The variety of breakthrough technologies that modern medicine uses sometimes amazes. Virtual Reality, 3D printing, Artificial Intelligence, and health wearables are only a few examples of how the healthcare industry can successfully adopt innovative tech. Unfortunately, at the same time as Machine Learning algorithms are used for cancer disease prediction, many hospitals are still using legacy management software systems which harms the level of provided services. For example, inferior quality of care and health outcomes, hospital staff inefficiency, and many potential threats to the integrity of patients’ personal data are pretty common consequences of using outdated software systems.
Luckily, from a software development perspective, building a brand new management system is no harder than building any other complex software solution if you pay due attention to certain specific details. Today, we’ll consider the aspects you should keep in mind if you decide to develop and adopt hospital management software.
Is a new Software System is Really What You Need
Before we go any further, it’ll be reasonable to understand what a hospital management system is and how the adoption of such software can benefit your organization. The major purpose of such a system is to free you from the necessity of dealing with the overabundance of separated applications. It’s barely possible even to imagine that the workflow of a modern hospital can be managed successfully without the use of specialized software. Data records different departments generate are interconnected, and the management team’s inability to access it in its entirety can harm the organization’s transparency.
Imagine that one of the patients got worse and you have to understand why. If you don’t use a management system providing centralized access to data, you’ll have to use half a dozen apps to receive data related to the latest lab test, prescribed medications, patient complaints, medical history, and so on. In case you have to deal with legacy software, each of these apps may lag or provide obsolete information, which, as you can imagine, won’t make things easier.
Hospital management software helps to avoid described issues and simplify dozens of other routine tasks. They work as entry points to bottomless data warehouses containing data generated by all departments and the patients they provide services to. According to your preferences, hospital management software can take various forms. Cloud-based system is probably the option that provides the greatest accessibility since it can be used by hospital staff and patients that have any device connected to the internet. A properly designed hospital management system can provide numerous benefits, such as higher patient satisfaction, improved staff productivity, fewer human errors, lack of obsolete or duplicated data, etc. To get the most out of such a software system, you should plan well what functionality it will provide.
Features to Satisfy Both Hospital Staff and Patients
Now, let’s discuss what management features are worthy of your attention. If you decide to cooperate with a company that provides custom software development services, they won’t limit your imagination. Any implementable functionality you want will find its embodiment as a ready-to-use software. However, it’s always a good idea to start with a small set of essential features, see how things will go, and expand the functionality of your management system if needed. Luckily, thanks to the modular structure, new features can be added with no effort. Especially, if developers decide to use UI components providing rich out-of-the box functionality, such as DHTMLX, for example. Tons of ready-to-use components from a simple button to full-feature Gantt charts can expand the functionality of the application using a minimum of code. Such an approach significantly reduces time on development and customization without sacrificing the overall functionality and quality of the product.
First, it’s important to enable your patients to schedule appointments at your hospital with minimum effort. Therefore, Appointment Management must become the number one software feature on your list. It will be a good decision to inform end-users about the availability of a specific doctor. For example, a lightweight event calendar can do the trick, and automated notifications will help to reduce patient no-show rates:
The next step that determines if collaboration between the hospital and its patients will be successful is Patient Registration. Any organization that is focused on long-term relationships with their clients should pay due respect to historical data management. Hospitals are no exception. Therefore, software that is used for registering patients must have access to the database in order to provide insurance info, prescribed medicines, patient complaints, and other helpful info. In some sense, hospital management systems in this scenario must duplicate the functionality of a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software designed under the specifics of the work of medical institutions.
To ensure that patients will receive the best treatment, hospitals must run tons of tests in their laboratories. The Laboratory Management system can become a huge helper for the staff that has to process hundreds of test results. Synchronization of test results with specific patient profiles will help hospitals to monitor how prescribed medicines affect them. Automated notifications that management apps provide can instantly inform doctors about the availability of test results via mobile apps, for example.
People’s health, among other factors, depends on how well the hospital staff deals with Inventory Management. Laboratory tests require the use of reagents and if you’re out of them, you’re in trouble. If you don’t have enough prescription drugs in your possession, the situation won’t be very rosy as well. The inventory management module can take care of this and many other aspects of the hospital work. It can constantly monitor the availability of items in the warehouse, notify responsible employees of an impending shortage, or even manage procurements.
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Even if a hospital has a laboratory working like clockwork and a warehouse full of medicines and equipment, it’s not enough. These are just tools that help doctors to find the root cause of the disease and find a way to cure it. The treatment process is the tricky part. And that’s where your hospital management software can become rather helpful. For example, it can help with developing a treatment plan that better suits a specific person. Your management software can consider test results, medical history, hereditary diseases, genetic predisposition to specific disease, and a dozen other parameters to develop a personalized treatment plan. It can use info from International Classification of Diseases to help doctors make a diagnosis.
Factors You Must Consider Before Developing your own Hospital Management System
You have a list of features from which you can choose those that will become a solid foundation for your future hospital management system. However, it’s pretty early to start the actual development process before you clarify some other important aspects of your software system, especially if you want to build it from scratch.
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Therefore, we would like to share some tips that will help you develop a hospital management solution that won’t disappoint you. For example, you must focus on reliable and easy-to-use UI. Your number one priority is user-friendliness. Patients that use your app may be injured or stressed, so it should be easy to navigate. Hospital staff must be able to receive important information, such as test results, as quickly as possible. Because of that reason, pay attention to the UX design of your management app to ensure that the app doesn’t cause any frustration and end-users can find the info they need following the shortest possible path.
Pay attention to data security. People will trust you with their personal information, so make every effort to make sure that data you collect will not be passed on to third parties. Your hospital management system must control who has access to what information using roles and access levels, use data encryption, support reliable authentication mechanisms such as biometrics or electronic keys, etc.
The management system has to meet regulatory compliance requirements. There are no exceptions to this rule. If you want your hospital to operate properly, make sure all your software systems adhere to laws and regulations. If you’re located in the US or the EU, ask your software development company if they’re familiar with such regulations as HITECH, HIPAA, PIPEDA, GDPR, DPA, and FDASIA.
It’s hard to coordinate extensive staff without the use of reliable software. When we speak of hospital management, the stakes are even higher than in other cases. When you take care of people’s health, revenues and business efficiency go by the wayside. That’s why you can’t use any application that you think can optimize your workflow. You must perform a thorough analysis of a system you’re going to adopt to make sure it won’t harm your patients. If you decide to build a custom hospital management from scratch, the preparation phase should not be slipshod. Make everything possible to ensure that the app is user-friendly for those who need urgent medical attention, all your patients’ personal data is safe, and the system fully complies with regulations. If you have any questions regarding hospital management system development, feel free to contact us.