From Scheduling to Billing: Saving Time with Clinic Management Software

April 01, 2024

The administrative load of running a one-person health and wellness business eats up a lot of time. Adding a group of practitioners to the mix can make the workload seem intense. Factor in the extra time for communicating, solving conflicts, and making collective decisions and the optics flip to endless. 

Here’s the secret to effectively managing the complexity of running a clinic: it isn’t about more and better multitasking, it’s about amping up efficiency. Having the right holistic clinic management software in place offers a strategic advantage. Here’s why:

  • You may already use a bunch of software solutions to run your clinic (think: billing, scheduling, journaling, reporting, and more). If those systems sit in silos that don’t talk to one another, they’ll never increase your efficiency enough to move out of admin purgatory. 
  • Bundling all the functionality you need into a single clinic management software will make it much easier to grow without depleting your time and energy. 

Keep reading to understand where clinic efficiency snags are most likely to happen and discover how the best clinic management software can smooth them out for good. 

The importance of streamlining clinic workflows and operations

There are a few areas that can quickly sludge up your workflows when you’re managing a clinic with multiple practitioners. 

  1. Scheduling appointments 

Managing a single booking calendar is challenging. Managing multiple clinic rooms and practitioners can be downright chaotic if it isn’t well organized from the outset. 

An example of a team schedule in Practice Better, a clinic management software and EHR
An example of a team schedule in Practice Better, a clinic management software and EHR

There are a lot of questions to think through, including the following: 

  • How are clients booking appointments? Do you need a human to field calls and requests, or can clients self-book? Can you set boundaries you set around availability, changes, and cancellations? 
  • How much time should you block between appointments? The answer will vary by a bunch of factors and preferences, including business arrangements. For example, some practitioners might rent rooms by the hour/day or pay a split.
  • How will you accommodate individual practitioner preferences? For example, a practitioner who likes a bit of time built in for charting right after each appointment will seek different booking rules than someone who prefers to set aside a chunk of time at the end of the day.  
  • How will you best manage individual calendars for practitioners who are working in person and seeing multiple clients at a time? Chiropractors, physiotherapists, and acupuncturists, among other professionals, may choose to practice this way.

Managing patient records and information

More practitioners means more patients. You’ll want a standardized way for all the professionals in your clinic to accurately record, manage, and protect client information in your electronic health record (EHR) system.

If your practitioners work collaboratively, it’s much more efficient to have a single client record which multiple people can securely access and add information to. 

For example, imagine a clinic that works to support new mothers and their babies. A lactation consultant in the practice is working with a mom whose newborn is consistently fussy after feeding and exhibiting signs of reflux. If the lactation consultant chooses to work with the nutritionist in the clinic to set up an elimination diet for this client, the care will be more streamlined and simple if they can easily share things like SOAP notes, lab results, protocols, progress, and more. 

Billing and invoicing issues 

In a group practice, billing and invoicing will automatically be more complex due to multiple practitioners offering different services, and even variations in billing preferences. 

  • How do you streamline insurance billing for multiple practitioners? And how do you best keep track of the claim status for a large volume of claims? 
  • How can you stay on top of the different insurance billing codes frequently used by the practitioners in your clinic? The common Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes for a dietitian will be very different than the CPT codes a chiropractor needs. Getting the CPT codes wrong on a claim leads to business-disrupting delays and denials.
  • What if some of the colleagues in your group practice prefer to operate cash-based? Offering a mix of insurance-accepting and cash-based services within a group wellness clinic can offer clients more variety in treatment. However, it introduces more complexity. 
  • If practitioners are using different systems for billing and payments, how difficult is it to quickly get a big-picture view of clinic finances? 

Benefits of clinic management software

Finding the right software for clinic management can greatly reduce your time on tasks, improve client experience, and help you focus on other growth initiatives.

  • Efficiency. Centralizing critical functions in one system improves efficiency across the board. You can easily access all necessary information and tools within a single interface, reducing the need to switch between multiple systems to keep care flowing. 
  • Accuracy. A unified software keeps data consistent across the group practice. It stores things like patient records, appointment schedules, and billing information in a standardized format that promotes accuracy. It also reduces errors associated with duplicate entries or transferring information between unique systems. 
  • Clarity. A single clinic management software typically has built-in tools that make it easier to communicate and collaborate with all staff in the practice. Practitioners and administrative staff can easily share client information, update records, and coordinate care plans within the same system, leading to improved patient outcomes and satisfaction.
  • Transparency. Having one software for clinic management provides comprehensive reporting and analytics tools. You can use them to gain clear insights into important aspects of clinic performance, such as schedule optimization, revenue trends, and client appointment data. 
  • Affordability. Implementing a unified clinic management software solution can save you money by reducing expenses from multiple systems, training staff on different platforms, and addressing compatibility issues between software.
  • Credibility. From a client’s point of view, a group practice is one business focused on providing services and solutions to all their wellness challenges. It should feel that way when they work with you. They shouldn’t be required to jump through hoops to schedule or change appointments, pay invoices, and receive critical information. Clinic management software breaks down the barriers to seamless patient care.

