P.s This is completely objective.
- Type of Software
Firstly, slip on your business shoes and consider what type of software will benefit your business. With choosing Software, you can go down two routes:
- Server Based Software: Software installed on your PC/ Mac/ Tablet
- Cloud Based Software: Software stored on a cloud.
Before you begin investigating different software packages, ask yourself "what do I want this software to accomplish?" Different software will benefit different clinics, evaluate each software's features and consider which will benefit you and your clinic the most.
Set yourself an appropriate budget. Solutions on the market range from FREE (be wary of these) to over £100/user/month. Ask yourself the following questions to aid your decision:
- Is there a set contract with the software
- Does the contract suit you?
- Basically, it’s the same with renting - is there the option for buying outright?
- Duration of the contract; 30 days, 12 months?
Different software companies offer different contracts, though 12 months is usually the norm.
Now that you've decided on the type of software and features you need and budget you have, it's time to pigeon-hole the different types of software that fulfill your clinic's needs. Cross reference your needs with what the software packages offer.
- Trials/ Insights
Many of your target software manufacturers will offer free trials or evaluations. These are great ways to get a better insight into the software. It's important to note that trials and insights are different and an insight can be a lot more informative; where a trial will offer a higher interaction rate.
- Technical Support
Technical support is an extremely important element to consider! Evaluate the different support options for each software and test them;
- How accessible were they?
- Response time good?
- Was the customer service agent friendly?
- Was you query resolved?
What types of training are there for each software package. Do the options cater to your needs, and what costs are associated?
What devices will you use the software on? Will the software work on
Windows, Mac, Mobile an Tablet? Try the software on all the devices you seek to use.
This is a tip you cannot afford to avoid. Security is often overlooked which can cause major, major issues in the future. If you select a cloud-based software package go to some length to understand the security and back-up provisions of the various providers. This should include understanding where your data is stored, who has access to it, and most importantly what the backup strategy is. Ideally you should be looking for at least daily back-ups but preferably every hour. Make sure the software you purchase is in-line with Data Protection regulations!
- The Company
Verify the credentials of your chosen provider. Examine their corporate activities, check out their social media - is this a company you want to invest in?
Talk to other colleagues, validate testimonials and try to establish from existing users if they are happy with their software.