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Updated Jun 27, 2024

The Best Medical Software of 2024

Medical software from AdvancedMD and Dr Chrono will streamline your healthcare practice and improve the patient experience.

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Written By: Leah ZitterSenior Analyst & Expert on Business Strategy
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A business.com editor verified this analysis to ensure it meets our standards for accuracy, expertise and integrity.
Best for RCM Companies
RXNT
RXNT logo
  • Starts at $110 monthly per provider
  • Free implementation and training
  • 30 to 60-day implementation process
USALinks to RXNT
Visit Site
  • Starts at $110 monthly per provider
  • Free implementation and training
  • 30 to 60-day implementation process
Best for Large Practices
CareCloud
  • Starts at $349 per monthly provider
  • Free training included
  • Implementation period varies
  • Starts at $349 per monthly provider
  • Free training included
  • Implementation period varies
Best for Billing
DrChrono
Dr. Chrono logo
  • Starts at $249 per monthly provider
  • Free implementation and training
  • 30 to 60-day implementation process
  • Starts at $249 per monthly provider
  • Free implementation and training
  • 30 to 60-day implementation process
Best for Ease of Use
AdvancedMD
  • Requires a sales quote
  • Free implementation and training
  • 8- to 11-week implementation period
  • Requires a sales quote
  • Free implementation and training
  • 8- to 11-week implementation period
Best for New Practices
Tebra (Formerly Kareo)
Tebra logo
  • Starts at $150 per monthly provider
  • Free training included
  • 30-day implementation process
  • Starts at $150 per monthly provider
  • Free training included
  • 30-day implementation process

Table of Contents

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How We Decided

When choosing our best picks for medical software, we looked for platforms that make it easy for medical staff to schedule appointments, update patient charts and execute the billing process. We...

MoreMore

When choosing our best picks for medical software, we looked for platforms that make it easy for medical staff to schedule appointments, update patient charts and execute the billing process. We examined each system’s implementation process, patient portal functionality, analytics options and device compatibility. Monthly prices and setup fees also factored into our assessments.

46

evaluated

8

researched

6

chosen

When choosing our best picks for medical software, we looked for platforms that make it easy for medical staff to schedule appointments, update patient charts and execute the billing process. We examined each system’s implementation process, patient portal functionality, analytics options and device compatibility. Monthly prices and setup fees also factored into our assessments.

46

evaluated

8

researched

6

chosen

Medical software is a required part of modern medical practices, not only for regulatory compliance but also for operational efficiency. Medical software helps both the clinical and administrative sides of a practice function more smoothly, from setting and managing appointments to securely sharing patient information to streamlining claims generation, medical billing and financial reporting.

We spent hundreds of hours testing some of the top medical software on the market to determine which were most effective and affordable for small medical practices across a range of specialties. We selected the following six solutions and identified where each excels to help narrow down your search.

CareCloud clinical homescreen

CareCloud’s clinical home screen offers an overview of patient profiles and provider schedules, making it easy for each team member to plan their day. This screen can be easily customized to suit the preferences of each user, showing only the information that’s most relevant to their role. Source: CareCloud

Compare Our Best Picks

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Our Top Picks for 2024
CareCloud
DrChrono
AdvancedMD
Tebra (Formerly Kareo)
athenahealth
Rating (Out of 10)0.08.98.48.78.78.9
Best for

RCM Companies

Large Practices

Billing

Ease of Use

New Practices

Patient Experience

Pricing

$110 per month, per provider (EMR); $193 per month, per provider (PMS); $298 per month, per provider (Full Suite)

$349-629 per month, per provider

Starts at $249 per month, per provider

Discounts for custom bundles of up to 30%. Quote-based plan

$150 to $300 per month, per provider

Starts at $140 per month, per provider

Fees

Implementation and onboarding training included

2 tiers $349-$629/month. 3 -7% of collections

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

2 plans: standard & custom software bundles. Billing: 4%-8% of collections.

