One of the most important things which are required for running a business is management. If an individual cannot manage a business well then he would not be able to run it for a long time. With the Improvement in technology, different software and applications have come in the market to help the organization to manage all things in running a business.
There are also many software and applications are available in the market for the healthcare industry which can help to manage all things like an appointment, treatment, prescription, billing, reports, etc…
My purpose of writing this blog is only that you get an overall idea about the practice management system.
So, if you want to know detail information about practice management system then this blog is for you. Also,if you are interested to know how practice management system works then you are at the right place.
So let’s flow together with the ocean of Practice Management System.
In this blog, you can get one stop solution for your search of Practice Management System.
You will get below mentioned different topics in this blog which will be helpful for your further information and knowledge.
About the Healthcare Industry
The healthcare industry or medical industry is a sector that provides goods and services to treat patients with care.
Healthcare is one of the most complex and vital industries in the modern world. From organ transplants to routine checkups, all physicians around the world work tirelessly to improve the quality and longevity of countless lives of person each and every day. Unfortunately, this work often runs into problems or issues that require a virtual helping hand to overcome.
The healthcare industry is tremendously important to people around the world as well as to the national economies. It is one of the fastest growing industries in the world. Consuming over 10 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) of Developed Nations.
The healthcare industry also plays an important role as being the largest employer in the global economy, if we add up the number of people working in each sector across the world. In most countries, the employment growth rate of the health industry is higher than that of other industries.
Paper Record – Traditional Method for Data Record in the Healthcare Industry
- Prior there is no need or knowledge of record details in the Healthcare industry. But people face many problems for not managing their patients and practice data after this they agreed to record their practice information so people will use traditional Methods for practice which is called paper-based record process.
- As the name suggests, In this system, physicians record their patient’s data like Personal details, Treatment information, billing, etc… on the paper. Which is easy to use the process for doctors and their staff.
- For Example: Whenever any patient call on clinic number then a doctor or doctor’s staff will attend that call and ask the reason for the call. Then the patient tells them that he/she wants to take an appointment for any treatment of routine checkup. Doctor ask patients name, number, timing, and note done in clinic’s file which is maintained for patients data.
Advantages of Paper Record:
- A paper-based system will help a business have a record of proprietary information
- Paper databases aren’t susceptible to hackers
- It is cheaper than a computerized record management system.
- In a paper-based record system, originals can be maintained nicely.
- You can access them without power and you never have to worry about not having access to the patient’s information because a computer system is down.
- Written paper records are not destroyed when computer hard drives crash.
- A more important advantage of paper record system is its simplicity. You can record very easily even if you are not technically savvy.
Disadvantages of Paper Record:
This is system is very well used by physicians and staff in the healthcare industry. But in the paper-based record system there are many problems faced by physicians by time which are as below:
Time: If you have to find any patients information then it will take too much time in the paper-based record system.
Security: In the paper-based record system, there is no security of data. Data may be lost by human error or by the natural disaster.
Storage: The paper-based system has thousands of data, which physicians need to store in a separate place. Many times if the storage is full then the physician needs to create the other place for new storage or throw/fire/sell old paper cause of lack of storage.
Track Data: In a paper-based system if physician or staff want to find any information about patients then they need to find all of the patient’s data. Which takes too much of time.
Cost: Paper-based system will costlier to the physicians after some months or years or when patient flow increases because of there is need of many books for the record all patients data by monthly/yearly as well as they need to use new billing booklet every time. Most importantly they need to hire staff for the record all of these things which will become costlier.
Access: Anyone can access patients personal information easily which is the main reason for lack of security in the paper-based record system.
After this Quick overview of Healthcare industry, I would like to tell you about how information technology will enter in Healthcare industry and How Information Technology will persons to done work easily.
The Era Of Healthcare Information Technology:
- During 1960, The development of computers presented the opportunity to maintain records electronically, but the expense of purchasing and maintaining a computer, and the expense associated with storage of data, meant that only the largest organizations could use technology to handle medical records.
- In 1970, When computer become smaller and faster then various software developed for the healthcare industry and manage their patient’s data and practice information very easily.
- By the time goes, there are a lot of technology changes which improved the health care industry. So we can say that since 1960 to 1980 digital era has been started in the Healthcare industry where information technology applied in the healthcare industry and developed many digital systems which don’t have paper-based record systems.
