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Patient management is a process of streamlining various tasks within a medical practice, such as managing appointments, sending reminders, handling patient check-ins, and verifying insurance eligibility. It also involves managing all patient-related details, including contact information, diagnoses, and prescriptions.
Patient management software can help automate administrative tasks and speed up communication to reduce the workload of employees to allow them to focus more on delivering quality patient care. The software can significantly reduce the amount of time spent on manual data entry and record keeping.
There is a wide range of patient management solutions available on the market. This buyers guide touches upon aspects you’ll need to know while evaluating software options. Here’s what we’ll cover:
Patient management software is a software tool that allows medical practices to automate repetitive administrative tasks, such as scheduling patient appointments, sending reminders, managing the allocation of hospital beds, and checking insurance eligibility.
The software can be used for general patient management as well as for specific processes such as inpatient tracking, blood testing, or capturing and storing information from wearable devices. The need and functionality of patient management software largely depend on the size and scale of a medical practice.
Most software solutions are deployed on the cloud or on-premise. We’ve listed the characteristics of each option below.
Cloud-based deployment: Cloud-based patient management software is hosted on either vendors’ servers or other third-party servers. It can be accessed from any web browser or mobile application. There are no setup charges, and users generally pay a monthly or annual subscription fee. Cloud-based software allows users the flexibility to scale up or down based on their overall usage and requirements.
On-premise deployment: On-premise patient management software deployment is hosted on users’ internal server; thus, it requires investment in network equipment and hardware. This model offers greater data protection than the cloud-based model because the entire software infrastructure, including servers, resides within users’ premises. However, it requires higher investment, including software license fees and a one-time setup cost. Post setup, users also need inhouse IT staff to support and manage any potential issues that may arise.
Key questions to ask a vendor before you buy
Considering all the costs involved (setup, data backup, etc.), what is your product’s total cost of ownership (TCO)?
Understanding the common features of patient management software will help you select a software tool that caters to your practice needs.
Appointment scheduling: Allows physicians to book or reschedule patient appointments online. Some tools also offer the capability to set up recurring appointments.
Setting up recurring patient appointments in DocMeIn
Appointment reminders: Allows physicians to send appointment reminders to patients via email or text/voice message. Physicians can set up automated reminders and even customize the message template to add images, colored text, website link, and more.
Sending customized appointment reminders via email using IntakeQ
Insurance eligibility check: Allows medical practices to check the insurance eligibility of patients and verify details such as co-insurance, copay, and deductible. This feature notifies practices of any charges that aren’t covered by patients’ healthcare plan.
Verifying patients' insurance eligibility in Dentrix Ascend
Patient check-in: Allows practices to manage the patient check-in or intake process. Patients can fill up and submit intake forms online, and the medical staff gets real-time notifications about all check-in activities.
Managing patient check-ins using Breeze
Bed management: Allows practices to view the real-time status of the beds available at their medical facility. It helps manage the use and allocation of beds through proper coordination with staff and patients.
Checking patients' bed details in TiaMD NuMR
Note: The applications selected in this article are examples to show a feature in context and are not intended as endorsements or recommendations. They have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable at the time of publication.