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How Healthcare Management Software Can Help Medical Practices

business.com editorial staff
business.com editorial staff

Healthcare providers stay organized with software for healthcare administration.

  • Healthcare management software is used to handle administrative tasks within a healthcare setting. Specialized programs are necessary to meet regulations like HIPAA.
  • You should interview vendors before settling on a healthcare management software provider. Review features like EHRs and EMRs before selecting a vendor.
  • Software solutions should be scalable to the healthcare provider. Hospitals normally need different features than single-doctor practices.

What is healthcare management software?

Healthcare management software is designed to help providers within the medical field. Physicians, clinics, hospitals and other medical organizations rely on healthcare management software to keep day-to-day operations running smoothly. Healthcare software is industry-specific because of compliance regulations. Software programs are usually scalable based on an organization's needs. For instance, independent practices require different features than large medical centers. Ideally, you should search for comprehensive healthcare management solutions, allowing your employees to receive training and work on a single interface.

Features to look for in healthcare management software

Each healthcare management software program provides a different mix of features. In most cases, programs are used to manage administration tasks within a medical facility. Billing and scheduling may be handled within the interface as a way to make your organization paperless. Features that are specific to healthcare organizations within software programs include electronic health records (EHR) and electronic medical records (EMR). Although the names are similar, the two have key differences. Electronic medical records are digitized versions of paper medical records, while electronic health records collect data from a variety of sources to improve patient care.

According to the Veterans Administration, vendor selection for programs should include a review of high-priority features and goals and determining if the vendor can meet those goals. Keep in mind that not all healthcare management software programs come standard with the features you may need for your practice. If the software you like doesn't automatically include a feature you need, contact the software company about custom options for your practice. Customer support is an extremely important consideration for healthcare management software. The vendor should be able to assist you with planning, implementation and troubleshooting.

Medical practices, hospitals, and other healthcare organizations turn to healthcare management software for help complying with the increasingly complex medical coding and billing rules imposed by health insurance companies and government agencies. Software for healthcare administration can also help physicians and healthcare administrators tackle time-consuming tasks such as electronic medical records (EMR) management and medical credentialing.

These are some things you should do when choosing medical practice software:

  1. Confirm that the healthcare management software complies with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). If it doesn't, your patients' insurance claims could be rejected, because certain data will be absent or incorrect.

  2. If you already use EMR software and plan to add a practice management software package to your system, keep in mind that the two programs are more likely to be interoperable if they're both from the same vendor.

  3. To help ensure that your staff gets thorough training on your new healthcare management software, look for software makers that provide user training programs.

Practice management software for medical offices

Full-featured medical office software packages give physicians and their staff the tools to efficiently complete many clinical and administrative tasks, including medical coding and billing. Sage Software offers four practice management products, including Intergy, which allows you to integrate EMR. AdvancedMD's solutions include medical office software packages for small practices and multi-location practices. eClinicalWorks offers solutions for EMR management, electronic claims monitoring, and a secure portal where patients and doctors can communicate online. There is also an online forum where eClinicalWorks users can discuss the ups and downs of medical practice management.

Healthcare management software for hospitals

Hospitals are still waiting for comprehensive healthcare management software that can handle their broad spectrum of needs. Meanwhile, software for healthcare administration can help hospitals automate many of their most labor-intensive administrative and management procedures. HealthStream provides healthcare management software for contact centers, credentialing and quality management. IntelliSoft Group's applications include credentialing, payer and provider contract management, and information technology management.

Medical office software basics with EMR

If you're not ready for a multitasking healthcare management software suite, consider investing in new EMR software. Look for EMR products that integrate with your other healthcare management applications.

PracticeStudio EMR is an electronic medical records suite that includes input forms for dozens of medical conditions and symptoms. It's compatible with PracticeStudio's medical practice software. AllMeds provides EMR software for different medical specialties. If you're drowning in hard copies of your medical records, a service such as Spectrum Information Services will convert your paper records to electronic documents. You can also check out business.com's reviews of the best electronic medical records systems.

  • When trying to convince the doctors in your practice to adopt new practice management software, emphasize how it will help improve their quality of care and ultimately reduce operating costs.

  • Transferring old data, such as patient contact information, to your new medical office software program can waste time in the long run because much of the information is likely to be outdated. You can save time and money by entering new addresses and other data when patients come in for appointments.

  • When it's time for your new healthcare management software to be installed, appoint someone from your staff to serve as the project manager. This person will be responsible for making sure that the installation proceeds on schedule and your staff is properly trained.
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