PMS Review Report Released

Patients First have released their PMS Support Services review report.

Practice Management Systems (PMSs) are an integral part of providing high quality clinical care in a fast moving and responsive primary care environment. They also provide the basis for financial accounts for general practices in terms of invoicing and claiming. General practices rely heavily on the accuracy of their PMSs every day and therefore they need reliable support from their vendors to resolve any issues that arise quickly and efficiently.

The objective of this report is to review the support service provided by the four PMS vendors that have a stake in the New Zealand general practice environment and includes Houston , Intrahealth, Medtech Global (Medtech) and myPractice. We distributed a survey to three key audiences; general practices, Primary Health Organisations (PHOs) and IT Support Providers to gather their specific feedback on their support experiences. Each of these three parties uses support slightly differently but all have a customer relationship with the vendors.

We received a good cross section of survey responses from general practices, PHOs and ICT support providers (ITSPs). They reflected both large and small general practices and PHOs with a variety of geographical spread. Four of the large PHO networks chose not to distribute the survey’s directly to their practices although some practices within these networks responded through other channels.

Four key performance metrics for support services were analysed:
    • utilisation of the support channels;
    • quality of the support channels;
    • response and resolution turnaround times; and
    • communication mechanisms.

This report also considers the release management process and training in terms of their impact on the support services. It then looks at the challenges faced by the PMS vendors to providing support services, and the final section covers future considerations for the support service model. There was very little difference in the overall levels of satisfaction reported between the vendors. There was greater variation in the satisfaction reported by the three audiences of general practice, PHOs and IT providers.