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Practice management software (PMS) is a form of software found in medical offices that is designed to deal with day-to-day operations using desktop software, client-server software and Internet-based software.
PMS is generally used for financial and administrative functions although it sometimes ties in with electronic medical records (EMR) based on varying medical practices' needs. A particularly challenging task for IT professionals is to incorporate electronic medical records within a PMS system. Small-to medium-sized businesses are the most common users of practice management software.
Practice management software is a category of medical practice software that captures billing data such as insurance payers and patient demographics. PMS also performs billing tasks, appointment scheduling and report generation. Due to the increasing implementation of EMRs as dictated by U.S. law, there is an overlap between PMS and EMRs. For instance, the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act requires that patient demographics and disease data be collected and presented to federal and state public health agencies in an electronic format. The interoperability of these records for emergent health treatment situations is also paramount and is dictated by federal law.
Medical informatics such as this are often requested with little notice. While vendors for EMRs and PMS can be different, the IT world is seeing the two entities combine at an increasing rate. Systems analysts and programmers can realize great profit potential if they are able to merge the two together. As such, timely and efficient data extraction is one of the most important features of a PMS. Not only do clinicians need certain patient information, but third-party payers need it for billing purposes; the information may also be used by public health officials.