There’s a reason What Is Practice Management Software? why the job outlook for healthcare workers is expected to increase by 16% over the next decade. Many healthcare facilities around the country are dramatically understaffed.
This makes managing a practice a challenge for many individuals. The good news is that practice management software might be a solution to this growing problem. But, What Is Practice Management Software? exactly what is practice management software?
And why should you consider it for your practice? If you want to learn the answer to these questions, and more, you’re in the right place. In this guide, we’ll teach you everything you need to know about practice management software.
What Is Practice Management?
Before we dive into the specific software associated with the concept it’s important to first understand exactly what practice management is.
In a nutshell, practice management is the process of making patient management and billing workflow as productive as possible through streamlining.
This is ultimately done to increase your practice’s efficiency. However, it’s also to make both your employee’s and patients’ lives easier. Here are some of the areas that usually fall under practice management:
- Patient registration
- Patient scheduling
- Patient tracking
- Patient accounting
- Patient reporting
Putting all of these things under one category gives you one easy spot to collect payment from your patients. Now that we know more about practice management as a concept let’s dive into what the software can do.
What Is Practice Management Software?
Practice management software is a type of software that’s used to streamline certain types of operations in your practice.
It doesn’t matter if your practice is small or large, it can benefit from practice management software. On a day-to-day basis, you can expect this software to run most of your important admin and financial roles.
The specific types of functions that your software comes with will depend on what brand you select. However, for the most part, all practice management software is capable of:
- Entering patients into your system and tracking their healthcare journey
- Recording important information about the patient’s demographic
- Scheduling your patient’s visits for you
- Managing any potential charge capture
- Handling the billing procedure for your patients
- Submitting patient claims to the insurance company
- Processing payments made by your patients or the insurance company
- Making reports for anyone on staff at the practice
To fit any practice size, you have multiple choices in how your practice management software can be deployed. The first way is through desktop-only software.
This is a good option if you and your staff all share a single computer that only a few people have access to. A second way is a client-server software.
This allows multiple users to access the practice management software through an on-site server at your practice. However, you will need to either purchase or lease this server to use it.
The last way is internet-only software. With this option, you don’t need to purchase a server. But, it does move potentially risky client data away from your practice.
If you lose an internet connection, then you won’t be able to access the software. So, you should make sure that your practice is in an area with stable connections.
Components to Look For in Practice Management Software
We briefly touched on some of the common capabilities of practice management software. However, in this section, we’ll go into them in more detail. That way, you get a better picture of how they can practically help your practice.
- Claims Process
This is one of the main ways how practice management software allows you to speed up your revenue process. With it, you can submit claims to multiple insurance providers.
And if the patient still owes a balance, then it will automatically print and mail the statement to the individual. In some cases, you can buy software that detects claims mistakes that your staff make.
This saves you loads of time since you don’t need to deal with the back and forth that comes with a claim denial.
Practice management software isn’t like the typical scheduling software you’ll find for office settings. This type is made specifically for the healthcare industry.
That means it can show providers at your practice things like their appointment times, sets of patients, and the duration of the appointment. What’s more, everything is color-coded so it’s easy to find.
That means your schedule will be more efficient which translates to shorter wait times for your patients.
- Reporting Capabilities
For you to keep tabs on both financial and management aspects of your practice, your employees will need to regularly create documents and report them.
That way, any stakeholder knows the financial state of the practice. Practice management software makes it much quicker to generate these reports.
And don’t think that this reporting is limited to your healthcare staff. You can also find Medico legal reporting software for your legal department.
- Coding Converters
Not every staff member at your practice might be familiar with the International Classification of Diseases code base that’s used for diagnosis and billing.
This is especially true for new staff members that are still learning practice management skills. Luckily, practice management software comes with an easy tool that allows you to search through these codes using a keyword from the diagnosis.
Then, it converts it into the specific code that’s needed. So, no more wasting time searching through a codebook to find a specific identifier that you forgot.
- Insurance Eligibility
There are few things more frustrating in the medical practice than dealing with insurance companies. This is especially true if you’re trying to determine the specific coverage benefits for a patient.
Many staff members know the pain of waiting on hold with an insurance company for way too long. Luckily, those days are behind you with the insurance eligibility feature on practice management software.
This component allows you to instantly check the current insurance status of multiple patients at the same time.
So, no more calling the insurance company while the patient angrily taps their foot waiting for you. This has the added benefit of greatly speeding up the waiting room process.
Benefits of Practice Management Software
If you aren’t convinced that practice management software is right for your business, then let’s go over some of the main benefits that come with it.
First, this software can save you and your team hours on admin tasks each week. This includes things like note prepping, information searching, client communication, and more.
This frees up time to focus on things that matter, like your clients or marketing campaigns. Second, practice management software can dramatically reduce the instances of no-shows at your office.
A combination of text message and email alerts, along with patient sign-in confirmation, ensures that your patients know when their appointment is. This both saves you money and time.
Thirds, practice management software makes it easier to communicate with both your patients and any third parties that you work with. No more composing handwritten emails for your patients.
With templates, you can send off a message in thirty seconds or less. Finally, practice management software helps your practice grow.
Having a central place where you keep all admin and financial information makes it easier to train new team members. This, in turn, allows you to expand much more rapidly.
Difference Between Practice Management and EMRs
It’s common to confuse the roles that practice management software and electronic medical records (also known as EMRs) play. An EMR is a virtual record of a patient’s medical history at a specific practice.
It was passed in 2009 as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Because of this act, which incentivized the usage of EMRs at healthcare facilities, it’s common to see these systems used by many practices.
It’s true that some patient information from practice management software and EMRs overlap. However, they have a different purpose altogether.
Practice management software collects patient information that has to do with administration roles and finances. EMRs, on the other hand, collect information to be shared across a network of different practices.
That being said, practice management software and EMRs can work together. However, this can be challenging if you’re integrating two different systems from two different vendors.
Appreciate Learning About Practice Management? Keep Reading By Software
We hope this guide helped you learn more about practice management software. As you can see, bringing on more staff isn’t always the solution to healthcare administration problems.
Sometimes the answer lies in implementing software that makes your existing operations more productive and efficient. So, start looking for the right practice management software today.
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