EHRs qualify for a full review if they:
- Offer or make available a trial or demo account
- Answer questions about their product and related topics (security, HIPAA)
- Are focused on the needs of therapist in private practice
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Pros: Price, Feature Rich, Integrated Clearinghouse
Cons: Fragmented Interface, Limited Notes
It Might Be A Good Choice For Practices That: Have price as a primary concern and not concerned with the learning curve.
Standout Features: Integrated clearinghouse, Price
Many of the features one might want in a Practice Management System are present in the free version of the OfficeAlly product (Practice Mate). The pieces that aren’t there can be found in Patient Ally (Client Portal) and EHR 24/7 (More refined EHR features).
Practice Mate is very focused on the billing/clearinghouse side of the practice. It does allow you to collect client demographic data as well as track sessions and complete rudimentary session notes (a single text field). The interface could use some refinement, but is pretty good for something that is free, especially since it includes unlimited electronic claims filing.
The Client Portal is problematic. Because Patient Ally is a separate product, there is a multi-step process to activate a new client’s account. I believe that many clients would find the process tedious and even difficult to understand. Once they are set up, there is some nice functionality, however the interface is not particularly friendly.
I’ve taken several opportunities to and take another look at this application. Unfortunately, the quick conclusion I always come to is “convoluted and medical centric”. I suppose at this price point, it will be attractive to some. Unfortunately, until Office Ally comes up with a way to integrate their applications and improve the interface, there is just too much time and cost savings to be had by using a different application. Further, with their recent increase in clearinghouse rates, it may no longer hold the attraction of being affordable.
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About the Author
Rob has been covering technology and business news for mental health professionals since 2011. His extensive experience in IT, business, and private practice allow him to synthesize information in a friendly, digestible manner. He also enjoys time with his family, ultimate frisbee, and board gaming.