- Health information management creates a very important role in the healthcare industry. So let’s see how it will help to manage the patient data, doctor’s practice information and financial information of the clinic. Digitization of the healthcare industry will help healthcare organizations to improve patient care and safety as well as treatment and management process.
- But this change is never been so easy for the healthcare industry, below I like to discuss some of the major challenges faced by Health Information Technology.
The best way to avoid these costs is to work with an IT provider that offers deep insight into the healthcare industry’s unique challenges. Specifically, you should always look for a provider who has successfully served organizations like your own in the past.
Healthcare Information technology is becoming more complex and challenging.
With the right solutions, healthcare IT will produce clear benefits for patients and Physicians (Doctors) which are as below:
Benefits Of Healthcare Information Technology:
- It will Increase health care productivity or efficiency
- Remove medical errors and increase healthcare accuracy and procedure correctness.
- It will Improve healthcare quality
- Reduce health care costs;
- Increase administrative efficiencies and healthcare work processes;
- Decrease paperwork and unproductive or idle work time;
- Extend real-time communications of health informatics among health care professionals
Types of Healthcare Information Technology:
Here I like to share with you types of Healthcare Software which are in detail as below… you will find these all category of Health information Technology exist in your nearby hospital or Clinic.
- Electronic Medical Record
- Electronic Health Record
- Practice Management Software
So let’s discuss all these three types of Healthcare Information technology in detail with their advantages and disadvantage.
Electronic Medical Record:
Electronic medical records (EMRs) are a digital version of the paper record system in the Doctor’s office. It contains the medical and treatment history of the patients in one practice. EMRs have more advantages over paper records because it will be saved by electronically and more secure than a paper record.
How Electronic Medical Record Help To Physicians?
EMRs allow Physicians to do below things:
- They can Track Patients data anytime.
- They will easily identify which patients are due for preventive screenings or checkups
- They can check how their patients are doing on certain parameters such as blood pressure readings or vaccinations
- They can monitor and improve the overall quality of care within the practice
But the information in EMRs doesn’t travel easily out of the practice. In fact, the patient’s record might even have to be printed out and delivered by mail to specialists and other members of the care team. In that regard, EMRs are not much better than a paper record. Then with the new change in the technology, Electronic Health Record had been introduced in the healthcare industry.
Electronic Health Record:
Electronic Health Record which is previously known as Electronic Medical Record. An electronic health record (EHR) is an individual’s official health document that is shared among multiple facilities and agencies. The role of EHRs is becoming increasingly influential as more patient information becomes digital and larger numbers of consumers express a desire to have mobile access to their health records.
Which type of data included in EHR:
- Patient’s Contact information
- Information about visits to healthcare professionals
- Information about any Allergies and Disease
- Insurance information
- Family history
- A list of medications
- Records of hospitalization
- Information about any surgeries or procedures performed
The Benefits Of EHR:
- The ability to automatically share and update information among different offices and organizations. It will be providing accurate, up-to-date, and complete information about patients at the point of care
- It will provide more efficient and secure storage system
- The ability to share multimedia information, such as medical imaging results, between locations
- The ability to link records to sources of relevant and current research
- Easier standardization of services and patient care
- The ability to aggregate patient data for population health management and quality of care programs
- Provision of decision support systems for healthcare professionals
- In Healthcare record, people need to use their less effort, because it is a very user-friendly process.
- Potential long-term lower costs to medical systems because it will be reducing cost through the decrease paperwork, storage space, Improved security, etc..
How EHRs Improve Patient Care:
EHRs are able to improve patient care in a number of ways. For example, they can aid in diagnosis by giving Access to patients’ complete health information, which provides a comprehensive view and helps clinicians diagnose problems sooner.
EHRs can help to reduce medical errors, improve patient safety and support better outcomes. While EHRs do contain and transmit data, they also manipulate patient information in meaningful ways and provide that information to the provider at the point of care.
EHRs can also help improve public health results by providing a view of the entire patient’s health information, which lets providers identify specific risk factors and improve their performance.
EHR vs. paper records:
While many agree that, overall, EHRs offer more benefits than paper health records. Below are some of the major differences between paper and electronic records:
Time: If you use EHR then you will save your 10 to 20 hours per week in the documentation, you will give more time with your patients. However, others argue that EHRs pose a learning curve and force providers to become data entry staff. All of that clicking and typing, some argue that physicians to focus on the computer rather than the patient in the room. But I like to inform you that there are many user-friendly EHR systems available in the market which remove this kind of hurdles from your practice.
