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Editor Viewpoint | Insights Care

Incorporating technology into the medical facility is becoming more and more popular. Practice management software has rapidly become a popular topic in the healthcare industry. It is a category of healthcare software that deals with the day-to-day operations of a medical practice and allows users to capture patient demographic, schedule appointments, maintain lists of insurance payers, perform billing tasks and generate reports.

In the recent past, medical practices commonly hire different vendors to provide Electronic Medical Records (RMR) and Practice Management Software (PMS) services. However, the new move towards integration of the EMR and PMS is considered by many to greatly improve the challenging task of medical practice management.

As a result, in this new development, practice management software is now frequently connected to electronic health records (EHR) systems. While some information in PMS software and an EMR are related, such as patient and provider data, essentially the EMR system is used to assist the practice with clinical matters, while PMS is used for administrative and financial functions. Integrating PMS and EHR can be beneficial in improving operations in a medical practice and can flawlessly integrate PMS and EHR systems instead of using them as separate systems.

When PMS and EHR systems are not integrated, information may be duplicated which can lead to error. On the contrary, updating information in one system will automatically update information in the other system when PMS and EHR systems are integrated. This removes the risk of duplication error and maximizes the value of each system. PMS can help direct daily functions while EHR handles the essentials of storing essential patient information.

Integration of PMS and EMR is also beneficial in Patient Satisfaction as less valuable time is spent on administrative duties allowing you to devote more of your day to patient care. When patient satisfaction improves, it will receive better reviews which may bring in a larger volume of patients who want to receive the best care around. More patients mean more growth and larger revenue, all thanks to your PMS-integrated EHR.

Below are some more of the benefits which a connected and interoperable software can have for a practice:

Reduced Costs

A redundant and inefficient software can add to the healthcare costs. When doctors have access to a software that can combine their EHRs, PMS and billing into one program, they can save time on repeatedly entering the same data. Not only does this increases time savings and helps productivity, but also reduces the likelihood that errors will be made when transferring data.

Administer your practice

An integrated EHR solution can allow physicians and medical administrators to better run a practice. Integrated software lets doctors and administrators monitor every step of an interaction and thus can help patients schedule the appointment, doctors fill out the interaction chart and billers watch the claim be submitted and paid. Many EHR software’s even have a dashboard function that can report metrics, like revenue and the number of patients seen. This allows the doctors to better understand the weaknesses and strengths of their practice and how best to improve and capitalize on them.

Transparency for Providers

An integrated solution allows doctors to review the financial side of their practice and not just the medical records. Providers who contract with a 3rd party biller are not able to see their claims/accounts receivable (AR), but with an integrated solution, providers are able to check their claims/AR at any time, giving them a better control over their finances.

Work synonymous to the practice

A stand-alone EHR system may be able to offer doctors great chart templates and secure record keeping, but doctors have a more complex jobs that transcends just the medical aspects. Integrated EHR solutions allow doctors to be involved in every aspect of a practice without changing the software. This way, physicians can help manage their staff and deal with any claim issues even when working from another clinic or office.

An integrated system ensures accurate information to be conveyed both ways, which is essential for claims processing. Claims processing, as we all know requires meticulous and accurate information to be entered in for acceptance and a slight error can cause a claim to be rejected outright. An integrated system allows billers access to the medical record side of a system when filing a claim instead of having to contact doctors about claims and medical records, which can cause stress on both ends.

Integrated EHRs are a smart option for doctors starting out or switching because they provide a versatile and cost-effective solution. The primary goal of using technology in healthcare industry is to achieve the highest level of interoperability possible and an interconnected EHR/PMS is a step towards that.