Practice Director EHR is a robust Electronic Health Record and practice management solution designed for eyecare practices. Practice Director was built by Williams Group, a leading management consulting group with more than thirty years of industry expertise. The software offers optometry practices of all sizes highly customizable, user-friendly applications that let you focus more on patient care.
Practice Director offers powerful modules for EHR, medical billing, patient scheduling, picture archiving, accounting, and more. It also offers seamlessly integrated ePrescribing. In addition to on-premise deployment, Practice Director offers a web-based option that allows practices to access the software from anywhere with an Internet connection. The web-based version also offers automatic data backup, as well as automatic software updates. Practice Director is tablet-friendly, and is optimized for use with the iPad.
The EHR is ONC-ATCB certified for meaningful use. It fully supports CPT and ICD-9 codes and encourages simple, intuitive documentation with drop-down menus and additional fields that can be customized to follow your individual practice workflow. In addition to image and document management, the EHR integrated with almost any ophthalmic instrument.
The billing and scheduling modules are equally user-friendly, and the software also includes an optical component that allows practices to recommend and provide eyeware, contact lenses, price quotes, and more.
Practice Director is backed by stellar training and support, so practices making the transition can rest easy knowing their questions and requests will be quickly addressed by an expert team. We recommend Practice Director to any optometry practice seeking an easy-to-use, comprehensive solution for their practice.
Jay from In Focus Eye Center
The staff at Practice Director have been great. I liked that I had a specific support person. She was fast and knowledgeable. Software is acceptable for a very small and slow office. However the in-office patient tracker was great. In-office server based, stable and sometimes fast.
This software was the bottleneck in our office. All of the calls for tech support were because there was a problem in updating and that happened frequently. Few aspects are intuitive and most steps are a work-around. There is not a place for medication allergies...but there is a work around. Reporting is not interactive - it's basically a picture of the data. Also, this software can not handle anything complex in terms of contact lenses -- no place for things like toric PCs, D/N designation with multifocal SCLs, or bitorics. You will be confined to pull-down boxes (cumbersome) that are just big enough for simple data. Customization options are minimal. Also, printing patient records is 7-8 pages minimum -- even for something as simple as CL or IOP check. Also, this software keeps blasting alerts at inappropriate times...like when you open patient demographics. That means that we can't have the volume on our PCs up to hear interoffice messaging. Oh, and if the only way to multitask is to open (and sign into) multiple windows. If you move from scheduler to EHR and back to scheduler in the same window, you will not go back to where you were. Maddening. Or, if you want to look at previous CL orders, then previous glasses orders, you need to search for the patient again to find the glasses orders. We also had ludicrous alert windows: since this software does not auto-save, you need to save drafts manually, but when you do, an alert window pops up to ask you if you want to save a draft. You have only two choices: click "OK" or cancel the window. Why? There are also pop-ups regarding saving changes, even if there are no changes made.
Basically, few things are smooth and easy with this software and maybe that's fine if you have as much time as you want to mess with it. But if you are busy and in the weeds, this software will raise your blood pressure.
I recommend you keep looking. I used this software for 6 years and my frustration level continued to grow. After changing, I wished that I would have jumped ship years earlier. Also, when I called this company to help me migrate my data (that is when they learned that I was moving to a different software), they would not return my calls, would not answer my emails and provided no help in any way whatsoever.
Brandt from Independent Optometric Consultant
Date: October 2013
I have a business background and started consulting regularly with optometric practices shortly after getting my MBA. My comments on Practice Director come from a little over a year of working with their software, pulling data, talking with them on the phone, and working with the staff on different issues. I also connect with the optometrists on the length of time required to enter records in Practice Director, as this is an important part of our flow. I want to briefly mention two main areas where I think Practice Director falls short.
Ease of entry - This could be much better. We have changed the flow of the office using Practice Director to have staff input data because it is such a drain on time. Even pulling up a schedule for the right doctor is incredibly frustrating. My experience is that it generally takes about two to three times the effort necessary to access something. The doctors estimate that it took about 3 minutes less per patient to input patient data with the prior Practice Management software. Add up the number of patients most doctors offices see, and 3 minutes per patient additional is huge. (Note that the additional time per patient in this case is after over three years of working with the software, so the additional time per patient isn't just growing pains.)
