3 benefits of practice management software for small clinics

If you work at a small clinic or medical practice, you know that a lot goes on behind the scenes.

Caring for patients is one thing, but keeping up with insurance payouts, medical billing codes, ordering office supplies, and other details can put a lot of stress on your staff. A lot of times, small clinics use different software solutions for different tasks — for example, an EHR system for patient records, plus a separate billing software to track finances. On top of that, administrators may be handling a lot of manual tasks, such as scheduling, ordering supplies, calling for appointment reminders, and more. So how do you keep up with everything? Fortunately, practice management software can help streamline all of these operations and keep your clinic running smoothly.

We know what you’re probably thinking: adding another IT solution to the suite you’re already using (or have chosen not to use) might not sound appealing. However, there are several benefits to using medical practice management software, or PM software, to keep your small clinic running smoothly.

What Is Practice Management Software?
In its simplest form, PM software is designed to streamline day-to-day tasks within a small clinic or medical practice. In general, PM software handles the backend tasks at a medical facility, including accessing patient records, insurance claims statements, the appointment schedule, billing information, and more. Sometimes, PM software is confused with other stand-alone programs that are often used by small clinics, such as scheduling software, an EHR system, or medical billing software.

The goal of PM software is to reduce the time doctors and support staff spend on paperwork. This frees up time to focus on patient health, which may improve patient outcomes. While most PM software offers dozens of features, many small clinics look for features that can help cut down the time spent on these tasks:

  • Patient billing. PM software can help prepare patient bills, send electronic bills, collect electronic payments, and even integrate employee payroll into the system.
  • Scheduling. Back in the day, every small medical practice had a paper calendar to schedule appointments and keep track of patient visits. Today, many clinics have upgraded to calendar software, but PM software can handle appointment scheduling for you. On top of handling new appointments, it can track staff scheduling and send appointment reminders.
  • Managing reports and documents. Small clinics have an enormous amount of filing to handle, from prescriptions, to billing, to patient registration forms. PM software can help organize and store these files, making it easier to find necessary paperwork.

On top of those features, PM software can automate time-consuming tasks such as inventory management, patient registration forms, and insurance claims management.

Benefits of Using Practice Management Software
PM software can be packed with the best features imaginable, but that doesn’t mean much unless you’re able to put them to good use in your practice. So just what can all of these bells and whistles help you achieve? Here are three benefits of using practice management software in small clinics:

  1. Faster payments and reimbursements. As mobile technology adoption continues to rise, people have high expectations for being able to pay for their care quickly and easily. PM software allows you to send and collect payments electronically, cutting down on processing times.
  2. Keep records updated and accessible. PM software makes it easy to update your records, as you can gather and update patient data through an integrated system. When you need to look into the status of a patient’s bills or insurance claims, it’s easy to run a simple search and open a document. On top of that, many PM software programs have the ability to run reports, helping you to review your financial records, upcoming appointment calendar, and more.
  3. Automate mundane tasks. Who wants to spend hours calling patients to remind them of upcoming appointments? Or keeping a tedious inventory of supplies? PM software can automate these tasks, providing reminder messages to patients and automatically ordering supplies when your stock gets low.

Most importantly, utilizing the features in PM software can help your office run more smoothly and cut down the time doctors and other clinical staff spend completing paperwork and gathering patient data. This allows clinicians to spend more time on patients — hopefully improving patient outcomes.

Megan Pacella is a software writer for TechnologyAdvice specializing in software onboarding and FSM. She has also written for USA Today, Bearings Guide, 10Best Nashville, and other publications.

The views, opinions and positions expressed within these guest posts are those of the author alone and do not represent those of Becker's Hospital Review/Becker's Healthcare. The accuracy, completeness and validity of any statements made within this article are not guaranteed. We accept no liability for any errors, omissions or representations. The copyright of this content belongs to the author and any liability with regards to infringement of intellectual property rights remains with them.

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