Should I use Practice management software?
Talk to any 10 dentists/doctors you know and ask if they have practice management software. Likely answers are
- Yes, but not using
- Yes, but using only for calendar & SMS
- Yes, but feel it’s not worth the cost/effort
- Yes and feel it’s worth it.
While a majority of answers are likely to begin with “Yes”, most of them are likely to have a “but” too! Then, what’s the answer to Should I use Practice management software? Let’s understand the factors involved. Each of these impacts the decision.
- Current State of practice – initial stages, in high growth, stagnant or declining
- Vision of the Clinic for next 5 years- number of clinics, specialties, number of patients, gross revenues, net profit, reputation etc.,
- Number of consultants, doctors and staff – more hands means more potential to grow revenues. It also means better coordination and system needed to avoid chaos.
- Strengths and weaknesses of practice – number/quality of patients, support staff, capability for quality treatment, equipment quality, system for handling the flow of work
In any combination of above, software can bring in following changes:
- Help organize records and activities
- Improve workload handling capacity
- Reduce dependency on people
- Help with communications to patients & doctors
- Help promote your practice systematically
- Provide insights which help in developing the practice
- Needs man power or time needed (to enter information)
- Increase dependence on technology
- Risk loss of data (desktop software)
- Risk exposing patients to other practitioners in the area (online appointment software)
So, coming back to the question “Should I use Practice management software?” obviously, there is no ONE RIGHT ANSWER for all. But broadly speaking, adopting technology makes sense. It’s hard to imagine life without mobile phones now. Dependence on technology is only going to increase – we take for granted that electricity, cars, trains, phones, TV etc., are all here to stay. Having said that, we should certainly ensure that what we adopt brings a few clear benefits and minimize the problems it brings along. Watch this space for a blog on what to look for in good practice management software.