Marketing services: $150-$300/month PM: $150-$300/monthMedical billing: 4%-9% of collections

Varying implementation and training fees 4%-7% of collections

Implementation

4 to 8 weeks

Varies by package

Typically takes 30-60 days

8 to 11 weeks

About 30 days from sign-up to fully set- up, trained, and actively using the software

11-week implementation process

Training

Weekly onboarding coaching

Minimal training and onboarding provided in subscription

Included in subscription

No free trial. Free 2-day onsite implementation for practices with collections above $200,000/ month

Training and continued customer support are free

Full solution training and live support in subscription

Mobile app

iOS/Android

iOS/ Android

iOS

iOS/Android

iOS

iOS/ Android

Review Link
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Our Reviews

RXNT logo
  • Base Price: $110/month, per provider (EMR only); $298/month, per provider (EMR and practice management software)
  • Top Features: Strong medical billing tools, iOS and Android mobile application, HIPAA-compliant telehealth module.
  • Implementation and Training: Implementation and training are included free with a subscription. Expect a 30- to 60-day implementation period before the go-live date.
Editor's Rating: 0/10
Visit Site

Why RXNT is Best for RCM Companies

RXNT is our choice for revenue cycle management (RCM) companies because of its strong medical billing tools and competitive pricing. In our testing, we found that medical billers and coders can make effective use of the software to generate and track claims, whether on behalf of a medical practice or as part of an outsourced medical billing team. We also liked that RXNT offers a mobile application on both iOS and Android devices, giving providers the flexibility to use the system on the device they’re most comfortable with. Moreover, the company’s HIPAA-compliant telehealth feature is available across all devices as well, which we felt was especially helpful for practices scheduling remote appointments.

While we found RXNT a useful tool for medical practices, we thought its medical billing service tools were especially useful. We expect medical practices will find the suite effective, but we particularly recommend it for RCM services that are managing the medical billing and coding needs of a portfolio of clients.

RXNT dashboard

This example of RXNT’s dashboard shows a quick overview of key information, like upcoming provider appointments, EPCS data, pending tasks that need attention, and how well the medical software meets interoperability requirements. This dashboard can be customized to display the most relevant information on a user-by-user basis. Source: RXNT

RXNT Cost

Pricing Plan Cost What’s Included
EHR Bundle $110 per month, per provider Access to clinical software features like patient charts, imaging and lab test results
PM Bundle $193 per month, per provider Access to administrative software features like appointment setting, patient demographics and medical billing tools
Full Suite $298 per month, per provider Access to all features in both the EHR bundle and PM bundle
E-Prescribing $665 per year, per provider Support for the electronic prescribing of controlled substances

RXNT Advantages

  • RXNT is competitively priced compared to other medical software we reviewed. Access to the EHR software starts at $110 per month per provider.
  • RXNT includes free training and implementation, including weekly coaching sessions so your team can get up to speed quickly with minimal disruptions.
  • RXNT offers both an iOS and Android mobile application, so providers can use whatever devices they’re most comfortable with to access the platform.

RXNT Disadvantages

  • RXNT’s electronic prescribing of controlled substances (EPCS) represents an additional fee beyond the subscription price, driving costs up slightly for medical practices that need these features.
  • RXNT does not offer outsourced medical billing services and requires an in-house medical biller and coder.
  • RXNT is most suitable for small practices and is not as scalable for growing practices and large healthcare systems as other medical software we reviewed.

RXNT Customer Reviews

RXNT received an 8.0/10 from users who reviewed the platform on TrustRadius. Users repeatedly praised RXNT’s medical software for its ease of use and the efficiency of the data migration process. Others, however, complained about sometimes slow or unresponsive customer service.

  • Base Price: $349 per month, per provider
  • Top Features: Patient experience management tools, drag-and-drop appointment scheduling, batch insurance eligibility verification
  • Implementation and Training: Some training is included with the subscription price. The implementation period varies depending on practice size, specialty and scope of needs.
Editor's Rating: 8.9/10

Why CareCloud is Best for Large Practices

We chose CareCloud as the best medical software for large practices because of its support for more than 70 specialties, its wide range of available integrations, and user-friendly features like its drag-and-drop scheduling feature. Large practices need a great deal of flexibility and a comprehensive slate of features and integrations, and in our testing of CareCloud we found it checked these boxes nicely.

We also liked the CareCloud Breeze add-on, a mobile patient portal that allows patients to manage their own registration, check-in and payments, helping expedite each visit. Breeze also supports HIPAA-compliant telehealth visits, which can reduce the need for in-person appointments and keep the waiting room moving smoothly.

