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Thread Topic: An appeal for common sense - Part I
Topic Originator: JamesNT
Post Date August 4, 2005 @ 8:12 PM
An appeal for common sense - Part I


JamesNT
August 4, 2005 @ 8:12 PM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

I have been reading over the posts here regarding which Practice Management software to use.  I must say, I feel a little concerned.  

Let's face it.  We have all been there.  You want to start your own business because maybe you left a boss that sucks at your real job.  Medical billing seems really cool especially since there is a doctor's office on every corner in your home town.

But which software do you buy?

How do you get this started?

What do you do?

My goal here is to help answer the first question:  Which software to buy.  But I am not going to sit here and tell you to "buy medisoft  It's easy to use and can be set up for wide area networks."  In fact, I'm not going to tell you to buy anything.  What we are going to do is look at the criteria I think are important before you plunk down a few grand for some software you've barely heard of before.

With all that in mind, let's get started.

THE USER INTERFACE.
This topic kills me, which is why I list it first - even over price.  This topic kills me because the graphical user interface of a software is usually the last thing anyone thinks about before they buy a software but it is the first thing they bitch about once they get the software installed.  Think about it:  you are going to be using this software day in and day out for 8 whole hours a day.  Do you want to sit behind a computer screen that is ugly and hard to use?  Or would you rather have something that is nice and easy to use?  Some of you are correct in that a person who is thinking about buying some practice management software should ask for a 30-day trial copy and really check it out.  If the interface sucks, the answer as to whether to buy the software is NO.  Forget the price.  You have already made the decision.  "But James, it's the cheapest one out there and I have little money!!"  Sorry about your bad luck.  But if you buy a software with a horrible interface, then you will waste tons of money through suffering and aggravation.  Suffer and aggravation = not getting work done.

Be certain you like the user interface of any program you are thinking about buying.  It doesn't have to be perfect, but it does have to be liveable - preferably comfortable.

COMMUNITY.
Some software companies have great communites.  What is a community, you ask?  A community is where the software company encourages its customers to interact and network amongts each other.  They do this through yearly seminars, forums like this one, e-mail newsletters, posting the successes of their customers, and lots of other stuff.  People, I'm telling you now, communities are important.  They provide a great atmosphere to learn from peers with more experience than you have, create business opportunities, and just a great way to vent some steam when you need to.  Be certain the company you are thinking about buying your software from encourages networking amongst its customers.  This is one of the best ways to get the help and advice you need as you grow your business from peers who have been there done that - and its almost always free!  The community my software provider has is one of the main reasons I went with them.

TECHNICAL SUPPORT.
Tech support is a dying thing with most tech companies.  You should waste no time finding out what the tech support policy is for the company you are thinking about buying from.  How hard is it to get to tech support?  Do they return your calls in a timely manner?  How much do they charge for tech support if they do?  It is important to get these questions answered.  They don't have to be answered perfectly, but having decent answers will save you tons of heart-ache later.

DEVELOPMENT OF THE PRODUCT AND THE FUTURE.
Software must evolve to meet the growing needs of the users.  You should ask the company you are buying from if they have a plans to meet the needs of the future.  Good questions are:  What features are you planning on adding that I have not seen in the demo?  How often do you release a new version?  What is the cost of getting the new version, if any?

PRICE.
I saved this one for last.  So many of us think price first and the rest last and that is many times NOT cool.  In this case you should look at all the categories above first and then look at price last.  As the old saying goes - you get what you pay for.  How are you to know what you are getting if you don't look at it all first?

With all that said, there are many pricing methods for software.  Some software packages are priced by how many users connect, for example.  You should examine closely the pricing method of the software you are looking at.  Do you have to buy a new license every damn time you add a new user?  Are licenses yours forever or do you have to renew them?  And don't look at the short term cost - look at the LONG TERM COST of the software.  It's easy to get caught with software that is cheap up front but costs out the ass later on in misc. licensing fees.  The way my software provider licenses their software is another one of the main reasons I went with them.


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I believe I'll stop there.  In part two, I may cover some other neat stuff to think about.  If anyone has any questions, please ask.

Regards,
JamesNT

joe
August 17, 2005 @ 2:08 PM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

There are many products that relate to Practice Management.  The benenfit is customized products that ensure that the patients gets bills, the insurance is filed and subsequently managed from the accoutns receiviable point of view and that you may answer quesitons to patients on the status of each of their encounters at the practice or clinics they visit.

I encourage you to take a look at our products, as our entry level pricing starts at $49/month/provider, including training, EDI set-up, ERA set-up and reporting.  Take a look at www.kareo.com.

anon
March 17, 2006 @ 4:09 AM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

i believe you did a good job evaluating the software basing on getting the money's worth regardless of the price...
so can i ask what software you are using?

JamesNT
March 17, 2006 @ 9:32 AM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

I decided to go with Practice Manager X3 from Synergy.

Regards,
JamesNT

Joe Wurzer
March 17, 2006 @ 12:22 PM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

Hi James,

Your editorial communication to the B&C community on the process of selecting a system for billing was very interesting.  I do wish you the best of luck with your decision.  At some time, I would embrace an opportunity in showing our produtct to you if you have an interest.  Again, good luck and may your business grow.

Joe Wurzer



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