As a small independent eyecare practice your needs and resources are very different than larger, corporate practices. You may be working with less staff and need an optometry software system that will make everyone's job easier so that you're able to do more with less.
The features and benefits of a practice management and EHR software that a small, single location practice will look for will probably be different than the needs of a multi-location, 6 doctor practice. So what are the things that many small practices are looking for in a system? We've got a list of 5 features we think small practices should be looking out for in a system for their practice.
What Does Your Independent Practice Look for in Optometry Software?
Your team is small, and you might be switching from paper to electronic for the first time. This is going to be a big change for your team. You'll want vendor support that is top of the line. You shouldn't have to pay extra for 24/7 support, or for the training that your practice will need to get familiar with the system. Look for an experienced team that is going to be there for you and your staff when the going gets tough.
Your budget for a software system is likely going to be a key factor when deciding on a solution. Being aware of every last fee that could be associated with the new software is really important. It starts with an upfront fee, or monthly subscription costs, but what other things could end up costing you money down the road?
- New versions or updates to the software
- Hardware needs
- Training and support fees
- Outsourced IT maintenance
- Add-on software
These are all things that you might not be thinking about at the beginning. Make sure you run through all the costs that could come with a system before you pull the trigger.
A cloud-based system is going to benefit a small practice in a couple of ways. For one, the implementation process and overall system management is easier compared to that of a client-server system. No servers will need to be set up in your practice, which means you won't need to worry about IT management and keeping your servers up and running. Your software vendor handles the IT and system security for you.
On top of that, because you can access a cloud-based system from any device with an Internet connection, you and your staff will have the ability to view the system from home. And, some cloud-based systems are tablet friendly so you can take advantage of tablets in the exam room instead of risking face-to-face patient time with clunky desktops.
Integrations and embedded tools are going to help you and your staff do more with less. Look for additional features that come included with a system like patient recall, frame catalogs, code verification, patient education, or ePrescribing. If a system doesn't come with these tools you might be looking to make an additional purchase in order to get everything you need. Which is going to add to your total cost, and be less streamlined than if the tools were built into the system.
Reporting can help your practice stay on top of the numbers that make your business successful. Built in reporting tools make it quick and easy for you to view things like patient statements, sales tax, day sheets, deposit tickets, aging reports, and more.
Is your independent practice shopping around for optometry software? Download our Buying Guide to help you through the process!