Swift health information exchange is the need of the hour in the healthcare sector, with most doctors converting to electronic documentation with EMRs. With clinical documentation and health information exchange taking precedence, doctors have little time to focus on office administration and profitability. However, established EMR vendors now offer the perfect solution for such practices in the form of “all-in-one” software packages. These packages provide practice owners with a single solution accommodating clinical documentation, office administration, scheduling and billing along with advanced reporting capabilities. Without the need to run two separate software (EMR and Practice Management), these competitively priced packages reduce acquisition cost and provide better value.
With health IT adoption on the rise, there are now hundreds of vendors in the market trying to capture their share of the care community. This has meant that vendors are now looking to offer greater value to their clients, in an attempt to stay ahead of competition with offerings such as the aforementioned “all-in-one” software packages. Standalone practice management software (PMS) is by no means a new concept in healthcare. However, it’s recent popularity can be directly attributed to the government’s backing of electronic health information processing and dissemination.
As EMRs deal with the clinical operations within a practice, PMS simplifies administrative tasks such as scheduling, monitoring appointments, follow ups, insurance verification, billing and reporting etc. With the right amount of training, practice staff can accomplish routine tasks much faster, with less errors and duplication. The right solution can ensure better coordination between clinicians and their staff to improve the overall efficiency of the practice – saving time and money for patients and physicians. Furthermore, the incorporation of features such as OCR (optical character recognition), online insurance eligibility verification, text messaging (alerts and reminders) and data mining reports etc., has drastically improved practice profitability and eliminated redundant workflows in small practices.
Fortunately for providers, not all among their staff can access sensitive patient information or the billing information related to the practice. Role based access and audit trails prevents unauthorized staff access, while allowing administrators to restrict individual users in the practice from accessing any one or multiple patient charts. In light of the aforementioned characteristics of “all-in-one” health IT solutions, providers now deem it more beneficial for their EMR to be integrated with practice management software. Providers looking to start their journey towards a paperless office must ensure that the practice management capabilities of their chosen solution are not overlooked. As a consequence, their health IT investments will generate greater value and returns, while guaranteeing peace of mind in years to come.