A Simple Guide to Custom Healthcare Software Development
Healthcare today is naturally at the top of everyone's list of concerns.
In the age of Covid-19, doctors, pharmacies, hospitals, and elder care home staff need instant access to the latest, most up-to-date information right now, not later.
Surprisingly, tech solutions are seriously lacking when it comes to healthcare. According to an American Medical Association poll conducted among healthcare marketing professionals in 2018, a lack of technology in healthcare was the number one concern.
When at-risk people coming into contact with the wrong person can mean the difference between life and death, deploying smart, precision, cloud-connected information technology in the service of healthcare is vital.
And with the explosion in AI, blockchain, and cloud-based applications being interconnected in ways we couldn't even dream of just a few short years ago, institutions, companies and healthcare providers are increasingly turning to healthcare technology development solutions.
We'll take a closer look at healthcare software development, what it can achieve, and what industries can benefit from implementing custom healthcare applications. But first, let's dig into what healthcare software in general is and how it works.
What Is Healthcare Software?
Healthcare software development can encompass a wide variety of application types. But in general, it's defined as creating knowledge-based IT programs that offer decision support and provide healthcare professionals with guidance, assistance and feedback.
These programs streamline and improve operations on the administration side as well as offering a higher quality of care for patients.
It's important to note that healthcare software development doesn't seek to take the decisions out of the hands of trained human professionals. However, it can go a long way toward offering real-time support for those human decision-makers, taking routine tasks off the docket, and streamlining patient management as well as administrative management.
Here are a few examples of how that works.
Electronic health records - More and more hospitals have switched over to electronic health record software (EHR) as their primary repository of patient records. These applications encompass the totality of a patient's data, including personal information, medical charts, medication history and more, all stored on a secure digital platform that only qualified and authorised users are able to access.
The point is to create a single repository for patient data linked across various departments and locations via the cloud, allowing healthcare professionals instant access to the information they need to treat their patients without delay.
Security surrounding such sensitive data is, of course, a primary concern. Indeed, that's yet another reason why many clinics and hospitals find that bespoke healthcare software development is the way to go when it comes to EHR. That's because running your custom application provides another firewall preventing data from getting out into the wild in a way that off-the-shelf applications can't promise.
Appointment scheduling – Individual practitioners, clinics and hospitals are turning to appointment scheduling software to improve, streamline, and track staffing and patient scheduling. Bespoke applications can take patient appointments, send out reminders for follow-ups, and optimise the scheduling of tests and procedures.
One of the most time-consuming and frustrating tasks associated with any hospital, clinic or medical office – for both staff and patient – is appointment scheduling. With bespoke healthcare software development, staff is freed up to do other tasks while patients can log in to the system 24/7 at their leisure to set and change their appointments.
The application handles patient scheduling, preventing them from stacking up or having to suffer through long waits to see harried clinicians. These healthcare software systems can also manage the availability of doctors, appointment cancelling, and automate rescheduling of appointments.
Medical equipment management – Reducing human error and eliminating inefficiency couldn't be more critical than it is in the intensive care unit (ICU). Healthcare software development is right there on the front lines creating solutions for monitoring and maintaining the machines that keep patients alive.
Bespoke applications can be created that connect your particular clinic's equipment to the cloud, ensuring that scheduled maintenance, software updates, repairs, and changes in manufacturer's recommendations are provided in a timely fashion.
In addition to monitoring the functionality of equipment, healthcare software solutions can be crafted to ensure that maintenance and repairs are performed in the most efficient way possible, minimising equipment downtime.
Medical database portal – Similar to electronic health records discussed above, medical database software allows patient data to be entered into a platform that connects with medical databases specific to the patient's diagnosis.
For instance, there's a database specific to heart disease, one for pneumonia, etc., and with a patient's data linked up to it, medical professionals treating them have access to data from previous cases. They are then able to cross-reference their patient's symptoms with similar cases and make better-informed care decisions.
Access to these kinds of databases via a bespoke software application means healthcare professionals can better educate themselves by reviewing a broad cross-section of clinical cases of a given disease, even if they don't currently have such a patient in their care.
E-prescribing/pharmaceutical support – Clinicians around the world are adopting e-prescribing as a more efficient way to track, monitor and refill patient prescriptions. These applications are also linked to national drug reference databases, and they provide yet another layer of support for medical professionals, helping to reduce human error and eliminate inefficiencies.
Telemedicine – Especially in the age of lockdowns, quarantines, and reducing the exposure of at-risk patients, telemedicine is a booming concern that's ripe for bespoke software solutions. In the U.S. alone, telemedicine is set to hit a market value of $64 billion by 2025.
And with security concerns regarding sensitive patient data, bespoke healthcare software development systems are in high demand. No one wants to be in the middle of speaking with their doctor about their rash in a sensitive area over Zoom only to have a wild hacker join the chat.
A bespoke telemedicine application or sub-application as part of a more extensive suite of programs can provide both doctor and patient with easy, on-screen chat capability, as well as on-screen access to data like medical history, current medications, meeting history (previous appointments), and more.
A billing module and e-prescription connectivity can also be in-built from the ground up in this type of custom-built healthcare software development system.
Medical billing – Modern medical billing as it's currently practised will one day be taught in universities as a concise demonstration of how not to do efficiency.
But with the right kind of bespoke software, accounting departments at hospitals and clinics can better organise and track patient invoices, payments received, payments outstanding, and other financial information. These types of applications can also be integrated with EHR or hospital management software, providing a single seamless go-to source for all patient data.
Hospital management – Few organisations in the world require so many moving parts to function together as precisely as a hospital does. When you factor in that the purpose of such an enterprise is keeping people alive and healthy, it's clear that proper oversight, management, and operations control couldn't be more crucial.
Bespoke healthcare software development can be deployed to craft unique applications to suit any hospital, inpatient clinic, or elder care facility. They more than pay for themselves by helping to increase efficiency, streamline operations, and provide an extra layer of oversight as well as a fail-safe for patient care decision-making.
From day-to-day operations such as accounting, billing, insurance claims, and outpatient management, a hospital management software system can also be created to integrate data regarding inventory, do ordering automatically, manage bed availability, and much more.
Integrating such an application with other medical software applications can cut inefficiency and reduce wasted staff hours by placing all the data into administrators' hands in one place, as well as linking them to other stakeholders in real-time.
Why Choose a Bespoke Healthcare Application?
It's critical to emphasise that while life and death are, of course, the primary healthcare concerns for most people during times of pandemic, digital security is always a legitimate worry as well.
With a bespoke healthcare software development team like the one at Laracle creating a custom solution for you – as opposed to using an off-the-rack system – you guarantee that your patients' data and that of your clinic or hospital will be fully secure.
Robust, unique stopgaps are built into every custom application we create that protect your data and that of your patients from leaks, breaches, and hacking while still giving your team instant access to the tools they need in real-time.
You can also rest assured that you will retain ownership of all your data. Your patients and your staff won't suddenly find their names on commercial sales databases or being contacted due to an unscrupulous off-the-shelf software application sharing their info unbeknownst to you.
Give us a call or send an email today and a member of our healthcare software development team will set up an appointment to sit down with you and create a plan that's perfect for your operation.
To better health!