How to Develop Hospital Management Software
In this article, we will explain how to create hospital management software (HMS). If you are required to develop a hospital management system, you’ll need to delve deeply — not only into health tech matters under the hood, but also into existing business processes in your hospital or clinic.
When a layperson comes to a hospital or other healthcare center in the U.S., they are usually impressed by how chaotic, turbulent, and busy the environment seems: myriad people in white coats and scrubs scurrying around the hospital corridors, waiting rooms packed with patients, and medical staff notating records and doing all the typical “medical” things so brightly depicted in popular TV series like House, M.D. and Scrubs.
In real life, healthcare facilities focus on saving patients’ lives, so there is no room for light-mindedness, chaos, or disorganization. Staff activities that might look “chaotic” at first glance are actually well-organized and purposeful.
Having a hospital management strategy and efficient tools in place is what helps medical professionals streamline hospital workflows and processes. The most innovative tools include computer-aided hospital management solutions (HMS, alternatively called hospital management systems or hospital management software) of different levels of complexity.
Table of Contents
Step #1: Learn How HMS Fits into the American Healthcare Landscape
Before deciding to develop a hospital management system, you should embrace the specifics of the current situation in American healthcare. In their everlasting search for the holy grail of efficiency, U.S. healthcare providers are desperately seeking opportunities to enhance control over hospital revenue and costs.
For many decades, U.S. healthcare organizations have been struggling to overcome narrowing financial constraints caused by flat revenues in combination with steadily increasing hospital costs.
This challenging situation is currently far from resolution.
Here are just a few of the most “popular” reasons for increasing hospital expenses:
- Failures in hospital acquisition policy, such as redundant and/or expensive medical equipment, excessive medication, or poor inventory management
- Inefficiency in medical workforce scaling, which accounts for about half of all healthcare expenses in the U.S. annually.
- Healthcare delivery flaws like “the weekend effect.”
Hospital Management Systems: Solution for Financial Issues in Healthcare
Hospital management systems exist to identify and alleviate issues, eliminating some of them at the root before they can contribute too heavily to overall costs.
The purpose of a hospital management system is to simplify the processes of medical workforce planning and facilitate hospital inventory management. Besides that, it allows healthcare organizations to:
- Bring multiple aspects of core clinical processes under one roof
- Integrate and combine medical data flows
- Implement controls for smooth management of healthcare activities
- Allow for enhanced quality of administrative and revenue control
- Achieve superior levels of operational discipline.
In other words, hospital management software helps you take a helicopter view of hospital business processes to make sure nothing important falls through the cracks.
Step #2: Identify Processes to be Automated & Optimized with Hospital Management Software
The actual set of modules and functions included in a hospital management software solution can vary widely. It all depends upon the scale of medical practice, budget, the sophistication of existing business processes, corporate vision, and other related challenges.
First, it’s necessary to audit the existing IT landscape in the healthcare facility and decide which medical processes should be automated.
Of course, it is advisable to design HMS in such a way that the whole spectrum of hospital activities and business operations is covered.
Healthcare Processes That Can Be Managed within HMS
The most important medical administration processes traditionally consolidated and managed with hospital management software include:
- Medical staff records (hospital workforce management)
- Patient records (personal profiles, medication plans, etc.)
- Physician activities (patient appointment schedules and more)
- Dispensary management
- Medical inventory management
- Pharmacy, radiology, and laboratory records/inventory
- Claims, billing, and payment processes
- Workflows of different medical departments
- Hospital inventory (medical drugs, syringes, instruments, and so on).
Step #3: Configure Modules That Allow Your Hospital Management System to Deliver Stronger Functionality
If you are designing a hospital management system, you should precisely define your desired configuration of HMS modules. If you are dealing with existing hospital IT infrastructure, you may be facing a situation in which each individual HMS module (or HMS subsystem) exists as a separate/generic piece of software supplied by different vendors. Even worse, they could have been added at different times. Examples of these types of modules include medical appointment scheduling software, electronic prescription portals, and EHR applications.
Why Opt for Customized Hospital Management System Modules?
Combining modules in a complex HMS system may require complicated reengineering efforts for some components and reintegration into a consolidated hybrid HMS. This kind of legacy software modernization project is tedious, and should be carried out by highly qualified medical software engineers.
