Gone are the days where hospitals and private doctors stored and maintained multiple folders in rooms of cabinets. Everything is digitized nowadays, and the practice is done everywhere from big hospitals to private practices. It can be quite difficult to find a hospital without a computer these days, except in the most remote or poorest of areas.
In fact, it is said that 59% of doctors used tablets in 2015 for use in their professions, which is a testament to how the health care industry relies on technology nowadays. However, computer software is not just a way to create a more paperless environment, as they can do a lot more for the benefit of health care workers and patients alike.
There are lots of medical practice software existing and still being developed which are specially designed for use in the health care industry. These programs vary in scope and functionalities, but they all share a common goal of letting users provide health care services much more effectively.
With that being said, here are some of the most popular features that you can find when you look at software for medical practices.
Patient Records Management
Being able to input patient records and retrieve them within just a few clicks is one of the core functionalities that a medical software must-have. This allows for faster turnaround time for treatment and consultation. It can also save lots of manpower so that staff can focus on more critical tasks.
Pertinent information that can be acquired may include:
- Personal information
- Insurance Information
- Medical Background
- Treatment History
Being able to gather, update, and retrieve these data quickly and accurately is one of the main benchmarks of a good software for medical practice.
Doctors or nurses can more easily input schedules of consultations or treatments with a good software. Most softwares have easy to understand and intuitive interfaces that allow users to instantly pick and lock in a schedule with a doctor or specialist.
This is in conjunction with whatever schedules or shifts that the doctor has set into the system. This way, those who are setting the appointment can instantly determine as to when the doctor would be in. advanced features such as letting the patients pick their own schedules or having prompts or alarms for upcoming appointments may also be included.
Most medical software also includes a facility for billing and acceptance of payment. They can also come with facilities to process credit card payments. The system is able to generate receipts and can generate reports to monitor cash flow.
Billing systems can be utilized in conjunction with all the data inputted for computation. This can include professional fees, cost of treatment, tests, or any medication or supplies used. An itemized breakdown of payables will provide patients with a clear idea of what they are paying for.
Inventory Management System
It is very important for hospitals to be able to track medication and supplies. As such, most medical software include inventory systems that can monitor the ins and outs of inventory. This can even include fixed assets such as furniture and other equipment, along with check-in and check-out facilities for faster tracing and accountability.
This system is critical for those who want to manage theft or loss. Spoilage can also be avoided if batch monitoring can be implemented properly. This functionality is essential to not only control wastage but also to ensure that the establishment is adequately stocked based on historical demand.
One of the best things about the software is that it can cut back on manpower. This is because some tasks can be delegated to the patients themselves. Using patient portals that can be accessed online either through mobile devices or computers, they can input their own information and even set their preferred schedules.
On the other hand, patient kiosks can be set up in clinics and hospitals so that patients can check themselves in as well as perform the functions mentioned above. This is ideal if patients do not have access to the system at home. This, although less convenient, can still reduce waiting times effectively as they no longer have to wait for staff to attend to them.
Another desirable feature of medical practice software is the ability to remind both hospital staff and patients about appointments and other time-based activities. This can be done either through email or SMS. In some cases that an app is available, this can also pop up on your mobile device.
Having an application remind you of an appointment or when to take your medication can greatly increase the quality of health care that you will receive. Being able to visit the doctor in the prescribed time as well as when you should take your medication can definitely increase the chances of success if you are being treated for a medical condition.
Treatment and Prescription Templates
Many software geared towards the health care industry already has templates about certain conditions. This may include an explanation about the disease, its symptoms, as well as treatment methods. Prescription medicine can also be set so that, with a simple click, a diagnosis report can be printed out and discussed with you.
Having this feature is very convenient as all pertinent information is already available. Doctors, who are known to have unintelligible writing, no longer have to write on prescription pads which may be misinterpreted by a physician. As such, you can be sure to get the right medication and dosage instructions as everything is already included in the document.