business.com receives compensation from some of the companies listed on this page. Advertising Disclosure
World's Best Boss

Do you have the world's best boss?Enter them to win two tickets to Sandals!

BDC Hamburger Icon

MENU

Close
BDC Logo
Search Icon
Updated Mar 20, 2024

The Best Medical Software of 2024

author image
Leah Zitter, Senior Analyst & Expert on Business Strategy
Verified CheckEditor Verified
Verified Check
Editor Verified
Close
A business.com editor verified this analysis to ensure it meets our standards for accuracy, expertise and integrity.
Best for RCM Companies
  • Starts at $110 monthly per provider
  • Free implementation and training
  • Offers medical biller software
Visit Site
Links to RXNT
  • Starts at $110 monthly per provider
  • Free implementation and training
  • Offers medical biller software
Best for Large Practices
CareCloud
  • Complete medical office solution
  • Easy-to-use software
  • Tools to boost practice efficiency
Links to CareCloud
  • Complete medical office solution
  • Easy-to-use software
  • Tools to boost practice efficiency
Best for Billing
DrChrono
Dr. Chrono logo
  • 96% clean claims rate
  • Compatibility with over 20 specialties
  • Most advanced mobile solution
Links to DrChrono
  • 96% clean claims rate
  • Compatibility with over 20 specialties
  • Most advanced mobile solution
Best for Ease of Use
AdvancedMD
  • Affordable medical office solution
  • Reliable and secure software
  • Unified workflow via smart dashboard
Links to AdvancedMD
  • Affordable medical office solution
  • Reliable and secure software
  • Unified workflow via smart dashboard
Best for New Practices
Tebra (Formerly Kareo)
Tebra logo
  • Design targeted at independent practices
  • Seamless integration
  • Intuitive and flexible dashboard
Links to Tebra (Formerly Kareo)
  • Design targeted at independent practices
  • Seamless integration
  • Intuitive and flexible dashboard

Table of Contents

Open row

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.

Why You Should Trust Us

At business.com, we’ve independently evaluated hundreds of business software and services to determine the best products for small businesses. Our expert editorial staff identified the best medical software based on firsthand experience, comprehensive research and rigorous testing. Each product was analyzed and rated on a number of factors, including cost, ease of use, coding integration and features. The business.com team prioritizes accuracy and fairness in all of our assessments. Learn more about our methodology.

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.

Tip Bulb

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

8

Researched

5

Selected

Compare Our Best Picks

BDC Ribbon
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

Customer care

Pricing

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

$349-629 /month

Around $199/month

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

$150-$300/month

Starts at $140/month

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

Reports

Dozens of pre-built reports

Custom tables can be turned into daily, weekly or monthly reports

Multiple pre-built, speciality-specific templates for reports.

More than 150 standard and nearly 500 custom financial reports

More than 200 templates for reports, charts and automated emails. Real-time reporting engine.

Library of custom clinical reports

Implementation

4 to 8 weeks

Varies by package

Typically takes 30-60 days

About 20 hours . Involves both training & implementation

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

iPad & iPhone

Patient Kiosk & Admin Connect (iOS/Android)

iPad, iPhone and Apple Watch

iOS/ Android

Medical billing service

No RCM; billing software

Yes

Yes

Yes

Third-party referral

Yes

Review Link
Scroll Table

Our Reviews

RXNT: Best for RCM Companies

  • RXNT is competitively priced, starting at $110 per provider per month for EMR software and $298 per provider per month for the full suite.
  • There are no additional fees for implementation and training during the onboarding process.
  • RXNT does not offer outsourced revenue cycle management, which could be a drawback for practice’s that don’t want to keep billing in-house.
Editor's Rating: 0/10
Visit Site

RXNT is a good choice for practices on a budget that still want access to a strong slate of features. Starting at $298 per month per provider for the full suite of medical software, RXNT is among the most competitively priced medical software platforms we reviewed. Training and implementation are included at no additional fee, and weekly coaching sessions during onboarding are helpful to ensuring your system is set up properly and staff are up to speed.

