The Healthcare industry faces many challenges, like an operational crisis, omnipresent bureaucracy, and obsolete managerial practices. These challenges have increased healthcare services’ cost and decreased the employees’ efficiency, making the working environment unproductive. To effectively run a hospital, not only an expert team is needed, but there is also a demand for highly optimized and systematic management. A good Hospital Management System (HMS) can be a perfect solution, that will help overcome the challenges, assist the doctors, help the staff manage the documents quickly, and perform less mundane tasks with more efficiency.
In this article, you will learn all about the Hospital Management System (HMS) and how to build a good one.
Let’s start with a better understanding of what is a Hospital Management system.
- What is a Hospital Management System (HMS)?
- Types of Hospital Management Systems
- Who are the Users of an HMS?
- What are the Benefits of a Hospital Management System?
- Why Automate Clinical Workflow?
- Four Basic Requirements of a Hospital Management System
- Must-Have Features of the HMS
What is a Hospital Management System (HMS)?
Like every other industry, a Hospital needs a proper management system to coordinate their employees, communicate with doctors, and assign duties and responsibilities among the staff. A hospital's personnel deals with patients’ data. The nature of the data is very sensitive, and even a small glitch can cause a breach costing a large sum of money, they’ve been known to rack up sums to a million dollars.
One of the biggest reasons for having a safe and highly advanced HMS is clients’ data security. The best solution that can be found in this situation is implementing a hospital management system (HMS).
A Hospital Management System (HMS) is a web or cloud-based software that integrates data from all departments and automates the hospital process.
Let’s discuss the types of Hospital Management Systems.
Types of Hospital Management Systems
An HMS helps automate the routine management process and collect and store all the required information to run a hospital. The System is used to collect data from the patients and store it. It is also used to access data from suppliers, contractors, sub-contractors, doctors, staff members, and other associated personnel that needs to be managed. With such an intricate system, a hospital’s employees have a multi-purpose digital tool that helps them handle daily tasks with minimal effort.
Different HMS's vary in their complexity, functionality, and scale depending on a medical establishment’s requirements, size, and budget. Based on these factors, an HMS can be of different types. These types are defined as:
- Operation and Tactical HMS is used for easy classification and management of information in the hospital.
- Patent Administrative HMS is used to manage communication with patients or attendants of patients at an administrative level.
- Subject-based HMS is used for Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) or Electronic Health Records (EHRs).
- Task-Based HMS is used to associate tasks and responsibilities to designated staff, such as admission charge collections or preparing discharge reports.
- Billing System HMS is used for monitoring and managing the finances of any hospital.
An HMS can be a combination of two or more types or all the above functionalities. It can be built based on the needs and requirements of the organization that would utilize it.
Who are the Users of an HMS?
Without knowing the audience of who will use the software, a developer cannot plan and coordinate their efforts, choose the most appropriate technologies, or expect potential problems, and come up with solutions.
It is essential for the developers to understand that an HMS is a sophisticated software meant to interconnect program modules that will provide management capabilities to a vast number of people associated with the hospital.
An HMS audience can be categorized as:
People who fall under this category belong to Finance, HR, Accounts, etc. These people should only access basic information about any patient.
Doctors and Other Authorized Employees
Doctors and other paramedical staff like OPD officers, Nurses, Surgeons, and Laboratory staff deal with more critical and detailed patient information. Not only will they use the data for analysis but also for recommending treatment. Doctors and other paramedical staff are the main audiences of an HMS.
A patient generally uses the HMS to book appointments with doctors and to check the laboratory test results. A Hospital Management System also helps to speed up the communication and exchange of information between the patient and the hospital personnel.
What are the Benefits of a Hospital Management System?
Implementing a hospital management system provides hospitals with significant advantages by speeding up the management process and improving staff members’ efficiency. The most highlighted benefits of an HMS are as follows:
Speed up the Operational Process
An HMS automates the entire process by optimizing the user experience. With the help of this type of software, patients and hospital staff can communicate online. They can make appointments and exchange information through the HMS.
Digital Medical Records
Patients and doctors can access patient information such as disease history, test results, and prescribed treatment at any time. Patients can book an appointment and check their test results, whereas doctors can use the information to make a diagnosis and monitor the patient’s health. It considerably shrinks room for error.
One-Stop for Communication
Doctors need test results to make a diagnosis. The staff members must improve coordination and teamwork. Without the management software, it will take much longer for doctors to get the requested test results and prescribed drugs.
