6 Steps in Choosing the Right Clinic Management System
Today, practicing a medical profession and having your own clinic does not only require you to be good at what you do, it is also crucial to have the right equipment and resources to effectively manage your daily business operations. This is why choosing the right clinic management system is one of the most crucial challenges a medical practitioner has to face when he decides to start a practice. The delivery of your professional services may be affected by the kind of management software you use. If the right clinic management system is used, your business may run smoothly, but making the wrong choice could lead to disastrous results and may cost you more than you can handle.
A solo practitioner generally has an entirely different software requirements compared to a multi-practitioner who is in the business for a longer period of time. Thus, you need to have an exact idea of your own system requirements that will perfectly suit your needs. Here are some tips to help you end up with a software solution for your clinic. Remember that there is no perfect clinic management system, there’s only the one that suits you best.
1. Determine which operations you want to automate.
Are you only looking for a scheduler or something that will settle billings, financial reports and performance analysis as well? You can also choose to go completely paperless with the use of electronic medical records, employee payrolls and more. List down your priorities and be sure to have a corresponding budget ready for it. The more features you want, the pricier the software will be. But there are also a couple of affordable clinic management system packages that are complete with all the essential software functions needed to effectively run your business. All you have to do is look for them online.
2. Establish a Realistic Time Frame.
Looking for the right software may take some time, especially when you are looking for the best. Because you should view several demos and get the opinion of other professionals in your field, you have to set a good time frame before you make the final decision. Making the right choice in buying management software is something that you cannot rush. And even when you already have bought the system, it will also take some time for you and your staff to get used to it. Familiarization and staff training usually takes half a month.
3. Choose whether you need an application service provider model or a client-server model.
Client-server models need a larger up-front expense, skilled IT resources, regular backups and upgrades. Larger clinics prefer this kind of model because it gives them full control of their system. On the other hand, application service provider models or ASP are subscription-based and requires a much lesser up-front investment. ASP is an ideal choice especially if you have budget limitations. This type of system is well suited for smaller clinics without the complexities of maintaining a server. Thus, you won’t need to have an IT staff. Your own clinic staff will do just fine. All you need is to train them have to use it.
4. Create a shortlist of potential software providers.
It is necessary to take a look at two to three demos. Take a note of the features that you liked and didn’t like. It would also help if you ask the opinion of your staff who will be using the system. Each of them probably has different levels of ease when it comes to using computers. Choose a system that is easy to use and easy to understand.
5. Ask about the company’s training and support services.
If you could find a software company that offers a 24/7 help desk center in case you have any inquiry regarding their product, that will be great. You also need to find out if they offer staff trainings and whether or not such trainings come free of charge.
6. Ask about other services such as free upgrades and maintenance.
Don’t assume that upgrades and maintenance are part of the package. Some systems providers offer them for free while others do not. So, don’t be afraid to ask as much questions as you could think of in order to find the right clinic management system that will meet your business needs.