Medical software providers often need to deal with varying requirements of stakeholders in the medical industry. Software for the medical industry ranges from small, single-physician practices to large hospitals with a huge staff.
Digital platforms that help manage care operations at a healthcare facility need to incorporate all or most activities in medical workflows. That’s where a customized software purpose-built for the organization can fulfil its requirements.
So, suppose you’re a doctor or an administrator at a hospital looking for relevant software. In that case, you need to know about the medical software development process and how to communicate with healthcare technology software providers to make the most of your investment.
Here are 7 questions you should ask medical software providers if you’re looking for healthcare software.
1. How can Customized Medical Software Development Help my Practice/Hospital?
Just as you would ask any sales rep that tries to sell you something, knowing how software can help you is a great start. Don’t shy away from asking your medical software provider if or how their product can benefit your organization.
Every hospital must deal with its time-consuming administrative operations. Activities like scheduling appointments, prior authorization billing, prescriptions, and paperwork are tedious. If medical software programs can streamline such routine tasks for hospital staff, doctors can better focus on their patients.
Moreover, every member of the staff would’ve gotten used to a certain way of working. So, your medical software providers must consider the current hospital workflow. The adoption of new software must not result in the staff having to unlearn established workflows and get used to new ones.
To sum it up, medical software for doctors must reduce the number of steps in any operation. It could be accessing patient records, ordering tests, billing, as well as admittance or discharge.
2. Would Your Solution Integrate Seamlessly With Existing Platforms?
The care process often involves multiple activities – fetching patient records, looking at one or more test results, changing prescriptions, etc. The process becomes additionally tedious if the doctor sees a patient remotely.
Product-based healthcare solutions may or may not include some of these features. So if you’re looking for customized medical software programs, integration with existing 3rd party general-purpose solutions is paramount.
The pandemic demonstrated the importance of technology in healthcare. Telehealth visits increased by over 150% in early 2020. Virtual consultations became increasingly popular as people were afraid to make in-person visits.
As a result, hospitals and physician practices across the US were forced to incorporate telehealth solutions rapidly. In addition to that, physicians realized the importance of remote health monitoring systems, which allowed them to track patient health without physically being there.
Telehealth applications must easily integrate with existing EMR software solutions to help retrieve patient medical history with a few clicks. Furthermore, it must also seamlessly integrate with appointment scheduling and medical billing software to make things easier.
An integrated health platform that offers such benefits can improve the efficiency of each consultation, enhance care delivery and the overall patient experience.
3. How Will Your Electronic Medical Records Software Facilitate Data interchange & Security
Cybercrime has increased, and people’s electronic health records (EHR) have become a coveted target for hackers. The healthcare industry generates a vast trove of data that needs some of the best security there is without hindering timely access to PHI and care.
Regulations like the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) mandate a certain standard for protecting patient data. Every EHR solution provider must implement protocols and measures that comply with HIPAA to ensure data privacy.
In addition to security, EHR interoperability has grown to become a major concern for providers. Patients’ data is often siloed and not interoperable with different health systems. This hurdle often comes in the way of delivering quality care.
If you’re looking for an electronic medical records (EMR) software system, ensure that it facilitates seamless electronic data interchange. Finally, when it comes to any data, whether healthcare or otherwise, analysis is the name of the game. A platform for medical informatics helps assess vast amounts of patient data to generate valuable insights. Such knowledge helps in identifying high-risk patients and beginning treatments early before the symptoms progress.
4. How Would a Mobile-Based Application Differ From a Web-Based Application for my Practice?
Medical software development had been growing steadily, but the pandemic helped accelerate that growth. The lockdowns increased the importance of medical software programs that can schedule appointments, manage check-ins, and ensure virtual consultations.
But as a medical professional, you are bound to wonder whether the application you’re paying for is better-off as being web-based or mobile-based. While both platforms possess pros and cons, it all depends on your requirements.