RXNT offers electronic prescribing of controlled substances and lab integrations, though both represent an additional fee beyond the subscription price. And while the platform offers strong billing tools, RXNT does not provide outsourced medical billing services, so practice’s will either need a medical biller on staff or find an RCM provider that works in RXNT’s billing software. 

We 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, enabling practices to support remote appointments. 

We recommend RXNT for small practices on a budget and those that are looking for the most important medical software features without the high price tag. Growing practices and large healthcare systems may want to look elsewhere for a more scalable platform.

CareCloud: Best Medical Software for Large Practices

CareCloud
  • CareCloud offers tools that eliminate practice inefficiencies and help users increase revenue and modernize the patient experience.
  • The system focuses on driving down costs and streamlining care delivery.
  • CareCloud charges additional fees for managed data migration.
Editor's Rating: 8.9/10

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.

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.

Through CareCloud’s talkEHR system for physical therapists, practitioners can easily and comprehensively track patient progress and manage patient data. CareCloud has touted the system as a straightforward end-to-end platform for PT practices’ needs. Through the platform’s integration with CareCloud Remote, PT practices can also streamline patient communications, scheduling, feedback, credentialing and referral management.

Additionally, talkEHR is Chrome Enterprise Recommended, meaning it meets all of Google’s cybersecurity and testing protocols. This designation also indicates that talkEHR is entirely compatible with the ChromeOS ecosystem.

CareCloud has partnered with Google Cloud to introduce generative AI features within its medical software. Practitioners can use these AI tools to, for example, automatically surface medical factors and insurance considerations while deciding on appropriate treatment plans. Further details are expected in the coming months.

DrChrono: Best Medical Software for Billing

DrChrono
Dr. Chrono logo
  • The easy-to-use software provides a seamless experience, with one login for billing, charting and scheduling.
  • The software is accessible from desktop computers, iPhones, iPads and Apple Watches.
  • DrChrono does not offer unlimited text and phone patient reminders.
Editor's Rating: 8.4/10

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.

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.

AdvancedMD: Best Medical Software for Ease of Use

AdvancedMD
  • AdvancedMD’s modern look makes it simple and fun to use.
  • The dashboard and navigation are color-coded for an intuitive workflow.
  • The system may not be compatible with specialties such as physical therapy and behavioral health.
Editor's Rating: 8.7/10

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.

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.

AvancedMD, based on feedback from more than 400 healthcare providers, has made e improvements to the functionality of the patient engagement suite and the medical cards in the AdvancedMD EMR. AdvancedMD has also rolled out changes to its claim status inquiry tool to minimize manual work and give practices more financial control. We like that AdvancedMD has made these changes based on direct customer feedback.

Among the other valuable features and tools AdvancedMD offers include auto-accept consent forms, growth charts, electronic prior authorization (ePA) follow-up tasks and patient-preferred name changes. They can improve your practice’s recordkeeping, prescribing, charting and patient registration practices. Additional features such as payor contractual reimbursement tracking and unsolicited claims attachments can streamline your billing process.

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.

Tebra (Formerly Kareo): Best Medical Software for New Practices

Tebra (Formerly Kareo)
Tebra logo
  • Tebra features one-click login to the clinical, billing and patient engagement modules.
  • The software includes real-time analytics, claims management, compliance tracking and document management.
  • Tebra no longer offers a medical billing service, which some practices might prefer to use alongside their healthcare IT platform.
Editor's Rating: 8.7/10

We chose Tebra 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.

We like how the interface seamlessly integrates with Tebra 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. Tebra’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.

Tebra’s patient engagement system, Tebra 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.

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

athenahealth: Best Medical Software for Customer Care

athenahealth
  • athenahealth provides tailored customer success programs.
  • The company offers special coaching programs for the software and an Advisory plank, where specialists manage full-cycle recruiting on your behalf.
  • Users are often required to keep an in-house medical biller.
Editor's Rating: 8.9/10

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.
FYIDid you know

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.

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 may again 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. By the end of November 2023, approximately 30 public companies had labeled the Act a risk.

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 significangtly 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.

author image
Leah Zitter, Senior 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."
BDC Logo

Get Weekly 5-Minute Business Advice

B. newsletter is your digest of bite-sized news, thought & brand leadership, and entertainment. All in one email.

Back to top