Crucial Features for Medical Practice Management Software  by@tetianastoyko

Crucial Features for Medical Practice Management Software

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Tetiana Stoyko HackerNoon profile picture

Tetiana Stoyko

CTO and Co-Founder of @incorainc, where we can turn your ideas into products!

When we talk about medicine and health, we must understand that time is critically important because every minute or second could cost someone`s life. This is why it is necessary to optimize every possible process which is to be done before first aid will be provided or treatment will begin. There is a lot of information to be checked and written down before doctors could start doing their job. First of all, it is the personal information of the patients, their names, surnames, etc. Then their medical history must be checked: what drugs they used before, what illnesses or injuries the person had previously. The easiest way to make it possible to skip such processes is to create a medical records database with all the needed information. Today we will talk about Medical Practice Management Software (MPMS) and how we could improve it.

How Does Medical Practice Management Software Work?

Medical Practice Management Software is software to improve the level of medical assistance. The MPMS not only stores the data about patients, but it also has a variety of other features which favorably distinguish it from other systems, used in the medical sphere, such as EMR, EHR, or CRM. The main advantage of the MPMS over others is that it could be simultaneously used by different groups of users. It is easy to use not only for hospitals and their staff but also for patients or insurance companies for their purposes. It combines different functions for every category of users: patient medical records database for hospitals, checks, and bills for insurance, or doctor appointment scheduling system for patients. All of these are only a small part of the functionality available in medical practice management software. Simply speaking, MPMS operates different databases combining them with additional useful functions such as payment API, for example, to satisfy all the possible needs of its users.

Why is MPMS Important?

It may be not obvious to understand that besides being user-friendly medical practice management software helps to feel safe and save its users’ lives wherever they are. MPMS not only simplifies the healthcare aspect of regular citizen`s life but also allows traveling without fear of not receiving proper treatment if necessary. Let's have a look at some illustrative examples for each user group:

  • Hospital: usually, people see the same doctors for years and use the services of local hospitals because their staff have all the needed information to define patient status. It includes their medical history records, as well as their personal data info. But using the MPSM with additional tools allows easy access to all this information. It allows skipping time-consuming procedures such as blood tests or finding out possible allergies and starting treatment immediately.
  • Insurance companies: MPMS systems make it easier for them not only to track patients’ status as well as patient workflows but also simplify tracking medical bills and payments to reduce the number of possible frauds or make it easier to pay the insurance bills.
  • Patients: medical practice management software is the most useful for the patients. It gives not only the confidence of being helped if needed but significantly facilitates all actions related to the medical field. Such actions comprise communication with doctors, pharmacies, and insurance companies; optimization of medical data sharing bypassing the patient; allowing tracking of patient workflows, as well as ordering medicine online, and making doctor`s online appointments.

All these services have long been on the market. But the main problem is that they exist separately, which is not as convenient as the solution we offer. The medical software market is full of different limited software options. Each of them is oriented toward a specific user, creating a gap for fundamentally new solutions, such as MPMS.

How Can MPMS Compete?

The best answer to this question is - combination and optimization. All of the previously-mentioned features exist separately in different systems such as EMR, EHR, or CRM. So the solution is to choose the most effective functions from each of these systems and gather them into one product. Moreover, Cloud computing systems could be implemented into the medical practice management software architecture. Let`s get acquainted with each of these systems.

EMR Software Development

Electronic Medical Records software is used in hospitals and private clinics only for internal usage. Mainly EMR helps the medical staff with their work such as patient status tracking. It is used to automatize some processes and store specific medical data about patients, their medical history, and all the needed healthcare information. Despite the major problem that EMR can not share information with others, only authorized staff could get access. This is why EMR is for hospital internal use only. But, there are a few great features to consider:

1. Medical records database

EMR software development was driven by the need to facilitate the work of physicians, having access to all the needed information about the patient, such as blood type, allergies, diabetes, or patient status. This helps not only in an emergency but also simplifies routine tasks.

2. Medication process tracking

EMR also helps physicians to track the medication process of the patients, how it affects their health, what drugs are prescribed, what was already done, and what could be done in addition.

3. Patient status monitoring

Moreover, EMR could be used as a centralized system for tracking patients, who undergo inpatient treatment, for example, the ones who are after surgery, reanimation, or in a coma. EMR software development is high enough to be able to track the patient`s condition based on the indications of medical equipment. It also informs the medical staff in case of deviation from the norm.