CareCloud interface

We found CareCloud’s user interface easy to manage on both the clinical and administrative sides of the platform. An intuitive and customizable user experience helps streamline tasks and reduce time in the system, keeping things moving efficiently for large practices with a lot to do. Source: CareCloud

CareCloud Costs

Pricing Plan Cost What’s Included
CareCloud Central (PM) $349 per month, per provider Practice management features like scheduling visits, updating patient profiles, checking insurance and medical billing tools
CareCloud Charts (EHR + PM) $628 per month, per provider Adds EHR system features, including charting, imaging, lab integrations and test results, and e-prescribing medications
CareCloud Breeze $199 per month, per provider Add-on that includes patient engagement features like self-service portals and check-in kiosks

CareCloud Advantages

  • CareCloud offers one of the most intuitive user experiences out of all the medical software platforms we reviewed, including drag-and-drop functionality and simple design.
  • CareCloud’s pricing provides good value, starting at $349 per month, per provider for just the EMR or practice management system, and ranging to $628 per month, per provider for the full suite.
  • CareCloud supports a holistic and efficient practice workflow, streamlining administrative and clinical tasks to keep things moving for busy large practices.

CareCloud Disadvantages

  • Expect CareCloud representatives to push you to sign a contract of three years, as the company prefers longer engagements with customers.
  • CareCloud Breeze is an effective patient experience tool but represents an additional $199 per month, per provider charge.
  • Implementation and training is based on a tiered program and may represent an additional fee. The implementation process also varies considerably in length depending on a practice’s specific requirements.

CareCloud Customer Reviews

CareCloud received a 9.1/10 from users who reviewed the platform on TrustRadius. Customers particularly enjoyed CareCloud’s training and customer service, both of which they report are exceptional. However, some users reported slow loading times and crashes that could be disruptive to operations.

Check out our complete CareCloud review for more information.

Dr. Chrono logo
  • Base Price: $249 per month, per provider
  • Top Features: User-friendly interface with simple drag and drop features, HIPAA-compliant patient portal, automated workflows for practice management functions
  • Implementation and Training: Implementation and training are included free at all subscription levels. Expect 30 to 60 days for the implementation period.
Editor's Rating: 8.4/10

Why DrChrono is Best for Billing

We chose DrChrono as the best for billing because it offers user-friendly, robust billing tools — including an integrated claims management tool and electronic remittance advice (ERA) posting for claims at higher pricing tiers. When testing, we especially liked DrChrono’s live claims feed so billing staff can easily monitor claims as they’re processed. The company also maintains a staff of medical billing and coding experts who can support practices as they manage their revenue cycle, something we liked for new and small practices in particular.

During our testing of DrChrono, we found the user experience to be intuitive and straightforward. Your staff won’t need a lot of training to get up to speed with DrChrono’s software, which we found helpful for keeping tabs on how well the billing team is performing on your behalf. Moreover, we liked that DrChrono’s ease of use means other functions won’t be disrupted, such as setting appointments, verifying patient insurance eligibility, updating patient demographics and more.

DrChrono user interface

We especially liked the clean and easily navigable DrChrono user interface, which makes it easy for new users to find the tools they’re looking for. Coupled with free training, any team should be able to get up to speed with DrChrono in no time with minimal disruptions. Source: DrChrono

DrChrono Costs

Pricing Plan Cost What’s Included
Prometheus $249 per month, per provider Basic EMR and practice management features, including appointment scheduling, appointment reminders, patient portal, medical charting, e-prescribing, and email/text messages.
Hippocrates $349 per month, per provider Expanded e-prescribing, lab integrations, real-time insurance eligibility verification, additional messages.
Apollo $599 per month, per provider Integrated claims management tool for expanded billing, electronic remittance advice posting for claims, additional messages.
Apollo Plus 4 to 8% of monthly collections All Apollo features, plus outsourced revenue cycle management (RCM) services

DrChrono Advantages

  • DrChrono is cost-effective, starting at $249 per month, per provider for access to the most basic tier of the software, with four tiers for practices of varying sizes.
  • DrChrono offers one of the easiest-to-use platforms we reviewed and includes training at all subscription levels.
  • DrChrono features highly effective medical billing tools and maintains a team of billing and coding experts to support practices throughout their revenue cycle.

