Under the category of “software small business”, you will see hundreds of products. The big manufacturers target smaller businesses by advertising under that heading. The owners find the prices appealing. But are they really getting what they need?

Let’s look at medical applications as an example. The proper storage of health-related records is essential in order for businesses to be compliant with HIPAA and other regulations. From a purely ethical standpoint, it is essential to protect the patient’s privacy and identity.

Practices also need management tools for scheduling patients and employees. An accurate billing system needs to be in place. The requirements of various insurance companies need to be considered. What will the insurer pay? What is the patient’s co-pay? Does the patient’s insurance cover the procedure?

Inventory needs to be monitored. Controlled substances need to be followed carefully from the time of receipt until they are delivered to the patient. Expiration dates need to be recorded and tracked. Steps must be taken to ensure that expired medications were disposed of properly. Flushing the pills is no longer an option because of pollution issues.

It must be easy for everyone in the office to operate the system and find the information they need. Can off-the-rack software small business medical applications fulfill all of the practice needs?

What the practice manager often ends up doing is buying a variety of different software packages to try and meet all of those needs. But, the packages operate separately. Even though they are loaded into the main practice database, they are not integrated.

If the billing, receiving, scheduling and inventory systems are not integrated, errors will occur. The office will quickly become disorganized because the system is disorganized. The risk of handing out expired samples increases.

There is an increased risk that the patient’s privacy will not be protected.

When it comes to medical applications, there is an obvious need for a well-designed customized script. Products sold under the heading of software small business cannot provide that. A good database designer can.

A good database design pays for itself quickly. Just the speed with which billing can be done is a monetary advantage. If the system is set up properly, there is usually no need for a billing clerk. The secretary or receptionist can learn how to use the system.

The integration of medical applications is just one example of how a customized database can be used to meet a company’s needs. Before you order something marketed under the category of software small business, consult a software consulting company such as Prolifogy Consulting. The consultation is well worth your while.

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