What is Practice Management Software?
Practice management software (PMS) is a type of program used to operate medical and healthcare practices. Its core purpose is to help organize administrative tasks, streamline appointment bookings, simplify invoice creation and billing, and manage client or patient medical records. At the core, a practice management system will include a diary (calendar for our United States customers) or scheduling program to manage patient bookings. In addition, there will also be a client management function that stores important patient details. Practice management software providers offer a diverse range of features, and this usually varies depending on the type of health practice the software specializes in. Most practice management systems will include these key features:
- Appointment calendars
- Client database
- Clinical notes
- Patient correspondence
- Test result uploading
- Text/email appointment reminders
- Financial reporting
But before we get too detailed, let’s look at the bigger picture…
Firstly, what is Practice Management?
Practice management is the general term used for the process of managing the administration and business aspects of a health clinic or medical practice. Larger clinics will have a dedicated ‘practice manager’ to perform and be responsible for these tasks, but for most health clinics, these functions will be done by the practice owner, receptionist or admin team.
Practice management tasks include; administration of daily operations, business planning, records management, client communications, hiring and managing staff, ordering and managing equipment and consumables, ensuring regulatory compliance, invoicing and management of debtors, and of course, appointment and calendar management. These tasks and duties are distinct from the clinical roles which form the basis of the actual health service being provided by the clinic.
So what is Practice Management Software?
Practice management software is the application (or computer system) that helps you put all of the practice management tasks together and manage all of the information involved with running a health clinic. It is specifically designed for health practices to streamline and automate the common tasks of practice management.
While a very small and low-volume practice might be able to survive using manual, paper-based systems, most practice owners find that they are much more efficient and professional once they move to practice management software. In fact, many practices tell us that they wished they’d started with Power Diary sooner!
Instead of having a separate place for client contact records, treatment notes, appointment calendar, invoicing and more, you can have all of this information in one, integrated place. Plus, your practice management software can make many tasks significantly more efficient – like appointment reminders, writing up treatment notes, and sending client referrals. And of course, the reporting functionality of practice management software can help you understand what’s happening in your clinic, so that you can make improvements.
Does Your Clinic Need Practice Management Software?
Feel like your practice is perfectly fine on its own? Like you don’t want to waste your money on practice management software? Well, you just may want to think again. These statistics from a recent study conducted by SoftwareAdvice.com point to a growing need.
According to their research, the most common needs that practices had when starting with or switching to a new practice management system include; scheduling, treatment plans, and billing.
See the breakdown below.
If these functions are important in your clinic, chances are you’ll benefit greatly from a proper practice management tool.
Benefits of Practice Management Software
The best practice management systems will give you benefits including;
With all records stored online, there is no need for clumsy calendars, printing client details, or storing information in filing cabinets. In fact, most practice owners tell us they are able to move towards a ‘paperless office’ very quickly.
Reduced time spent on Admin tasks
Practice management software can save you and your team many hours of work each week – and when you think about it, this creates more time to see clients or invest in business building activities like marketing. There’s less time needed looking for information, preparing notes, writing client communications and more.
Dramatically Reduced No-shows
Using the appointment reminders, it’s easy to significantly reduce your no-shows. You can use a combination of SMS and email messages to remind clients of their upcoming sessions. Plus, you can easily see which clients have confirmed and which might need some chasing.
When it’s easy to communicate with clients and third parties, you’ll find you do more of it! By setting up some templates with the common types of communication you need, sending a detailed email, letter or SMS, can literally take just 30 seconds. And your clients and partners will love the professionalism and care that this shows.
Helps your practice grow
With a proper practice management system in place, you can easily grow your practice and have team members access to the right information. You can even use an external booking service and have your calls taken and appointments created in Power Diary. And when you want to add a new location, your practice management system and handle that as well, managing your appointments between each clinic seamlessly.
What about Online Practice Management Software?
When using online practice management software like Power Diary, you’re taking advantage of software that is ‘in the cloud’, ‘online’, or ‘web-based’ (all of these terms mean the same thing). This means that you benefit from a number of important advantages. Simply by logging into Power Diary, you can easily manage appointments, communicate with patients, record custom notes, send invoices or process credit cards, and so much more. To keep it simple, web-based practice management software is hosted on the Internet. This means that the software is not installed on your local computer, and instead, you can access the software via your web browser on your computer, tablet or smartphone. There’s no clunky software to download, and your client data is far more secure.
Run your practice from anywhere
Well, assuming you have an Internet connection. But, with online practice management software, you’re not chained to a desk. And, you aren’t committed to a clunky office monitor with tons of files on the personal desktop. Your information is stored in the cloud (at least that’s what the kids are calling it nowadays). In other words, assuming you have a desktop, laptop, tablet, or smartphone; you can run your practice with confidence and ease.
Your software is always updated
What’s one of our top priorities? Most importantly, it’s making sure our software stays streamlined, user-friendly, and efficient. Our development team is deploying new software updates every week – meaning you don’t have to. When using our online practice management software, you get a cutting-edge system without all the offline babysitting. No need to manually download new software onto your hard drive every time there’s an update. We’ve got that handled.
Keep data is safe and secure
Don’t let the fear of a stolen laptop keep you awake at night. Don’t worry about running dozens of manual system backups every month. All your patient and client information is protected on our secure server. We’ve got your back. Rest easy knowing that you’ll never lose your proprietary information. You own your data; we just keep it safe. That’s a promise we’ll always keep. Read more about our security here.
How does Practice Management Software Work?
Practice management software works by combining a few key features into one powerful system. Each of these are inter-related, but to break them down, when you start with Power Diary, you get;
Manage all of your appointments from one place, with all the flexibility you need.
- Multiple locations
- Colour coding
- Individual or group appointments
- Blocking off personal time
- Appointment flags
- Waitlist feature (don’t let cancelled timeslots go to waste)
- Daily or weekly view
- See more about our calendar management features
SMS & Email Communication
Make it easy to communicate professionally with your clients and third parties.
- Automated SMS reminders
- Visual colour confirmation of appointments
- Customisable email templates
- 2-way SMS chats with clients
- Bulk-sending for marketing messages
- See more about our clientele appointment reminder system
Power Diary includes a complete CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool.
- Store all your client details in one, secure place
- Plus, you can also keep track of referrers, insurance details, classifications, client preferences
- See more about our client management system
Power Diary is the practice management system known for revolutionizing treatment notes.
- Start from our library of 100’s of template notes
- Or set up your own note templates using text fields, checkboxes, multiple-choice and more
- Upload diagrams for annotation
- Easily duplicate previous notes
- Saves lots of time
- Plus many more clinical notes features
It’s easy to add a “Book Now” button to your website with Power Diary.
- Use Power Diary’s client portal to allow your clients to book directly from your website or Facebook page
- Customise with your own branding
- Clinical notes
- Easy to set up and clients love having this flexibility!
- See more online appointment booking features
Payments & Invoices
Your practice management software includes your invoicing and payment system for full integration.
- Customise invoices with your logo
- Accept multiple payment types
- Manage outstanding accounts
- Integrates with Xero
- Plus more healthcare payment systems features
The best practice management systems will also include detailed reports & analytics to help you manage your practice better. They should also integrate with other key software that you might use (eg Xero, Mailchimp, Stripe, etc).
So, hopefully, that’s given you a good understanding of what practice management software is and the benefits of using it in your practice.
If you’re still wondering whether Power Diary is the right practice management system for your clinic, why not start a
free trial here 👇 to see for yourself!