Patient Management System Development Guide

author

Max Litvinov

Oct 21, 2021 | 19 min read

Blog

The healthcare industry was taken by surprise in 2020 as Covid-19 showed how valuable digital solutions are in solving the multifarious challenges facing medical institutions (Digital technologies in the public health response to Covid-19 ). The pandemic has led doctors to appreciate the need of digitizing the healthcare industry, especially in patient record management.

By the mid-2000s, if any patient were admitted to a hospital, an intern would need to dig through hundreds of thousands of files and folders to find a patient’s previous records. Those days are gone, and most medical practitioners howl at the nightmare to date. 

Since 2009, governments have backed the use of software tools that give doctors more straightforward access to patients’ data. With the emergence of applications such as electronic medical records (EMRs) and electronic health records (EHR), the popularity of patient management systems continued to grow. As of 2019, the U.S. patient management system market size was valued at $6.1 billion and is anticipated to expand at a CAGR of 10.2% by 2023.

The rising need to achieve operational efficiency, enhanced documentation with minimal errors, and financial viability for physicians calls for the adoption of patient management systems. While various application developers are available, Appvales is a software development company with an excellent track record at creating functional patient management systems. Being an end-to-end software development partner, they will design, build, test and deploy applications, collaborating with your product team to develop your ideal software.

Leading Patient Management Software Solutions

The introduction of patient management software was the first step to modernizing the healthcare industry. 

So, what is a patient management system?

A patient management system is the set of activities that healthcare practitioners use to manage and deliver on a patient’s rising expectations. It is an approach that focuses on fostering strong patient relationships instead of just treating illnesses. By 2020, a survey showed the undeniable success of the software as 89% of physicians and healthcare organizations had adopted patient management solutions (Read more).

There are various practice management solutions on the internet, but finding the best apps for your organization can be a challenge. Here are the top five patient management software solutions that are known to improve services, increase revenue and streamline workflow.

  • SimplePractice software

SimplePractice is one of the leading patient management software solutions for health and wellness practitioners in private practices. Health practitioners such as therapists, social workers, and speech-language pathologists particularly like this software due to its multiple functionalities. 

SimplePractice allows clients to request appointments online, send paperless intakes and insurance forms, set up AutoPay, and more. The application integrates with the patient management software and physical therapy, chiropractic, medical scheduling, and mental health software.

  • Phreesia software

Phreesia ranks as one of the most reputable applications for patient intake solutions. Phreesia provides digital tools to help healthcare organizations succeed in a changing landscape by delivering the modern and convenient experience patients expect.

  • Jane Software

Jane is a cloud-based booking platform that helps clinics with workflow management, practice management, scheduling, billing, patient record keeping, and documentation. In addition, the software allows patients direct access to medical practitioners around the clock. Some of the software features include branded online booking, custom electronic documentation (EMR), patient reminders, integrated payment processing, and optional insurance management.

  • RXNT software

RXNT is an integrated, cloud-based software for healthcare specialties of all sizes. The software boasts features that include Practice Management (PM) with Medical Billing and Scheduling, Electronic Health Records (EHR) with Patient Portal, and integrated Electronic Prescribing (eRx). These tools increase productivity, boost revenues, and streamline workflows overall.

  • Clearwave

Clearwave is the first performance self-service check-in solution for medical industries. The software enables fast, flexible and user-friendly experiences while improving practice economics and performance. With proven ROI and real-time eligibility verification, Clearwave provides healthcare practices with a comprehensive check-in solution, available on kiosk, tablet or mobile. It provides fast insurance verification, increases revenue collections, improves data access, and boosts patient engagement.

Challenges of Patient Management App Development

Hospital management system software (HMS) was introduced into the medical industry as early as 1960. It has evolved over time and integrated with other technologies, modernizing healthcare facilities.

Despite facilitating the registration of patients, storing their details on-screen as well as computerizing billing, the hospital management system project faces major challenges, especially in its development.

Some of the challenges software developers can expect include:

  • Software integration (EMR and HMS)

Software integration is a procedure where program developers combine multiple independent software to form one system. The united systems work cohesively to improve business operations.