A hospital can efficiently manage its resources with the help of an HMS. The administration can manage the supply chain, reduce equipment downtime, manage staff, and save time that would normally be used for paperwork.
Finance and Account Management
Hospitals can easily manage the finances of the hospital through an HMS. They can bill patients, send invoices to vendors and suppliers, and plan taxes on the income. Financial awareness helps to analyze business prospects and move in the right direction.
Help Create Market Strategies
All the data available in the HMS helps the higher management of the hospital to analyze and design strategies for marketing. It can effectively build a strong bridge between patients, doctors, suppliers, and marketing services providers.
Manage Insurance Claims
Administration can integrate insurance options in the HMS. Patients can claim the insurance by submitting their details in the HMS.
Due to the automation process, there is no need to spend so much time recording the patients’ data in files. It saves time from paperwork as well as file management. Everything can be accessed with just a few clicks.
Self-Service for Patients
HMS is not only beneficial for the hospital’s staff, but it also helps the patient book appointments with the doctor, checks lab-test results, check the doctor’s diagnosis, and their medical history.
Excellent Customer Experience
A Hospital Management System can offer 24/7 assistance to a customer. It can be integrated with a live chat or a call center. Patients can get advice from doctors through a call and make the payments online.
A Hospital Management System automates the complete process in a medical institute. The question is why a hospital would need to automate clinical workflow? Let’s have a look.
Why Automate Clinical Workflow?
A Hospital Management System is not only for collecting and storing data from patients. It helps to automate the clinical work and optimize the utilization of resources.
The hospital management balances the occupancy rates and calculates the number of required employees. Automation helps manage the general process, deals with different healthcare services and equipment providers on its own, analyzes and sends notifications to the user. The hospital information system aims to manage employee and patient activities remotely with immediate access for authorized users. The patient-centric and well-managed company will also ensure a better work environment for their employees.
Let’s have a simple example of a Clinical Workflow.
Example of Clinical Workflow
The HMS clinical workflow starts from the patient as the software is meant to be patient-centric. We will break down the workflow in steps for better understanding.
Step # 1: Book an Appointment
When a patient wants to see a doctor, they search for the specialist via the internet or a phone book. There are many ways to book an appointment, for example, a call where the receptionist checks the doctor's schedule and provides a meeting of the next available slot using HMS. Most hospitals have implemented an online appointment portal through HMS for clients to book a slot.
Step # 2: Sync with Insurance Services
Another great advantage of an HMS is that clients can provide details of their insurance, collected through the software. Once verified by the insurance company, hospitals can proceed with the treatment based on insurance coverage.
Step # 3: Visiting the Doctor
When the patient visits a doctor on the scheduled date, the doctor can check the patient's medical history through an HMS. It will help the doctor for a diagnosis as well as recommending medical tests for further analysis.
Step # 4: Medical Test Results
The patient goes through the tests, and the lab staff uploads the results on the HMS, which the doctor received.
Step # 5: Diagnosis
Based on medical history and current medical tests, the doctor can diagnose the disease and write a medical-prescription. The new data will be added to the patient’s profile.
Step # 6: Accounting
As per the cost of treatment, the patient will be charged from their insurance policy.
Step # 7: Automate the Database
Upon discharge, all the bills will be updated as paid, and the database of the patient will be updated.
With the help of clinical automation, doctors spend more time on patients’ treatment rather than documentation. If something is requested in a written form, they can print it.
Not only does clinical automation work for doctor-patient processes, but it can generate an analysis of staff work, financial expenses, revenue, and set the general priorities of the institution for future directions.
If you want to build an HMS for your hospital or a client, here are some basic requirements that you should know:
Four Basic Requirements of a Hospital Management System
Here are the four basic requirements for a Hospital Management System.
Considering a large number of users, including hospital staff members, patients, and contractors, the UX/UI should be informative and convenient. Not every user is tech-savvy and needs proper training to use complex software. To avoid such problems, a friendly UX/UI design is recommended.
Compliance and Security of Data
One of the most important jobs of an HMS is to protect data and fulfil all data security regulations and protocols. Considering the data stored on the HMS of hospital records and patients' case histories, any leak of information may lead to potentially devastating outcomes such as lawsuits and other financial repercussions.
Keeping the security of data in mind, a hospital should create policies of collecting, accessing, storing, and analyzing a large amount of data. First of all, the system should be HIPAA compliant. Hospitals should define policies for the disposal of data as well. Data can be of different types, such as patients’ medical histories and insurance to clinical trial documents and complaints. The HMS should have the capability to deal with various kinds of information such as video and digital images, recorded operations, computed tomography, and 2D or 3D MRI scans.