DrChrono Disadvantages

  • In our testing, DrChrono had lengthy customer support wait times and required work orders to be submitted to resolve minor issues.
  • Some of the most useful features DrChrono offers are restricted to more expensive plans.
  • DrChrono only offers an iOS mobile application, so providers who prefer to use Android devices are unable to do so.

DrChrono Customer Reviews

DrChrono received a 9.0/10 from users who reviewed the platform on TrustRadius.

Check out our complete DrChrono review for more information.

  • Base Price: Starts at $429 per month, per provider for practice management software; starts at $729 per month, per provider for the full suite. Discounts up to 30 percent are available for customized bundles.
  • Top Features: Customizable dashboard with user-friendly “task donuts”, scalable slate of features suitable for growing practices, and custom bundles with steep discounts for tailor-made programs.
  • Implementation and Training: Implementation and guided training are included. Free two-day on-site implementation is available for practices with more than $200,000 in monthly collections.
Editor's Rating: 8.7/10

Why AdvancedMD is Best for Ease of Use

We chose AdvancedMD as the best medical software for ease of use because of features like its color-coded navigation, which makes for an intuitive workflow and enjoyable overall experience. We liked that the dashboard is readily configurable and easily scales and adjusts to practices as your office grows without making the software clunky to use.

We also liked that AdvancedMD offers a custom bundle for large practices or health systems that need a tailor-made plan. These bundles allow you to create a platform that’s specific to your organization’s needs, and AdvancedMD offers some significant discounts for custom bundles as well. As healthcare organizations grow, their circumstances become increasingly unique, so we especially liked the flexibility AdvancedMD offers in creating custom packages for customers.

AdvancedMD dashboard

We liked AdvancedMD’s dashboard, which provides a three-column approach that displays a provider’s schedule, outstanding tasks, and a feed of documentation in need of signatures or other attention. The dashboard acts as a hub for keeping processes moving forward, a workflow support tool that we really liked. (Source: AdvancedMD)

AdvancedMD Costs

Pricing Plan Cost What’s Included
Practice Management $429 per month, per provider Includes appointment scheduling, insurance eligibility verification, claims management and billing tools, credit card processing and financial reporting.
EHR + Practice Management $729 per month, per provider Adds EHR software including patient charting, patient portal, customizable clinical templates, mobile application and e-prescribing tools.
Patient Engagement + EHR + Practice Management $999 per month, per provider All medical software features plus the patient engagement platform, which includes telehealth, appointment reminders, check-in kiosks and reputation management tools.
Custom Bundle Requires a Quote Built custom based on medical practice’s needs

 AdvancedMD Advantages

  • AdvancedMD offers a powerful slate of features, supporting small and mid-sized medical practices with ease.
  • We found AdvancedMD to be among the easiest-to-use medical software platforms we reviewed, with guided training to help staff get up to speed quickly.
  • We liked that AdvancedMD offers custom bundles and discounts so you can tailor the software to your unique needs.

AdvancedMD Disadvantages

  • AdvancedMD is one of the more expensive medical software platforms we reviewed.
  • The patient engagement add-on brings the total cost up to $999 per month, per provider.
  • AdvancedMD includes an involved implementation period that could take up to 11 weeks.

AdvancedMD Customer Reviews

AdvancedMD received a 7.3/10 from users who reviewed the platform on TrustRadius. Users applauded AdvancedMD’s implementation process; despite the lengthy-time period, many called it thorough and effective. However, some users complained about the company’s customer service.

Check out our complete AdvancedMD review for more information.

Tebra logo
  • Base Price: Requires a quote.
  • Top Features: Intuitive user experience, fast implementation process, automated workflows for improved efficiency
  • Implementation and Training: Implementation and training are included in subscription. Tebra offers a fast implementation period of about 30 days.
Editor's Rating: 8.7/10

Why Tebra is Best for New Practices

Tebra is our pick for the best medical software for new practices because of its cost-effective price point and user-friendly interface. We like that the platform isn’t packed with unnecessary bells and whistles. Instead, it does a good job of providing the tools practices need to operate without any frills. It also offers the fastest implementation period out of all the platforms we reviewed, so new practices can get up and running to establish their revenue cycle quickly.