Since there exists vast diversity in terms of potential HMS components and modules, it’s recommended that hospitals and medical centers invest in developing new custom hospital management system software rather than rebuilding old systems.
With this kind of individualized approach, you can:
- Create the most specific, consistent, and reliable HMS solution for your practice
- Ensure that HMS fulfills the requirements of your medical staff, set to support even the slightest nuance in hospital workflow
- Avoid module incompatibility issues, thereby decreasing IT service overhead
If you want to add medical software customization or need help with custom HMS development, get in touch with us at TATEEDA.
Types of Hospital Management System Modules
What are the different types of HMS modules? Software components and custom hospital software modules can be categorized as follows:
- Operational/tactical data management modules. Responsible for classification and management of essential hospital information, these modules are used for financial administration, patient healthcare plans, engineering issues, distribution of medication, equipment inventory, and much more.
- Patient relations management modules. This administrative system is similar to that of a CRM in regular business companies. It allows healthcare providers to manage interactions with patients to enhance the patient experience and journey.
- Profile-based healthcare modules, such as Electronic Health Records (EHR) or Electronic Medical Records (EMR), contain personal patient data. This could also be medical HR systems containing profiles of healthcare personnel.
- Ticket-based healthcare activity-management modules. This category includes medical appointment-scheduling software and other systems associated with specific hospital workflows: planning and execution of daily tasks, for example, like hospital admissions and discharges.
- Billing and claim management modules. These solutions work as gateways that allow interaction with third-party systems like secure banking systems and claims-management systems operated by U.S. insurance providers.
Step #4: Learn Why Your Hospital Management System Needs Up-to-date Technology
Reason # 1: Technological capacity accelerates every year. Computerized management systems for hospitals are not a new concept. U.S.-based healthcare organizations started to invest in these solutions decades ago, starting in the 1960s when computers were primitive and huge. However, things have changed a lot since then. Modern clinical management software solutions deployed in the context of up-to-date IT infrastructure offer so many advantages:
- Lightning-fast performance on all platforms (web, mobile, and more)
- Perfected user experience for doctors and patients
- Top-notch security measures to safeguard PHI
- Instant processing of large files and data entities over cloud solutions and broadband Internet connections (including radiography images, DICOM, etc.). There is no longer any need to buy or keep costly server hardware or software in-house.
- Ever-improving medical software features: integration with biosensors, software components, the Internet of Medical Things, telemedicine apps, remote diagnostics apps, and much more.
Reason #2: Prevent technological stagnation. Timely adaptation of tech innovations in medical practice brings in a great deal of efficiency. Nevertheless, in many hospitals and medical centers with a long track record, you’ll find a mixed bag of different IT solutions. Some might appear desperately outdated (so-called legacy medical software) while others interact poorly with each other…not to mention myriad other issues such as security leaks, buggy software, or flaws in dealing with patients’ personal data. Building proprietary or custom HMS software is a great way to rethink IT architecture and overcome all of these issues at once.
Reason #3: A new take on healthcare challenges. When you develop custom clinical management system software from scratch or regularly update all of your existing HMS modules and products, you can rely on cutting-edge innovation to achieve fantastic results. Some of those technologies are:
- Multi-cloud solutions to keep medical data well-protected and easily accessible
- Biometric authorization to keep all important device and information restricted to qualified medical staff and protect against brute-force hacking
- Telemedicine apps to decrease foot traffic in your hospital facility and avoid exposure to infection
- IoMT to automate health and medical equipment monitoring/diagnostics
- Health-related wearable devices for better patient self-care
- Robotic technologies to let you engage smart autonomous devices to reduce medical staff workloads
- Web portals and other patient self-service solutions
If you are looking for ideas for hospital management software and want to avoid overspending or the wrong choice of technology, reach out for consulting and development services from reliable tech partners like TATEEDA. Contact us to learn more about our HMS development services!
Step #5: Consider the Challenges and Benefits of Implementing HMS
Before a hospital can benefit from adoption of a proprietary management system, it’s necessary to overcome potential challenges and/or issues that can arise in this area.
Challenge #1: Lack of a uniform, systematized approach to shaping medical workflows within different departments of the healthcare facility. Lack of precise and well-documented hospital processes is a critical drawback that will significantly hamper the implementation of HMS.
