There are lots of tools and methods you can use to manage your PT practice. You probably have personal preferences, and you may be attached to what you currently use – even if it’s not perfect.
One of the things we know at HENO – because I used to do it myself – is that it can take a lot of time and energy to manage a practice if you don’t have everything in one location. That’s why we decided to create practice management software for ourselves, and ultimately, to make it available to other PT practices.
If you’re currently managing your PT practice with spreadsheets, you might wonder what the key differences are between what you’re doing and managing a practice with practice management software. Here’s what you need to know.
The Benefits and Risks of Spreadsheet Management
When you’re just starting out in your practice, it’s understandable to want to look for ways to save money. It’s very common for PTs to get by using spreadsheets to manage everything from patient scheduling to billing.Of course, there are benefits to using spreadsheets. Here are some of the positives that I associate with spreadsheet management:
- It’s inexpensive when compared to practice management software
- Spreadsheets are easy to set up and require little training
- It’s easy to find employees who know how to set up and maintain spreadsheets
- Spreadsheets can be used to sort information and look at it in several ways
Those are all good things – and when you’re running a small practice, they might add up to enough to keep you using spreadsheets for everything.Of course, there are some risks associated with spreadsheet management, too. Here they are:
- Running a practice requires tracking many things, including patient appointments, patient compliance and utilization, productivity, copayments, and insurance company billing – all of which may require separate spreadsheets.
- Some of the things you must track require regular follow-up, which can be difficult to do with a spreadsheet.
- If your practice is HIPAA-compliant, a spreadsheet does not offer the best solution for keeping PHI secure and meeting regulatory requirements.
- A spreadsheet can easily be copied or emailed, which can put your practice and its patients at a security risk.
- It can take a lot of time and energy to keep track of everything in a spreadsheet, and information must be entered manually every time.
You may be able to get by using spreadsheets, but it’s worth asking whether you’re really saving money when you factor in the time and energy required to maintain them.
The Pros and Cons of Practice Management Software
Practice management software like HENO is an alternative to spreadsheet management. As is the case with spreadsheets, there are pros and cons associated with using software. Let’s look at the pros first:
- Practice management software offers an all-in-one solution to managing your practice by making it easy to schedule and track your patients, track your finances, and follow up with insurance companies.
- The right practice management software can save you time every day by integrating your patient records with payment information – you’ll only need to enter information once.
- Using practice management software makes it easy to comply with HIPAA regulations and protect your patients’ PHI.
- With HENO, you can also manage your marketing strategy along with handling the scheduling and financial aspects of your PT practice.
- With practice management software, it’s easy to aggregate patient information, run reports, and track your finances without needing to look at multiple spreadsheets.
There are a few potential downsides to consider too, especially for small practices. For example:
- Practice management software is an investment. With HENO, for example, you’ll pay either a flat monthly rate per provider or a percentage of your billing, depending on your needs.
- If you’re currently using spreadsheets to manage your practice, there’ll be a learning curve as you adjust to practice management software.
- You may not be able to find employees who are already familiar with the practice management software you choose.
You’ll need to weight the pros and cons of investing in practice management software before you decide which option is best for your PT practice.
Is Practice Management Software Better Than Spreadsheet Management?
The big question is this: Are you better off using practice management software than you are managing your practice with spreadsheets?
Obviously, I’m biased – because I created HENO and rely on it every day. But if I take a step back and remember what it was like not to use practice management software, I can honestly say that things are much better now. I have more time for other aspects of my life because of HENO, and my practice is thriving.
If you’re currently managing your practice with spreadsheets, you might be skeptical about switching to practice management software. We understand that – but we also think we can help. Click here to schedule a free demo of HENO today.