Finding the right practice management software is a major decision. After all, you’re putting your business and your patients personal information in the hands of a single provider; and that requires a significant level of trust.
Unfortunately, you can’t always have that level of trust. What happens if your provider suddenly goes out of business? How do you know you and your client's information is secure?
Fortunately, there are a few tell-tale signs that highlight if your practice management software will support you in the long term:
1. A focus on innovation and cybersecurity
The capabilities of most medical practice management softwares are constantly growing; from managing your patient information, organising appointments, facilitating fee management to monitoring your business's cash flow, and more. With a lot of this happening on the cloud, it’s important that EMR data security is a strong focus for your software vendor.
With so many new products and claims on the market, it’s important to think carefully about data security before adopting something new. Hackers are often one step ahead when it comes to tools and technology, and software providers that don’t place enough attention onto defensive security systems can leave their users vulnerable.
Medical records are such coveted sources of personal information that data breaches in the Australian healthcare sector accounted for 27% of all hacking incidents last year. This is substantially more than the number of breaches experienced by the financial (12%) and government (14%) sectors.
A good practice management software provider will be prepared for any potential Electronic Health Record (EHR) security breach, and will have contingency plans in place to ward off the threat of data compromisation. At Clinic to Cloud, we’re continually updating our software so that it’s backed up and protected from security threats. This includes security measures such as off-site, cloud data storage, Two-Factor Authentication and high levels of encryption.
A sure sign of a subpar software provider is when a vendor poses additional expenses for software upgrades and maintenance. With cloud-based softwares, the need for constant evolution in data security is important to keep patient data, financial data and personal data risk-free, so if a vendor doesn't incorporate updates and maintenance within their base pricing structure, it should serve as a red flag. When looking at practice management softwares, you should always check that they don’t charge their users for those necessities.
2. A focus on the user experience
The best practice management software will be designed in a way that makes it simple and easy to use (in other words, it’s developed with the user experience in mind).
This means it should be equally accessible to everyone–whether they’re a medical specialist or support staff, or a patient who logs in to manage their own medical records. Look for a provider that develops software with their customers in mind; listening to their needs, taking on their feedback, and creating a system that makes work easier (not harder).
Regardless of how well your clinic management software performs technically, it’s unlikely to help your practice if you and your staff find it difficult to use. It’s also a strong sign that the software provider hasn’t planned ahead to safeguard their product in the competitive market.
Due to the rate in which technology evolves, we’ve seen an unfortunate shift in businesses who gain a competitive advantage by rushing their product onto the market too soon—often
at the cost of quality and longevity. They may feature innovative technology that looks impressive at first glance, but if they’re not offering a robust platform that actually addresses the user’s pain points, then they may have a short life span.
Unfortunately, the less time a company spends gaining insight and feedback from their customers, the less likely it is that they will stand the test of time.
3. Personalised and ongoing support
Can you call your software provider for technical support, and be confident you’ll get a quick response? The third sign that a provider is invested in the long term is that they look after their customers―long after the initial installation sale.
The MedTech industry can be lucrative, which makes it attractive to companies who are looking for a way to make money fast. Sadly, this sometimes acts as an incentive for technology startups to enter the market with a clear exit strategy in mind; one that focuses on generating profit as quickly as possible, before moving onto the next big thing (and leaving their customers abandoned). For these businesses, offering technical support is rarely profitable—so if you encounter medical practice management software providers that don’t provide end-to-end customer support, alarm bells should be ringing.
Can they be contacted outside of business hours? Is there a number you can call should you require help or advice? Do they have instant messenger or chat? Do they provide ongoing training for your team? Should you come across any issues, it’s important your trusted provider has you covered.
Over to you
Your practice is a fast paced environment, with little room for inefficiency processes and technology that simply doesn’t support your team. As healthcare leaders, investing well in robust infrastructure and supportive technology is crucial to the success of your practice – and in many ways, the quality outcomes of your patients.
To help you pinpoint the opportunity and pitfalls of your current practice management systems, we’ve created the Practice Efficiency Calculator. It’s a useful tool for identifying how many hours and dollars that inefficiency is costing you – all valuable resources you can reinvest in your patients. Simply click below to start crunching the numbers!
Clinic to Cloud does not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. This material is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for independent professional advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction. See the Clinic to Cloud Disclaimer for further information.