EHR Software

Electronic Health Records software may be considered a result of EMR software development. EHR is also containing healthcare information about patients, but unlike EMR it allows medical data sharing. Schematized: Hospital - external use. EHR is a superior version of EMR, it has almost all the same functions and some very significant additional ones:

1. Medical Data Sharing

Almost all of the additional features that differ EHR from EMR are possible because of this. In addition to serving the medical records database, EHR allows sharing of this information with other hospitals and insurance companies. Moreover, it makes it possible to edit or update this info from different sources. Also, this feature allows patients to be more mobile, knowing that all the needed information is collected in one place and could be easily found.

2. Billing and Payments

Access to the medical history of the client as well as plugged-in communication possibilities allows the insurance company to communicate directly with the hospital, receive medical bills, and pay them, bypassing the patients and making their lives easier. By integrating payment API into the system, the MPMS will have this function internally, without the need to use other platforms.

3. Doctors Online Appointments

As a great bonus, EHR software makes it simple to communicate with the doctor in case of minor problems or inability to physically visit the hospital. For example, in the case of the COVID 19 pandemic, people with non-critical diseases or minor COVID symptoms were able to stay home and have all the needed doctor`s consultations online. It would facilitate the work of the hospital and its staff, allowing them to help severe patients.

4. Ordering Medicine Online

Medical data sharing allows the pharmacy to access patients` prescriptions information. So, it is possible to order medicine online and to have your drugs delivered to the specific pharmacy in advance.

5. Patient Workflows

Shared information about health and medical history allows patients to track their rehabilitation and treatment progress.

CRM Software

Unlike the previous two, Comprehensive Patient Management does with allowing them, secured medical and health information. It is more about the customer support services and administrative database with general info about the client, such as name, surname, date of birth, etc. This info is used for registration purposes. Scheme: Hospital - client. The most important features to use:

1. Doctor Appointment Scheduling System

It allows scheduling or canceling doctor`s online appointments using a special application or webpage. This option simplifies bureaucracy by creating comfortable tools for both editing and monitoring the appointments. In addition, it could use such tools as Google calendar to create or reschedule meetings, and send reminders.

2. Reminders and Push Notifications

This software is user-oriented, so it has additional functions such as reminders for patients about scheduled doctor`s online appointments, expiration dates of prescriptions, etc.

3. The Linkage Between the Hospital and the Patient

Usually, such software implements user-friendly means of communication with the hospital or the doctor to provide quick and informative assistance. For example, question-answer contact.

Medical Practice Management Software as a Combination of Multiple Systems

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Summing up all the above, we may conclude that MPMS is a new way of EMR software development and improvement. Just like EHR, medical practice management software takes the main functions and adds additional ones, which helps not only to increase the target audience but to make this software even more useful for all user groups. The combination of all the foregoing features has all the chances not only to occupy the existing market gap but to make significant changes in the future of HealthTech. The relevance of such systems could be seen just now. The best example of their necessity was the COVID 19 pandemic when most of the hospitals all over the world faced the problem of optimizing the treatment processes due to increasing numbers of patients.

Usage Experience in the Ukrainian Context

During the COVID pandemic, the need for such a system, which helps to track huge numbers of patients and to avoid crowds was extremely high. It was the moment when the target audience significantly expanded. Meanwhile, investment in the medical sphere has risen sharply. Not only the hospitals, private clinics, or insurance companies needed such software for their purposes. Even governments needed such instruments to monitor the health status of their citizens and foreign visitors. For example, during the SARS Pandemic, the Ukrainian government not only obligated medical institutions to digitize all the possible information but made some moves to increase the effectiveness of new databases. Nowadays, all the medical institutions accept doctors’ online appointments, and the COVID vaccination certificates are connected to the government-supported project “Diia”, which is connected to all existing government databases and allows to storage of all the needed documents such as ID or Driving License in one place. At the moment, the MPMS in Ukraine is still developing. Currently, it is in the EHR stage, meaning that most of the foregoing options such as electronic health databases, medical data sharing, and doctor appointment scheduling systems are working correctly. The next step is to make these systems user-friendly and to create a centralized webpage or application, instead of a variety of similar services, working on a local level.

End Line

Medical practice management software is the next step into the future of electronic healthcare software. The combination of already existing systems such as EMR, EHR, and CRM as well as correct interaction between the foregoing features are doomed to success.

Originally published here.

Tetiana Stoyko HackerNoon profile picture
by Tetiana Stoyko @tetianastoyko.CTO and Co-Founder of @incorainc, where we can turn your ideas into products!
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