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The Best Medical Software of 2022

By
Leah Zitter
,
business.com Contributing Writer
| Updated
Nov 22, 2022

This guide explains the importance of EMR systems and medical practice management software to medical practices, how to choose the right platform for your organization, and which EMR systems and practice management software we selected as our best picks.
Best for Billing
DrChrono
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96% clean claims rate
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Compatibility with over 20 specialties
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Most advanced mobile solution
Best for Ease of Use
AdvancedMD
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Affordable medical office solution
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Reliable and secure software
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Unified workflow via smart dashboard
Best for Large Practices
CareCloud
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Complete medical office solution
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Easy-to-use software
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Tools to boost practice efficiency
Best for New Practices
Kareo
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Design targeted at independent practices
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Seamless integration
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Intuitive and flexible dashboard
Best for Customer Care
athenahealth
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All-in-one solution
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Adaptability via data-driven insights
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Unique customer-success programs
This guide explains the importance of EMR systems and medical practice management software to medical practices, how to choose the right platform for your organization, and which EMR systems and practice management software we selected as our best picks.

Electronic medical record (EMR) systems and medical practice management software (PMS), two aspects of what is collectively known as a medical software suite, help streamline both the clinical and administrative operations of a medical practice. These systems are essential to the management of a modern healthcare organization, but a crowded market makes it difficult to find the most suitable solution. Medical practices need software that will streamline, not disrupt, their workflow by allowing staff to perform functions such as setting appointments, receiving patients, and recording details of the provider-patient encounter. It also means supporting post-encounter work in the back office, like generating claims and managing denials. Medical practices have a lot to do, so the best medical software strikes a balance between being comprehensive and user-friendly.

Best Medical Software

Electronic medical records (EMR) systems and medical practice management software (PMS), two aspects of what is collectively known as a medical software suite, help streamline both clinical and administrative operations of a medical practice. They are essential for managing a modern healthcare organization, but a crowded market makes it difficult to find the most suitable one. Medical practices need a solution that won’t disrupt their workflow, but instead facilitate it in a more efficient way, from setting appointments and receiving patients to the actual provider-patient encounter. It also means supporting post-encounter work in the back office, like generating claims and managing denials. Medical practices have a lot to do, so the best medical software strikes a balance between being comprehensive and user-friendly.

Find the Right EMR and Medical Practice Software for Your Practice

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How We Decided
Our team spends weeks evaluating dozens of business solutions to identify the best options. To stay current, our research is regularly updated.
46
Considered
10
Researched
6
Selected

Compare Our Best Picks

Provider Score Best for Pricing Fees Reports Implementation Training MobileApp Medical Billing Service
Kareo 8.7/10 New Practices $150-$300/month Marketing services: $150-$300/month PM:
$150-$300/monthMedical billing:
4%-9% of collections
More than 200 templates for reports, charts and automated emails. Real-time reporting engine. About 30 days from sign-up to fully set- up, trained, and actively using the software Training and continued customer support are free iPad, iPhone and Apple Watch Third-party referral
DrChrono 8.4/10 Billing Around $199/month Four pricing models.

Implementation and training included. Medical billing service 4% – 8% of collections.

Multiple pre-built, speciality-specific templates for reports. Typically takes 30-60 days Included in subscription iPad & iPhone Yes
Advanced MD 8.7/10 Ease of use Discounts for custom bundles of up to 30%. Quote-based plan 2 plans: standard & custom software bundles.

Billing: 4%-8% of collections.

More than 150 standard and nearly 500 custom financial reports About 20 hours . Involves both training & implementation No free trial.

Free 2-day onsite implementation for practices with collections above $200,000/ month

Patient Kiosk & Admin Connect (iOS/Android) Yes
athenahealth 8.9/10 Customer Care Starts at $140/month Varying implementation and training fees 4%-7% of collections Library of custom clinical reports 11-week implementation process Full solution training and live support in subscription iOS/ Android Yes
CareCloud 8.9/10 Large Practices $349-629 /month 2 tiers $349-$629/month. 3 -7% of collections Custom tables can be turned into daily, weekly or monthly reports Varies by package Minimal training and onboarding provided in subscription iOS/ Android Yes

Our Reviews

DrChrono: Best Medical Software for Billing

pro
The easy-to-use software provides a seamless experience, with one login for billing, charting and scheduling.
pro
The software is accessible from desktop computers, iPhones, iPads and Apple Watches.
con
DrChrono does not offer unlimited text and phone patient reminders.

