Five questions and answers from Greg Sanders, MD, Practicing Cardiologist on how to find the right rounding software.
In the medical industry, time to look for cost or timesaving solutions is extremely limited. Below are five questions to help identify the right rounding solution for individual practices.
1. Can It Adapt?
First look for products that adapt to each individual practice – not the other way around. Every group of physicians operates in a unique way and software should support these groups to improve efficiency and productivity. Look for systems that are powerful in function and in their ability to be customized and adapted to a specific group’s process patterns.
2. Is it Accessible and Affordable?
Some key features for any software investment include accessibility to physicians and staff and affordability to the overall practice. Look for solutions that:
- require minimal capital investment
- do not require the purchase of equipment such as servers or hiring of IT staff to run the new system
- are scalable to different sized practices – perhaps charging per physician – but accessible to entire practices
- do not require long-term contracts or commitments – able to be “leased” by groups month-to-month or canceled at any time
By choosing an affordable solution without long-term contracts or large capital investments, practices can access solutions quickly with minimal risk of investment. It is also important that any rounding solution considered should allow some sort of trial period to ensure the product is right for each practices’ needs.
3. How Much Training Is Required?
With recent advancements in technology; rounding solutions should not require extensive training or distraction to a practice’s operations. If a practice needs to shut down for extensive training, valuable revenue is being lost and other options should be sought.
Rounding software should be intuitive for physicians, and easily understood by support staff so each can be trained individually or in group sessions in less than a few hours.
4. Who Owns Your Data?
Many medical software companies retain ownership and control over data. This can be extremely risky. Choose a rounding solution that allows the physicians/practice to retain ownership of data. If a group decides to terminate their relationship with a product or company, they still need to have access to all patient information. Look for a software solution that guarantees electronic delivery of all data upon contract cancelation to avoid potentially damaging situations.
5. Can Upgrades or Modifications Be Made Affordably or Easily?
If a group wishes to institute changes once a product is purchased or in use for a few months, will there be extra charges to the group? Many companies require extensive fees and programming charges for making modifications. Look for rounding solutions that have created a user-friendly, efficient product, but that preferably do not charge extra for customizations, even after purchase.
After all, every practice and business is constantly evolving. If a rounding solution is incapable of change, or extremely expensive to modify, it isn’t much of a solution.
Individual Solutions for Individual Physicians
The most important aspect is to choose rounding software that truly meets the individual practice’s needs. Don’t settle for a system that requires compromises on the client side. With technology advancements and insight into how practices actually operate, rounding solutions are available to meet specific needs, save time and money and continue to adapt as business models or client’s needs change.
Good luck and let me know your own recommendations for choosing the best rounding solution or other operational software for your practice.
Dr. Gregory Sanders is a Harvard-trained, practicing cardiologist and founder and CEO of HybridChart. He has been coding since the 1980s and has spent his medical career focusing on improving processes. His patient care skills earned him recognition as one of Phoenix Magazine’s TOP DOCs. He lives in Scottsdale with his family.