Challenge #2: Lack of availability of hospital information ready to be imported into HMS. Make sure that all documents and data to be imported are digitized and properly formatted. HMS is always about the implementation of a paperless hospital practice—which, in turn, positively affects hospital ecology as well as healthcare delivery.
Challenge #3: Poor compliance of existing IT infrastructure or separate HMS modules with HIPAA-backed security requirements. Even with the best hospital management software architecture in place, the whole system can fail when deployed over subpar hardware or networking facilities.
Challenge #4: Poor training or computer literacy levels among hospital staff and general lack of preparation for a computerized hospital management solution.
Challenge #5: Lack of experienced developers and other IT specialists capable of system maintenance and HMS user support after software implementation. If you’re looking for IT staff augmentation services, consider TATEEDA. We provide IT outstaffing services and deep expertise in health tech and medical software development.
|Vague, unsystematic hospital processes||Audit of hospital processes to make sure they are well-systematized and predictable|
|Not all medical data is digitized and prepared for use in HMS||Digitize all documents according to formats supported by HMS|
|Inconsistent HMS security landscape||Audit security tech and fix all involved tech solutions to keep them up with HIPAA requirements|
|Poor competency level of staff in relation to computer systems||Training, licensing; making sure that sufficient/supportive user documentation is available|
|Lack of competent IT staff||Hire a reliable medical tech partner like TATEEDA|
Benefits of Hospital Management Systems
As we’ve mentioned, the implementation of a proprietary or custom HMS brings a bunch of brand-new levels of healthcare practice improvements. Some of the strongest benefits include:
Efficient, accurate profiling of patient data allowing for preventive healthcare. For many years, healthcare organizations in the U.S. have stayed out of data analytics. With hospital management systems onboard, healthcare providers can analyze long-term patient data. When all important patient records are brought together, it’s easier to identify health patterns or nuances and predict potential problems as you do whatever is necessary to prevent health issues for every patient.
Individual approaches to medication and diet. HMS is a great source for individualized studies on drug efficacy. It allows physicians to offer personalized amendments to medication plans based upon the life-long trajectory of each patient’s healthcare history, including allergic symptoms, side effects, and defined intolerance cases. Moreover, HMS enables online medical drug e-prescriptions.
Rational allocation of hospital costs. Enhanced control over medical inventory allows hospital administrators to make well-informed decisions on new acquisitions, inventory revisions, and resource re-allocations. With HMS in place, it’s easier to check and visualize current medication supply, availability of medical equipment, and allocation of other hospital resources without reading through tons of papers.
Saving precious time (a lot of time!) With all tasks and medical appointments recorded and managed in one place, it’s easy to keep everything under control. Certain components of hospital management solutions (for example, medical appointment-scheduling web portals) remove pressure from medical front desks by reducing the tsunami of incoming calls during peak hours.
A reduced number of errors in healthcare record-keeping and elimination of duplicate entries. For example, hospital management software helps to eliminate mistakes and confusion caused by illegible handwriting (such a familiar problem with doctors!) HMS enables electronic prescriptions, making it easier for patients to get their medication refills online without additional visits to their physicians.
Step #6: Define the Requirements for Hospital Management System Development and Implementation
Let’s check the basic requirements to adhere to when building custom patient management software (the list of HMS requirements is much longer when dealing with specific hospital environments):
- Hospital employees must be well-trained and qualified to use the clinic management system.
- HMS interfaces must be sustainable and easy-to-use based on real-life hospital processes. They must be documented and approved by hospital staff.
- All necessary data should be displayed exactly when medical professionals need it, so every UI component, button, form layout, and piece of the information agrees with the data provided by healthcare providers.
- Role-based access for each medical staff member should be organized according to level of authority and job responsibility. A hierarchical system of access rights and protective measures should be designed beforehand.
- Each staff member should be provided with a convenient, secure data entry format/interface that meets the scope of their tasks while remaining limited in its ability to retrieve information beyond competency level.
- It’s necessary to ensure the best possible security settings and practices for patient data protection. Your hospital management software solution should be built according to the highest standards as stipulated in HIPAA documents, and quality-assured in terms of healthcare data security.
- HMS architecture should provide potential for scalability and have room for further functionality development and/or process automation.
