Before you invest in a new practice management platform, you’ve got to do your homework. All software is not created equal and choosing new software is a financial and professional commitment that can have a big impact on you, your staff, and your patients.
At HENO, one of the most common questions we get is:
What kind of software training do you provide?
That’s an important question, but to get the info you need you have to dig deeper. Before you buy, you should be sure to get a clear picture of what software training your practice management platform provides. Here are 7 questions to ask.
#1: What Training Resources Do You Make Available to Your Clients?
This first question to ask before you choose a practice management platform is an essential one and you may need to ask follow-up questions as well. Ask it to get an overview of the training resources. Some examples of resources might include:
In-person or online instructor-led training for your employees
Printed user manuals and training manuals
Online user manuals and training manuals
Interactive help features within the practice management platform
Telephone, email, or chat support
If there’s a kind of training that’s important to you and the vendor doesn’t mention it, ask a follow-up question. You may also want to ask about the duration of instructor-led training and the average response time for support tickets.
#2: How Long Does Software Conversion and Employee Training Take?
The answer to this question may vary depending upon the size of your practice and other variables, but any responsible vendor should be able to give you an idea of the time frame for training.
Implementing any new software is likely to be disruptive to your practice to some degree. It’s your job to understand what the training entails and how long it will take to get the software up and running and your staff trained.
#3: How Intuitive is Your Software?
In addition to understanding what training resources you’ll get, it’s also a good idea to ask specific questions about the usability of the software in question. One way to get the information you need is to choose a couple of key tasks, such as scheduling an appointment or creating a bill, and ask how many clicks it takes to perform each task.
Your vendor should be able to answer this question. They should also understand why you’re asking it and be able to explain the process in a way that makes sense.
#4: Are There Customizable Features in Your Software?
While most practice management platforms have a lot in common, there are features that vary from vendor to vendor. And, since your practice is unique, it’s important to know whether you and your staff will be able to customize features, whether you’re adding a field to your patient on-boarding process or just want to be able to create ad hoc reports.
As a follow-up, you should also ask if the software training the vendor provides includes instruction on how to customize the features that can be changed. Your staff will need to understand what they can and can’t do, and including customization in the early training will simplify the process for everybody.
#5: Are There Fees for Tech and Hardware Support?
What kind of support is included in the price you pay for your practice management platform? Some vendors include a lot of support while others do the bare minimum and charge extra for the kind of robust support many clients require.
You should make sure that you understand what you’re getting and what additional costs you might incur for the highest level of support. Skipping this question might mean that you get surprised by additional charges or inadequate support.
#6: Is Nighttime and Weekend Support Available?
It’s common for software vendors to offer support during their regular business hours. However, if you or your staff work on nights or weekends, you want to make sure that you can get the support you need when you need it.
#7: Can I Get a Demo of Your Software?
Getting a demo is one of the best ways to get a feel for a new practice management platform. Ideally, the demo should be for you and your staff, so you can all see how the software works and get a feeling for its usability.
If you get a demo, make sure to ask as many questions as you can. Investing in new software is a big decision. Any vendor that is impatient with you or doesn’t answer questions willingly is not somebody you want to buy from.
Investing in a new practice management platform is a big decision. Asking the 7 software training questions we’ve listed here will ensure that you have what you need to make an informed decision for you, your staff, and your patients.
Want to see what HENO can do for your practice management? Click here to get a free demo!
Katie co-founded HENO based on her career as a physical therapist and practice owner of over 10 years. Her understanding of the pain points many practice owners face has equipped her to create practice management solutions that optimize the efficiency and profitability of physical, speech and occupational therapy clinics.