What Is Hospital Management Software?
Managing the operations of a medical organization is a challenge for employees since they should process loads of data and handle much paperwork. The best solution that can be found in this situation is implementing hospital management software (HMS).
A web-based or a cloud hospital management system is a specialized software system that integrates information from all departments of a hospital and automates multiple processes within an organization.
An HMS should include information categories including:
- Doctors — schedules and emergency numbers
- Patients — medical history and personal data
- Staff — contact numbers and professional details
- Occupancy — the availability of rooms
- Laboratory — referrals for tests and delivery of results
- Supplies — inventory of the stock of medications, instruments and other supplies
- Billing — calculation of patients’ expenses
- Insurance — patients’ details for insurance companies
- Statistical reports — analysis of all the data in the system and the compilation of various reports
- Telemedicine — services for providing distant medical monitoring and consultations
An HMS considers the needs of the management board, staff and patients, simplifying processes and improving the quality of services.
Management software is valuable for doctors and nurses: they get access to a single database of patient information, can check the history of the patient’s condition and get test results in a fast and efficient way, or can make changes in the data on the patient card. This makes analysis and decision-making faster, more efficient and more accurate.
Hospital administration also benefits from such systems. They are able to analyze doctor schedules and calculate how many hours of work were put in, account for peak hours better, reduce the time spent on equipment maintenance and the potential loss associated with it, and draw insights on the profitability of various services.
An HMS assists the marketing department in tracking the effectiveness of their campaigns, while patients get consultations and timely treatment without having to wait in line.
Moving from outdated systems to modern ones could be a pricey decision, but, if applied correctly, it will result in greater efficiency, faster delivery, and higher-quality care for patients. The ROI of these systems comes first and foremost from the shortening of appointment wait times and the increased quality of service.
Basic Healthcare Management Software Features
A hospital automation system aims to bring efficiencies into the medical business, and therefore, it must penetrate every stage of the healthcare process. If you plan to create an HMS, the following features will likely be the backbone of your operations:
The system should automate the procedure of call processing and filling out medical records. This will speed up patient registration and admission. Moreover, patients should have an opportunity to book an appointment at a convenient time online or via an application. Registration also allows seeing the number of patients visiting each doctor in the hospital.
Both doctors and patients should have access to their personal accounts so that they could monitor their appointment details and change them, if necessary. The system should send text or voice messages, emails or push notifications to patients to remind of their upcoming appointments.
The payment amount for each patient should be automatically calculated in the program for all services chosen in one spot when making an appointment. It is assumed that the payment amount is already known when the patient asks for certain services at reception. The system should automatically track the patients’ payment history that includes every financial interaction. The software can also enable variable pricing for first consultations and follow-up visits.
Accountants can also use this feature to allocate funding to every department and monitor purchases in the app. Access can be given to specific staff members or groups.
The software should monitor the materials and calculate automatically how much of every item is left in stock, showing it in the clinical management app. This will allocate the materials needed for procedures and account for every item. The software can also monitor the expiration dates of drugs in store.
The results of medical tests and exams should be sent to doctors and patients as soon as they are ready, via email or another digital channel. In cases when there are results outside of the normal range, the system must send immediate notifications. A hospital management system should also allow accessing the lab results on any device if the user has permission to access it.
Data Analysis and Reports
You can achieve efficiencies on the basis of insightful analysis and metric measurements. An HMS should be able to analyze data, compile reports and dashboards.
Customer Relationship Management
This feature is especially relevant for patients with chronic diseases who frequently visit hospitals. The system can create personal treatment calendars and other convenient features to provide continuous care.
A mobile application should be an inevitable part of a management system. While on the patient side it could be a simple calendar with available dates highlighted, on the hospital side, it could also show the availability of the doctors, other appointments and the availability of special medical equipment. A hospital mobile app can allow for greater flexibility and convenience.