Advantages and challenges of creating an EHR
Apr 04, 2022
16 minutes, 29 seconds.
An electronic health record (EHR) is a digital version of a patient’s paper medical chart and is crucial to maximizing profits while providing the highest quality of care. The implementation process can take time and be costly, but the benefits compared with paper records far outweigh the costs of electronic medical records. To help your organization adopt an EHR system quickly and efficiently, you have to include your staff in the decision-making process. This article describes how to develop and effectively implement EHR software and how much does an EHR system cost.
Implementing a ready-to-use electronic medical records system (whether commercially licensed EHR or open-source EHR) is the fastest way for healthcare organizations. It means integrations with practice picture archiving system, referral management system, billing, labs, patient portal, etc. It can also mean meeting the requirements of an external system) and step-by-step targeted on-demand customization (creating specialty-specific templates or changing user interfaces).
Not every ready-to-use EHR is ready for cost-effective customization. An experienced EHR consultant can help select a ready-to-implementation-and-customization EHR system or company that sells EHR software tailored to your business needs.
After implementing the EHR, your practice will have a fully functioning, modern system that will hopefully improve your practice’s profitability and the quality of healthcare services you provide.
Here you can see the advantages of implementing the EHR:
These are some essential features included in the development of EHR. You cannot use the software without these features. You have to know how to develop an EHR with the essential elements. Different medical institutions prefer to have an MVP version first because it allows them to understand the product.
There is also the fastest way to get seed-stage funding and start an EHR business:
If healthcare organizations or medical startups want to build their web-based EHR system, they must develop EHR software from scratch. Supposing, you need complete control over your EHR software features, including the possibility of scaling your system as your business grows or entering a market with a new EHR software or user-friendly design. In that case, this option seems to be the only available way. You don’t need to have “per provider” access restrictions and don’t need to pay license fees with your custom EHR, and you are protected from switching/changing EHR systems (relevant for healthcare providers).
It also helps the founders get feedback from the staff, labs, patients, and other users. After the MVP version of the new EHR software is ready to be implemented, the developers can improve it to get a better outcome. They will know how to develop a version with more additional features.
Usually, the MVP version includes the following features:
Tech stack provides the answer to how to create EMR software and refers to the usage of technologies. The following tech stack can be an example of how to build an EHR system.
Libraries and frameworks: Angular, jQuery, Django, Node.js, Bootstrap.
Utilities: Cloudflare, Microsoft Azure, Amazon S3.
Payment gateway: Braintree, PayPal, Stripe.
Databases: My SQL, PostgreSQL.
Analytics: Amazon EMR, Google Analytics, Optimizely.
Webserver: Apache HTTP Server, Nginx.
App frameworks: Laravel.
Hosting: AWS, VULTR.
How much does it cost to create an EHR software? One of the biggest concerns in developing EHR is the finances. In the next section of this article about building an EHR system, we will talk about the costs of EHR software development.
The creation of MVP for the EHR software includes some essential features, which are mandatory and help build a foundation for further electronic medical records systems and calculating the cost of the electronic health records development. The final software won’t reap the results without any of these features. But how to be sure that your software is the best?
There are three possibilities for how you can develop your software.
All ways are good, and the difference lies in the output quality and cost of EHR software. Outsourcing is a cost-saving strategy. You can hire an outside team that creates EHR software for you. It will reduce the electronic health records cost. You can find a lot of developers who will know how to build the system you need.
The important thing is to choose the proper mix of quality and price of the final product. You have to know how to select a good team that can serve the appropriate purpose. The final cost of an electronic medical records software always depends on the features added and inclusions in making a custom EHR solution.
Fewer stages of the EMR adoption are more challenging than the phase of implementation. Most problems occur in the earlier phases, and shortcuts could lead to catastrophic issues later. A botched EHR implementation can reduce patient confidence and harm your relationships with other healthcare providers by damaging your revenue cycle for months.
You have to always check the software’s validity before knowing how to create an EHR. Get several requests from your clients about custom electronic medical records costs. After this, analyze the potential and probability. You need to ensure that you can develop customized EHR software and stay within your budget.
Start with the client’s requirements. You have to understand them fully. Make a list of questions about all the details of the development process. It helps get a fair idea about what clients are looking for and clears their expectations from additional features added to the electronic medical records software.
It is essential to understand what issues the doctors and nurses in a hospital are facing and the users’ pain points.
Asking such questions gets you closer to the client’s needs and a better understanding of how to create EHR software. Another critical moment of the success of EHR system development is testing the business plan. Test the product with potential customers by including doctors and nurses.
Making a checklist of all the steps you anticipate will need to be completed is the first step of implementing an EMR system. Consider carefully who will complete the task: managers, healthcare providers, patients, or IT staff.
Critical tasks include budget planning, stakeholder recruitment, transferring data, scheduling implementation, establishing go-live activities and metrics for success, and providing training and live testing.
The precise cost of EMR development will depend on your organization’s size and the software’s features. Network and hardware upgrades, data backups and storage, vendor training and consultant fees, and cost per employee can all affect your budget and raise the costs of electronic health records.
