Running any successful business can be a difficult task without the right tools and services in place to manage different everyday tasks. Not to mention, the sheer amount of data that must be collected, organized and made accessible when dealing directly with clients or customers. This rings especially true for healthcare and medical practices.
Between the sheer number of clients, billing, scheduling, insurance and medical records, it is critical that a medical practice has their data in order. To assist in running the behind-the-scenes functions, Medical Practice Management Software is utilized by healthcare professionals and offices to organize and simplify the day-to-day operations of a medical practice.
But, not every solution is made equally. When searching for Medical Practice Management Software, it is important to look for some specific key features that enable your team to take full advantage of the platform.
Here are seven features that you should always look for.
Just about every Medical Practice Management solution will include scheduling capabilities. However, it is important to look for a solution that provides more advanced and comprehensive scheduling functionality than just a basic overview of the calendar.
Advanced calendar and scheduling functionality would include specific features like a multi-view calendar to provide different perspectives of the schedule, drag-and-drop appointment scheduling for simplicity and ease of use, and color-coded views to make the information easily digestible, just to name a few of the most prominent.
These features introduce a new level of simplicity into what can be a complicated process.
One of the most crucial elements of any Medical Practice Management solution is the ability to organize and manage insurance information. Beyond storing sensitive info like insurance claims and details, search for a solution that includes advanced functionality like insurance verification.
This feature would run claims and information against an existing database to ensure accuracy and consistency to verify patient plan and coverage, view co-insurance, copay, deductible and other important plan details. Some solutions will even provide a “scrubbing” functionality to automatically make any necessary changes to the records or claims.
Patient Registration Management
Perhaps one of the most critical elements of a Medical Practice Management solution is the organization and management of patient information. More specifically, the collection and organization of this information during the patient’s first visit and registration process.
Instead of requiring new patients to fill out a paper form, utilize a digital form to better organize and centralize patient information during this first encounter. Digital patient registration management will gather demographic information, medical history, payment information, insurance data, and more.
By utilizing a digital form from the beginning, you shed the reliance on paper data and improve organization.
Automatic Appointment Reminders
It is important to remind patients of upcoming appointments to help ensure the highest level of attendance. Unfortunately, patients can often forget their existing appointments or simply not show up at the schedule time. With automated appointment reminders, your office can save time and boost overall efficiency by reducing the amount of time spent on the phone.
Automated messages will make sure that every patient knows when their appointment is, reducing the number of no-shows and cancelled appointments. Instead of requiring a medical secretary to place calls or draft emails to patients to remind them of an upcoming appointment, the Management solution itself can send out automated reminders as a phone call, SMS text message or even email.
Online Patient Portal
Not only is it important for your Medical Practice Management solution to collect and organize data, it must also enable easy access to this critical information. Self-service tools are a great way to do this. Provide your patients with total control over their data, records, scheduling, billing, insurance and more with the addition of an online Patient Portal.
An online Patient Portal is a secured website that enables users to access their personal health information, at any time, as long as they have an internet capable device and a secured connection. Most commonly, these online Patient Portals let users access all of their data and view information like recent visits, medications, immunizations, but some can even let patients refill prescriptions or make payments and schedule appointments.
Medical Practices have to deal with a wealth of very critical and sensitive information and data. Beyond insurance and payment information, practices are also collecting the in-depth medical history of all patients, including existing charts and related data.
Your team should search for a Medical Practice Management solution that is capable of collecting, supporting and organizing digital, paperless charts. Digitizing charts enables doctors to access this necessary and important data in just a matter of seconds, instead of having to dig through paper files and charts.
This not only helps save money and space with the lack of paper storage, but can even reduce human error and prevent files from being misplaced or lost.
Secure Messaging System
In addition to an online Patient Portal, some Medical Practice Management solutions provide features and functions that enable patients to communicate directly with their healthcare professional. Generally, through an online Patient Portal, Medical Practice Management software can provide users with a private one-to-one live chat system.
With this messaging system, patients can get in touch with a healthcare professional either on their computer or mobile device, allowing them to ask questions or request information. Providing a chat system also enables your team to save costs on calling, and free up phones for more critical emergency situations.
The Bottom Line
With the sheer volume of clients and information gathered by just one medical practice, it is imperative to ensure the highest level of efficiency and organization. When it comes to critical and sensitive information like health records and insurance payments, there is almost no room for error.
Medical Practice Management software helps bridge that gap between paper and digital data organization. Designed with small-to-midsize practices in mind, these solutions help teams transform their overall practice management. These seven features are absolutely critical in finding a well-rounded solution that provides more than just basic functionality. These features enable your team to go above and beyond.
About the Author: Reuben Yonatan is the CEO @ GetVoIP, a leading VoIP systems comparison guide that connects shoppers with relevant providers.