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Physician Software: The 6 Most-Used Applications

Over the course of any given week, doctors can interact with up to a dozen different types of physician software. Some physician software is designed to improve patient outcomes, while others are intended to streamline administrative processes. Some do both. Here are the top six types of software used by physicians.

1. Electronic Health Record Software

EHR software is used by physicians to document a patient’s medical history, presenting issues, treatment plans, medications, diagnostic test results, immunizations, and so forth. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) boosted EHR software following the implementation of the Affordable Care Act through the use of adoption incentives. CMS has now moved from meaningful use incentives to interoperability incentives, which aim to support clinicians in delivering better care and patients in accessing their health records.

2. Clinical Decision Support Software

Clinical decision support systems (CDSS) help providers navigate the complexities of individual patients within a framework of medical knowledge. CDSS may be standalone or incorporated into electronic health record systems, and can be used in diagnostics, pharmacology, and chronic disease management. Clinical decision support can also be added into the personal health record of the patient to enhance the patient-physician relationship. CDSS can be formulated based on either scientific literature or the standards of the practice. In the future, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and pattern recognition are likely to be employed in CDSS.

3. Physician Scheduling Software

Physician scheduling software enables doctors to have a semblance of control over their work lives. With features like the ability to see real-time schedules, access via mobile apps, and the opportunity to engage in shift swapping, physician scheduling software can help alleviate some of the factors contributing to career dissatisfaction. These include burnout, length of shifts, and number of shifts. Scheduling software is also used to streamline administrative processes, such as those involved in scheduling and reaching on-call physicians.

4. Electronic Prescribing Software

Electronic prescribing software can be implemented as either a standalone application or as part of an electronic health record system. Physicians leverage e-prescribing to enhance patient safety by reducing the potential for errors, tracking possible drug interactions, and interfacing with state prescription drug monitoring programs. Electronic prescriptions can also boost patient compliance by streamlining the process of dispensing and refilling prescription medications by transmitting data to physical or mail order pharmacies. Finally, electronic prescribing software can support patients in managing their copayments as physicians can readily access health plan formularies and adjust prescribed medications as indicated.

5. Appointment Scheduling Software

Physicians working in a clinical setting may not interact with patient appointment scheduling software, but their work is greatly impacted by it. Optimal appointment scheduling not only enables physicians to care for their patients, but also creates time blocks needed for planning, research, meetings, and paperwork. Within the private and group practice environments, appointment scheduling software is critically linked to revenue. Better schedule management leads to fewer appointment gaps, greater patient satisfaction, and streamlined billing processes. It also provides flexibility to accommodate timing for differing patient needs and engagement of ancillary clinicians.

6. Telemedicine Software

An American Medical Association survey found that 85 percent of responding physicians indicate that they provide care via telehealth. Of those, 9 in 10 conducted telehealth visits via video. Telemedicine software typically includes a HIPAA-compliant video system and a mobile app for patients. It may or may not be integrated into existing electronic health records. Physicians and patients appreciate the flexibility provided by telemedicine software, while health systems realize financial benefits from streamlined administrative processes and less need for ancillary medical staff to attend to patient rooming.

Physician software is a critical component of medical practices, health plans, and hospital systems. It serves to improve patient outcomes, maximize clinician efficiency, and lessen administrative burdens.

MDsyncNET’s cloud-based physician scheduling software delivers four advantages: low set-up fees, simple to learn, a single source of truth, and painless scheduling swaps. Call 888-506-5061 to see how MDsyncNET can help you integrate physician software into your facility.

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