We like that Tebra caters specifically to new and independent medical practices, which need a straightforward and intuitive platform that can help them operate effectively. Many medical software platforms are sprawling and complex, which is important for large practices with immense needs but can sometimes be overkill for smaller practices. Tebra knows its audience and caters to it, and we like the dedication the company brings to serving the independent healthcare space.

Tebra scheduling tool

Core features like patient scheduling are straightforward and intuitive with Tebra, reducing the time needed for training and helping new practices launch operations quickly. Source: Tebra

Tebra Advantages

  • Tebra is intuitive and provides the core features new and independent practices need to operate effectively.
  • Tebra offers more than 200 pre-built templates for reports, charts, and automated email messages.
  • Tebra offered one of the fastest implementation periods in our review of medical software with the ability to go live in just 30 days.

Tebra Disadvantages

  • Tebra does not publish its pricing publicly and representatives declined to share any numbers with us during our review.
  • Tebra does not offer the more advanced features that growing and large practices may want to use.
  • Tebra’s mobile application is only supported by iOS devices, so providers who prefer Android devices will not be able to use them.

Tebra Customer Reviews

Tebra received a 6.9/10 from users who reviewed the platform on TrustRadius. Many users were pleased with Tebra’s usability and flexibility, which made training and onboarding easy. However, some reported bugs and crashes that could often be disruptive.

Check out our complete Tebra review for more information.

  • Base Price: Requires a quote, but estimated to start at $140 per month, per provider
  • Top Features: athenaNet network-wide reporting and baselining, consultation and coaching support, robust library of customizable clinical reports.
  • Implementation and Training: Implementation support and full training are included in the subscription price of the software. Expect a lengthy implementation period of about 11 weeks.
Editor's Rating: 8.9/10

Why athenahealth is Best for Patient Experience

We found athenahealth to be the best medical software for patient experience because it offers a level of visibility into patient data, unlike other platforms we reviewed. Thanks to athenaNet, providers have access to information from all other organizations using athenahealth software, which can be leveraged to improve the overall patient experience and boost satisfaction. We loved how athenahealth made use of data from its wide network of healthcare organizations, and data-driven medical practices will find it invaluable for improving operations.

athenahealth charting tools

We liked how athenahealth’s clinical tools make charting easy, with easily identifiable fields for data entry. Each field can be enabled or disabled based on the provider’s preferences and the practice’s needs. Source: athenahealth

athenahealth Advantages

  • athenahealth offers some of the most robust reporting tools and data-driven insights out of all the platforms we reviewed.
  • Customer success programs provide guided support for exceeding baseline performance metrics set by practices of similar size and specialty.
  • athenahealth’s consultative model means medical practices will always have support from the company, which can help provide advice based on their experience with other organizations.

athenahealth Disadvantages

  • athenahealth’s software comes with a fairly steep learning curve and it may take some time for new users to master, potentially causing some disruptions.
  • athenahealth does not publicly post its pricing and company representatives declined to give us any numbers during our review.
  • athenahealth requires a fairly lengthy 11-week implementation process that is longer than most medical software platforms we reviewed.

athenahealth Customer Reviews

athenahealth received an 8.0/10 from users who reviewed the platform on TrustRadius. Customers gave athenahealth big points for its reporting suite and the data it provided from athenaNet. However, others cited customization as lacking, particularly for custom reports and the dashboard.

Check out our complete athenahealth review for more information.

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?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?

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.

DrChrono EHR software

Healthcare providers engage with EHR software on the clinical side of the practice, using it to fill out patient charts, prescribe medications, and order lab tests and review results. This example comes from DrChrono, our best pick for billing tools. Source: DrChrono

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.

CareCloud reporting

Practice management software provides detailed reports and billing tools like this CareCloud claims management center to help your administrative team stay on top of financial performance. Source: CareCloud

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 the practice’s front and back office operations, 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 importantly, 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.

TipBottom line

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.
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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.
  • 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.

Medical Software FAQs

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.

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.

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.

“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.

