For the past years, we’ve been providing a great number of high-quality software solutions to the healthcare industry, and this time would like to share our experience in building EHR (electronic health records) systems.
Before we move further to discussing EHR systems, let’s figure out what it is. There are two main types of software for digitization in the healthcare sector: EMR systems (electronic medical records) and EHR systems (electronic health records). EMR software is mainly referred to as the inner system of a particular institution or a practitioner, while EHR is the system that unites data from different clinics, specialists, and labs to get the full picture of a patient’s health. EHR system has rich functionality and addresses more tasks than EMR but it takes more time and resources to build it, deploy, certify, and maintain.
The Benefits of Using an EHR System
The main idea of implementing any technologies into any industry is simplifying everyday tasks for people working in the sphere and providing services of the best possible quality as well as improving management and analytics. The benefits of an EHR system deployment include the following:
Better level of healthcare
The access to all the patient’s medical history simplifies accurate diagnostics, decreases the number of human mistakes, improves the doctor’s control over the compliance of treatment plans, and much more.
Simplified financial issues
This point is about the improved billing and the real-time data about all the payments.
Improved customer service
The quick access to patients’ records without the need to repeat the same information at each visit, the number of appointments decreased.
Higher job satisfaction
This includes less routine paperwork for doctors, better communication with colleagues and easy access to all the required data about a particular patient.
Better management and analytics
Having access to all the existing data across your organization and to analytical tools provided by IT, it is easier to manage processes and staff working hours, predict expenses and equipment repairments/updates, plan further development.
Features of an EHR System
Each EHR system has its own design and some unique features but the core functionality is the same for most of the solutions. What features every EHR system should have?
Electronic health records systems should obviously contain records about patients. They include all the existing information about a person’s health: full medical history, allergies, previous and actual treatment plans, laboratory and test results, ultrasound scan and radiology images, etc. Being kept in a single profile, this data allows doctors to make a more accurate diagnosis and consultations, monitor the effectiveness of the cure, prescribe the best suitable medicines, and so on.
Since an EHR system stores a huge massive of sensitive data about patients’ health, security is one of the most important features to care about. It should be as elaborate and strong as possible.
Intuitive user interface
The key mission of such a software solution is to make things easier. At the same time, an EHR system is created to be used by all the people involved in the healthcare process: from doctors and pharmacists to ordinary patients with different backgrounds and levels of education. That is why it requires a thoughtful approach to UX/UI design in order to be easy-to-use for everyone.
The first benefit of this feature is reducing nurses’ paperwork and time people spend in the clinics because the new patients can fill in the introduction forms by themselves and from any place they want. In the future, there will be no need to provide the same info again.
Using this feature patient also can check their treatment plans, see the recommended vaccinations, get notifications about upcoming appointments and ready laboratory results as well as see and schedule them.
Making e-prescriptions simplifies the job for everyone: pharmacists have no need to make out the doctors’ messy handwriting while the practitioners can easily choose the required medicine names and see if they can be taken together without additional side-effects. There are also benefits for patients: while they are making their way from the doctor’s office to a certain pharmacy, their order is being packed. So, entering the pharmacy, they just have to pick up their medicines and pay for them.
Things to Consider When Building an EHR System
When building an EHR system, there is a number of significant things to take into account. We are going to mention two of the most significant.
Since an EHR software system is supposed to be used by a number of healthcare institutions and keep important data, it has to prove its reliability by compliance with the core industry standards and getting the required certificates. To legally work with the USA healthcare market, the EHR system has to be HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) and ONC-ATCB compliant. The analogs demanded to work with the European Union are GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) and EutoRec accordingly. These are just the most significant required compliances but there are many more legal details to consider, depending on the characteristics and functionality of a particular EHR system.
Without all the necessary documents it is forbidden to distribute the EHR software.
One more important decision to make is what type of storage to use: on-premise or cloud. To make the choice simpler, here are the most notable benefits each type provides:
If the choice is still hard, there is also an option to unite both storages in a hybrid solution. An on-premise server will allow accessing heavy data quickly while the cloud will be helpful for data backup and recovery.
The last thing we would like to mention here is the importance of finding an appropriate software development company to become your reliable partner in building an EHR system. We recommend going with the company that already has relevant expertise and experience in the sphere. SCAND has already created a number of EHR systems for a variety of customers, here is a sample of one of them.
If you are interested in working together or have any questions, contact us!