When looking to purchase optical software for your eyecare practice it's important to consider how that software will interact with other software that you use in your practice. Will you have to integrate multiple systems? Do they work hand in hand? Will using multiple systems improve your workflow? Purchasing software can be expensive, so it's important to know that the software you use is going to help you see more patients, analyze your business, and increase your profits.
Our friends at Frames Data have put together a list of considerations you should be thinking about before you purchase new software. We'll talk about 3 of the considerations in this post, and if you want to learn more, download their eBook at the end of this blog!
What You Need to Consider Before Purchasing Optical Software
Does the system integrate with Frames Data and other industry partners?
Your frame dispensary is likely a big profit generator for your optical practice. You might think that you know what sells in your store already, but the truth is that the real hard numbers may reveal hidden nuggets of wisdom about your practice that you would never know otherwise. Having a system that is easily integrated with Frames Data, or better yet, comes with Frames Data embedded into the system, is going to allow you to upload frame information so that you don't have to spend hours worrying about tedious data entry that is susceptible to errors. You'll also be getting the most up-to-date information, such as whole sale pricing, to help you maximize your profits.
Integrated software vs. software that comes embedded in a system can be a little tricky to understand. Software that is embedded into another system (for example, Frames Data comes embedded with Uprise practice management & EHR), allows you to perform all activities of both softwares within the same system. You don't have to leave the Uprise interface and download/upload information from Frames Data, it's all in one spot! Additionally, you're not making two separate software purchases, it's all included as one.
Be on the look-out for a software system that can be easily integrated with other software, or comes with embedded, built-in functionality such as online ordering, insurance claim management, E-Prescribing, marketing automation, code verification, or patient recall tools.
Does the software make automatic updates?
In order to keep everything in your software up to date, it needs to be easy. In a busy practice you don't have time to manually update pricing every month. Does your prospective new software make these updates for you? Will it somehow alert you to changes that need to be made? Make sure to ask whether the software you're considering is able to make these updates automatically with minimal intervention on your part. How nice would it be if your practice management system was in the cloud and synced with Frames Data to automatically update frame images and new models?
Does the software offer functional reporting?
If you are an OD of a private practice, not only is it your job to see patients, but you're also the CEO of your practice and need to be able to manage the business side of things too. Having a system that provides you with easy to read reports is going to be a big help in determining where your pratice is doing well, and where you might need some improvements.
On a weekly, or monthly basis you should be able to take a look at which of your products are selling, who in your office is doing the selling, balances owed by patients and insurance payers, transaction reports, and more. This type of reporting is vital to making your dispensary run efficiently, and is the kind of information that you should monitor closely on an ongoing basis.
All three of these points are things you should be considering when purchasing new software, but they definitely aren't the only things to consider either.
Here's our full guide to upgrading your software