Practice Management Software (PMS) is the software component that deals with the daily operations of a medical practice.  A practice management enables medical staff to capture patient demographics, schedule/update appointments, maintain lists of insurance companies, billing and generate reports.
Several practices are already using a practice management system as a standalone software solution.  However, with the ARRA encouraging physician EHR adoption, many physicians are interested in purchasing an integrate suite.  An integrated suite is both the electronic medical record (EMR) system and PMS.  The reason for the integration is because several information in both the PMS and the EMR overlap – for example, patient data.  The EMR system deals with the clinical (front office) operations while the PMS deals with administrative and financial (back office) operations.

Many physicians do NOT want to purchase a full integrate suite.  Many practices are adamant about keeping their current PMS and want to purchase an EMR only.  Keep in mind, going through this route may lead to complications.  This is because you will be using two separate systems that do not connect. 

Make sure to discuss with your EMR vendor if they interface with other PMS systems.  Be sure to discuss the pros and cons of keeping your current PMS. 

Although it may seem ‘cheaper’ to keep your current PMS, it usually is not.  You are paying support for two different companies.  There are also may be several hidden fees.  Your current PMS may be considered obsolete with the new technologies.

It may be a good idea to consider a fully integrated EMR/PMS suite.  Using ONE system in your practice may be easier than to use two disparate systems.