. Improve Patient and Provider Satisfaction

It should come as no surprise that medical personnel view streamlined, reliable processes as an important benefit. Standardized workflows and automated features help providers work more efficiently and effectively, which in turn improves their overall satisfaction.

For patients, the ability for a physician to instantly access their records and make informed decisions with the benefit of their medical history at his or her fingertips is a key benefit and driver of patient satisfaction. Providers can also be certain that the renewed focus on quality care enabled by PMS software mentioned above is noted and appreciated by their patients.


12. Ensure Seamless EHR Integration

Any discussion around the benefits of a practice management system would be incomplete without mentioning electronic health record (EHR) integration. Practice management solutions can be effectively integrated into EHRs, allowing practices to consolidate virtually every function needed to manage the practice, its patients and providers under one system. An integrated solution provides a seamless user experience for both providers and office administrators.

Topics: Practice Management Software, Practice Manager

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