If you run a healthcare practice and you’ve decided to convert your manual paperwork online, you may be wondering which software program is going to service your business best. It’s a good idea to do a bit of research to ensure that the one you choose is easy to use and isn’t going to take you longer to navigate through than manually doing it. Two of the most popular choices are Medical Practice Management (PMS) and EHR (Electronic Health Record) Software. Throughout this post, we will share everything you need to know about the two to help you make your choice.
While PMS and EHR software offer similarities, they have some distinct differences.
Practice Management Systems explained
Medical Practice Software essentially takes over most administrative tasks by automating and simplifying them. Some features include:
- Scheduling appointments
- Automated reminders
- Generate invoices and billing
- Take clinical notes
- Save time with letter template
- Process claims quickly and correctly
This system does include patient information however, it is mostly used for managing office work within the practice rather than medical history and patient care. Businesses that have practice management software boost productivity and reduce errors.
Unlike PMS, EHR doesn’t focus on the business side of a practice; it’s designed to help with documenting and storing patient data. Keeping information electronically means it can be accessed quickly as it’s all stored in one place. It can minimise the number of medication errors made using manual processes. As data is typed rather than handwritten, it is easy to read and the provider can plan appropriate care based on the patients’ medical history. Some features include:
- Allergy information
- Diagnosis coding
- Patient history
- Chart notes
- Storing test results
EHRs help health care providers by:
- Enabling safe and correct prescribing
- Increase overall productivity
- Helping diagnose, treat, and administer safer care by reducing errors
- Sharing client information with other relevant health care providers safely and securely
- Keeping data safe with encrypted security measures
- Simplifying paperwork, billing and coding that is legible and accurate which makes for quick access and efficient care
- Promoting better health outcomes and patient interactions
Which is better for my practice?
Deciding whether Practice Management software or EHR is better for your facility depends on which areas of your business you think would benefit most from implementing a software system. Practice management software’s primary objective is handling everyday administrative tasks whereas EHR software is patient-centric and aims to improve medical diagnosis, treatment, and documentation. Both offer some duplicate features, for instance, Practice Management Software has personalised treatment notes that are found in EHR. EHR software allows you to control patient scheduling and this is a key feature found in Practice Management Software. Both function on automation, practice management software is mainly used by office staff and EHR is used by the practitioner.
Deciding which company to use
A quick internet search will reveal hundreds of Practice Management Software and EHR Software brands. So how do you choose which one is most suited to your practice? You should compare the different systems to see what benefits they offer, how they work and how much they cost to help you narrow down your choices. Medical software is constantly evolving to bring you the latest and updated technologies. They make running a practice easier and more streamlined. Make sure that the software you choose offers features you feel would benefit the business. Most reputable Practice Management software and EHR companies offer free trials, this is the simplest way to establish which system serves your practice the best.
Do I need both?
While you don’t need both, many practices elect to use them interchangeably rather than just choosing one as they improve overall efficiency and promote better health outcomes for their patients.
Practice Management Software helps clinics by:
- Streamlining workflow and processes, this is one of the biggest advantages of PMS. You can streamline day to day duties which saves time and improves patient care.
- Automating monotonous tasks, rather than having your staff complete standard administrative work it can be taken care of by an automated process.
- Reducing errors, clear and accurate information can be documented in real-time.
- Improving staff productivity and revenue, Medical Practice Software automates many tasks such as appointment reminders and bookings. Capabilities such as online booking and low stock alerts allow you to increase revenue.
- Improving billing, this leads to fast and accurate rebates.
- Integrating with EHR software, this enables practices to form a unified solution that both office staff and providers can benefit from.
- Improving quality care, by automating time-consuming office tasks it frees up more time for your staff to focus on other important areas of the business and patient relationships.
- Building a strong reputation, being reliable and consistent improves overall satisfaction. Practice Management Software enables processes to run more smoothly which translates to the service the patient is receiving.
When deciding whether PMS or EHR is better for your business, you should look at the number errors, productivity and overall functionality of both the health care and the office side of the clinic. This will help you decide which area could benefit from having a software system. You may decide to use both to form a comprehensive integrated system. Here at Nookal, we offer state of the art Practice Management Software that will completely overhaul the way you do business. Start your free 30-day trial with us today!