DrChrono is our choice for the best medical software for billing, thanks to its in-house end-to-end clearinghouse and full billing service. DrChrono’s single login for billing, charting and scheduling makes it an easy-to-use solution that can be accessed via desktop computers and iOS devices, including iPhones, iPads and Apple Watches.

Editor’s score: 8.4/10

The patient engagement module has bilingual (Spanish/English) online scheduling, patient check-in, a HIPAA-compliant patient portal, electronically signed consent forms, remittance options and more. Medical forms and clinical notes can be customized, and tailored shortcuts improve efficiency, reduce errors and provide an intuitive experience.

DChrono’s all-in-one EHR expedites tasks in real time, automates workflows and frees up providers to focus on patients. Workflows can be programmed to deliver appointment reminders, request paperwork, and otherwise reduce administrative tasks for the entire team. DrChrono provides real-time verifiability checks of patients’ insurance, while billing information can be processed and saved for future reference. When it comes to billing, DrChrono not only employs the most common diagnoses and medical billing codes but also creates custom codes for atypical items, such as certain products or no-show patients.

Where DrChrono stands out is in its comprehensive revenue cycle management, where its billing experts, in-house coding compliance officers, and certified medical coders handle the complete life cycle of medical claims, at a fraction of the cost of in-house billing. The service follows delinquent claims after 35 days and works closely with clearinghouse and insurance companies to submit cleaned rejections within 48 hours. With the transparent patient reports, RCM managers follow up on all statements, thereby ensuring you receive payments.

Read DrChrono Review

AdvancedMD: Best Medical Software for Ease of Use

pro
AdvancedMD's modern look makes it simple and fun to use.
pro
The dashboard and navigation are color-coded for an intuitive workflow.
con
The system may not be compatible with specialties such as physical therapy and behavioral health.

We chose AdvancedMD as the best medical software for ease of use because the color-coded navigation makes for an intuitive workflow and enjoyable overall experience. The dashboard can be configured and scaled quickly as practices grow.

Editor’s score: 8.7/10

The AdvancedMD global payments platform automates and streamlines your EHR, scheduling, billing and patient engagement from one central dashboard, making it easy to communicate with patients and staff. We like how the dashboard displays clinical quality measure (CQM) reporting, outstanding tasks, critical and urgent issues, a snapshot of upcoming patient appointments, and a prioritized inbox to help you stay organized. A mobile EHR iOS app helps you see patient details in real time, check insurance eligibility, send paperless faxes and more.

The AdvancedMD practice management module helps you check schedules, add patients to the system, manage patient waitlists and collect copays in seconds. Users can also review e-prescriptions, pull in insurance information, message patients and communicate on HealthWatcher, with features such as automated patient reminders and HIPAA consent sheets.

The patient portal automates administrative tasks and provides two-way video telemedicine functionality. Users can streamline patient communications, prescription orders and renewals, patient payments, online appointment requests and more, and patients can post reviews that get shared across social channels.

Finally, the billing module (which is described as “built by billers for billers”) automates every aspect of claims management to help you collect your money. OneChart helps you see all patient notes when making collection calls, while a built-in claims inspector function of 5 million edits catches potential coding errors. An add-on service helps you eliminate your billing burden with an MDS Medical billing plank.

AdvancedMD has made strides to boost its customer service. The company recently implemented 8×8 as its business phone system. As a result of the switch, AdvancedMD said that its clients were more satisfied with the brand’s customer service. This emphasis on superior customer relations is a major plus for AdvancedMD users.

AdvancedMD is sunsetting its Telemedicine module and replacing it with a Telehealth platform. This platform is now available to providers via the AdvancedMD mobile app, as is a provider list view within the schedule menu. Telehealth is an add-on service with AdvancedMD.

Read AdvancedMD Review

CareCloud: Best Medical Software for Large Practices

pro
CareCloud offers tools that eliminate practice inefficiencies and help users increase revenue and modernize the patient experience.
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The system focuses on driving down costs and streamlining care delivery.
con
CareCloud charges additional fees for managed data migration.

We chose CareCloud as the best medical software for large practices because of its comprehensive electronic health record (EHR) functionality, seamless end-to-end integration, and ability to eliminate practice inefficiencies and help users collect more money in less time.