What to look for in software for clinic management 

If you’re thinking about how to best evaluate software for clinic management, make sure to add the following to your list of must-haves. 

Appointment scheduling and calendar management

There are a lot of options on the market when it comes to scheduling software for medical clinics. It’s a good idea to think holistically about how you need scheduling to fit into your clinical systems. 

  • If you don’t have a central admin staffer who deals with bookings, you’ll need software that lets clients book their own appointments. Even if it is possible to book through a receptionist at your clinic, having a self-serve option provides more options to clients and ensures your receptionist isn’t spending their whole day managing bookings. 
  • The software should automate valuable tasks like sending appointment confirmations and reminders. It’s a low-effort way to reduce no-shows. 
  • Having the power to filter functions by team member can be useful for protecting patient privacy too.  
  • If you want to keep tabs on your entire team’s schedule you’ll also need a unified calendar. 

Electronic health records (EHR) and patient information management systems

Your clients don’t want to feel like they are being passed between distinct entities when interacting with your clinic. On the other side of the experience, your group practice staff also shouldn’t feel like client information exists in silos that are difficult to get at. 

A centralized EHR will let team members easily access services, forms, templates, and important client information right from their individual workflow. Bonus if you can make it push-button easy to securely share with colleagues. 

For context, here are some of the resources that can be shared between team members in Practice Better:

  • Services
  • Packages
  • Coupons
  • Forms
  • Disclaimers
  • Templates (including note, protocol, module, task, and lifestyle recommendation)
  • Insurance codes
  • Snippets

Automated billing and invoicing

Robust billing functionality should be built into your clinic management software. This frees you from toggling between different dashboards to stay on top of finances. Here are some features to look for:

  • The flexibility to accept payments online or in person, with the ability to accept, manage and track payments in one place
  • Automated sending of invoices, receipts, discounts, refunds, and more
  • The option to securely keep a credit card on file for faster payment processing
  • The option to require a deposit at booking and offer flexible payment plans
A screenshot of the Practice Better UX showing a Require to pay at booking option. 

If your group practice accepts insurance, billing can get complicated with multiple practitioners, codes, and rules to follow. 

Look for features that lock in accuracy, bake in efficiency, and speed up reimbursement. For example, the ability to add billing codes to services makes sure the right codes are automatically added to notes, Superbills, and CMS-1500 forms. 

Being able to view and track the status of all insurance claims from one place frees you from painstaking manual tracking and cross-referencing.

A screenshot of the Practice Better UX showing a list of insurance claims and their statuses. 

Integration with other tools and systems

The best clinic management software will eliminate the need to rely on multiple software solutions to run your business. There will likely still be some solutions you use that aren’t already baked in – like labs or supplement sales. This is where integrations come into play. 

  • Your clinic management software should offer seamless integrations with the tools you use in your practice. For example, if your practitioners include high-quality supplement recommendations in their protocols, then an integration with Fullscript removes unnecessary duplication from the process. Or if you count on Google Analytics to keep an eye on your website traffic and engagement, an integration is key. 
  • Don’t forget about scalability. You may not need all the functionality or integrations included in a robust clinic management software solution today, but that can quickly change as your business grows. A unified software will let you easily add functionality to accommodate your expanding operations and goals.
  • Finally, integrating clinic management software with your existing systems shouldn’t grind your efficiency to a halt. Any vendor you choose to partner with should offer speedy onboarding, comprehensive training, and ongoing support to set you up for success. 

Explore the best clinic management software options

Whether you’re already running a health and wellness group practice or thinking through how to open a clinic, it’s always wise to consider the many ways you can improve efficiency. This efficiency starts with embracing the right digital systems. 

The best clinic management software is going to be the one that offers the features and efficiencies that work for your business at the right price point. It’s also worth noting that practice management software for Teams often includes the must-have features you need to maximize clinic efficiency. 

Practice Better is the complete practice management platform for health and wellness professionals. Interested in learning more? Check out the demo.

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