Sponsored by EZnotes
Picking the perfect chiropractic software is often challenging.
Documentation and billing software systems are often very different products with a wide range of features and there is frequently a big difference in price.
You will find that software companies have one of two business models, either you own their software, or you rent it.
Cloud vs. server
Most software companies like the rental model better because they make money from you each month for as long as you are using the product. And if it’s hosted on the cloud, they can deny you access to your notes if you miss a payment. This could happen if you have a cash flow issue because chiropractic insurance reimbursements have been going down and expenses are often going up.
That is why the ownership business model may be a good choice because there are no ongoing monthly payments, perhaps only a yearly technical support fee. This is similar to owning your car versus paying a monthly lease. You save money by having your patients stored on one of your office computers, which should be backed up nightly.
If you do have more than one location (and your patients visit both offices), then having the software in the cloud where you can access it from either location may be helpful. If you only have one location, you may find it less expensive to store your data on a local server and not in the cloud.
The chiropractic software you select should be able to be customized to the way that you practice. Rarely do two DCs practice the same way with some emphasizing nutrition, others exercise or PT, while others use almost no modalities.
Your notes should truly reflect what you do and present it in a clear way, so that anyone who reads your notes will appreciate your personal style and commitment to healthcare. For example, if you have a practice that concentrates on personal Injury, make sure that your documentation system will consolidate all the various components. Your new patient consultations, initial and final exams, X-ray reports, and the various SOAP notes should be organized into a narrative that is useful to attorneys and therefore is a source of future referrals.
If you frequently procrastinate writing the final narrative, find software that does it for you and has features such as peer reviewed references. Such a feature can help explain aspects of whiplash, or any complicating factors that may have slowed down the healing process.
Features for the future
Another piece to consider is whether your office needs a certified documentation system. This is especially important if you have a large Medicare practice. As you probably have read in 2017, healthcare Is moving towards value-based care, including the beginning of MIPS and MACRA.
Those chiropractors who see at least 100 Medicare patients or receive at least $30,000 a year from Medicare are required to use a certified system or they will receive a penalty. Therefore, if you do fall into this category, ask your software company about their certification status.
Do your homework
You will find that there are many chiropractic software companies out there. Do your research and request demos to see which one you like best and what system fits your practice. Keep in mind that many companies have money back guarantees, which you can take advantage of if the software you chose ends up not being a good fit.
While you most likely didn’t go into chiropractic school thinking “I can’t wait to begin practicing, so I can generate some really terrific notes”, they are an important part of your job as a DC. If you want to continue helping and healing patients, you need to legally generate good documentation. Finding the perfect software can help you do that, while saving you time and money as well.
Michael Silbert, DC, graduated NUHS in 1993. He has been in healthcare since 1978 and co-founded EZnotes in 2002. He practices in Chicago, home of the World Series Champion Cubs.
EZnotes was designed by Russell Manktelow, DC, and Michael Silbert, DC, for their busy downtown Chicago chiropractic practice. It all started when Manktelow noticed that when Silbert was dictating his notes into a tape recorder, he was frequently repeating a lot of the same things for each patient, and staying several hours after the last patient had gone to finish his notes.
In addition, the cost for these medical transcriptions was over $1,000 per month, it took two days to get back, and the completed notes were often full of mistakes.
Realizing that he was wasting his time with antiquated and expensive documentation solutions, they set out to find a computerized system for chiropractic documentation. After exploring many of the options available, they realized that none met their requirements fully, and the systems were overly complicated. At that point, they decided to build their own system.
The result of their two years of development and in-practice beta testing was EZnotes – quite probably the easiest, most natural patient documentation solution available on the market today. Since 2002, EZnotes has been time-tested and proven in thousands of real world chiropractic practices.