ON Chiropractic Spring/Summer 2013 - Page 16

Technology How To : Choosing the Right Practice Management Software T reating patients or doing paperwork. Where would you rather invest your time? For many chiropractors, the reality is that there is not a choice between the operational requirements of running a clinic or seeing patients. Both are essential to success in practice. Practice management software can help with both of these sets of tasks. But before you can enjoy the benefits of these powerful tools, you must first choose the software that is best suited to your practice. Asking the right questions about your software needs is a good place to start. What do you really need? From chiropractic clinics to Fortune 500 companies, purchasing tools to help manage and grow a business is a complex undertaking. Investing in practice management software is no different. Add some rigour to the task by starting with a well-developed needs assessment. A needs assessment is a process through which you will explore various aspects of your business to determine where the inclusion of a software tool might be beneficial. Developing a Request for Proposal (RFP) to send to potential vendors is the ideal approach. However, many chiropractors do not have the time to devote to a formal process like an RFP. If that is the case, performing a needs assessment as outlined in this article is an important exercise. What features are essential? Practice management software programs offer a variety of features. Think critically about your practice and its business requirements, which inform the features you need and want. At the very least, the software you choose should help with scheduling, communicating with patients, generating reports and billing. SPRING/SUMMER 2013 Need Want Creating invoices Software Features and credit notes n n Business tax preparation reports n n Direct billing of insurers n n Direct interconnection with HCAI n n Direct interconnection with WSIB n n Email communications n n Inventory tracking and reporting tools n n Patient scheduling n n Smartphone and tablet compatibility n n SOAP notes n n Web-based and cloud solutions n n Supports multiple practitioners n n Also, keep in mind your own technical expertise and that of your staff. Try to find a software package that offers the features you need in a user-friendly way backed with reliable support from the software vendor. The software should allow all of the users in your practice to use the system at the same time facilitating the sharing of patient information. Asking The Right Questions 1.  Does the practice management software appropriately meet regulatory requirements around privacy and patient records? 2.  the billing and scheduling function Is adequate to meet current and future needs of the clinic? What if the clinic expands to more practitioners? More sites? A greater diversity of services? 3.   ase of use: Are the screens and workflows E intuitive to the user? Is the workflow similar to how the clinic currently operates? 4.  the software compatible with other