Environment: Going digital with patient records saves a lot of paper because a patient’s medical record is usually made up of hundreds, and sometimes even thousands, of pages. You can save the environment by using an Electronic Health Record.
Security: If you use paper records then there are many chances of loss of a paper record due to human error, or damage to paper records because of a natural disasters like Rain, EarthQuake, Tsunami, Fire, etc… However, if you use EHRs then it will provide security of data which include thousands of your medical records. It is used by digitally that’s why you can access EHR from anywhere and Many EHR system will provide Backup facility as well which can help to save your data on a secure server.
Cost: Large healthcare organizations may have to pay billions or more to purchase and install EHR systems, and it may take months to implement the technology. There are also associated with long-term digital storage costs with EHRs. but paper records require more human administrative maintenance in terms of storing the files and arranging for access to them, and there are physical space costs involved.
Access: The process of sharing paper records can be more difficult than sharing digital patient information; it includes finding the paper record — possibly, in a large warehouse — and then either mailing, faxing or scanning copies. but sharing EHRs should be easier. In EHR only concern person can access to the patients data wherein a paper record anyone can view patients private data.
Readability and accuracy: In paper records, physicians’ Writing may be difficult to read, which could lead to inaccuracies and physicians can not write everything in a paper because there may be a lack of space but with EHRs, there is an unlimited amount of space, and typing in natural language remove many concerns about illegibility.
As you can see there is no huge difference between Electronic Health Record and Electronic Medical Record means both have the same kind of functionalities.
But now its time to discuss the main topic of Health Information Technology which is a Practice Management System. It is a combination of both EHR and EMR so let’s discuss PMS in detail.
Practice Management System:
First of all let me tell you about Practice Management, according to Wikipedia, “Practice management is the term used in Medical Practice for the person who manages the finance and administration of doctor’s office or an office of a medical professional.”
Practice Management System is the software that handles scheduling appointments, record consultation data, and billing for a medical practice or healthcare provider. PMS software is designed to focus on the business back office management of practice by providing the billing and collection of financial details on your patients.
As normal people, Have you ever wonder how my doctor know about my family background? How they know about my disease and allergies? Even how can they know my personal email id? Yes right, we all have this kind of question in our mind. But what is Reason behind it? Can a doctor’s memory is so powerful that they know even about my last prescription?
Maybe your answer is YES, but as a doctor point of view – is it possible to remember all of these things for everyone? Quite Difficult for it Right?
But my dear friend, I am glad to inform you that nowadays, every doctor has their own Digital Record Management System which known as Practice Management System. Where the doctor or doctor’s staff will record patients full information. They need to just enter your name or mobile number or email id in their Practice Management System to find your entire health and personal information. In a market, there are many PMS available which detect patients through the unique ID card or by face.
Why you need a Practice Management System?
Why you need PMS? By asking this question you can better understand if you will know why PMS is beneficial for you and your practice.
It is doesn’t matter you are in which profession because practice management’s usage and requirement are same for everyone.
Here I like to share with you why PMS is important for you and your patients.
- Practice Management System important for Physician
- You can record and secure Patients Data
- You will get an appointment Booking Notification and Task reminders every time.
- You can view upcoming tasks, Reports, Consultation information, Billing, Manage Inventory, etc…
- You will save your time with digitizing your practice
- You will get save money and the environment by using the PMS.
- You can manage your patients and Practice very well
- You can track information easily
- Practice Management System important for Patient
- Your patient get appointment Booking SMS/Mail
- Your Patient will get follow up SMS/Mail by a doctor
- Your Patient can pay through the digital payment gateway
- They can Book your appointment through the patient portal
- Whenever they come to your clinic, you have their previous treatment records
So if you are using paper-based record system then you need to start using practice management system, if you have a lot of data to stored and you don’t want to invest in new storage place then you can invest in Practice Management system.
In this world, everything has to change as per situation which is the rule of nature, and if you don’t change as per situation and market need then I am sorry but you also will be vanished like Dinosaurs 😉
Primary Features of Practice Management Software
Below you can see common things which every practice management system will have.
