Could Slow POS Systems Be Costing You?
Does your health care practice also sell products, such as medical devices, eyeglasses, contact lenses, or other goods?
If you do, it could be a good way to generate additional revenue and serve your patients. But some of your systems might be hurting your ability to provide such services.
More specifically, your point-of-sale (POS) system might not be doing all that it could do. If that’s the case, though, there are ways to address it.
What are POS systems?
Before exploring their potential issues, it might help to describe what POS systems are and what they do.
Also known as a point-of-purchase, a point-of-sale is a physical or digital location where a purchase occurs. These locations could include:
- Checkout lines at stores and restaurants.
- Online checkout areas.
- Retail counters or stands.
Although point-of-sale systems also involve retail transactions, they’re a little different from more traditional interactions. Instead of a cash register, POS systems use computer software (programs) and hardware (computers and related devices) to make things happen.
Many medical practices that sell products incorporate POS systems with their other office software, such as their practice management systems and their patients’ electronic health records (EHRs).
Eye care practices, for instance, may use the systems to sell, track inventory, monitor sales histories, and perform other functions related to the eyeglass frames and lenses, contact lenses, and other products they carry.
What are some ways POS systems might be slow?
As helpful as they are, point-of-sale systems sometimes might not operate in ways your medical practice wants them to work. They might be too slow.
We’re accustomed to doing things quickly. In fact, that might be why we use computer-based POS systems instead of other retail solutions in the first place. But sometimes, they might not operate as quickly as we’d like.
During sales transactions, your medical POS software might be causing the images on your monitors to freeze, and you might not be able to navigate from one web page to another.
Or, you might be able to travel among different pages, but it looks like your system might not be processing a recent sale.
Slow inventory notations
Furthermore, your POS system might not appear to be registering recent sales.
This might be reflected in your inventory lists. The lists of products you stock might appear unchanged, even if you recently took orders that should be depleting these stocks.
Similarly, you might not have any history of any recent transactions or activities in your system.
Your software might not be updating your records, even though you have completed recent interactions.
What are some other POS-related issues that could affect speed?
In addition, other things might be occurring that could be adding time–and frustration–to your POS-based transactions:
- You might not be able to enter information into the system
- Your POS system might not be saving the information you enter or is changing it somehow.
- Your printing capabilities related to your POS transactions aren’t working.
- Your network has been compromised or your systems have been subject to viruses or other malware.
- Your office’s other software systems are conflicting with or aren’t connected with your POS system.
- You need updated office software and/or hardware systems.
Addressing these issues could help you find a system that works quickly to assist you.
How could you make POS systems faster?
Examining your health care office’s software and hardware systems is a good way to improve the performance of its POS systems.
First of all, are your other office software systems compatible with the software and hardware needed for POS operations? This may sound like a basic question, but it’s a crucial one.
If your other software systems aren’t compatible, it’s probably a good idea to switch to one that is. Switching might sound daunting and does require work, but it’s work that will pay off in the end.
Consider talking with colleagues in your field and ask them about the systems they use. While their situations probably won’t be the same as yours, their input could help you find software that works for your office and your staff.
Are there factors to consider when evaluating POS systems?
After talking with colleagues and gathering some possible POS systems options, you’ll need to evaluate their merits.
The good thing is that many software systems aren’t one-size-fits-all situations. You can customize them to suit your office’s needs.
So, you can consider the options you’ll need and find tools that will address them. To do this, you could look at the software your office uses and likes for other tasks.
This software might have POS features that you’re not currently using. If you’re satisfied with the other tasks the system already completes for your practice, you might want to incorporate your existing software’s sales-related options.
But if your other systems don’t offer POS features, you could still look for systems that offer them. Just make sure they coordinate with your other operations.
Do the POS systems you’re looking at work with your electronic health record (EHR) systems? EHRs store so much of your patients’ information. If you and your staff find your current EHR software makes it easy and efficient to access data, keep this software and find POS software that’s compatible with it.
On a related note, you might be using effective software systems that help handle insurance claims, issue and collect bills, and track the money your medical practice makes and spends. You wouldn’t want to jeopardize a system that provides such valuable work generating and monitoring revenue for your busy and thriving office.
Instead, find a point-of-sale solution that aids your practice’s money-making abilities rather than hindering them.
During the software selection process, if you find a POS system that you think could work for your office, ask if you could use a trial or demo (demonstration) copy of the selected system.
By trying out and working with the software beforehand in situations similar to ones you may encounter, you might receive a better sense of whether it’s truly a good fit or not.
You could also talk with professionals experienced in such matters. For example, if you contact Eye Care Leaders, we’ll help you find digital solutions that could help you make the sale, build your practice, and serve your patients and clients.
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