Your practice management system will be the brain of your clinic, designed to make your practice run smoothly by streamlining your day-to-day tasks.
But not every piece of software is created equal, so here’s a list of six key things to look for when you’re searching for the system that best fits your practice.
Good practice management software works across your entire clinic, on both the management side and the clinical side. Whether it’s managing patient bookings, staff movements, or sorting out your finances, it’s much easier if your software does it all.
Software that only focuses on a few set functions will end up being a hassle to use, as you have to switch between multiple platforms.
Your PMS should make your processes smoother and everyone’s lives easier – no one wants to duplicate work or toggle between two systems.
So find one that covers everything your practice does and integrates with any solutions you need it to.
Good practice management software makes reporting easy. Whether it’s patient details and statistics, finances, or payroll, you need your regular reports generated quickly, easily, and on time. Find software that offers customisable reports, comprehensive data, easy-to-read reports, so you can keep track of everything you need to.
Your practice relies on your practice management system so imagine it if just stopped working one day. What would you do?
Make sure your software offers full-system support should anything go wrong, and that their technical support service is available 24/7 (because system errors don’t only happen during business hours). It should include regular software updates with minimal downtime for your clinic so your system keeps running smoothly.
Your practice is going to grow, so you need a system that has the capacity to grow as you do. Make sure your software is able to incorporate larger volumes of data, that it can be upgraded in the future, and that training and staff support systems are offered as your practice grows.
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Good practice management software should have the ability to incorporate other tools and software to keep your practice running smoothly. For example, make sure it can integrate with an online booking and appointment reminder system like HealthEngine. This means you can manage your patient data, bookings, and appointment reminder communications all from the one system.
Pricing is a tricky one, as this doesn’t just mean your upfront spend. Think about price in relation to return on investment. If a PMS costs $100 per month, but allows you to keep patients and practice staff happy, while facilitiating an extra 5 bookings per month worth $40 each, then that spend has given you a much greater return than the initial cost.
A product that’s intuitive, easy-to-use, and has the ability to grow with your practice might not necessarily be the cheapest out there—but it will be the best long-term choice.
Another thing to think about is how you pay for it. A monthly subscription fee might sound good right now, but a year down the track it might be more cost-effective to pay a yearly fee.
So when you’re looking at pricing it pays to balance short-term costs/benefits long-term value.
Your practice management software has to be suited to your practice. It should mould itself around your team’s processes to support what they need. It should be easy for your staff to use and provide the features and benefits you need.
The good news is there are plenty of systems out there to choose from. So work out your needs, start doing some research, and have fun with it!