- Patient Portal: Practice Management System provide Patient Portal where Patient can book their appointment to the concern doctors, they can view their personal health records, they can read doctors Advice and suggestions, etc…
- Scheduling: Practice Management system will provide appointment booking and rescheduling Feature where Doctor/clinic ’s staff will book a patient’s appointment or reschedule it. They need to just enter the patient’s name, mobile number, timing of consultation and That’s it! If PMS have automatic SMS/mail notification system then this appointment booking message will be sent automatically to the patients as well as concern doctor.
- Medical Billing: PMS allow physicians to provide medical billing to the Patients and record all of these billing data in reports. In medical billing, a patient can view treatment name, price, advice. Doctor or clinic staff will provide these bill to the patients by Print or Email.
- E-prescription: In practice management system patient will get their prescription through the SMS or Mail by the doctor. They can print Prescription as well because in a rural area there are most patients don’t use Electronic medium in this case doctor can provide a print of bill and prescription to that user by patient management system.
- User-Friendly Dashboard: Patient Management System will have a user-friendly dashboard which helps to engage with PMS users. PMS users can be find everything from the dashboard and they can easily manage their patients effectively.
- Patient Profile Management: This is the basic feature of every practice management system. If they can’t manage their patients well then how they can manage their entire practice.
- Revenue Management: through this feature doctors can see how much their daily/weekly/monthly/yearly income. They can manage their entire revenue through the practice management system.
- Patient Verification: in the practice management system they can verify their patients through the different methods like they can search Patients profile through the unique ID, case number, mobile number, name, email id.
- Identification: practice management system can have this identification feature like Screen identification and print badges for visitors.
- Appointment Form: Doctor or staff can fill forms before appointments to decrease patient time spent in the waiting room and administrative time spent on inputting data.
- Easy Access: Keep medical records and allow easy accessibility from a variety of locations including from a mobile device.
- Notification and Reminders: Send confirmations of appointments and place them on an electronic calendar and Send reminders about appointments through the mail or SMS or both. And Notify physicians when patients arrive to decrease wait times.
- Follow up: Send follow-up health information, advice, and reminders of what physicians said to do to increase patient participation in their own health care.
- Data: In Patient Management System, there are these data storing and saving feature where they keep records of patient encounters so both physicians and patients can refer to previous conversations and appointments.
- Electronic Medical Record: Monitor and receive data from medical devices and provide alerts both to physicians and patients if medical attention is necessary.
- Communication: practice management system will allow emails and text conversations between patient and physician. If a doctor wants then they can store this communication record as well.
How to use Practice Management System?
In the market, there are many different software available which have various features and functionality. as well as many professional doctors developed their customized software as per the requirement. but as discussed all practice management system has some common features and functionality. so as per that features and functionality I like to show you how to use Practice Management System.
Practice Management System is used by below Medical Professions:
- Obstetrics / Gynecology
- Family Practice / Primary Care
- Infectious Disease
- Radiation Oncology
- Emergency Medicine
- Surgical Center
- Ophthalmology/ Optometry
- General Surgery
- Internal Medicine
If you are from one of this profession then you must understand entire architectures of the practice management system which are written as below in detail.
Architectures of Practice Management System
Practice management software is designed in three types of system architectures:
Desktop Software – Desktop practice management software is designed for small practices that only use one computer. This system allows the staff to manage the operations electronically which saves their time. This type of software is for one-time use only means If you want to use a new version or want to add any new functionality then you have to purchase again entire software. Desktop software is used offline only so if your clinic/office doesn’t have electricity then you can’t use desktop-based software. Another main disadvantage of this kind of software is Data security means if your System’s hard disk is crashed then you cant restore data means there is no guarantee of data backup.
Web-based Software – Web-based practice management Software is commonly used by most practices. In this system, the PMS is hosted on a remote server and managed by a specialized IT company. Every doctor of the same practice can access the system through the internet to organize the tasks appropriately. PULSE is a good example of web-based Practice management software. Web-based Software is very Helpful and Cheaper than other Practice Management System because when any changes occur to these PMS the updates happen automatically. often such changes occur overnight so will cause little disruption to your practice.
Client/Server Software – client/server practice management software is quite similar to the web-based PMS but in this scenario, the server is located within the premises of the practice. It will become most costly PMS after few years because if you want to purchase a new version of Current software then you need to pay for it.