Data availability - From my standpoint, this is the most frustrating part. The most basic business class will tell you that you always have to know how much money is coming in, and how much money is going out. I tried to pull these numbers when analyzing optical effectiveness but could only pull the amount that we bill. Quite honestly, the amount that we bill doesn't matter; what matters is the amount that we get paid. I called Practice Director about this, and they said it couldn't be pulled unless I wanted to pay their engineers to write a script to do so.
I have tried to analyze patient demographics, insurances, hours, doctor effectiveness, and many other things. Without exception I have found that if I wanted reliable data, I had to have the staff manually keep track of the data, then wait until we had a large enough sample size to be statistically relevant. As a consultant, I have found that I need to spend at least three times longer with this practice because my hands are tied due to lack of data available in Practice Director.
For the above reasons, and some that I'm sure I'm forgetting, I'm researching other practice management software to recommend to optometric practices I consult with.
Note: to be fair, Practice Director just released an update that includes easier availability of statistics, but I haven't had time to fully feel it out yet. Previous updates have been a let-down, but maybe this one is better?
David from David Sparks, O.D.
Date: February 2013
When I opened my practice, one of my biggest concerns was finding the right EHR software. I had heard horror stories from friends who had chosen poorly and paid dearly in time, lost income, and stress. Fortunately, a friend recommended Practice Director, and choosing this software turned out to be the best decision that I made when opening the practice.
I love the system’s ability to implement all aspects of my business from the EMR to Scheduling to Accounting, and of course Billing. Everything is tied together in a very sensible, easy-to-understand format. My practice works with a large number of insurance companies, and Practice Director does an exceptional job of managing the flow of insurance payments so that nothing “falls through the cracks”.
The training modules are easy to follow, and my staff has never had even one complaint about the system. Above all else, the customer support at Practice Director is unmatched. Any time I need assistance, I am able to speak with a person on the phone (as opposed to sending an email into space and hoping for a reply). The support staff genuinely cares about the clients, and they are always able to answer my questions.
I highly recommend Practice Director to anyone who is starting a practice, making the switch from paper to electronic records, or making a change from a different software. It’s the best decision you can make for your practice!
Shannon from Definitive Vision
Date: February 2013
I have found Practice Director to be easy to use and meet all of my practice's needs. I have been using it for a little less than 2 years now, and haven't had any issues come up and have never been down. We've used support a few times, mainly for "how do you do this" questions and have always had quick and accurate answers.
Jason from Eye Health Solutions
Date: February 2013
We practice in a rural area in Iowa, so we see a wide range of patients that covers all aspects of optometric care. We have been using Practice Director (PD) since 2007. There has been many improvements and updates and the system just keeps getting better. Overall it has been very stable and easy to run from an infrastructure/IT point of view. Staff picked it up quickly and its hard to remember what it was like when we still used paper records.
The biggest benefit to EMR was the efficiency gained by my front desk staff. No more looking for charts and insurance filing was streamlined. In fact, my insurance coordinator can now remote in and work from home on bad weather days, after hours, etc.
We chose PD based on the level of service. Your software is the lifeblood of your office and waiting 24 hours or longer for someone to get to you if there is a problem is unacceptable IMO. We wanted folks we could talk to. No software does exactly what ever doc wants so you have to understand when you make a change you will need to adapt your systems to meet your needs and those will be different from office to office. PD has folks that have worked in offices so they know what it is like on the front lines. If you are looking at software I would recommend taking a hard look at PD.
Gary from The Optometry Group
Date: February 2013
The office opened in 1991. The office used paper charts for the doctor and a program written by a local programmer was used for the optical. Due to lack of support from the programer, a search was made to replace the optical software. A new program was obtained for the optical, but we continued to use paper charts for the doctor. Around 2007, we added EMR from the same company that provided our optical software. After about two years, rising cost and poor customer service prompted a search for a replacement.
Practice Director was selected. After training and a month of running both programs, we switched to Practice Director full time in September 2011. As expected there was a learning curve, but the doctor and staff learned the new system quickly. The customer support has been much better than the previous program.