Editor’s score: 8.9/10

CareCloud is a cloud-based platform with integrated capabilities for EHR/EMS, patient experience management and revenue cycle management (RCM). The software is designed for large medical groups and healthcare systems across more than 70 specialties. We were impressed with how CareCloud Charts helps users manage patients, includes e-prescribe functionality, and lets users quickly view a patient’s health summary, including medications and immunizations, in one place. One particularly useful feature helps you identify potential drug interactions when you’re prescribing medications.

The Central/EHR module works to improve profitability through automated features, like smart billing rules that help staff avoid costly errors and help you get paid faster, and tools that streamline your workflow. The drag-and-drop scheduling system helps you book appointments, track business processes, and verify insurance eligibility. You can also view and update patients’ demographics, insurance details and account histories from one centralized location.

CareCloud can be used as a stand-alone application or through its mobile portal app (called Breeze) for patient registration and intake, patient check-in, safe payment and more, thereby expediting patient-provider interactions. Patients can schedule HIPAA-compliant telehealth visits on Android, iOS or desktop devices. Additionally, CareCloud delivers real-time analytics so you can leverage insights from every corner of your organization.

Read CareCloud Review

Kareo: Best Medical Software for New Practices

pro
Kareo features one-click login to the clinical, billing and patient engagement modules.
pro
The software includes real-time analytics, claims management, compliance tracking and document management.
con
Kareo no longer offers a medical billing service, which some practices might prefer to use alongside their healthcare IT platform.

We chose Kareo as the best medical software for new practices because of its comprehensive dashboard, integration with practice management and telemedicine software, and easy-to-use one-click analytics. The software includes many tools to help you run your practice, including customized notepads, task lists, secure messaging, agenda overviews and a calendar.

Editor’s score: 8.7/10

We like how the interface seamlessly integrates with Kareo Billing, where you go paperless with electronic charting, patient scheduling, messaging, billing, reporting and more. Other useful tools help you check claims and eligibility for insurance enrollments. Patients pay through that same portal, and you can quickly collect payments in an end-to-end transparent system. Kareo’s built-in reporting and analytics help you track all billing information so you can see which patients are in arrears and how to improve your operations.

Kareo’s patient engagement system, Kareo Engage, comes with SEO tools to promote the online visibility of your practice; patient-facing systems, such as patient portal and mobile applications; and online provider profiles. There’s also an online directory manager that automates updated information across dozens of healthcare sites, saving you from manually updating each one yourself. Shortcuts like these help you organize your practice so you can focus on patient care.

Kareo’s mobile capabilities help you manage your practice on the go and improve your communication with patients. The software features Kareo Telehealth functionalities; managed billing, in which you outsource your billing to a Kareo partner; and tailored templates for mental health and physical therapy providers.

Read Kareo Review

athenahealth: Best Medical Software for Customer Care

pro
athenahealth provides tailored customer success programs.
pro
The company offers special coaching programs for the software and an Advisory plank, where specialists manage full-cycle recruiting on your behalf.
con
Users are often required to keep an in-house medical biller.

athenahealth is our choice for the best medical software for customer care because it has a turnkey web solution, scales to accommodate various practice sizes and numbers of users, and features unique customer success initiatives that aim to help customers accomplish their goals. athenahealth’s integrated cloud-based system helps medical practices with easy physician billing, practice management and EHR solutions.

Editor’s score: 8.9/10

Back-office services automate tasks, thus allowing providers to allocate attention to improved patient care. Users can check patient records or prepare for upcoming appointments with the athenaOne mobile app.

athenahealth differentiates itself with its exceptional customer success programs, in which experts are matched with clients to assist their practice. There are special coaching programs on how to capitalize from the software and an Advisory plank, where specialists aim to make business easier for providers by, for example, managing full-cycle recruiting on their behalf.

athenahealth’s EHR system allows providers to review documented patient issues before a patient’s visit. The system also helps providers verify coverage in real time. We like how physicians can consult with other clinicians on patient plans via athenahealth’s nationwide health data sharing network, which is enabled by Carequality and CommonWell. The patient management module has built-in speech dictation and voice recognition, as well as telehealth access for up to four people.

athenahealth gives patients full access to scheduling, patient intake, electronic prescription ordering and more. Patients can self-schedule and pay for appointments online. They have their own online portal where they can access their digital records, message their doctors, submit surveys and view test results. Other patient resources include automated reminders about appointments, immunizations and annual checkups.