Not sure about the whole spectrum of hospital management software requirements? Get in touch with TATEEDA. We can help you define your medical software requirements, design its architecture, and build the custom HMS of your dreams.
Step #7: Designing Your HMS Architecture
Taking into account everything mentioned above, it’s time to finalize your requirements and define your hospital management software architecture according to HMS module configuration (HMS features). You must also define the degree of involvement of top-notch technologies, existing challenges, and other important factors.
- Identify processes to be automated with hospital management solutions (patient relations, appointment scheduling, inventory management, etc.)
- Finalize the list of features required by your hospital management system (see examples of HMS features below.)
- Identify the specific technologies that will be used.
- Identify the platforms to be implemented (web, mobile, cloud, etc.)
- Make sure a highly skilled medical software engineer or project manager has delivered a full roadmap of the solution.
- Plan your client-server HMS application relations across a range of components.
- Make sure your solutions for databases, API integrations, and other sources of information are prepared, and their interactions are well-planned.
- Plan the tasks necessary to build the project, including the software development and solutions necessary to carry out tasks (front-end/back-end languages and frameworks.)
- Hire a team of developers.
- Make sure your project plan is adapted to the existing IT infrastructure of the hospital facility.
- Make sure all requirements from the medical staff members are collected, documented, and systematized.
- Design interfaces and everything else affecting user experience.
Step #8: Deliver the Features of Your Hospital Management System
Consider building the following HMS features and modules:
This helps hospital administrators track occupied and unoccupied beds, defining their purpose, quantity, availability, and other features so patients can quickly be admitted and placed in the right hospital wards.
Hospital Administration System
An all-in-one powerful solution for hospital managers that allows them a helicopter view over all hospital processes. It should be equipped with a variety of data-analyzing tools (e.g. charts, etc.) This type of system provides tremendous opportunities for healthcare business optimization.
Medical Staff Management Module
Time entries for physicians and nursing staff, including payments, benefits, vacations, shifts, training plans, and other HR matters in healthcare.
Outpatient Department Management System
Scheduling and profiling of patients who seek specific types of medical help at the hospital, but do not require a bed or to be admitted for overnight care. Allows optimization of peak hours, decreases incidences of appointment cancellation, and provides additional tools, such as email or SMS notifications for doctors and patients alike.
Pharmaceutical Supply-management System
A combination of features including e-prescriptions, drug inventory management, and patient medication plans. It has a lot of benefits, including enhanced control over medication and decreased foot traffic to hospitals for refills.
Patient Management System
Patient health profiles are powered up by multifaceted data pulled from a range of HMS modules and systems. Allows migration of valuable patient data such as health condition statistics plus associated tests and documents to other modules and systems. Helps to accumulate and share patient information. Patient management system features include patient experience management and patient journey mapping.
Physician Management Solution
Physician profiles, medical appointment schedules, and other matters related to senior medical personnel. Helps to keep professional profiles and workloads of medical specialists under precise control. Can also be called a physician services reporting system, as it allows doctors to generate activity reports and bills.
Online Appointment-management Portal
Web-based or mobile patient portal allowing patients self-service and the ability to schedule doctor’s appointments 24/7.
Billing and payment system integrations for receiving and processing payments in relation to medical services rendered.
If you are looking for a really innovative and powerful extension for your HMS, you can add analytical and management components connected to IoT medical devices like biosensors and hospital robots. This kind of solution is an example of high-end technology that allows you to consolidate different kinds of patient and hospital data under the roof of your HMS.
Why Hire TATEEDA to Build Your Custom Hospital Management Solution?
TATEEDA is a custom hospital software development company with all the necessary resources and health tech expertise to deliver the most sophisticated HMS for your medical practice. With our help, clinic management software development is no longer a hard or tedious problem, but a simple, streamlined project controlled by true professionals.
Here are some of the healthcare software solutions we can help you with:
- Doctor/Nurse Appointment Management Solutions
- Electronic Health Records (EHR)
- Hospital Information Systems (HIS)
- Patient Portals
- Laboratory Information Management Systems (LIMS)
- Pharmacy Management Systems
- Telehealth and Remote Health Monitoring Apps
- Medical IoT Solutions
Contact TATEEDA today and augment your staff with the world’s top IT professionals!