If you're looking to purchase new optometry practice management software for your practice, you might find yourself overwhelmed with all of the options available to you. Buying new practice management and EHR software is not only a huge purchase to make, but it will undoubtedly bring large changes to all areas of your practice. To help lessen the stress of searching for software, we've got some steps you can take to make sure you choose the option that is best for your practice's needs.
How to Discover the Best Optometry Practice Management Software for Your Practice
1. Decide Who Your Practice Is
Understanding who your practice is might be the most important step in deciding which software to purchase. Every practice is unique in terms of staff, hardware and IT infrastructure, and workflow, so take a look at these three areas to help create a practice profile. Write up a couple of paragraphs that highlight how your practice is currently functioning. Having a true understanding of how your practice currently runs will help you pin down the features that you're going to want in a new system.
2. Drill Down and Get Specific
Once you've written up a couple of paragraphs about who your practice really is, use this information as a stepping stone to help you understand what your specific software needs are. Which areas of your workflow need the most improvement? Where is your staff running into the most inefficiencies? Based off of those areas you can determine which features and integrated tools you see as most important in your software decision. It's important to know what you're looking for before you start checking out demos from different vendors!
3. Educate Yourself
Once you know who your practice is and what you need, you can begin to explore the different software options. Remember that all practice management and EHR software are not built on the same platforms, and it is important to determine which one will fit your independent practice the best. Take your time to learn as much as you can about the options available to you, so that you can make a fully informed decision.
Some things to keep in mind as you explore software are things like cloud-based vs. client-server based. Will you need software that allows you to attest for Meaningful Use? Which embedded tools are you hoping to find in a software? Does the software allow for integrations? How are updates managed? The answers to these questions are going to vary from practice to practice, so remember to keep you specific needs in mind.
4. Look at Costs
Every practice has a different budget in mind when it comes to software, and determining the cost factor of purchasing new software is extremely important. Keep track of prices with a cost comparison sheet so that you can help keep things straight, and evaluate each of the systems on the same playing field. The upfront purchase price isn't the only thing you need to look at. Keep in mind that some systems might require additional integration costs, or hardware upgrades. Don't forget to consider these hidden costs when choosing which software is best for you!
Remember that choosing a new practice management and EHR system is a huge decision, so it is okay to take your time. Rushing into a purchase could lead to a lot of regret, so go slow and choose what is best for your practice.