Read athenahealth Review

Pricing

Generally, based on the EMR systems and medical practice management software we reviewed, practices should expect to spend about $140 to more than $729 per month on one of these software-as-a-service platforms. According to the Michigan Center for Effective IT Adoption, providers can expect to pay yearly to five-year costs of $8,000 to $58,000.

All of the EMR systems on our best picks list are priced per provider per month. In most cases, these subscription rates do not include additional costs, such as installation and training. These fees can range anywhere from $1,000 to $20,000. Some EMR vendors require an initial licensing fee, with monthly costs for maintenance and support. Upfront costs average $30,000, with around $300 to $400 in monthly IT support fees. Even fewer platforms charge per patient or per visit.

Prices fluctuate, depending on the scope and breadth of the system. There could be additional fees for customer support, clearinghouses, electronic statements and more. Rates are subject to change based on the size of your practice and your specific needs.

Many EMR vendors also offer RCM or medical billing services as well. Generally, these services charge a percentage of their net collections and, in exchange, perform all critical billing tasks for a practice.

Did you know? Most medical billing services charge a percentage of monthly collections in exchange for managing a practice’s billing and providing complete access to their medical software suite.

Negotiation Tips

When you’re negotiating with an EMR and medical practice management software vendor, it’s important to have a clear understanding of your practice’s specific needs and how you expect the system to integrate with your existing workflow. This knowledge will help you avoid purchasing unnecessary components of a larger suite, which a vendor may try to sell you.

Here are some of the most important factors to keep in mind when you’re choosing EHR and practice management software:

  • What are your goals for implementing the EMR system? Naming the inefficiencies you’d like to solve helps you decide which features are non-negotiable, nice to have, or irrelevant.
  • What is the implementation process like? How long does it take? Will it disrupt operations?
  • Will the company train your team on the system? If so, what kind of training will it be? How long will the training last? Is it included in the price, or does it cost extra?
  • What support is available following implementation and launch? Does it cost extra, or is it included?
  • How reliable is the system? What percentage of total uptime can you reasonably expect?
  • What software integrations are available? (Before you ask this, you need to know what systems your local labs, hospitals and pharmacies use, because your EMR will need to interface with them regularly.)
  • What is the patient portal like? Is it user-friendly and easy to understand? What information can your patients access?
  • Do you need to access the system on desktop, mobile or both?

Buying Guide

Medical Practice Management Software vs. EMR Software

The main difference between EHR/EMR software and medical practice management software (PMS) is that an EHR/EMR system collects and stores your patient records, while PMS gives you the functionality to run your practice, deliver excellent patient care and make sure you get paid.

EHR/EMR systems are generally a physician’s primary tool. These systems allow providers to document clinical encounters with patients, order tests and prescriptions, and track patient health trends over time.

Medical practice management software, on the other hand, is the primary tool used by a practice’s office staff. It organizes documentation, specifically concerning billing and scheduling. The software completes tasks such as patient insurance eligibility verification and accepts copayments through patient portals. It enables medical coders and billers to prepare claims and submit them to payers through clearinghouses. Billers can also manage rejected or denied claims through medical practice management software. Some PMS include tools for promoting your practice and enhancing doctor-patient relationships.

These two software solutions must work closely together. Naturally, the clinical documentation of a patient encounter flows directly into the billing cycle managed by the front office. To accurately submit claims and follow up on denials, the office must have access to data stored in the practice’s EMR system about what services the physician provided during a visit. This is just one example of how practice management software and EMR software work in tandem.

As a result, many PMS vendors also offer EMR systems. Some solutions automatically integrate with EMR software; others do not. If the application you’re considering is a stand-alone practice management solution, you must ensure that the software can adequately communicate with your EMR platform.

Electronic Health Records vs. Electronic Medical Records

Technically, there are differences between an EMR system, which is essentially digitized paper charts for a single practice, and an EHR system. For one, EHRs not only replace paper charts but also streamline critical functions, like billing, prescription and test ordering, practice management, and communication with patients and other healthcare providers.

EHR systems are also interoperable, and patients can access their data. They’ll soon be available for digital download. However, this also makes EHR systems more vulnerable to cyberattacks.

