Cloud-Hosted Practice Management Systems, an Emerging Opportunity in the PM Systems Market

The Practice management (PM) system offers advanced scheduling, patient registration, medical billing, reporting, claims management, and stores patient demographic data. The growing need to integrate healthcare systems, rising incidences of claim failure, firm government support and initiatives, increase in patient awareness, and better healthcare facilities are the major factors driving the growth of the PM systems market. In addition, the growing inclination towards patient-centric care approach and cloud-based practice management systems market present significant growth opportunities for the future.

The cloud-hosted PM systems will see double-digit growth in the next five years as it reduces capital expenses and offers enhanced data accessibility and real-time analysis. It has emerged as a significant model to deliver integrated or standalone practice management solutions. This helps healthcare organizations to share information stored across different systems, in real time. Furthermore, cloud computing also reduces the burden on healthcare systems, as it lowers the dependency on the IT staff. This results in an increased productivity and cost efficiency. The cloud-based delivery mode also complements the working environment in healthcare settings, as confidential data is needed to be shared across locations. It also helps in the fast and secure transfer of the data between organizations. These advantages offer significant growth opportunities to the cloud-based PM system vendors in this market. On the other hand, the healthcare industry is in its early stages of embracing cloud-based technologies. The slow adoption rate is mainly due to the concerns about safeguarding confidential patient information and compliance with regulations such as Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). The act’s privacy rule standards address the use and disclosure of the individuals’ health information called protected health information (PHI). The cloud-based segment accounted for over 10.0% share of the PM delivery mode market in 2013.

The use of mobile PM applications has recently been on the rise for better management of the clinics and physician offices. This is due to their greater flexibility and accessibility and lower operational costs. For example, in February 2014, CareCloud launched a new mobile application called the CareCloud Companion for Apple iOS 7. The latest application allows its users to access patient records, view schedules, and manage clinical tasks from their iPad, iPad mini, iPhone, or iPod touch. This will help the company to expand its cloud-based PM system offerings and to further penetrate the market. In addition, the integration of electronic health records (EHRs) with practice management systems to streamline workflow is the emerging trend in the practice management system market. They present new growth opportunities for the companies.

New product launches along with partnerships and agreements were the two most preferred strategies followed by the key players. Industry giants adopted these strategies to enhance their product offerings, increase their market shares, meet customers’ demands, and consolidate their market presence. For instance, in June 2013, Gaargle Solutions Inc. introduced Dovetail, a cloud-based electronic medical record (EMR) integrated with practice management software for dental professionals. It is suited for practices of all sizes. This new launch helped the company to ensure better services to its customers. Similarly, in May 2013, athenahealth partnered with INTEGRIS Health, a U.S.-based non-profit corporation. Under this partnership, INTEGRIS Health deployed athenaCollector, athenaCommunicator, and athenaClarity to manage its growing patient population. The alliance helped athenahealth to further expand its customer base.

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