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 2024

Medical 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 medical software thanks to government incentives and penalties intended to spur mass adoption.

In 2024, look for continued updates to existing medical software 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 medical software industry will reach $63.8 billion by 2030, up from $30.6 billion in 2020, according to Allied Market Research. That represents a 7.7 percent compound annual growth rate over 10 years.

According to the report, the space is mainly driven by advancements in artificial intelligence (AI). New developments in this technology are already bearing this out. For example, some doctors are using DocsGPT, a ChatGPT-powered platform, to write post-surgery instructions, patient referrals and death certificates. The platform is powerful enough that leading EMR vendors may eventually have little choice but to fully integrate it into their software.

AI is also proving to be useful in the development of new patient care systems. NYU Langone Health researchers recently found success with using ChatGPT to facilitate communication between medical professionals and developers on patient messaging systems.

In this study, ChatGPT has been helpful in translating nuanced medically-focused prompts from doctors and nurses into language developers can understand. This advancement could prove beneficial in designing patient messaging systems that provide relevant, helpful tips for patients with conditions such as diabetes.

In 2024, another type of technology may start being integrated into the umbrella of medical software. According to Virti research, 77 percent of healthcare organizations are using virtual reality (VR) for staff training in pre-operative preparation, empathy and communication. Expect VR to gradually join EMR and PMS as types of technology included in the medical software umbrella in 2023.

An emphasis on data security is expected as the use of cloud-based software continues. This emphasis may become especially prevalent in light of the October 2023 announcement that the medical billing service Arietis Health experienced a major data breach. A suspected ransomware attack on UnitedHealth Group unit Change Healthcare in February 2024 may contribute to this focus on security as well. Expect your medical software provider to respond with increased security measures – and the expectation that your practice ups its cybersecurity as well.

Alongside security, quality in medical billing may be emphasized in 2024. According to a December 2023 study, only 38 percent of U.S. hospitals met three key billing criteria. These were the timely delivery of itemized patient bills, patient access to qualified billing employees and hospital legal action on outstanding patient payments. Given hospitals’ lacking quality on all these fronts, expect medical billing services to prioritize them in 2024 for health systems of all sizes.

There may also be consumer and legislation expectations that medical practices prioritize transparency in their billing. In Texas, for example, a new law requires hospitals to provide patients with clear, itemized invoices ahead of sending them to collections. In Colorado, one consumer made national headlines with his complaints to the state government about billing errors that could affect tens of thousands of people. This suggests that a strong focus on billing transparency is necessary for medical practices in 2024.

Similarly, in Minnesota, the Attorney General’s office is investigating the billing procedures of the health systems Mayo Clinic and Allina Health. This investigation indicates an increasing government focus on medical billing practices that keep consumers happy. Using your medical software to power this billing transparency should be a prerogative in 2024.

Additionally, the No Surprises Act that went into effect in 2023 and banned unexpected medical bills for patients came under fire in 2023 – and continues to be disputed in 2024. In February 2023, a federal district court struck down part of the law, but in July 2023, federal executive agencies asked the court to reverse this decision. In April 2024, the Litigation Center for the American Medical Association filed an amicus brief requesting the original decision be upheld. As approximately 30 public companies labeled the Act a risk in November 2023, it’s apparent this law will continue to be contested in court.

The Biden administration’s 2024 progress report suggests that this labeling is correct. In more than 80 percent of Act-related legal disputes, mandated insured payments to out-of-network providers exceeded their equivalents for contracted providers. The three federal agencies co-managing the Act are also spending significantly more time enforcing it than expected. As enforcement of the Act changes, practices may need to alter how they use their medical software to oversee patient billing. The No Surprises Act is thus key to keep track of in 2024.

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Written By: Leah ZitterSenior Analyst & Expert on Business Strategy
Leah Zitter's long-held passion for psychology and science led her to not only a doctorate but a career covering emerging technology in healthcare and related sectors. Her expertise has been trusted by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and her analysis of medical software has proven invaluable for medical practices. Zitter has also studied SaaS and analytics more generally on behalf of clients like Google, Microsoft, Amazon Web Services and more. She also contributed to the book "Strategize Up: The Simplified Blueprint To Scaling Your Business."
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