<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none;" alt="" src="https://px.ads.linkedin.com/collect/?pid=2047956&amp;fmt=gif">
Skip to content
background image

10 questions to ask yourself when choosing a practice management system

October 23, 2023
Whether starting from scratch or changing provider, choosing a practice management system is no easy feat. In the high-stakes world of healthcare, your software needs to ease heavy duty workflows and enhance patient management, so you can focus on providing quality care to those who need it most.
But where to start? The key to finding a practice management system that fits your unique requirements is getting to the core of what you require and why. Kickstart your search for the perfect system by asking yourself these 10 simple questions.

1. Why do I want to buy this type of software for my practice?

This is the first question to ask yourself when considering a practice management system. What issues are you looking to solve for your team with this new software? It needs to be worth your time and money. Once you have an awareness of the challenges you’re facing, the easier it’ll be to find if a system can rectify them.

Consider the following:

  • Is your current setup slowing you down?
  • Is patient retention suffering?
  • Are you working across multiple systems?
  • Does your current setup feel secure?
  • Does the setup work for remote and in-office staff?
  • Are your staff experiencing low morale?
  • Are you having trouble integrating other systems into your existing workflows?

Recognising these areas of friction will help you figure out exactly what you want from your practice management system. Solve these must-haves first, and then add your nice-to-haves.

2. Will this system help my practice grow?

A practice management system may feel like a big investment, but it has the potential to transform the way your practice works for the better. A good system should be scaleable, save you time, increase patient retention and engagement, attract new clients and keep staff happy. The list goes on (and on).

These are all important metrics to follow. An analytics dashboard will help you track the information that’s important to you, from financial to operational insights, so you can make those key decisions that will help grow your practice and measure the positive impact of your investment in the system.

3. How will my practice benefit from using this system?

Any practice management system worth its salt should add serious value to your working day, such as:

You’ll be able to gain a good grasp of whether practices like yours and healthcare professionals like you are reaping the big benefits from a system by reading case studies and checking online reviews. A demo will also allow you to ask any burning questions you may have about the benefits for your specific setup.

4. Has the system been designed by someone who knows the healthcare industry well?

If your practice management system hasn’t been created by someone who knows the challenges of a private healthcare practice inside and out, it’s unlikely to serve your needs efficiently.

The system should empower your practice, support your values and work for each individual member of a private medical practice. It’s important that the person who created that system understands what each of those things mean for clinics like yours.

Have a thorough look at the platform’s website and give its CEO a quick Google to see whether their vision aligns with yours.

5. Will the user experience work well for my team?

A practice is often made up of a diverse group of people, with different goals and abilities. Your new system should be easy to use and simple to navigate, with features that make everyone’s working lives easier. Every member of staff should be able to find the information they need without requiring a high level of IT expertise.

6. Will this system integrate with my existing tech?

It doesn’t matter how flashy a PMS is – if it doesn’t integrate with the systems you require, you’ll likely need to start your search from scratch. From payments to pathology, prescriptions to emails, streamlining information between different systems is crucial for simplifying your workstreams.

The idea is that you want all – or at least the majority – of your work to take place on just one platform, avoiding the dreaded system-hopping and saving yourself precious time. Can you keep track of a patient’s medical history and manage treatment plans from the same space you book appointments? Can you order blood tests and send invoices without leaving the system? This will make a big difference to your day, so be sure to ask.

7. When and what was their last feature release?

The world of health tech moves quickly, and without regular updates a system can soon become stagnant and out of date. The system should move and flex and evolve with the healthcare industry, adapting to new technologies, trends and customer need. Look through their social media for recent feature releases, or ask during a demo about the most recent release, as well as their roadmap for the next few months.

Alternatively, new features mustn’t compromise the integrity of the current system – there must be a strong purpose for a feature release, and any decent practice management provider would be able to provide a strong rational for a new feature. Change can be difficult when you’re used to a certain way of working, so you want to make sure lots of new features and alterations don’t distract from your everyday work.

8. Will I receive the level of support I need?

Selecting the right practice management system is just the first step. Then comes migration and setup, which can be a daunting prospect to those who haven’t done it before. Check that there’s an offer of system training, and check reviews and case studies to see what current users are saying about customer support. What are the support team’s response times, for example?

This information should reassure you that, if an issue arises, the level of support guarantees you can get back to business as usual with minimal impact to patients. If you’re unsure, check during a demo – a staff member should be able to give you details about training and support.

9. How will my data be kept secure?

Healthcare professionals have access to some of the most sensitive patient data there is. 
So the security of your patient data is of paramount importance. With the sharing of data between practice and patient, as well as between healthcare providers, it’s crucial that you can trust the system to be secure with sensitive information.

Any good practice management provider will understand how important data protection is, and should have a section on their site dedicated to the topic (we’re proud at Semble to be ISO27001 certified, which shows we adhere to the highest levels of data security). Ask about the software’s data security protocols and encryption measures as a matter of priority during a demo.

10. Will this practice management system improve patient experience?

The crux of the matter is this: if a practice management system doesn’t improve the journey for your patients, then it’s not doing its job properly.

Think about the different parts of your patient journey. What problems do you want your practice management system to solve before, during and after an appointment? Online booking, remote video appointments and follow-up communications are just three examples of how a system can have a positive effect at each touchpoint.

Map out your current patient journey and its pain points. With this, you should be able to identify your practice’s weak spots – including friction in your workflows – and your patient experience goals. Bring these with you to a demo and address each point to understand if the system will improve patient experience.

Want to make the most of your practice management system?

Our knowledgeable specialists will show you how Semble can work for your specific setup. Book a demo with them today.