The Scoop on Medical Practice Software

How to shop for and implement Medical Practice Management (MPM) and Electronic Medical Records (EMR) systems — despite a fragmented, disjointed market.

By Howard Baldwin

Medical practices don’t have much choice: You have to use technology to manage the patient records and scheduling, and more technology to handle the business side — it’s just too complex (and in some cases legally risky) to do everything by hand.

But the market for medical practice systems, including both Medical Practice Management (MPM) software and Electronic Medical Records (EMR) software, is filled with challenges: fragmentation, consolidation, integration between applications as well as with external data systems, and conflict among selling channels. How are physicians — trained in diagnostics, not finances or technology — supposed to discern what’s best for their practice?

We’ll do what we can to help. With this Buyer’s Guide, we’ll look at the economics trends buffeting the MPM and EMR market segment, and also at the basic features you should expect from the systems. We’ll show how physicians (or their designees) can prepare for the purchase decision, what demands they should make of vendors, and where the potential points of failure and pain lie along the way. We’ll wrap up with sources of help in the decision, and speculation about what the future might bring.

Trends in a Fragmented Market Fragmentation does affect the customer, and your buying decisions. Read More »

Understanding the Applications

The main features and capabilities you should look for in both MPM and EMR applications. Read More »

Money Matters There are two ways to go: installed software, and third-party hosted applications. Here’s how they work and how they are priced. Read More »

The Purchase Decision

Planning ahead is the key to successful implementation. Here are the key points, plus some tips for successful implementation. Read More »


Sources of info on MPM and EMR vendors. Read More »

About the Author Howard Baldwin is a Silicon Valley-based technology writer and former senior editor at CIO Magazine. His work has also appeared in Upside, Network World, The San Jose Mercury News, and Electronic Business.