Industry members often use the terms “EMR” and “EHR” interchangeably, so to make it easier for our readers, we’ve chosen to use them interchangeably as well. Anywhere you see the term “EMR system” in our reviews, it refers to the interconnected capabilities of an EHR.

The Benefits of EMR Systems and Medical Practice Management Software

Even the more cost-effective healthcare IT platforms are a significant expense for most medical practices, so it’s natural to wonder precisely what benefits you’ll get in return for your money. Good EMR systems and medical practice management software can become the central pillar of your practice, helping you to streamline operations, improve patient experiences, and provide better care.

Benefits of an EMR System

  • An EMR liberates providers from administrative tasks, allowing them to spend more time on marketing, research and patient care.
  • It helps providers monitor their billing and makes their collection processes more accurate, expedient and efficient.
  • The software reduces no-shows by sending automated alerts to patients.
  • It improves communication with patients (and stakeholders) by sending automated appointment reminders, alerts and preventive health tips to patients.
  • An EMR centralizes data in one location, thereby enabling the healthcare team and patients to view information in real time, communicate, and monitor processes. This same centralized infrastructure gives insight into how to improve the practice.
  • The software helps providers interact with patients through mobile devices and remote telemedicine services.

Bottom LineBottom Line: EMR systems help providers deliver care to patients and record their medical histories in a digital format that can be transmitted to other providers.

Benefits of Medical Practice Management Software

Medical practice management software covers front- and back-office operations of the practice, such as appointment scheduling, insurance eligibility verification and medical billing. EMR and practice management software complement each other and allow data to flow seamlessly between modules. For example, practice management software gives patients access to an online portal where they can fill out intake forms before their visit, thus speeding up the check-in process. That information then auto-populates in the EMR software’s clinical tools, thereby saving providers time and ensuring records are up to date.

Data interchange works in the other direction as well. After a patient encounter, for example, the provider can save and export a clinical note. The charges captured during the encounter are then pushed into the practice management software, where the medical coders and billers at the practice (or at an outsourced medical billing service) can create and code claims and prepare them for the appropriate payers.

If you choose a user-friendly and reliable healthcare IT platform that meets your staff’s needs, it can improve your entire workflow. The wrong EMR system, however, could be counterproductive.

Bottom LineBottom Line: Medical practice management software governs the front and back office of a medical practice, including the reception staff and the medical coders and billers. It is closely linked to the EMR system, but it’s typically a distinct module within the medical software suite.

Medical Software Features

The best medical software is an all-inclusive package that lets you handle provider-patient encounters, conduct billing, schedule appointments, check patients’ insurance eligibility, track claims, and create custom templates that suit your practice’s workflows. Most important, the software should be easy for the entire office to use. To reduce your office staff’s workload, the software should include a portal where patients can schedule appointments online.

It’s also important for the software to have various integrations, including those for credit card processing, lab ordering and e-prescribing. The billing software should easily integrate with the EMR software so you don’t have to seek outside help to use the two applications in tandem.

TipTip: The implementation and integration phase can be time-consuming and costly, especially if something goes wrong, so make sure your practice management software and EMR systems are compatible.

When you’re considering specific software to integrate with your practice, look for medical practice management software that can fully handle all office responsibilities – including scheduling, billing and task management – and also provide solid security and support resources. Also look for an EMR with flexible charting tools that can be customized to each care provider’s liking, as well as seamless integration with the billing software so coders and billers can easily generate claims after a patient’s visit.

Here’s more about the specific features you’ll want to look for.

Administrative Features

There are four major administrative features to look for in a practice management application.

  • Automated appointment reminders: Does the software let you automate patient appointment reminders so your staff doesn’t spend hours contacting patients to remind them of upcoming appointments? Also, see if the application gives you several options – email, text message and phone call – for sending reminders.
  • A patient portal: The software should have an online portal that lets patients access their accounts to edit their own information, see their balances and make payments online. This reduces your staff’s workload, because a patient can preregister or modify their address or credit card information without calling the office or taking up staff’s valuable time.
  • Check-in and insurance verification: Your staff should be able to quickly check patients in, verify their insurance, determine the copay and collect payment at the time of service.
  • Document scanning: Does the application let you scan and store documents within the system, freeing your staff from unnecessary paperwork? Is it easy to locate documents in the system?

Clinical Features

Some of the most important features of medical software are the clinical tools that make providers’ jobs easier and help to establish thorough medical histories for all patients.