The software should be programmed to respond to the queries of doctors and patients quickly. The system should have the capability to register the new patients in case of an emergency promptly. It also should have the ability to rapidly retrieve the relevant data from the system archive or centrally organized all-hospitals database.
These are the basic requirements for a Hospital Management System. Let’s look at the list of all must-have features of an HMS.
Must-Have Features of the HMS
The most common must-have features that should be included if you are building a Hospital Management System are as follows:
An HMS should provide an option to register patients and file all the relevant data in the system. This feature is the foundation of a Hospital Management System upon which the patient-interaction logic is built. EMRs should contain all the patient’s necessary information that will be required for diagnosis and further treatment. Apart from medical details, the software should also file financial information like an insurance number. All this information should be easily accessible to authorized people.
An HMS should have the feature to book appointments and change schedules if needed. This option should be accessible by both the doctors and the patients to book or change an appointment's date and time. The feature should also have an integrated notification that generates SMS alerts and emails upon every booking or change.
With such feature doctors and patients can:
- Schedule and manage appointments
- Provide convenient feedback
- Provide the possibility to notify patient upon changing the appointments
- Automate patients’ check-in system
Billing and Accounting Management
An HMS should have a billing system for managing accounts and finances, including patients bills, doctor fees, taxes, costs, and revenues of the hospital.
With details of the treatments and facilities availed by the patient, the software should calculate the cost of the procedure. The price chart for the services and facilities is predetermined and fed in the system, such as room per day cost, operation charges for a particular case, or specific doctor’s fees. With this feature's help, a patient can check the final expenses at the time of booking.
Automation of the account and financial management helps the organization to reduce workload and human error. It also helps analyze a medical establishment’s financial position and make corrections to its strategy to increase efficiency.
Doctors Profile Section
Ideally, a Hospital Management System should have a separate section with information about physicians, such as their services, educational background, achievements, and awards. The section should also contain a list of all available doctors and their schedules.
Do remember that people want to know more before they make an appointment, so the more information you provide, the more likely people will visit the hospital.
The Hospital Management Software should have a feature that quickly retrieves and updates the results of laboratory analysis. The software should also notify physicians and patients about the lab test results. It should also provide easy access to all lab information in one place. Laboratory analysis is vital to the efficiency of treatment; the faster doctors can get lab results, the faster can they diagnose the disease.
Hospitals are heavily dependent on medical supplies. A shortage of these supplies can cost human life. Hospital Management Software should have proper inventory management features to avoid any sudden lack of critical medical supplies. A well designed HMS can be an irreplaceable helper in this regard.
With this feature, the administration can track the supplies and forecast when restocking is required. An inventory management feature can also help control when drugs approach their expiration dates.
Statistical Data for Future Forecasting of Hospital Management
Statistical reports of finance, patients' and doctors' information, staff performance, and inventory can help the institute decide it's strategies better. This feature should have the ability to create statistics and reports with just a few mouse clicks.
The Hospital Management System is highly sophisticated, connecting a lot of different modules. There is a possibility of software malfunction. Since the entire hospital is dependent on the HMS, a support helpdesk is pretty much mandatory.
Telemedicine is an advanced approach in healthcare that allows virtual remote meetings with a physician via teleconferencing. The feature is an excellent service for patients who cannot make it to the hospital in certain situations.
Mobile App for Patients and Staff Members
Having a mobile app is essential these days. It can help hospital management in many ways, such as having personal treatment calendars, details of appointments with patients, accessing patient’s information, and lab test analysis. It can also help patients book or change a doctor’s appointment, check lab test results, and pay the bills.
A mobile app will also help the hospital personnel to interact with each other more conveniently. With a mobile app, doctors can keep close contact with the hospital even when staying at home.
A Hospital Management System is a great way to boost the hospital’s productivity and efficiency. It also helps to reduce the workload and burnout rates. According to SpringerLink research, hospitals that have integrated HMS faced a 19% to 20% reduction in workload. They also noticed that an HMS has streamlined their workflow and increased customer satisfaction.
Even though software management systems for sale are ready for commercial use, they do not grant the same level of customization that specifically designed software does. Building a custom HMS with features required by your organization is a great idea. Selleo, as the best software development company with a competitive team of experts from various industries, can help you build your HMS. We have the required skills as well as experience developing software for the healthcare industry.