To ensure seamless workflow in hospital management software solutions, the importance of integrating electronic medical record (EMR) applications and hospital management systems cannot be over-emphasized. The reason being, it promotes interoperability between the different systems, ensuring easier management of patient data.

Each of these applications come with unique sets of data: some small, some large. With such data diversity, software developers experience challenges during the integration process. As a result, they may have data silos that act as a barrier to seamless data sharing and collaboration. It also affects interoperability, causing an unpleasant user experience.

  • Regulatory Compliance 

Patient management systems store and circulate sensitive patient data, making it accessible to various medical practitioners. To uphold patients’ privacy, governments and various independent bodies have put regulations in place, which software developers must comply with. 

Compliance requirements are different for various regions. For instance, if you are developing an application in the United States, you must comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). In Canada, you need to be in line with the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA). Last but not least, if you are a programmer in Europe, you must consider the e-Privacy Directive.

These are not the only governing bodies. So, before the actual hospital management system software coding commences, researching compliance requirements in your region is imperative. That way, health facilities do not suffer huge penalties, business disruptions, or worse, license revocation.

  • Security

With cybersecurity threats on a record-high, the security of mobile and web applications is a major cause for concern. The reason is that patient management systems contain sensitive information valuable to hackers and other unauthorized persons. With this crucial information, they can commit identity theft, among other crimes.

So, incorporating the most effective security protocols during hospital management system software engineering is a common challenge in healthcare software development. To safeguard patient data, there is a need for meticulous planning and advanced testing solutions. Also, the software developer needs to think like a hacker and consider the possible scenarios that may compromise the security of the application, which is also a challenge.  

Key Features Of Patient Management Software

As earlier stated, the main purpose of Hospital management system software development is to ensure easier access and storage of sensitive patient information. In addition, the software improves efficiency in healthcare service provision, streamlines workflows, and encourages better patient interactions, which result in satisfaction between patients and practitioners. 

However, for your patient management system to offer proper functionality and meet the needs of your healthcare facility, there is a need to include a couple of software features.

Each patient management solution has a variety of features that make it unique. However, in this section, we are going to highlight the essential features your software developer needs to include that will streamline your processes.

Let us delve into specifics.

  • Online booking

With digitization taking over, consumers are moving online. To tap into the lucrative online market, companies are looking for the best ways to capture this new breed of consumers by taking their services to them.

For medical facilities, reaching the online market means offering an online booking option, for starters.

Online booking reduces the time patients have to spend at a health facility waiting for medical attention. Before a patient arrives in a hospital, they can check-in electronically and track waiting times.

Apart from offering time-saving benefits to the patients, medical practitioners can also manage their calendars, increasing efficiency.

  • Scheduling

Again, with technological advancements taking over the healthcare industry, the scheduling feature is a must-have. It is one of the major and most valuable patient management software features as it eliminates the need for patients to visit or call the medical facility to schedule or reschedule appointments.

With a patient scheduling module, patients can book their own appointment online with 24/7 access and reschedule appointments with just a click. As such, it minimizes overcrowding at the facility during working hours, a much-appreciated aspect, especially now we are amidst a pandemic.

Furthermore, since the patient may be required to leave personal information such as their names, phone number, and e-mail addresses, health facilities can leverage this data to keep the patients updated on their recovery as well as offer invaluable information on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle. 

  • Billing

The hospital management system solution offers billing modules that reduce the stresses associated with the revenue cycle management process (RCM). 

With the medical billing feature, healthcare centres can streamline RCM by keeping track of the payment information from the time the patient check-ins to the time they leave the facility. It manages patient accounts and keeps a record of all past and present payment information and diagnoses. It also verifies insurance eligibility to ensure everyone understands copays and deductibles.

  • Patient record keeping

Overall, good record keeping primarily facilitates the provision of quality services. Especially for medical institutions, the ability to keep track, store and access patient electronic medical records (EMR) with just a click makes workflow easy and efficient. 

The feature offers medical practitioners a single platform where they have a patient’s medical history. With the information they gather, they are in a better position to offer accurate diagnoses and the best treatment. 

Additionally, medical facilities can use this information to defend themselves in case a patient presents a complaint. For example, they can use these records to show why they recommended the treatment options or why they took a particular action.   

