Purchasing MPM Software for Your Medical Practice
When it comes to medical practice management (MPM) software, the market is flooded with choices of providers. If you are overwhelmed, it’s for a good reason. There are many unique types of medical management which targets specific needs; such as small family practices, medical equipment firms, hospitals and dental practices.
Poll Your Employees
Before spending time with a myriad of vendors, there are a few things to consider which will help you narrow the field. One, remember to include all the employees involved in the various processes which will be integrated in the software. From doctors and office managers, to receptionists and billing clerks, you will benefit from their points of view and concerns.
Next, touch bases with associate practices and ask them how satisfied they are with their current software program, and whether they would recommend it to others. Visiting their locations to see the different systems in operation would be beneficial as well. Many times, your accounting staff and receptionists are in touch with other businesses in your industry, and therefore they may be a good point of contact from which to derive this information.
Gauge the Compatibility
When you speak with software providers, inquire as to whether their program handles any scheduling quirks affecting your particular practice; will the system recognize your office’s procedure and diagnosis codes; is it able to handle multiple offices and several physicians; will you need to track inventory or want the capability of managing multiple accounts?
Be certain to obtain an actual demo of the software, allowing all potential users to go through the system’s processes which they would normally handle. Watching a video isn’t going to do the same as being able to walk through the actual system; either online or trying out a sample CD should be sufficient.
Selecting a Provider
Choose a vendor with stability, as they are going to be a long time partner for your practice. You will want a provider who will also continue to improve and update their product, with enough success in the industry to keep them in business. They should assist with transferring your data from the existing platform to their software, as well as provide training - either in person or through webinar classes. Do they have live technical support during your office hours? Ask for a referral to one of their customers in your area, where you can visit and observe the system in use and get their client’s input as to the vendor’s response times.
Price out the options of online vs. local solutions (i.e. vendor-run application vs. client server or desktop system). Online application service provider (ASP) programs are maintained by technicians at the vendor’s location, with reliable firewalls and backups, and there is a small setup fee, with the monthly payments based upon your usage.
Local systems give you the best control as it is right in your office, though the cost is significantly greater. With stringent security controls and up front purchase expense, the upside is your monthly support costs less and the application speed is faster.