Chiropractic Software Reviews
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Selecting the right software for your chiropractic office can be a daunting and exhausting task. ChiroMonkey.com helps to eliminate much of the confusion by sorting out the features and functionality of today's leading chiropractic software and office management systems. Our reviews are based on the opinions and experiences of our editorial staff which include a team of practicing chiropractors, internet technology experts, attorneys, and a former insurance claims adjuster. We have also taken the liberty to appropriately categorize the chiropractic office software that we review each month to further assist you in your decision making process. Rest assured, we can help you to make the right decision when it comes to your selecting the right software for your office.
Chiropractic Software - What Matters Most
Many chiropractors make the mistake of selecting software or a practice management system based entirely on price, while others base their decision on the number of "bells and whistles" a system is equipped with. Neither of these scenarios make good sense. Doctors who base their decision on price alone are often left with an out-dated system lacking in the necessary features to properly and efficiently manage their office. Those who base their decision on the number of "bells and whistles" a system is equipped with often pay too much for a system consisting of features they will never use or require. The truth is, a balance of the two is ideal.
When reviewing the various chiropractic office software systems, our team of experts focused on three primary areas including price, features and support.
The software you choose for your chiropractic office should be reasonably priced and fit within your budget. Just because a vendor is offering a special discount or an attractive leasing plan on their software, doesn't mean that you should purchase it. The software and practice management systems we have reviewed range in price from a low of about $500.00 to more than $8,000.00. Many companies also charge additional fees for technical support, updates, upgrades, multi-user access, network-ready versions and other services. Hardware requirements are another area of concern as well. Some vendors may require the purchase of special hardware such as servers, additional monitors, kiosks, Tablet PCs, and so on. This can increase the cost of the software significantly.
Before considering a specific system, you should always consider the TOTAL cost of ownership and not just the price a vendor's sales department quotes you. Always ask what you are getting for your money, especially when it comes to the more expensive systems. Don't be fooled by all the fancy computer jargon. Ask the sales person to explain the features of their software in a verbiage that YOU can understand. Additionally, you ask about any special offers or discounts up front. Many vendors offer discounts on their software to new graduates and doctors who may be just starting out in practice.
Software Features for YOUR Office
The chiropractic office software you select should provide you with the essential features required to run YOUR office efficiently. At the very least, this should include an appointment scheduler and an integrated billing module with the capability to submit claims electronically. Again, these are the basic and essential features of any chiropractic or medical practice management system. It's important that you select a system with the capability to submit claims electronically. The industry experts we spoke with have informed us that this is the trend and in the near future, all claims to all insurance companies will be handled electronically. Implement electronic billing capabilities now and save yourself the hassle and expense later on.
Other features to consider include automated reporting capabilities for creating notes and reports on the fly. As a doctor, your time should be spent caring for your patients and marketing your practice - not spending countless hours writing notes and reports. The time wasted writing reports could be better utilized caring for your patients, scheduling seminars and screenings to market your practice, and having some free time to just relax and enjoy yourself.
One catch-phrase you've probably been hearing a lot about lately is EMR. EMR stands for electronic medical record. EMRs are capable of converting your paper documents to digital files, and storing and managing them appropriately. Many of the chiropractic software systems on the market today are equipped with EMR capabilities. Imagine never having to retrieve or replace a paper file again. How about never having to buy paper folders again! This saves both time and money and in many cases, pays for itself within the first year or two. Last but not least, the system you select should comply with HIPAA regulations and offer user defined access levels to prevent tampering with records or system settings by a staff member, especially a disgruntled one.
As with price, you should demand that the sales staff explain to you in clear verbiage all the features included in the office software system you are considering purchasing.
One of the most important considerations of any chiropractic software vendor is the level of support they offer their clients. In other words, how well do they back their software after the sale? What good is office software if you can't figure out how to use it or get it to run properly? Most vendors offer a combination of phone and web-based support. Some even offer in-house or off-site training for the doctor and office staff for an additional fee.
Most software companies do charge for support, so expect to pay for it. Some charge by the incident, while others offer an unlimited annual plan that also includes updates and upgrades. The truth is, there are a lot of individuals who are not computer proficient. It takes a considerable amount of time and resources to train these individuals and their staff, and to address questions that may arise along the way. Think of a software support plan as health care insurance. You are required to pay a monthly premium whether or not you utilize the benefits of the plan. Most software support plans will run you between $500 and $800 per year. You will find vendors offering free or low cost options when it comes to support, but in the end, will your expectations be met? Probably not.
It has been our experience to go with a reliable vendor who offers an annual support plan that includes unlimited phone and email support, and all software maintenance including updates and upgrades. Training for staff should also be included in this plan. If you opt out of the vendor's support plan, it will likely cost you more in the end. Remember, your chiropractic software is the backbone of your office and should remain a priority for you and your staff.
"Chiropractors searching for practice management software should seriously consider price, features and support before making a purchase."
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