A small practice with one or a few doctors is better off with a mobile-based application. Such a system would allow you to view important notifications on the go and manage the administrative aspects of your practice. Some of these include recording patient history, retrieving patient information, in addition to data entry and other paperwork.
On the other hand, a large hospital with dozens of doctors and nurses requires a web-based application. The administrative workload of such an organization would include ordering & scheduling tests, patient monitoring, admittance & discharge, billing, managing health records, etc.
Furthermore, you might also want to consider whether you need a solution that’s on-premises (installed on in-house computers) or cloud-based healthcare software. With cloud-based medical software, you can tap into the workflows from remote locations while you travel. A major benefit of healthcare cloud computing is the ease of scaling up your operations with a fraction of the investments compared to on-premises software.
5. Is Your Medical Healthcare Software Scalable to Suit Growing Needs?
Organizations begin, grow, and evolve with passing years. Hospitals are no exception. A small clinic could grow to become a large hospital in some years. In light of this, healthcare software providers must make the solution scalable to evolving needs. Moreover, this scalability must also include all the workflows that might come with growing administrative requirements – medical billing, claims, admittance, discharge, and so forth.
A medical practice management software must be able to accommodate growth in all respects seamlessly. Scaling invariably involves dealing with more patients. If an expansion includes mental health services, then the software platform must incorporate EHR systems for mental health providers. This would help not only the therapists but also the patients. Since expansion would mean more patients, it becomes important to develop effective patient engagement systems. This is achieved through effective patient communication software solutions.
6. How Can Your Medical Software Help Grow My Revenue?
Maximizing hospital revenues by streamlining workflows is perhaps the main purpose of the medical software industry. As a healthcare administrator or a practitioner, an increase in revenue is the main reason for an investment in medical software programs. The US healthcare system is a complex labyrinth of evolving regulations and policies. Complying with those usually means burdensome administrative activities that take time away from patients as well as providers.
According to the American Medical Association (AMA) research, nearly 60% of doctors in emergency medicine feel burned out. As a doctor, an average day at the clinic usually involves accessing patient history, looking at test results, data entry, and other office administration.
A shocking 27% of their time is spent on patient care, while the rest is on other activities. If automated healthcare solutions can remove the efforts spent on back-office tasks, it clears up more time to see patients. Additionally, it can also reduce the overhead associated with healthcare management activities.
Furthermore, including revenue cycle management applications (RCM) into existing medical practice management solutions can go a long way in reducing accounts receivables. All of these features rolled into integrated healthcare solutions will drive up revenues consistently.
7. Can I Have a Look At Your Track Record?
As a customer, it is your right to ask your medical software provider to see their work. Don’t shy away from asking to see the company’s products. Not only does it show the company’s track record, but it also demonstrates the level of competence.
Additionally, do so across the spectrum of healthcare organizations. In other words, check out the provider’s medical healthcare software at small single-physician practices as well as large hospitals. Take your time to do this, and remember to ask any questions you might have about the functionality of the platforms at other institutions. Doing so would give you clarity and perspective about where your requirements stand
The software has improved the efficiency of every industry it has touched. Doctors’ medical software should streamline activities, improve patient care, reduce waiting times, and enhance overall clinical outcomes.
If you’re looking to digitize your practice or hospital but feeling unsure about how to approach it, these questions will provide a good start. As a potential customer, it is your right to ask these queries and obtain all the answers you can get.
Don’t be in a hurry to digitize your organization. Knowing your requirements needs thorough assessment and patience. You don’t have to agree to the first product you’re shown. Finally, don’t be intimidated by making demands, stating your reasons, and meeting your needs.
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Written by Riken Shah linkedin
Riken's work motto is to help healthcare providers use technological advancements to make healthcare easily accessible to all stakeholders, from providers to patients. Under his leadership and guidance, OSP Labs has successfully developed over 600 customized software solutions for 200+ healthcare clients across continents.