What is the difference between Desktop based PMS and Web-based PMS? Desktop vs Web-based.
|Installation||User need to download software then only they can install on the computer.||Web-based PMS doesn’t Require for Download because it is web-based system so the user needs to open their PMS’s URL in the appropriate browser.|
|Storage||Desktop-based PMS will have limited storage which depends on the computer’s capacity.||Where web-based PMS doesn’t depend on a computer for storage. It is a cloud-based system so user’s data automatically saves in the server.|
|Maintenance||Desktop-based PMS usually need to be manually updated to install the update.||In Web-based PMS end-users don’t have to install any updates because all the updates are already taken care of by the web application administrators.|
|Security||The user keeps his or her data on their own computer systems thats why it is hard for hackers to gain access to people’s data.||all the user’s data is stored online, hackers need to hack once time only and they get all of the user’s’ data. this is just a possibility and not a guaranteed situation because there are many PMS which provide Secure server Database.|
|Access||Desktop-based PMS allows users to use it from only one computer which installed that PMS.||Where web-based PMS allows users to access from anywhere and from any device.|
|Support||In desktop based PMS is too difficult in support process because if any problems happen to the user then support executive can’t identify those problems immediately. Support executive will need to go, clients, clinic/home or need to use any screen sharing application.||Another side, in web-based PMS, will be easily working during the support process. In this type of system, support executive can easily identify about user’s problems without meet him personally.|
|Offline||Desktop-based PMS doesn’t require the internet for use.||Where web-based PMS fully dependent on the Internet. Without an internet users can’t use it. But as discussed Web-based system can use from any device so if there are no internet in the clinic thenthe user can use it from the Mobile as well.|
Advantages of Practice Management System:
Why a Practice Management System is beneficial for your clinic? Here, you will get the exact answer of it.
- Doctor and their staff can manage the clinic’s work process and patients workflow with the help of PMS.
- Practice management system would Improved Practice Organization Allowing Focus on Quality Patient Care
- The practice management system will enhance automation leading to Increase in efficiency, productivity, and profitability of the practice.
- The practice management system will Improved Billing Processes which saves patients and staff’s time.
- The practice management system can enhanced documentation and reduce work errors.
- Practice Management System provides Advanced and Hassle-Free Scheduling appointment where doctor or staff or the patient themselves book Appointment. Booking an appointment is very easy in PMS and doctor can track the patient’s flow from the list of today’s appointment.
- The practice Management system will help to store patients data with More Accuracy. In the PMS system Doctors or their staff need to enter all the information by typing that’s why anyone can easily understand their information. We, everybody, face this situation that if any doctor writes something on the paper then nobody can understand that writing except another Doctor/staff or medical store’s UNCLE. Thanks to PMS that now everyone can read exact information.
- The practice Management system is more versatile and scalable technology. I said versatile because practice management system can adapt to many different situations as well as it has many benefits and Functions which patient management system can handle very well.
- The practice Management system is more versatile and scalable technology. I said versatile because practice management system can adapt to many different situations as well as it has many benefits and Functions which patient management system can handle very well.
- The practice Management system will improve Patient and Provider Satisfaction with helping them in different situations. Patients like these PMS because of it saves their time and money. Service providers like this PMS technology because PMS is in demand and Sales will be high for PMS.
- Seamless EHR Integration: The main benefit of PMS is a combination of EHR and EMR. It allows integrating with different EHR Systems which can reduce data entry work of doctors and their staffs. They need to fill data into PMS only, EHR will redirect that data from different users.
This all are the benefits of a practice management system which help users to digitise their practice and save patients and physicians time and money. But as we know that if anyone has good habits then they also have some of the bad habits as well similar thing happen in the case of a practice management system. Which can be improved by using best practice management software for your daily practice.
How to choose the best Practice Management System for your office/clinic?
The main thing for choosing the best PMS is to make sure that your Practice Management system is using Secure Server for data storage. I suggest using a Web-based Practice Management system which Stores your patient’s data into the cloud so you don’t have any issue regarding lack of storage capacity. After that, you can choose a practice management system which you and your staff can have easy access from any device. You can choose a practice management system which is user-friendly so you and your staff and learn it easily.
Data Storage, Data security, easy to access and user-friendly these all are the main characteristics of best practice Management system.
Choosing your practice management system is one of the most important decisions you will make for your office/clinic because practice management system can be very expensive, so you’ll want to make sure your decision will serve you well for many years.
so choose wisely!
In healthcare services, practice management is an important component of your daily activities. choosing the right PMS will grow your practice but if you choose poor PMS then it will drop down your business as well.