When you run a clinic, salon, or spa, there is a lot to do.
You’re overseeing day-to-day operations, hiring and training staff, and managing the finances. You’ve also got to market the business and comply with regulations, all while trying to give your customers the best possible experience.
(I know, I know. I’m preaching to the choir here. But I promise I’m going somewhere with this)
When you’ve got so much to do, there are only a few ways you can lighten the load:
- Option 1: Hire more staff
- Option 2: Cut corners
- Option 3: Use technology
Now, if money was no object, option 1 would probably be everyone’s first choice. People are great, and it would be fantastic if we could hire a specialist for every task.
But for nearly all of us, money is an object.
(“Money is an object”? I’m not even sure that idiom makes sense!)
Or maybe you looked at those three options and thought “Option 2 sounds good”. If that’s the case, I’d suggest that perhaps healthcare isn’t the best industry for you. Maybe try something with lower stakes, like marketing. Or politics!
This leaves us with option 3: Tech.
Luckily, there are some brilliant tools available that will save you time, make your life easier, and even cut costs.
In this article, we’re focusing on patient management software and how you benefit from using one. We’ll also dig into the key features to look for, and the best options on the market.
What is patient management software?
Patient management software (sometimes called ‘Patient case management software’) is an application that makes it easy for healthcare providers to manage their patients and customers.
We’ll expand on the specific functionality shortly, but generally, this includes tracking appointments, storing medical history, medication info, etc.
They also provide useful features that improve how you communicate and build relationships with your patients, such as appointment reminders, patient portals, and marketing tools.
Basically, it brings together everything you need to provide top customer service, in one app.
Benefits of Using Patient Management Software
While each feature will have its own immediate benefit, there are much bigger long-term benefits:
Better quality of care
Another huge benefit of having all the patient information in one place is the quality of care you can provide. When you have access to everything, you can make better-informed decisions in the best interest of your patients.
By having access to everything in one place, you can get things done much quicker. A lot of these apps also offer automation such as automatic reminders, which completely replace some manual tasks.
Increased patient satisfaction
The easier it is for your patients to book appointments, access their records, contact the clinic, etc, the happier they’ll be.
Compliance made easy
Ensuring you’re compliant with regulations can sometimes feel like a full-time job in itself. Your patient management software can help you to meet all requirements, giving you peace of mind in the process.
Types of Patient Management Software
There are three different types of patient management systems, and it’s important to choose the right one for your business. Here’s a summary of each one, to make it easier to decide what’s best for you.
Less popular in recent years, on-premise patient management software is installed and hosted on your own servers. This gives you greater control and potentially tighter security, but it is also more expensive to set up and maintain.
The reason on-premise has become less popular is because of the rise of cloud-based apps.
A cloud-based patient management system is hosted on the software vendor’s server, and you log in via a web browser. This type of patient management software is often more affordable and much quicker to get started. But might not offer the same depth of control or security.
Mobile patient management apps are useful because you can access records wherever you are, as long as you have your phone and an internet connection.
This portability can be useful, but mobile apps won’t offer the same variety of features, and often work best when combined with a cloud or on-premise solution.
Key Features to Look For in a Patient Management Software
Every patient case management software is different, but there are a number of common features you’re likely to see in most of them:
- Appointment scheduling
- Patient portal
- Electronic health record (EHR)
- Prescription management
- Insurance claims
- Document management
Similarly, every clinic, salon or spa is also different. So it’s important to not just look for the tool with the most features, but instead look for the features you need.
For example, if you’re eager to offer your patients a customer portal, and don’t need prescription management, you should keep this in mind while comparing tools.
5 Best Patient Management Software
Not only is Pabau designed to make managing your clinic as easy as possible, it’s also the most complete patient management software on this list.
Not only does it include all the features we’ve already mentioned, but it also gives you custom forms and questionnaires, automated workflows, paperless service, and marketing tools.
Pabau also integrates with a number of brilliant apps, giving you even more functionality and flexibility. From Stripe’s payment service, to Ometria’s AI-powered customer insights.
Of course you think Pabau is the best, you made it!
That’s a fair point, but that’s also why we know it’s so good. Ever since 2012, when Pabau was started in a garage in Leicester, we’ve been on a mission to give clinics the best possible client management tool.
That’s why we also reinvest 80% of our revenue back into improving and developing the app.
Although it’s primarily an electronic health record (EHR) tool, SimplePractice also offers some great patient management features.
As well as the standard features like appointment scheduling and insurance filing, SimplePractice also has some solid marketing tools.
The most noteworthy of these is their built-in website builder. It has its limitations (it’s not as advanced as something like WordPress or Squarespace), but its templates make it easy to get a website up and running quickly and easily.
The pandemic was a challenging time for a lot of industries, and Telehealth became a vital way for clinics to still provide services and consultations.
For Cliniko, this has become a flagship part of their patient case management app. As well as the features you expect, they have focused on providing a rich range of online consultation features like group calls and screen-sharing.
It’s lacking in a couple of other areas, such as marketing tools and reporting, but if Telehealth is your focus, it could be worth the compromise.
If you’re looking for a more advanced patient management system, Kareo is worth a look. Instead of being a single product dedicated to case management, Kareo is 5 tools in one.
This can be a bit daunting, but if you’re willing to put the time into learning the different products, you can get a lot out of this tool.
From client engagement to mobile apps, Kareo is a toolbox for you to create the solution your clinic needs. This includes an extensive marketplace of integrations, across various categories.
If you’re looking for a patient management system targeted more at larger healthcare providers, CareCloud could be a good option.
Similar to Kareo, CareCloud offers an extensive range of features, like process automation and CareCloud Wellness, their new digital health suite.
This focus on remote and automated services has the potential to save you a lot of time and speed up your processes. But it could also come across as impersonal or apathetic to your patients.