  • Custom electronic documentation

The custom electronic documentation feature gives access to easy documentation of patients’ records. It helps in data extraction for preparing care plans, planning patient care and education as well as discharge planning. 

  • CRM

If you are looking to properly maintain all records for the thousands of patients visiting your facility, including the customer relationship management (CRM) feature in your application is of paramount importance.

The feature offers efficient customer support services, which are instrumental in retaining existing patients and attracting new ones. It tracks scheduled, rescheduled, and missed appointments as well as record updates. With such metrics, health providers gain invaluable insights that the health facility can use for reporting purposes.

Furthermore, it comes with integration capabilities, allowing interoperability between other applications.

Patient Management Software Development Steps

When patients come to the hospital, they should never wait in line for too long or be subjected to a chaotic and disorganized environment. To minimize the chances, it is recommended that facilities invest in a hospital management system that streamlines hospital workflows and processes.

However, before developing a patient management system, it is advisable to assess the situation in your healthcare organization. Identify your facility’s needs to ensure the final product incorporates all the basic features to ensure a smooth running of processes.

Listed below are the major steps you should consider when developing hospital management software.

  • Choosing the platform (Web, mobile or both)

Picking the right platform for your patient management system is the first action to take. Look at platforms where you are more likely to reach your target audience. You can opt for a mobile or a web-based application. However, you can also create a management system that integrates well in both platforms. That way, you widen your reach.

  • Choosing Tech Stack

Your software’s infrastructure, the scope of the project, scalability, and preferences are some of the determining factors as to which tech stack to go for. Here, your software developer will decide which programming languages, front and back-end technologies, APIs, and frameworks are best suited for your patient management system.

  • Design

In the design phase, the programmer will conceptualize your vision creating a detailed architecture for your application. They will define the functionality, structure, and hardware/software components needed for the application to operate as expected.

It is also at the design stage that the developer will consider emerging trends in the medical industry and incorporate only those that are a perfect fit for your programmer. It is only after they achieve a satisfactory design that they will move to the next step.  

  • Development

The development stage is where actual coding begins.

Your developer will write code that turns the design into a program. This is the most time consuming and tech-intensive software development stage. The programmer must be keen to ensure the final product meets the client’s expectations.

It is after the development stage that the developer checks the viability of the product in this next stage.

  • Testing

Once the software is built, Quality Assurance engineers test it. Their testing procedure highly depends on the official specification of medical regulatory bodies in your region.

Some of the things they look into are how the software transmits data, its safety protocols, security, and the accuracy in its functionality. Since you are developing a patient management system, they will look at its interoperability and its efficiency in streamlining workflows. Additionally, they will test it for compliance, scalability, user experience, and overall quality.

If they detect bugs or any other issues, the software will be returned to the development stage for amendments.

  • Deployment

After successfully testing, the software is released from the developers to the users. In this case, it is installed into your health facility for use. However, you will need to come up with an implementation plan beforehand since the developers will undertake the deployment process step-by-step.   

Appvales Can Build a Patient Management Software For You

The patient management systems market size is growing at breakneck speeds. Also, the global EHR market size is projected to reach $47.25 billion by 2027, from $29.16 billion in 2020, exhibiting a CAGR of 7.14% during 2021-2027.

These statistics show the rising popularity of hospital management systems, making it an inevitable part in the evolution of modern medical institutions. 

Developing a custom hospital system software is a great opportunity to create the distinct, efficient and fast delivering healthcare model. However, the development process is time-consuming and tech-intensive. One of the reasons you need an expert software developer.

Appvales, is a reputable software development company well-versed in their craft. We will develop custom patient management systems that meet the needs of your healthcare organization. To further ensure a smooth-running of patient services, we integrate the software with existing systems for a smooth running of medical processes.

Furthermore, we boast years of experience building web and mobile healthcare apps. Our dedicated team of developers will work round the clock to ensure the optimal functionality of your system.

Contact Appvales today!

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Written by:

Max Litvinov

CEO at Appvales

IT enthusiast, investor, entrepreneur. Bringing the offshore mobile development to the next level.

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