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What is Practice Management Software, Anyway?

What is Practice Management Software, Anyway?

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In the ever-changing and complex world of healthcare, figuring out the subtle nuances between the different types of software for medical laboratory solutions on the market can be overwhelming. With so many laboratory software systems and vendors out there, journeying down the path to purchase can make even the most sophisticated of software aficionados tremble. But don’t stress; we’re here to break down what you need to know in an easy-to-digest, bite-sized way. 

First, knowing exactly what software system your healthcare organization needs is important. Two of the most popular types of software used in healthcare settings are an LIS laboratory information system (LIS abbreviation medical) and a practice management system (practice management software). The LIS system is the platform of choice for molecular, clinical, and anatomic pathology laboratories, and practice management software is designed to help medical offices of any size run more efficiently.  

How Practice Management Software Benefits the Healthcare Community

For medical clinics and offices, practice management tasks can seem never-ending. On any given day, the list includes the administration of daily operations, business planning, records management, client communications, hiring and managing staff, ordering and managing equipment and consumables, ensuring regulatory compliance, invoicing, and appointment and calendar management. 

Medical practice management software helps clinics and offices deal with all these aspects easily and efficiently by bridging the gap between clinical work and administrative tasks. Tasks like scheduling patient appointments, verifying insurance, and managing the RCM cycle are distinct from clinical roles that provide healthcare services.

Although practice management software generally includes features that involve patient information, the software is primarily designed to help medical clinics and offices manage administrative workflows, not clinical ones. Overall, practice management software helps improve a facility’s productivity and efficiency by allowing administrators and other staff to focus more on patients and less on tedious, time-consuming paperwork. 

Some offices even use practice management software to connect with electronic medical records (EMRs), a completely different type of medical software. That’s why it’s important to note that medical practice management software is less about patient documentation or medical history and more about running the office.

Management Software

What is the Purpose of Practice Management Software?

Practice management software can capture patient demographics but usually doesn’t include a patient’s medical history. It is specifically designed for healthcare practices to streamline and automate the common tasks that can’t be easily managed with manual tasks. 

Although small, low-volume clinics and offices can survive using manual, paper-based systems, most find that practice management software makes things run much more smoothly. Instead of having separate systems or ledgers for client contact records, treatment notes, appointment calendars, client referrals, and invoicing, practice management software enables all of this information to be in one integrated place. 

Many practice management platforms even include reporting functionality that helps clinics and offices to understand what’s happening within the organization in real time.

The American Medical Association states the goal of healthcare practice management is to enhance efficiency, professional satisfaction, and the delivery of patient care. In support of this, practice management software can help in several ways. 

For example, with practice management software front desk staff will no longer have to make copies of patients’ insurance cards. Instead, they can simply scan the cards with the software capturing all the necessary fields.

More Practice Management Software Examples

Physicians can also use practice management software to validate a procedure with an insurance company before ordering it. This also helps patients who need clarification about their insurance coverage or Explanation of Benefits (EOB). 

Practice management software even reduces paperwork allowing billers to search through patient records and digital reports covering insurance information, remittances, and claim advice. Because practice management software maintains documents and data online, it streamlines operations within a practice, including the ability to search EMR/EHR documents.

Medical Practice Management Software

What is an LIS Laboratory Information System?

Molecular, clinical, and anatomic pathology labs are critical players within the overall healthcare delivery ecosystem. That’s why it’s important to understand what a LIS laboratory information system (LIS system in healthcare) is, and how a medical LIS differs from practice management software. 

Simply stated, a LIS system is a laboratory software system (also known as LIS software) that helps clinical labs and pathology practices manage many operational aspects of laboratory workflow, including inputting, processing, and storing the information and data of a lab. 

These specialized pathology lab software systems act as data warehouses for all lab cases and include reporting, image acquisition, direct digital interface with microscopes, label printing, electronic sign-out, quality control, integration with prior test results, auto-reflexing, and more. 

The LIS system has become a common part of the data infrastructure of advanced healthcare systems, busy laboratories, and hospitals, and the best LIS systems even support in-house laboratory billing (lab revenue cycle management). 

Learn More: Reduce Denials and Stop Revenue Leakage With Integrated Laboratory Billing Management

Inside labs, the LIS software manages the data flow of information, including various lab processes, such as recording, updating, and storing patient-related data, sample tracking management, and reports management. 

LigoLab’s LIS & RCM Laboratory Informatics Platform is a great example of today’s best-in-class pathology software solutions. The enterprise-grade LIS software system includes modules for anatomic pathology (anatomic pathology LIS), molecular diagnostics (molecular LIS), clinical pathology (medical LIS), lab billing (lab RCM), and direct-to-consumer lab testing (TestDirectly and TestDirectly.com), all integrated on a single platform that is highly configurable and supports every role (administrative, operational, financial), within the medical laboratory.

Laboratory Information System (LIS)

What Can LigoLab’s Platform Do for Your Lab?

LigoLab’s platform ensures full interoperability with instruments, electronic health records (EHRs), and third-party services adopted by laboratories. Other salient features of the LIS system and lab RCM platform include powerful specimen barcoding and tracking support, a robust and searchable audit trail, compliance verification at every stage, a built-in interface engine, flexible engines for rules and automation, fully customizable reports, and multiple distribution options. 

This comprehensive bundle of features comes with a user-friendly interface and unlimited customization capability to cater to the unique needs of various customers no matter the size of their laboratory operations, or the type of testing under their practice.

According to Frost & Sullivan analyst Amartya Bose, “LigoLab’s truly integrated LIS & RCM platform allows for the seamless integration, transparency, and situational awareness of all laboratory operations and RCM processes through its real-time, queue-facilitated workflow. This RCM module ensures billing cycle management starts at the order initiation, providing a single source of truth supported by automated coding and regulatory claim compliance verification, thus reducing the risk of denials at a later stage by up to 98 percent and improving the net collections for laboratories.”

The LigoLab Platform is designed for use at general or specialized pathology practices large and small, and integration with hospital management systems. The platform also delivers maximum interoperability to all instruments, devices, EHRs, and third-party services. 

Learn More: LigoLab Delivers the LIS System Interoperability Needed to Transform Medical Laboratories into Thriving Businesses

LigoLab’s LIS system platform is under constant development in an ongoing effort to support every laboratory role. As such is the case it’s not out of the realm of possibilities for the platform to soon incorporate all practice management functionality within the LIS system. That’s the direction LigoLab is headed and the LIS company and its partner labs are constantly looking for ways to become even more efficient and productive. 

Learn More:Navigating the Future of Pathology: The LigoLab Advantage

Laboratory Operating Platform

Please Tell Me More About LigoLab!

LigoLab is an award-winning provider of innovative end-to-end healthcare LIS software for pathology laboratories, servicing hundreds of facilities nationwide. 

As a comprehensive enterprise-grade pathology lab management system, the LigoLab LIS & RCM Laboratory Informatics Platform™ supports every role, every department, and every case. LigoLab empowers laboratories to serve patients better, differentiate in the marketplace, scale operations, and become more compliant and profitable.

Michael Kalinowski
Author
Michael Handles Marketing and Communications for LigoLab

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Meet with our product experts and learn how LigoLab helps clinical labs and pathology practices digitally transform into modern, efficient, and profitable organizations.  
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