Software Product For Hospital Industry by Girish Koppar



Before we talk about software product for hospital industry lets understand how the Hospitals are broadly classified

- Based on the legal entity ( Private , Trust or Corporate)
- Based on specialty ( Super specialty, Multi-specialty, Single specialty)
- Based on bed strength ( Larger hospitals and Nursing Homes)

Hospital Industry is unique as compared to BFSI and FMCG industry as there is minimal or almost no standardization in the Processes/Operations between hospitals of similar nature, for example “Admission, Discharge and Billing Processes may vary from hospital to hospital. One more major difference is about the employment of Doctor’s. In some hospitals Doctors are Consultants and in some hospitals they are employees or on the payroll of that hospital. 

Due to above factors it’s very difficult to build and implement a global product for hospital industry. Although many companies have attempted to build a global product for the hospital industry they have not been very successful. 

The software product developed by the vendors may be technically sound for the hospital industry. However, most of the vendors face major implementation challenges as they are not aware of the practical scenarios in different hospitals since the nature of the hospitals and processes in every hospitals vary as mentioned above. 

Hence the customization percentage is very high and the stability of the product becomes an issue. As the degree of customization various from hospital to hospital, the customized product becomes local to that hospital and it becomes difficult for the vendor to maintain and give support to a particular hospital. The other major challenge faced by the vendors is to implement a software product/solution in a brown field project (running hospital), where the processes are set, hence there is a resistance to change by the users to implement a new software. In case of a green field (new hospital) it is not very difficult to implement a software solution as there are no preset processes.  

Now let’s see the major software applications used in hospital industry.
-   HMS (Hospital Management System).
-   RIS (Radiology Information System) and 
-   PACS (Picture Archival and Communication Systems).
-   DMS (Document Management System).
-   Mobility Apps.

HMS is the core application or like the ERP used in hospital industry. It mainly contains modules like Admission, Discharge, Transfers, Billing, In Patients, etc. Since it has the mentioned modules like Admission and Billing, it’s difficult to develop a global HMS application as the variation in processes across hospitals. Other modules like Finance, Inventory, PACS are standard in nature and may or may not be a part of HMS. These modules can be separately developed and seamlessly integrated with the HMS application. Most of the hospitals have adopted the practice of having HMS with only the core Billing and Admission modules and build & integrate other modules around HMS.

Mobile apps & BI tools have helped Vendors to build standard applications wherein they have to fetch the data from HMS and other modules and display it in the app. Unlike HMS application which is dependent on the processes of that particular hospital, mobile apps & BI tools are not process dependent and just fetch data from HMS and other modules to be displayed to the top management for analysis of Business process and making key decisions.

Lot of vendors are now focusing on capturing clinical data and converting the same into EMR/EHR. Although there are various solutions available for capturing clinical data adoption of such software is still an issue. Since most of the hospitals have started capturing clinical data, the next logical step is to use the data to develop applications that can assist doctors in their diagnosis and treatment. CDSS (Clinical Decision Support System) and Artificial Intelligence will be the focus of the vendors which will bring a revolution in the Healthcare ecosystem. These applications will be widely used by Doctors not only for preventive health to diagnose and treat their patients, but also will be used to predict the health of a patient depending on the amount of data that has been captured.


The article was first published in the CIO Insider Magazine, here. The article has been republished here with the authors' permission.
Author
Girish Koppar
Experience of managing IT for Lilavati Hospital and Research Centre for over a decade, and an overall experience of 25 years

Committee Member of HIMSS (Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society) Asia Pacific Chapter and International Member of CHIME (College of Health Information Management Executives).

Secretary & Principal founder of Hospital Information Technology Association
(http://www.hospitaltech.in/) connecting IT personnel across various hospitals pan India. HIT Association is a non-profit association registered under the Bombay Port Trust Act which aims to “Provide Transformational and Visionary Leadership for successful adoption of Digital Technologies in Hospitals.

Board Member and Co-Founder of Medical and Health Information Management Association (MaHIMA) http://www.mahima.org.in/MaHIMA is accredited by Maharashtra Medical Council (MMC) for conducting Continues Medical Education.

On the advisory board of the following companies as a Healthcare Subject Matter Expert (Honorary)
https://www.lemarksolutions.com/mentors
http://findyourfit.in/?page_id=1235

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