Take a moment and think back to the last time you visited the doctor.
You probably scheduled your appointment online or through an app. When the nurses at the front desk checked you in, they most likely looked you up on their computer. You may have filled out a paper form, but if your doctor’s office is futuristic perhaps you filled out the form on a tablet.
The room where the doctor saw you had a computer. The doctor probably logged into it while they were with you. They might have typed some notes about you, looked at past medical records, or sent a prescription to your pharmacy.
Your whole visit was covered by technological healthcare solutions that helped you get appropriate care and keep your medical data private.
What is custom healthcare software?
To define custom healthcare software, we must first define custom software. Custom software is software that is built specifically for one company, to meet their clearly defined business goals. To read more about custom software, how much it can cost, and what it can do for a business, take a look at this article.
Custom healthcare software is any software that is custom-made for a company in the healthcare industry to help them conduct business.
What are some common types of healthcare software?
Healthcare software is a broad field that includes everything from practice management solutions to software for rendering 3D medical images (DICOM). The list below highlights some common custom healthcare software tools. While they don’t cover every kind of healthcare-related technology, they’re a good place to start.
Electronic health record (EHR)
The best way for medical providers to keep track of patient information is with an EHR (also sometimes called an electronic medical record or EMR). HealthIT.gov defines an EHRs “real-time, patient-centered records that make information available instantly and securely to authorized users.” It includes information about “medical history, diagnoses, medications, treatment plans, immunization dates, allergies, radiology images, and laboratory and test results.”
Doctors love EHRs because they make it easier to get a deeper understanding of their patients by providing more data. In fact, according to a 2012 study, 75 percent of medical professionals reported that the use of EHRs enabled them to give better care to their patients.
A pharmacy is basically a complex retail environment. There is product inflow, wholesale contracts, inventory, patient management, and medication lists to manage. There are also laws about controlled substances and patient privacy. Custom healthcare software can help pharmacies track patients and medications, streamline processes, and keep them in step with the law.
Additionally, healthcare providers need an efficient way to securely send electronic prescriptions to pharmacies. Often this is an integration with the EHR so that the doctor only has to use one program.
Hospital management systems
This may go without saying, but hospitals—or any healthcare organization, for that matter—are not easy to manage. On top of all the medical challenges, there are myriad administrative tasks that must be taken care of. Such tasks might include scheduling of nurses and doctors, facilitating communication between the doctor and patient, medical billing and insurance, and inventory of medical supplies.
Revenue cycle management software
While the care and keeping of patients come first, healthcare facilities are still businesses and therefore have finances to think about. Medical staff need a simple way to verify insurance, send bills, follow up on payments, process claims, and analyze data to get an overall fiscal view.
A system that is integrated with a patient portal can do things like check a patient’s insurance eligibility automatically as they make an appointment or deliver a paperless bill with an easy online payment portal.
Some doctors offer the ability to remotely video conference a visit instead of requiring the patient to travel all the way to the office. This can be a great benefit for those really sick or unable to travel to the doctor. These systems must be able to securely provide face-to-face conferencing, screen sharing, and image transmission.
That’s only the start of telemedicine. With recent advancements in technology, doctors can now carry out some patient monitoring and even patient care at home instead of in the hospital. Telehealth solutions can include the use of heart monitors, glucose monitors, wearable tech, mobile apps, and much more.
What makes healthcare software so complicated?
By now you may have noticed the continuous use of the word “secure” in relation to patient data. This is due to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, also known as HIPAA. Medical operations are subject to strict privacy laws that are meant to protect patient medical information.
Medical providers are required by federal law to give every patient a notice of privacy practices (NPP) and to provide a way for patients to access their protected health information (PHI), change their PHI, be told about disclosures of their PHI, enact restrictions on the use of their PHI, and hold solely confidential communications.
Since healthcare software deals with enormous amounts of PHI, it’s incredibly important that any custom software or healthcare application that is built for your company takes HIPAA compliance incredibly seriously. There’s an entire chapter in the Guide to Privacy and Security of Electronic Health Information that is devoted to cybersecurity. It must be considered at every step of the development process.
Why use custom healthcare software?
Custom healthcare software improves customer experience. Your patients will get a seamless and user-friendly experience from scheduling appointments to paying their bills and accessing their medical records online. When patients find it easy to get medical attention, they’re more likely to get the help they need. In the long term, this means a healthier society.
Custom healthcare is tailor-made for your business. Custom healthcare software development is better than out-of-the-box solutions because it takes into consideration each organization's needs—number of locations, size of operations, services and products offered, audience demographics, and any additional business requirements. While there may be out-of-the-box solutions that “kind of” fit your business model, custom software is built just for you.
Custom healthcare software comes with a personal support team. Out-of-the-box healthcare software may have a support line that you can call, but the support staff will never be familiar with your particular situation. Custom software solutions come with a team of engineers and designers who will become intimately familiar with your organization's operations as they build your solution. When you call for assistance, you’ll be more than just an account number. You’ll have a development team of experts who know your unique solution, ready to help.
Whether your healthcare business is big or small, if you care about creating a seamless experience for your patients, protecting their data, and improving their quality of care then custom healthcare software is the right choice for you. You just need to find the right software development company.
If you’re interested, talk to us at Zibtek. We are world-leading and award-winning developers of custom software products, with huge amounts of experience and talent that cover a range of industries including healthcare services. You can ask questions about our software development services or schedule a no-obligation free consultation.