Modernizing patient management systems

A doctor’s surgery is an increasingly technological place. Where once patient records were held in manila folders in very large filing cabinets, now all the information is held electronically.

A patient management system keeps track of patients, books appointments, holds billing records, sends out reminder notices, and more. Where once those filing cabinets stood, now there is a server in most surgeries holding all the information.

But in-surgery patient management systems are giving way to cloud-based systems, which allow for patients to have greater access to their own medical records, book their own appointments, and order repeat prescriptions.

As medical centers move to these new systems, it’s important that the doctors, nurses, and administrators understand what they are agreeing to when they transition to cloud-based patient management systems.


Heavy reliance on these systems

Because there is such a heavy reliance on these systems in managing a modern medical center, the system needs to work. Suppliers should stipulate minimum uptime levels in their agreements, and medical staff should know what these are, and what they mean in practical terms.

There is a sense of security when the patient records server is right there on the property – when it goes down, you know what’s happening as it’s being fixed. Thus a transition to hosting in a data management center or in the cloud can cause some anxiety. There is a particular worry around security, which is understandable as sensitive information is held in patient management systems. A cloud or data center hosting supplier should include data protection information in the agreement and be able to discuss what protective measures are in place.

It is worth noting that, in general, external hosting is more secure than internal hosting. For instance, it completely removes the risk of the hardware being stolen or destroyed during a break-in.


New systems provide the opportunity for growth

New patient management systems use greater automation and allow for self-management by patients. Through these, more patients can be looked after with less resources – increasing the number of patients a medical center can have on its books. Self-management is a particular drawcard for the public. Being able to access their own records, book their own appointments, and order their own repeats is likely to be very attractive to people who are now used to having information available at the click of a mouse.


Make an informed decision

A patient management system is a complex structure and changing the way the system is hosted or managed is a major decision. It is important that doctors and practice managers fully understand the features and drawbacks of any technology they adopt. The cheapest option may not be the most suitable for a particular practice, so look beyond the bottom line. Going into any negotiation with a potential supplier, medical center staff should understand the concepts and important features on offer, be able to make their expectations clear, and have a full understanding of what the agreement with the supplier means.


IT Contract Templates offers medical centers all the information they need to go into any supply negotiation with full knowledge of what should be covered in the agreement and what that all means. By having all the information, medical practises can make the right decisions and move into using their new system with complete confidence.


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