In the early stages of EMR development, the initial loss in productivity is unavoidable, and you should consider that. The dedicated team will need training organized by staff and providers, and it may require additional time beyond that to get used to the new system, which may come out of their patient care hours. Your organization can benefit from increased productivity and a more streamlined workflow once the system is fully implemented.
The discovery phase is an essential part of developing an EHR. It needs to identify the features of the EHR software to the development technology, which means that you need to create a flowchart of the procedures and processes.
Another important thing is to figure out the technology stack. It is the responsibility of our professionals. The development process will continue with the technologies, and an EHR software creation also involves electronic health records cost estimation.
Once the business analysis and cost of EHR software estimation are complete, the development can start. To understand how the software works, you need to develop a prototype first, which will help you make it better.
To accurately represent your patients’ information and your medical practice within the software, you have to set up a new EHR that does a system configuration. That means the providers who will be using the system and programming in your practice’s location(s). It would help if you also designed your practice’s clinical workflow to create clinical templates. The templates are required to meet Physician Quality Reporting System standards outlined by federal regulations and Meaningful Use. Follow the rules to ensure your practice does not incur Medicare payment penalties.
Designing is the next step in the EMR software development life cycle. You can develop a basic design of the EHR software as per the specifications. After that is time to decide what the first design of the solution will look like.
Create modules of the major segments with the help of service-oriented architecture. It will be helpful for the following:
The scalability is easier when the EMR software development works in this manner.
Enrollment, credentialing, and other details about payment depend on the payers’ responsiveness. Sometimes, changing payer enrollment from one PM system to another can take weeks or even months. It’s important to include enough time in the implementation process if the enrollment and credentialing steps take longer than expected.
The quality assurance team identifies the bugs during the testing stage. They check the design, monitor other operations, and go through the development stages. The quality assurance team understands how to build a better version of the existing EHR.
The essential issue is to know whether EHR software can solve the problem. Usually, testing and debugging continue until and unless the development goals meet with the functioning of EMR software.
Outline all the steps of your organization’s current workflow by asking the following questions:
You can significantly increase the likelihood of a smooth rollout and minimize any inefficiencies in the use of EMR by optimizing your workflows before EMR implementation.
The development of EHR software is specific to the user’s requirements. You can launch the product in the right environment and market. It helps understand where and how to make changes to the final solution.
Launch the MVP version to get feedback and analyze the performance. It is easier to change certain features of an EHR system development with some insights.
You can add, edit or delete the already given features to scale them up to the requirements.
Related: EHR Usability: How to Evaluate and Improve
Every healthcare entity must focus on HIPAA-compliancy to ensure that the software protects the patient’s medical data.
The hospitals need to be HIPAA compliant even if they are using a vendor’s services for management. It means that the EHR system must also undergo stringent screening and checks.
There are 75 security protocols under HIPAA. It is imperative to follow all of them to be compliant. You have to ensure HIPAA compliance when looking into how to create an electronic medical record system.
But it needs more to develop a HIPAA compliant EHR. Safeguarding the PHI (patient health information) is the major aspect of being HIPAA compliant.
To develop HIPAA compliant software, you need to follow a specific process and understand what to do to achieve HIPAA compliance, what not to do to become this certification, and how to work with an EHR System that is HIPAA compliant.
Related: Key Benefits to Develop in HIPAA cloud infrastructure
Before the EMR software development begins, ask your client about their HIPAA compliance.
HIPAA compliance involves the EHR software development in the following aspects:
EHR software is far-reaching and complex, so be prepared to engage in troubleshooting and risk mitigation. Naturally, this is a risky and delicate thing to do. Here are a few suggestions about how to protect yourself against some of the potential risks during the development:
At VITech, we know how to create an EHR system highly efficient for healthcare providers and convenient for patients. Good EHR software can make a big difference to the industry.
As a developer, we understand how to create a fantastic platform and all the nuances of the development process. We know how important a good system can be for our customers.
It helps with processing and management, and it streamlines the administrative system. It will help any healthcare institution succeed and grow. Our knowledge can help medical institutions build efficient EHR software with a great ROI.
It is crucial to develop EHR startups in close cooperation with a team of professional EHR technology developers and as well as with practicing doctors – target users of EHR systems – to show the potential to the investors.
We have worked on several healthcare projects and have deep expertise in the niche. Our track record includes customized and complex healthcare solutions. To know more about them, go to our case study section.
Healthcare is one of the fields that significantly change thanks to digitalization. New technologies simplify the consultation process, help doctors manage healthcare data and move all patient-physician interactions to a brand new level.
EHR software reduces the paperwork and grants access to patients’ healthcare data in just a few clicks. It significantly improves physicians’ productivity and can increase the revenue of a healthcare establishment.
The ability of an interoperable EHR platform to seamlessly integrate with other medical systems and devices along with business intelligence reports generation and clinical decision support can enable medical business excellence. Of course, given that the EHR has been properly selected/implemented or developed/deployed, and maintained.
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