Medical clinics occupy a unique niche within the field of health care providers. They are different from medical practices in that they are either larger or focus on a specialized subfield of medicine (such as orthopedics or geriatrics). They differ from hospitals in that they are smaller and primarily focus on outpatient care.
The software needs of medical clinics are equally unique. They need a mix of tools and functionality covered by general medical practice management software, as well as the specialized electronic medical records (EMR) functions their field of practice requires.
This buyer's guide will discuss what makes clinic management software unique before looking at some common features. It will also provide important questions you should consider before choosing the right software for your clinic.
Here's what we'll cover:
The practice management side of the software helps physicians and their staffs schedule patient appointments, perform billing procedures, manage charge capture and record patient demographics. These tools focus on improving doctors' workflow efficiency in regard to the business side of their practice. This can lead to a higher reimbursement rate from health care insurance company providers.
The EMR side, on the other hand, focuses on automating doctors' clinical operations, through digitally stored patient charts that provide access to demographics, histories, medications, test results, and SOAP notes. EMR tools can vary widely by the type of medicine practiced—psychiatric medical notes are very different from pediatric medical notes, for example—so specialty clinics will require software that is geared toward their field's needs.
|Automatic medical billing||Streamlines and automates the billing process and provides real-time verification of insurance coverage and eligibility.|
|Electronic health records (EHR)||Provides digital storage of—and easy access to—all patient medical records and histories.|
|Claim tracking||Track claims across the entire revenue cycle, allowing for streamlined revenue cycle management.|
|Code sets||Allows the inclusion of Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) and Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) coding, as well as the searchable and current International Classification of Diseases (ICD) code sets.|
|Customized scheduling||Offers customized, color-coded calendars that can help keep track of both patient and doctor schedules.|
|Automated reminders||Sends automatic reminders of appointments to patients via email or SMS, reducing the number of no-shows and maintaining an optimum volume of fixed appointments.|
|Patient demographics||Records and verifies patient demographics with all registered insurance providers.|
|Reporting||Provides practice reports based on several customizable parameters.|
|Customizable security access||Sets up individual passwords with unique access levels for each user in order to create different levels of security.|
Billing records and CPT codes as found in WebPT
Between your options for individual practice management software and EMR software systems, there are several hundred options to choose from for your clinic management needs. Some of these are general management suites for any type of practice, while others are highly specialized for particular medical fields.
With so many options catering to so many specialties, you might be overwhelmed by choices when looking for the right clinic management software. You can narrow down the field by understanding what type of buyer you are, based on the following common categories of clinic types:
Other factors to take into consideration when picking the best clinic management software for your medical practice include:
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