  • Templates: Templates are pre-generated outlines of different types of notes. They can often be customized and assigned to specific appointment types, ensuring the correct note type populates for whichever type of appointment the patient has scheduled. Templates allow care providers to quickly see the required information fields for each encounter and fill them out accordingly. Many EMR systems allow providers to edit templates on the fly by adding or removing sections that may or may not be relevant to individual encounters.
  • E-prescribing: The ability to electronically prescribe medications and review a patient’s active medication history is one of the most important features of an EMR system. Many EMR systems offer warnings about potential drug interactions or patient allergies to help providers avoid prescribing medications that could cause unwanted reactions.
  • Labs: Providers can use an EMR system to order lab tests electronically and receive results in a secure inbox. Patients can access this information through the patient portal and use secure messaging systems to discuss results with their providers.
  • Telemedicine: Telehealth is a newer element of modern healthcare and one that has been particularly important during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many EMR systems integrate a secure telemedicine component that allows providers to schedule remote appointments with patients and then engage in a video conference with them directly within the platform.
  • Recommendations: Some EMR systems feature a recommendation engine that helps providers determine courses of treatment for certain diagnoses, prescribe preferred medications, order certain lab tests, and ensure compliance with government regulation targets, like MIPS and MACRA.

FYIFYI: Be sure to get feedback and buy-in from staff members and care providers regarding the software. Everyone in your organization will be using the system, so involving them in the selection process is critical to choosing the right software.

Billing Features

A good practice management system helps with both administrative and financial requirements. It should make collecting payments and filing insurance claims as easy as possible for your staff while using the fewest resources. This means automatically generating superbills after providers conclude a patient visit. It also requires a seamless integration with the EMR system, where providers record notes about a patient’s visit. Further, the software should be able to scrub claims for errors so you don’t waste resources appealing denied claims and incur further delays in payment.

Coding and Medical Record Integration

Most practice management systems are interoperable with EMR systems. Some companies sell both software options as a suite, while others let you choose what you need.

If you already have an EMR system and don’t want to switch, look for companies that partner with common EMRs and can integrate their software with your current EMR system. You may want to consider partnering with the same vendor that provides your EMR system if you’re satisfied with your current software.

While not all practice management and EMR systems are compatible, all solutions should follow basic safety and privacy standards. At a minimum, they should comply with HIPAA regulations.

Support and Hosting

Because medical practice management software is vital to your daily operations, the manufacturer should offer support that conforms to your practice’s schedule and needs. You should have access to live support or a ticketing system to quickly resolve any issues you experience with the software.

As powerful as many medical office software applications are, you still may want separate software for medical billing. Medical transcription services are still in demand by many practices.

How to Choose a Healthcare IT Platform

Selecting the healthcare IT platform that best fits your practice is a big task. These systems are generally sprawling and complex, making it hard to get a full picture of the software during the first use. Following these steps can help you organize your search and choose the ideal medical software suite for your workflow and your team.

1. Research market leaders and popular systems.

The first step in any buying journey is to learn about the market. Take some time to research EMR software, the recent history of the industry, and some of the leading brands on the market today. Seek out user reviews on multiple platforms to get an idea of how previous and current customers responded to the EMR software after implementation.

2. Identify your priorities.

While you’re researching the market, consider your priorities in a healthcare IT platform. Ease of use is often a big consideration for medical practices, because some medical software suites are complex and difficult to learn. However, a system with a steep learning curve might offer advanced features and tools that can improve your medical practice’s performance. So, while there might be a rocky introduction to the software, this little extra time might pay off in the long run.

Another key consideration is the customizability of the system, such as which templates it offers for clinical notes and how much you can tailor them to suit individual users’ preferences. Patient engagement tools, such as a user-friendly patient portal that allows patients to take an active role in their healthcare, are also increasingly common.

Finally, look for interoperability with labs, pharmacies and hospitals for seamless data interchange. Consider which aspects of a healthcare IT platform would match your team’s existing workflow, rather than how you would adapt your workflow to a new system.

3. Request live demonstrations.

Many medical software vendors do not post pricing on their websites, but almost all of them offer live demonstrations, which are often followed by a price quote or estimate. Live demos give you an opportunity to walk through the software with a company representative who will show you the highlights. They will often tailor the demonstration to your needs, showing you the tools you’re most interested in seeing. Most live demos take place through video conference software.

