7 Necessary Features in a Practice Management Software

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Every medical practice has different day-to-day needs to run efficiently. Likewise, they all have redundant tasks that need to be simplified. Finding the right practice management software will give your practice the necessary tools to cut down on time-wasting administrative tasks in ways that make sense for your specific workflows.

There is no shortage of medical practice management tools out there for you to consider, but wherever you land in your search, make sure it has these key features already integrated into their platform without the need for external partners.

1. Online Scheduling

Smoother practice management improves both your staff’s experience and your patients’. Online appointment scheduling alleviates the burden of managing all of those interactions over the phone. Having an easy-to-use online calendar on your practice’s website frees up time and makes scheduling easier.

It also makes for a much less frustrating experience for patients by vastly reducing instances of an overlong phone queue. Instead, patients will have the option to schedule their appointment and gain insight into how long the wait will be from their patient portal. Look for a software that can make appointment management easier.

2. Automated Reminders

A booked appointment does not always translate into an attended one. Tracking down patients over the phone to ensure they follow through on their appointment time can be a pain for administrative staff.

Your practice management system should allow you to automatically send appointment reminders to patients via phone, email or text message. This seemingly simple feature can have a dramatic impact on your no-show rates while simultaneously cutting down on work for your staff.

3. Payments

Payment collection should not be a hassle. Your practice management solution should allow you to make a transaction at any point of an encounter. Collect payments by simply swiping a card, and securely accept payments on mobile devices from anywhere.

After that transaction is made, your software should allow you to save that credit card on file. That can save you even more time come the next appointment.

4. Appointment Profiles

By building appointment profile templates, you can pre-determine the amount of time an appointment should take on your schedule based on the type of encounter. This optimizes your schedule by ensuring you do not put too much or too little time on the calendar. From new patients to a standard physical visit, you can customize how much time to slot for the appointment, as well as what intake forms should be filled out prior to each visit.

You can also preload the most common medical billing codes and core notes associated with that type of appointment into the profile. Using appointment profiles this way will cut down on errors and give you a headstart on your charting for each encounter.

5. Real-Time Eligibility Checks

Manual insurance checks can really slow down the administrative process. Instead of having your office staff make phone calls for each patient, look for a practice management software that can quickly do that for each appointment. This platform should allow you to easily check a patient’s insurance details for deductibles, co-payment and co-insurance. Some treatments require pre-approval, so your practice management tool should give you instant access to insurance companies.

6. Patient Check-In

Whether you have a large medical practice or a smaller one, sometimes the waiting room can get a bit clogged with patients waiting to check in. That is a problem that can be easily resolved by a patient check-in feature. Some medical practice management platforms will give patients the ability to check in via iPad.

Once they sign in using their name and date-of-birth, all of their medical and insurance information should automatically populate their chart. As soon as that information is approved, it should sync their patient records in your electronic health record. This saves a significant amount of data entry time over the course of a day.

By adding any necessary consent forms to the software, you can also cut down on paper. If your platform does work on iPad, it should allow patients to add their insurance information using the tablet’s camera.

7. Third Party App Integrations

While having a large suite of features native to your practice management software is a big plus, there is something to be said about the flexibility provided by a secure, open API. Having a platform that can accommodate third party applications will allow you to add more features to cover for your practice’s specific needs.

For example, you could integrate payments by a third party app like Square or AI powered patient scheduling solutions like Holly by Nimblr. An app marketplace can further enhance your experience with your chosen vendor.

These features will go a long way towards improving the administrative side of your practice. After determining whether a service has the necessary functionality in place, make sure that they have a well-structured implementation process to help get your practice started on the right foot. From there, expect a streamlined administrative workflow that will make running your practice simpler.