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PPM Private Practice Manager

PPM Software′s Private Practice Manager package is aimed at medical professionals. It provides a complete system from which you can manage the essential aspects of your business.


Free trial? Yes - a 30 day no obligation free trial is available.

Cost: There are a range of packages, but costs are not provided on the website.  


The programme can also be trialled by booking an online demonstration with one of PPM Software’s helpful technical team members, with no pressure to buy the product. It’s like a mini-training session in which you get an overview of each of the different areas of the programme and can ask as many questions as you’d like, which is very helpful.


The overall look of the main screen seems quite old fashioned and offers you lots of menu options, which can feel overwhelming initially, but these are mostly self-explanatory so you can quickly navigate to the section you want. The first place you’ll probably go is to the patient screen and look at a patient record. This is comprehensive and allows you to enter a wide range of patient details from the basic name and address to insurance details and a reference number if you have a patient who’s referred by a third party. On this record, you can also select a referral source (for marketing purposes) and if there are any unpaid balances, this is highlighted in red in the middle of the screen.


From a patient record, you can use the menu at the top of the screen to navigate to other areas, such as correspondence and finances. For example, you can choose to send a patient an appointment letter, write to a GP or create your own custom letter. When you click on the letter template you’d like to use, it will open in Microsoft Word and automatically merge the important details for you, like the address, patient’s name, date of birth, and any other information you need. This is a very useful time-saving feature. ′PPM′ comes with a wide variety of standard templates, which you can tweak yourself to customise them further if you are technically-minded. However, if you use specific templates for your practice, PPM Software will set this up at the start for you at no extra cost.


Click on to the letter history screen and you can see all the letters you’ve written for that patient at a glance and you can open and edit them if you want to. Letters can be printed or you can also send them via email, either directly from within the programme or from Microsoft Word. You can also import external documents into the patient record, such as PDFs or letters, giving you the option of having a completely paperless office! 


You can manage a basic diary from ′PPM′ but it is not a sophisticated feature of the programme and one of its weaknesses. The layout is very attractive, featuring a ring binder style design, and once you’ve entered a patient’s appointment, its type and duration (e.g. EMDR for 90 minutes), you can also choose if you’d like to send them an SMS appointment reminder (small extra cost). However, a drawback of the diary is that you can’t click on a booked appointment to go directly to that patient’s record. To do this, you’d have to come out of the diary and go back to the patient record section and search for that patient. This is a cumbersome way of trying to find more patient details before they come to see you (see note below).


Managing financial information is a strength of this programme. You can set up your consultation types and fees then invoices can be automatically generated at a click of a button. It is simple to mark when you’ve received a payment and you can also specify how it was paid. If it was a part-payment, you can press a button for a shortfall letter to be created, which you can then send to the patient or third party. The programme will remind you when a payment is 30, 60 or 90 days overdue so you don’t forget if it hasn’t been received.


There is also a section where you can record your expenditure so you can track your expenses. This is useful although it might take some time to become familiar with the language used in places. For example, “Main analysis group” means the category an expense falls under, such as computer equipment, room expenses, etc.


A handy feature of ′PPM′ is that you can ask it to generate a wide variety of reports, e.g. financial total, payments received, bank reconciliation and expenditure. This is very helpful as it can provide everything that your accountant will need for your end-of-year accounts. It also helps you to monitor the financial health of your business.


There are lots of extra features in the Set up and Maintenance section that you can customise and play with in this programme, if you have the skill to take things to the next level. An example is that you can enter names and addresses of your local GPs so that you don’t have to keep re-entering them on new patient records, and you can also create a mail merge from here if you wanted to send all your GPs a marketing mail shot.


′PPM′ is a simple and easy to use practice management programme but it lacks the more modern visual interface of other practice management programmes. The language in places is also slightly archaic or it’s not obvious what it actually means, requiring you to learn to translate some words. It also lacks the option of allowing you to enter freehand session notes, unless you save them as a Word document or scan them in. However, as a practice management programme, it does what it says on the tin and is a solid piece of software to help you run your practice.


Note from manufacturer June 2014 - the diary/scheduler is being completely redesigned and the facility noted by the reviewer above will be available, along with many other new features.




Overall rating: 3.5/5

Ease of installation: N/A – online demonstration

User-friendliness: 3/5

Help and support: 5/5

Value for money: 3/5