Practice management systems automate practice operations

A powerful way to make practice management easier and more effective is to use a practice management system that automates particular aspects of practice activities, such as coding, billing, tracking payer responsiveness to claims, communicating with patients, documenting clinical activity, tracking provider and practice performance, financial reporting, and gathering and submitting quality program data. These are all areas that can be both streamlined and improved through automation.

Although it is natural to feel apprehensive about changes that a new practice management system may introduce into a practice, the American Medical Association (AMA) has recognized the importance of having the right system in the face of sweeping industry changes:

For many physician practices, purchasing an appropriate practice management system (PMS) can be a daunting task. Yet most physician practices will be required to significantly upgrade or replace their current practice management system software in response to health care industry developments.1

These developments include Meaningful Use criteria, the challenges of transitioning to ICD-10, the need to document clinical quality to achieve revenue benefits, and the increased requirements for data0sharing as better=coordinated care is demanded.

Cloud-based solutions can offer benefits not available in other practice management systems, including

  • Continual, non-disruptive, behind-the-scenes upgrades that quickly respond to changes in industry requirements, from changes to individual codes (which can happen often with government payers) to a transition to an entire code set, as will happen with ICD-10
  • The ability to continually gather performance data from within the individual practice as well as from practices across the nation, not only helping to improve performance of the overall cloud-based solution, but also providing performance benchmarks for every practice on the network
  • Interconnection with other practices, hospitals, rehab centers, labs, and health care information sources

1 “Selecting a Practice Management Toolkit,” American Medical Association,

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