Medical practice management software packages are types of applications that help run the business side of medical practices. These applications automate scheduling, insurance claims, billing, and accounting functions within doctors’ offices. Different types of medical practice management software are specially designed for use by small to mid-sized offices or third-party billing agencies. While medical practice management software does not allow for the input of medical records, it does integrate with electronic records management systems to complete the loop of customer care within the healthcare system. While there are many competing systems available for healthcare practitioners, there are some common features among all of them.
Patient Personal Data
Medical practice management software is usually first used to capture incoming patient personal data. New patients submit demographic data items like their names, phone numbers, physical addresses, and email addresses. Other data items collected are employment and insurance information. Depending on the type of system available and its connection to external databases, medical administrators verify in real-time whether patients are eligible for insurance benefits so there are fewer surprises for patients during the billing process.
Patient Appointment Scheduling
A huge part of day-to-day operations at most doctors’ offices involve scheduling patients for appointments. Healthcare administration achieved great strides in efficiency by automating this important function. The scheduling feature within medical practice management software enables medical administrators to quickly make non-conflicting appointments for hundreds of patients and allows patients flexible options when making better choices about available appointment times. Also, if one needs schedule modifications, medical administrators easily retrieve appointment information from this software system. Medical practice management software offers great efficiencies with a seamless front end graphical user interface and a hidden yet powerful database making input, storage, and retrieval of appointment data quick.
To lay people the transactions to record and process medical insurance claims is a mysterious one that involves special billing codes for various procedures. While medical administrators still must understand the billing codes and the claims process, the medical practice management software makes claims submission much easier. With mundane yet important tasks like insurance claims and billing automated, medical administrators have time to thoroughly answer patient questions and take care of other customer needs.
Medical practice management software allows for a greater level of transparency among medical staff, insurance companies, and patients. Medical administrators compile informational reports drawn from the raw data collected through the patient care process. Medical practice management software packages differentiate themselves with the number of reporting features available. For example, some practice management software have basic reports available for insurance companies and patients pertaining to billing. Other software packages have customizable reporting capabilities that allow relevant stakeholders to compile financial and other patient data into useful information quickly.
While open source medical practice management software exists, each software package has its own unique design and user interface that is mostly proprietary. Developers designed the systems to work on a variety of configurations like desktop, client-server, and internet connected systems. Each medical practice management software package must also be secure enough to comply with Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and other statutes regarding securing of private data. Medical practice management software has positively changed the face of the medical front office from a capricious experience to a professional process.