Healthcare Management Information Systems (HMIS) are tools used in healthcare. They are instrumental in data collection. The focus is to assist in the management, planning, and decision making in health facilities. It is an essential healthcare tool that is part of the foundation for strengthening healthcare systems.
An HMIS should enhance communication with the patients. It should also create awareness to the community about the quality and types of services available. An HMIS should improve the use of services in the health facility hence enhance patient satisfaction.
Practice management software
This is the day to day software focusing on operations of medical practices. It is mostly used by small and medium healthcare facilities to run everyday tasks like financial and administrative tasks. Practice management software needs to perform the following functions:
- Submits insurance claims
- Schedules patient appointments
- Generates reports for staff members
- Processes patient payment directly
- Process payments from third parties including insurance providers
- Records patient demographics
- Performs billing procedures
- Enters and tracks patients
- Manages charge capture
- Send scheduled reminders of appointments
This software can either be used over the internet as a SaaS solution or can be implemented on a simple localized computer network.
Electronic Health Record (EHR) Software
This software is used for the storing the health records of patients electronically. EHR records can be shared across different healthcare platforms. The data stored by EHR software includes:
- demographic data,
- data on allergies and medication of the patient,
- medical history,
- laboratory test results,
- immunization history and status,
- radiology images,
- personal data (age, height, weight, etc)
The system is designed to keep track of the patient’s medical history. This avoids unnecessary paperwork and time wasted in tracking the patient's medical history. The software is designed such that only one file can be edited hence reducing the risk of tampering with it.
Electronic Medical Record (EMR) Software
This is basically the electronic equivalent of paper records. The information stored is general information on medical history collected by an individual medical practice. The main aim of the software is to ensure medical institutions provide efficient care.
EMRs are universal. They can be accessed by different clinics. This helps doctors in different clinics to understand the type of medication the patient has previously used. This increase in information improves the quality and safety of healthcare provided to the patient.
The patient portal is a patient-oriented software. It is a website available online or through an application on their smartphone or tablet. Patients can log in securely using a username and password and access their information and also make requests and inquiries.
The information that a logged inpatient can view includes:
- Lab results
- Next visit to the doctor
- Request of prescription refills
- Access educational material
- Communicate with their doctor
- View immunizations
- Discharge summaries
- Download and fill forms
- Check benefits and coverage
- Schedule appointments
- Update contact information
- Make their payments
It basically works like a student portal on a college website.
Medical billing is pretty self-explanatory – it focuses on payments for services offered by a healthcare provider. It involves the healthcare provider submitting the claim for payment. This speeds up processing and ensures that payment is received for the services rendered.
Initially, the billing was entirely done on paper but the process was slow and subject to inaccuracy. Electronic medical billing is not only quicker, it is less likely to have issues with data entry and discrepancies.
This is a software that is used to simplify the doctor's workflow by centralizing the patient's prescriptions. The software writes prescriptions and checks its availabilities before sending it to a pharmacist. The software performs the following tasks:
- It creates organized lists of medications that are often prescribed – known as dosages.
- It alerts the practitioner on drug interactions and allergies of the patient in question.
- It sends prescriptions to the patient’s preferred pharmacist.
This software makes the process of prescribing and buying drugs quicker, faster and more accurate. It also prevents the doctor from prescribing drugs that have could have negative side effects on the patient in question.
Hospital management software
This software is designed for administration of all areas of a healthcare facility. This could include scheduling and staffing and much more. Hospital management software offers modules to expand the capabilities of the software. These modules can be customized based on the needs of the facility.The main aim of the software is to smoothly manage processes in a hospital or clinic. Here are the main objectives of hospital management software:
- To reduce the hospital’s operational costs.
- Ensure efficient coordination between the different departments of the hospital
- Improve the patient care of the hospital
- To manage clinical documentation
- To regulate the financial control
Urgent care apps
These are mobile apps that can be accessed remotely by the user. They notify medical practitioners of emergencies. Through the apps, the user can access a registered nurse and talk to them. Where necessary, a physician can also call back to answer questions the user may want to ask. Users can use these apps to get medical help from online doctors during an emergency.
Urgent care apps are becoming very popular. This is partly due to the increase in the use of smartphones and the continued availability of high-speed internet connectivity globally.
Healthcare CRM means Healthcare Customer Relationship Management. It is the system of customer relation in healthcare. Healthcare CRMs weave numerous data sources together. This includes -
- Patient demographics,
- Behavioral trends,
- Social psychographics, and more to present a view of the patient’s habits and behaviors.
Healthcare CRMs are developed with the aim of engaging, acquiring and retaining patients.
Healthcare CRM have proved to offer the following benefits:
- They analyze patient populations and segment them.
- Using stored data, they improve patient engagement.
- Using data from multiple sources, it creates a 360-degree view of patients.
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