Be it a single medical practice or a large clinic with many physicians, all medical practices have to deal with patient records, billings and various other sorts of information. Single medical practices will often see the physician himself attending to these, while larger scale clinics will have separate IT or office staff to deal with this side of the clinic business.
In the past, this resulted in large and tedious amounts of paperwork – but nowadays, thanks to the advancement of technology, we can see paperwork in a digitized, or computerized, format – that is, in the form of clinic management software. This is basically a type of database management software that is coordinated and integrated to ensure the smooth functioning of a healthcare facility. The purpose of clinic management systems is to not only effectively reduce and organize the large amounts of data and information related to patients, but it also serves to provide an easy access point to this information by sharing it across various different locations and users. Through this, important information (which sometimes can also be crucial!) can be quickly exchanged by health specialists, even around the world. Furthermore, it ensures the confidentiality and security of such information, as unlike physical data and information, it is protected behind various layers of encryption and other security measures; and also, it provides an excellent method of back up.
Clinic management software usually consists of two types of software:
• Practice Management (PM) software – PM software is basically concerned with the business side of medical practices. For example, it keeps track of monthly medical bills of patients and schedules and appointments for both patients and physicians. PM software is usually handled by the office staff or the IT staff of larger clinics.
• Electronic Health Record (EHR) software – EHRs, which are also known as Electronic Medical Records (EMRs), are basically databases containing the health records of patients – for example, their details such as their personal details and statistics, medical history, laboratory test results, etc. These details are usually kept track by either physicians or nurses, so EHRs are usually handled by them.
Thanks to the invention of clinic management systems, it has become possible to keep track of large amounts of information, and successfully integrate them so that they may be accessed within seconds by various users. This has benefited not only all kinds of healthcare facilities (especially large-scale ones such as hospitals) but also the general population, and the overall efficiency of healthcare facilities has increased as a result.