7 Reasons Why Switching Your Practice Information Management System Is Worth It

Practice managers know that changing their practice information management system (PIMS) is a big decision, and there are many factors to consider, including the cost, effort, and training staff on the new software. Here are some great reasons why you should consider switching to a new PIMS, and why it's well worth the effort.

1. Saves Time for Staff

Staff time is a precious commodity, so practice managers are always looking for ways to increase efficiency and productivity. New software that decreases the time spent updating records or entering charges adds significant value by freeing up staff for additional duties. A new PIMS with a better user interface can increase the accuracy of data entry and make it easy to access information quickly. A practice management information system that allows real-time editing by multiple users is particularly helpful, so staff members don't have to wait in line for access to the same patient record.

2. Integration with Practice Software, Apps, and Services

Having a PIMS that integrates with software products from other vendors is a huge benefit. If all systems can "talk" to each other and exchange data, you will avoid the hassle of entering information repeatedly in multiple systems, which reduces potential errors. You'll also avoid having to bounce back and forth between your practice information management system and other apps and services.

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3. More Features You Actually Need

Make sure you aren't paying for a system that fails to address the specific needs of the practice. If you find value in features like paperless record-keeping, integrated diagnostics, customizable alerts, built-in client communication tools, integrated credit card processing, the ability to work via tablets, or the ability to connect remotely to work from home, be sure your system can support those current (or future) needs. If your software does not currently support your needs, and you are paying for a variety of custom modules or third-party applications to add necessary functionality, you should consider making a change. Switching to a practice information management system that has the features you actually need built-in is a smart business decision.

Also, be sure that your software's support package includes regular upgrades and platform updates to improve its function and efficiency, as well as ongoing training and support for any new features as they are added. This will allow your team to deliver the best care possible and ensure a seamless client experience.

4. Pet Owner Portal

A practice information management system with a pet owner portal can also benefit the practice. Allowing clients to request their own appointments, request refills, and view pet records frees up staff time (particularly for the busy receptionist who would normally handle these requests). It also adds convenience for the client and shows that the practice is keeping up with the latest technology.

5. Better Reporting

A robust reporting system saves the practice time and money. A practice information management system with pre-built, easy-to-access, trustworthy reports eliminates the need to manually create them or to pay for additional customization. You'll benefit from a system with data-rich reporting that covers important metrics like financials and inventory, and also identifies specific outreach targets for a promotion, such as lapsed clients.

6. Superior Tech Support and Training

Technical support is critical for any practice to run smoothly. Having immediate access to a support specialist is a valuable benefit, whether it's provided through online chat, a dedicated call center, or a combination of both. The staff and clients will benefit from a quick response about technical issues, and it can increase staff confidence knowing that professional help is readily available.

7. Partnership Between Practice and Provider

When searching for a new software system, be sure to consider what kind of company your practice will be partnering with and what that provider can bring to the table. Think about the reputation of the company, and seek out reviews from practices that have used their products. Learn about the feedback process. Find out how responsive the provider is when suggestions for useful features are offered, and if they actually include suggested features in future platform updates. It is also very important to find out how much experience the provider has with the transition process, specifically in terms of whether they have successfully transitioned practices of similar size and scope. A one-doctor independent practice might be concerned with the software's options for efficiency, which would save precious time for staffers that wear many hats. A multi-doctor, multi-location hospital might require deep functionality and a highly customizable software package. Implementation and ongoing support are both key factors in the practice/provider partnership.

Although it's daunting to implement a major change in your practice, look beyond the initial implementation phase of the new PIMS. Once you and the staff are up to speed, you can look forward to more efficient workflows and time to complete tasks that increase your bottom line.

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Mary Hope Kramer
Animal Industry Writer

Mary Hope Kramer has more than 15 years of professional writing experience. She worked as a small-animal veterinary assistant while completing her BS degree in animal science at Berry College. She was also named top student in the Kentucky Equine Management Internship and completed the Summer Experience in Equine Management at the William H. Miner Agricultural Research Institute in Chazy, New York. After graduation, she focused on gaining professional experience in the equine industry. 

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