Finding the Right Technology for Your Medical Practice
Technology has dramatically influenced the way healthcare has evolved over the past decade. From smartphones and iPads to cloud-based computing and remote monitoring devices, no matter what your medical specialty there seems to be a solution for almost everything. With so many different technical innovations out there, trying to decipher which ones are the best or most beneficial to a practice can be challenging.
Practice Management - Practice management software (PMS) manages daily operations of a practice. It can provide users with patient demographics, allow them to schedule appointments, process insurance claims, perform billing tasks, and create reports. Practice Management software assists with making the operations of a practice more efficient by helping staff manage their daily workflow more efficiently. Typically a PMS can provide an overview of the day’s details, keep checklists and serve as a helpful point of reference for tasks that still need to be completed. Another benefit to practice management software is that it stores patient data safely and makes it easy to access when needed. Many PMS systems can be integrated with electronic medical records which allow providers to quickly access pertinent information to guarantee accurate diagnosis. It also allows for more simplified billing and claims processing.
Practice management software helps medical practices run more efficiently, stores patient data in a safe location, and allows practices to easily bill patients. Many consider it to be a strong return on investment for private practices.
Electronic Medical Records - Most practices have already made the transition to electronic medical records (EMR), though some are still looking to make switch. A few of the many benefits of EMR include increased patient safety and quality of care. EMR improves documentation with protocols and reminders. It also helps to standardize charts by reducing issues from poor handwriting or inconsistencies. It decreases labor and cost involved with managing paper charts. In addition, EMR makes signing charts more convenient by allowing them to be signed from any work location or home. Electronic medical records decrease coding errors and improve billing by using built in alerts and fields which help to eliminate errors and improve turn-around time for reimbursement. The ability to e-prescribe provides a convenience to the patient and minimizes common inefficiencies experienced between office and pharmacy. Selecting the right EMR is a critical decision and an important investment for any practice that requires significant research and planning.
Online Patient Portals - An online patient portal is a website, often integrated with an electronic health record (EHR) system that gives patients secure access to personal health data from anywhere online. By using a username and password, patients can view health information such as: doctor visits, immunizations, allergies, lab results, schedule appointments, request prescription re-fills, pay bills and communicate with the doctor. Patient portal implementation makes healthcare information easy for patients to access and it allows them to communicate with their providers. It also keeps them involved and informed in their healthcare which is critical to improved outcomes and patient satisfaction.
Whether it’s a new EMR, patient portal, or practice management system, new technology can be a significant investment for any practice. This is why it is critical for providers to take the time to evaluate their needs and research the right solutions for their practice.