During the live demos, take extensive notes on each of your priorities and anything that stands out as a positive or negative. If you can, record the live demo or ask the company representative to do so. Saving recordings to review later or share with team members can help you make a final decision.

4. Schedule a more detailed demo with the top three vendors.

Oftentimes, if you’re interested in a healthcare IT platform, company representatives will give you a second, more in-depth demonstration. Some of these demos even include sample software you can control and click through yourself. Take detailed notes yet again, and record this demo if possible. When you’re finished with these final demonstrations, request a contract or agreement from each company you’re considering to compare them side by side.

5. Request a detailed breakdown of pricing and fees.

In the contract or agreement you request, there should be a detailed breakdown of all pricing and fees. You need to see an explicit list of everything you are paying for, alongside a contractual obligation for the vendor to provide certain services. Don’t simply trust a promise from a sales representative; if they promised it, it needs to be added in writing. Once you’ve compared contracts, you should be ready to make your buying decision.

When you’ve selected a healthcare IT vendor, closely review the contract before you sign it. If possible, have an attorney review the contract and mark it up accordingly. Be sure to request a detailed breakdown of pricing and any additional fees that might be included. Many vendors charge extra for setup, implementation and training, for example. Again, make sure any promises a vendor made during your research phase are guaranteed in writing.

Related Healthcare IT Solutions and Medical Practice Services

Many medical practice software solutions and third-party services go hand in hand. For example, an electronic medical record (EMR) system and practice management software are closely related. A medical billing service might work within your practice management software, while a medical transcription service can help you create notes in your patients’ charts, which are stored in your EMR system.

If you’re looking for a full suite of healthcare IT solutions or additional medical practice services that could improve the way your practice runs, take a look at our other medical practice review categories:

  • Medical billing services: Medical billing services, also known as revenue cycle management services, offer a way to outsource your billing. Medical billing and coding can be complex and time-consuming processes, and maintaining an internal staff for billing and coding can become quite costly. Medical billing services generally work directly within your medical practice management software and perform coding and billing services, including follow-ups on outstanding claims and denial management. Many medical billing companies also work to get providers at a new practice credentialed with the appropriate payers and provide additional reporting tools to contextualize a medical practice’s cash flow. To learn more, see business.com’s best picks page and reviews of the top medical billing services on the market today.
  • Medical transcription services: Medical transcription services support the creation of internal documentation, patient charts and communications by way of audio dictation. Medical transcription services generally offer multiple ways to securely upload audio dictation and then return a transcript within 24 hours. Some medical transcription services also offer direct EMR entry, in which they plug transcribed notes into the appropriate place in an EMR system, thus saving providers and staff time and effort. To learn more, see business.com’s best picks page and reviews of the top medical transcription services on the market today.
  • Telemedicine software: Telemedicine software is a relatively new technology that allows healthcare providers to see patients remotely. By using video conference platforms specifically tailored to the needs of healthcare organizations and the privacy requirements laid out under HIPAA, telemedicine software reduces unnecessary office visits. In addition to boosting medical practices’ efficiency, it offers a convenience to patients, which is helpful in building recurring clientele. To learn more, see business.com’s best picks page and reviews of the top telemedicine software on the market today.

What to Expect in 2022

EMR software is now a well-established part of most healthcare organizations’ workflows. From hospitals and enterprise health systems to single-provider practices, almost everyone uses EMR software thanks to government incentives and penalties intended to spur mass adoption.

Whether organizations use the on-premises systems favored by large health groups or the cloud-based software preferred by small medical practices, there is a wide range of solutions to meet the various needs of healthcare organizations and their patients.

In 2022, look for continued updates to existing EMR platforms, a consolidation of brands in the industry, and healthcare providers’ continued use of the systems they’ve chosen for their practices, given the significant upfront investment in capital and time.

Allied Market Research has predicted that the global EMR software industry will reach $63.8 million by 2030, up from $30.6 billion in 2020. That represents a 7.7% compound annual growth rate over a 10-year period.

Additionally, EMR software became central to healthcare professionals’ operations during the COVID-19 pandemic by tracking patient data and supporting contact-tracing efforts. Moreover, an expanding geriatric population in the U.S. is bolstering projections for an increasing need for robust patient recordkeeping and management.

