The topic of conversation in the recently hosted ‘India 2020 – 7th National Conference on Health & Hospital Management” at the DY Patil University, School of Management focused on the opportunities and challenges present in the healthcare system. Dr Daver Medical Director, HN Reliance Hospital, emphasised the importance of technology in healthcare and said, “We need leaders in our industry who can come up with innovative ways, with a passion and agility, to bridge the gap between people and the healthcare system.” Given the changing dynamics of the healthcare industry, technology has become a big contributor to bridge the gap between people and the healthcare system and ensure better healthcare delivery and cost-effectiveness. Doctors too are warming up to technology to gain more visibility into patient information to enable better care delivery and improve collaboration.
Today, providing world-class medical care and ensuring high patient engagement is now top-of-the-mind for most of the healthcare providers as this business is becoming intensely competitive and crowded. Leveraging technology thus becomes essential to ensure that other concurrent tasks, which, though administrative, are equally important to ensure the smooth running of the hospital, do not hijack patient care and impact engagement levels. Currently, one of the largest concerns that hospitals have is that the healthcare ecosystem that is still largely paper-based. This leads to a lot of time and resource wastage. Thus, introducing a cloud-based Hospital Management System that assists the hospital in managing the financial, operational, and administrative tasks ensures that the hospital is running smoothly, efficiently, and professionally. So what modules should a good Hospital Management System have? We cover some essential points in this blog.
Large and small hospitals and multi-speciality clinics have large department scheduling and staffing requirements to oversee almost on a daily basis. A good department management module has to provide a detailed yet simple view of multiple schedules of the many physicians present in each specific department and their availability within the hospital. The HMS should also be able to give a snapshot of new, recurring or follow-up appointments for individual doctors or speciality departments. In the case of unavailability of doctors, the HMS should be able to reassign or reschedule appointments. The HMS should be interoperable to allow authorized users to access information from other departments such as pathology, laboratory etc. to facilitate easier transactions within departments and higher productivity.
OPD and IPD Management
Managing the day care and in-patient requirements is a huge task for the hospital management since there are many components involved. Right from admissions, bed management, nurse management, service eligibility, transfers, returns, insurance management to discharge; a Hospital Management system should have a scalable architecture, configurable workflows, and minimal typing so that all the information can be stored and updated easily and can also be retrieved comfortably when needed.
EHR/ EMR management
Having an easy-to-use Electronic Health Records Management System has to be a salient and fundamental component of a Healthcare Management System. The EHR or EMR management should not only include the detailed medical history of the patient but should also enable the hospital to store lab reports, x-rays, other investigative reports, admission and procedure notes, medical record tracking and also allow the doctors to make and update progress notes regarding the patient with ease. Further, ensuring that the EHR/EMR system is accessible to both the patient and the physician via a cloud platform makes way for greater collaboration when needed.
Good finance management is critical to ensure the functional fluidity of a hospital. The aspect of finance, however, does not end only with billings and insurance. Purchase, inventory management, consumption tracking, stock damage, returns and re-orders, supplier payments, credit and debit adjustments, pharmacy sales, prescription-controlled pharmacy sales, cashless billings, flexible consumer plans, discount offers, taxes, etc. are just a few things that a Hospital Management System should be able to effectively manage. Since healthcare is becoming increasingly collaborative, a Hospital Management System should also have a central tracking system that manages the inbound and outbound referrals and associated aspects.
Today more and more healthcare insurance providers are entering the market and new policies emerging almost every other day. A good Hospital Management System should be able to update these insurance offers with minimal effort and should be able to enable faster and efficient processing of insurance claims. Along with insurance, a Hospital Management System should also be able to electronically process Mediclaim benefits. By electronically processing the Mediclaim policy, hospitals make it much easier for the patient or the beneficiary to collect the claims and hence ensure greater patient satisfaction.
When it comes to running a hospital well, you can only manage what you can measure. A Hospital Management System should definitely have an analytics module that aggregates all data such as schedules analysis, billings and insurance analysis, performance benchmarking, reporting efficiencies, resource utilization etc. to weed out performance deficiencies and make informed business decisions that can make the hospital run more efficiently.
The hallmark of a good Hospital Management System has to be a user-centred design that ensures the key priorities of the system are met across the complex healthcare environment. However, what is even more important is that the product understands the clinical goals, contractual responsibilities and cost efficiencies and offers an interoperable structure that makes it easy to access anytime, anywhere.