When making any big purchase decision it's important to know exactly what you're looking for. For example, if you're about to buy a new car you probably have a list of criteria of the things you want and don't want when sorting through all of your options. The same goes for buying new optometric software for your eyecare practice.
Making the change to a new practice management and EHR software is a big step, so make sure that you're taking the right steps towards finding the best software for you and your staff. Don't just dive straight in. Take some time to really think about how a software is going to make your day-to-day routine more efficient. We suggest building out a practice profile of your office, and from there you can create a requirements description of all the features you're looking for in a new optometric software.
There's a lot to consider when it comes to the staff in your office. And your staff should have some input when it comes to the new software they will be using on a daily basis. You want them to be comfortable with whatever you choose so that they can keep up with your patients. How many employees do you have? Is there a high turnover? Are they comfortable with using new technology, or are they stuck in the old way of doing things?
These might seem like silly questions, but the answers could really affect what software might be your best option. When it comes to technology, there is something for everyone, and it will make your life easier in the long run if you take the time to consider your staff's needs.
While client-server software has been the go-to for practice management systems in the past, there are new and more advanced options available. What type of hardware and IT support is your practice capable of? Do you know how to manage a network of servers? Do you have an IT consultant on hand to handle maintenance, upgrades, and security? Do you want the ability to use tablets instead of stationary computers?
Now is the time to really think about what you want in terms of technology. Cloud-based systems are making the necessity of in-house servers a thing of the past, which will free up your time and money from IT maintenance.
Are you happy with the workflow in your practice, or are there bottlenecks that hold it up? Sit down with your staff and figure out where the inefficiencies lie and what you would need to improve them. You want to find a software that's going to support your workflow, not dictate it. Flexibility is the key to a successful workflow.
For example, an OD who moves from room-to-room may find it burdensome to log in and out of their EHR. A solution that can be used on a tablet and allows them to jump from patient-to-patient might be a good solution to improving that aspect of the workflow.
Take a look at our sample practice profile so that you can get an idea on how to write yours! And if you want the complete information on preparing for the purchase of a new practice management and EHR software, check out our eBook. It's packed full of templates to help you lay out all of your options along the way!