Cloud-based software remains a significant driver of growth in the EMR space as well. However, on-premises software in hospitals and enterprise health systems remains a dominant segment of the industry.

Cybersecurity remains a persistent concern for physician practices, while the greatest improvements in EMR/EHR will be in patient engagement; accessibility; regulation and integration; and interoperability between EMR and PMS systems.

Medical Software FAQs

What are the key functions of an EMR system?

EMR systems are designed to support the clinical operations of a medical practice, including a healthcare provider’s ability to chart an encounter, electronically prescribe medications, order lab tests and view the results, and monitor patients’ medical histories. EMR systems are also designed to integrate with medical practice management software for patient registration, appointment scheduling and billing purposes.

What are the key functions of an EMR system?

EMR systems are designed to support the clinical operations of a medical practice, including a healthcare provider’s ability to chart an encounter, electronically prescribe medications, order lab tests and view the results, and monitor patients’ medical histories. EMR systems are also designed to integrate with medical practice management software for patient registration, appointment scheduling and billing purposes.

How can an EMR system benefit a private practice?

EMR systems and the practice management software associated with them help medical practices streamline and automate tasks that previously required extensive labor and repetitive data entry. With healthcare IT platforms, tasks such as documenting clinical encounters and verifying patient insurance eligibility are much quicker. Additionally, tools such as automated appointment reminders reduce pain points, like last-minute cancellations and no-shows.

Patient engagement tools allow patients to take a more active role in their healthcare by regularly updating their information and securely communicating with care providers. Healthcare IT platforms also make it easy for doctors to reference a patient’s history without consulting paper records, thereby reducing the time it takes to find relevant information and eliminating the need for vast paper record archives.

What is an EMR system, and what tasks does it handle?

“EMR” stands for “electronic medical record.” This software supports the clinical side of a medical practice. EMR systems are primarily used for charting patient encounters, referencing medical histories, prescribing medications, and ordering lab tests and viewing the results. Some also have built-in telemedicine tools that allow providers to offer virtual appointments to patients who prefer to meet via video conference.

What are the advantages of an EHR versus an EMR?

In the past, the term “electronic health record” (EHR) referred to a system that could seamlessly transfer data over the internet, while “EMR” referred to a non-networked digital recordkeeping system. Today, most EMR systems are capable of data interchange over a network, so the terms have become largely interchangeable in the industry. Throughout our reviews, we use the terms interchangeably as well.

What to Expect in 2022

EMR software is now a well-established part of most healthcare organizations’ workflows. From hospitals and enterprise health systems to single-provider practices, almost everyone uses EMR software thanks to government incentives and penalties intended to spur mass adoption. 

Whether the on-premises systems favored by large health groups or the cloud-based software preferred by small medical practices, there is a wide range of solutions on the market to meet the various needs of healthcare organizations and their patient populations.

In 2022, look for continued updates to existing EMR platforms, a consolidation of brands in the industry, and healthcare providers settling into the systems they’ve chosen for their practices, given the significant upfront investment in capital and time.

Allied Market Research has reported that the global EMR software industry will reach $63.8 million by 2030, up from $30.6 billion in 2020. That represents a 7.7% compound annual growth rate over a 10 year period. 

According to the report, the space is mainly driven by advancements in artificial intelligence (AI). Additionally, EMR software became central to healthcare professionals’ operations during the COVID-19 pandemic, tracking patient data and supporting efforts in contact tracing. Moreover, an expanding geriatric population in the U.S. is bolstering projections that the need for robust patient record-keeping and management will continue to grow. 

Cloud-based software remains a significant driver of growth in the EMR space as well. However, on-premises software in hospitals and enterprise health systems remains a dominant segment of the industry. 

Any medical software platform that a practice chooses should be able to accommodate forthcoming Medicare changes. For example, the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has proposed expanding its dental coverage. This expansion, though not finalized, is expected to cover procedures that can be proven to improve disease and treatment outcomes. It could change how, and for what, practices bill their patients, and medical software must accommodate these changes to be effective.

Leah Zitter
Leah Zitter
business.com Contributing Writer
Leah Zitter PhD is a trained journalist who covers emerging technology across more than 60 industries. Her PhD is in Behavioral Neuroscience which beautifully intersects with the AI/ ML topography. Clients include Google, AWS and Microsoft.
Image Credit: Lordn / Getty Images
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