How to pick the right POS system for your medical practice
For any medical practice to run smoothly, it’s imperative that there is a consistent, reliable, and user-friendly billing system that not only runs a diverse amount of payment options, but can also be customized to streamline other areas of your practice. Many modern point of sale (POS) systems are able to do all this and more, so this article will focus on pairing you with the most efficient one for the unique needs of your medical business.
How does a good POS system impact your doctor’s office?
Ease of day-to-day operations. A good POS system can make almost every division of your medical practice work more efficiently, from quickly running payments and determining costs, to organizing appointments and contacting patients. These POS systems are not only handheld, but have an easily accessible, user-friendly interface that will keep all of your employees – from admins to physicians – all on the same page; and the medical software can be implemented on your mobile device as well.
Can manage patients and practitioners across multiple locations. If your medical business has multiple locations, is on a large campus, or covers a multitude of different medical specialties, then the right POS system can help keep your team members connected, updated, and ready to collaborate.
The right POS system makes it easy for patients to schedule appointments with specialists within your practice in the event they need to have a physician who specializes in the patient’s particular condition (e.g., dermatology, neurology, cardiovascular, etc.) Furthermore, the right POS system can supply updated patient charts, electronic health records (EHR), supplemental notes, and health care provider information to the specialist in a confidential and secure manner.
What factors should you look for in a doctor’s office POS system?
HIPAA compliant. In your medical practice, you’re going to come across a great deal of personal information, whether verbally or by viewing patient files. This includes patient data (contact information, diagnoses, treatments, conditions, prescriptions), credit or debit card information, and health care insurance information. It’s your duty to keep all of this information secure and confidential.
The right POS system that is Payment Card Industry (PCI) and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliant will assist you in keeping all this information secure, encrypted, and viewed by only those who have access to it.
If you’re going to use a POS system to do anything more than accept credit or debit cards, then you’ll need to contact your payment processor and ask to sign a business associate agreement (BAA) with them in order to become fully HIPAA compliant.
A BAA is a contract that:
- Determines your business and your payment processor as “business associates”.
- Stipulates that the business associates will appropriately protect all health information.
- Lays out and makes clear all the permissible uses and disclosures of sensitive health information by the business associate based on services being performed or the relationship between the two parties.
While most POS systems are PCI compliant and offer payment processing security, not all will enter into a BAA and grant you full HIPAA compliance. Make sure to contact all payment processors you’re interested in and ask about their HIPAA compliance and if they will enter into a BAA with you.
Online booking and scheduling. The right POS system will grant doctors and employees the ability to easily set up, cancel, and reschedule appointments. In addition, they can assist in adding patients to waitlists or scheduling follow-up visits.
Rather than having the patient schedule their next appointment at checkout, they can easily do so with their doctor, and have all their questions about availability answered promptly and without any back and forth between employees.
Automate appointment reminders. Medical offices don’t want to waste appointment slots on no-shows. The right POS system will automatically send appointment reminders to patients through a contact method that the patient chooses. This saves time on having to task employees with calling patients, sending text messages, or writing out emails, thereby freeing up their time to focus on other tasks at hand.
Billing and payment processing. Perhaps one of the most important services a doctor’s office POS system can provide is a reliable, secure, and easy to use POS for your business. They’ll also assist in determining pricing and adjustments for insurance policies.
Modern POS systems can take a variety of payment types which is useful when faced with an array of payment methods from your patients.
Many patients will pay with the tried and true credit card, but others may have to pay through an online service through their insurance. Or, some may wish to pay through a digital payment service like PayPal or Apple Pay. There’s an abundance of payment options, but at the end of the day, the payment options you accept are up to you; just make sure to choose a POS system that can accept the payment types of your choice.
No matter the form of payment, the billing software should all be secure, encrypted, and backed up by PCI-compliant safety precautions so you can build a legacy of trust with your patients for both their payment and healthcare information.
In addition, a doctor’s office’s POS system will greatly ease the stress of bookkeeping on your employees by updating payments in real time, having them all in one centralized location, constructing payroll, and calculating tax withholdings, all while minimizing human error and saving you labor costs.
Ready to work with a payment processor who can help you choose the right POS system for your healthcare practice?
Heartland is ready to help.
Heartland is the point of sale, payments and payroll solution of choice for entrepreneurs that need human-centered technology to sell more, keep customers coming back and spend less time in the back office. Nearly 1,000,000 businesses trust us to guide them through market changes and technology challenges, so they can stay competitive and focus on building remarkable businesses instead of managing the daily grind. Learn more at heartland.us.