Are you considering the purchase of electronic medical billing software? In today’s marketplace, anything that could improve the process of billing in a busy medical office can be a wise investment. Here are some things to remember when you start checking out your options, and some things you should keep in mind.
Knowing Yourself, Your Practice, and Your Goals
Know what it is that you want to achieve with this purchase. Really consider; what do you want to have this program do for you, and what do your employees want it to do for them? Make sure you are not working at cross-purposes.
Shop Around…and Around…and Around
As you would with any large investment, do your homework. You need to do research and investigate as many options as possible. Ask your employees if they know of any software programs that work for other similar offices. Reach out to some colleagues and ask what they use.
Windows? Driver Not Compatible? Now What?
Make sure, before you buy, that the hardware in your office can definitely handle all the requirements of the software you’re considering.
It won’t do anything but cause heartache for you to purchase software, proceed to try and install it, only to find out your computers-or printers are not compatible. Inquire about exactly what support exists for any program you are potentially considering putting your hard earned money into, and precisely how long the support is available free.
Software is often only as good as the support obtainable after the fact, once you are deep into the learning curve about it.
Once you’ve made your decision, you’ve made sure your equipment can handle the electronic medical billing software you’ve chosen, everyone’s expectations are the same for utilizing it, and if you encounter problems the company will be there to assist you.
When everything is in place and you go live with the software, you need to keep the following important things in mind.
Everyone Learns Differently
As with any new program or procedure, there will be a learning curve for everybody along the way. From the receptionist, to the nurse that does primary intake, to yourself, and the lab technician, the checkout person and finally the person who does the billing, all of you will have new ways of doing things than you have been used to.
Everyone will need to be open to making the changes. Everyone in the office will need time for adjusting differing steps, and you must allow for the mistakes that all parties will make during the transition, and not be harsh with any single person.
Short Term Cost, Long Term Gain
The return on your investment will not be immediate. It will be necessary to exercise a degree of patience with all aspects of the procedure change. There will be hiccups along the way; paperwork that doesn’t print properly and allow staff to collect payments as you go consistently, and issues dependent on human error in data as you go along the impact collections and the need for re-submissions of billing. The direct cash outlay for the software will be a capital expense that will eventually pay for itself- not right away.
Nothing Is Constant Except Change
You must avoid, a determination to stick with a software program you’ve purchased that does not work for you OR your staff, just because you’ve put money into it. If you insist upon continuing to use a program with a system that does not make daily work easier, staff resistance will increase exponentially, and the profit you hoped to see increased with the investment will be lost. Try and change to new software. Just be willing to change again, if it isn’t all you wanted it to be and cannot be modified to adapt in your environment by the company from which you purchased it.