Hospital Information System – What are the Types?
Healthcare is one of the most important services in our lives. At some point, everyone needs it. As the demand for more efficient services keeps growing, healthcare systems have gone through many improvements over the last years. Tech-based solutions superseded the traditional ways healthcare facilities struggled with many of their issues, and there is no wonder why more and more hospitals lean towards those technological novelties.
What is HIS? (Hospital Information System)
One of the solutions developed to overcome the challenges healthcare facilities face on a daily basis was Hospital Information System. HIS is an electronic system designed to manage hospital data. It includes collecting, storing, processing, retrieving, and communicating patient care and administrative information for patient records. To put it simply, Hospital Information System is a system that enables a seamless administrative working of any healthcare facility, such as public and private clinics or hospitals.
What are the types of hospital information systems?
Different facilities have different demands; therefore, there are several types of Hospital Information Systems to suit everyone’s needs. Such systems can take care of administerial aspects, medical information, appointment or prescription management, and many more. If you are wondering which system would be the best fit for you, we will now discuss a few of them to make the choice easier.
Electronic Health Record / Electronic Medical Record
EHR and EMR systems are the solution that took the place of traditional paper patient’s medical records. Now, all medical information is stored in an electronic system that enables quicker documentations. In addition, all the data can be accessed directly through a mobile or computer and shared easily across different departments. This way, the patient and doctors or nurses can seamlessly gather all the information needed to start or continue treatment.
Practice Management Software
This system enables robust solutions for all internal administrative aspects of a facility. Medical practice management systems help manage many daily operations, including appointment scheduling, handling insurance claims, billings, payments, or reports. This kind of software usually doesn’t concern patient’s medical data, but it can streamline multiple in-house operations, whether you run a hospital or a small practice.
Master Patient Index
MPI enables patient data integration from more than one database. This software creates an index on all the patient’s records. Thus, many large clinics and hospitals implement this system to avoid duplicates and incorrectness in medical information. Thanks to this system, it is easy to access the data for future reference.
Patient portals are essential information systems that every healthcare facility should consider. This software aims to provide patients with health-related information such as their treatment, prescriptions, or lab results. A patient portal can be accessed through any mobile or computer, and it operates the data stored in EHR to provide patients with the same. In addition, it assists with monitoring medical records, scheduling appointments, viewing bills, or making payments.
Remote Patient Monitoring
RPM or telehealth provides medical sensors that can read body functions such as blood pressure or glucose levels and sent this data to medical professionals. It can be especially beneficial for patients with chronic conditions such as type 2 diabetes or cardiac disease. With RPMs’ help, you can detect health events instantly, and patients can get needed treatment quicker. Also, the collected data can be implemented for health studies.
Clinical Decision Support
CDS is a hospital information software capable of analyzing information from clinical and administrative systems. Such tools filter the data, so medical professionals who predict medical conditions such as drug interactions or formulate a diagnosis can make more accurate decisions.
What are the basic parts of a hospital information system?
The input, processing, and output may differ accordingly to the system’s purpose; however, most of them are based on the outcomes. Thus, even though there are many different HIS software, most of them comprise essential parts every healthcare supporting system should have. We will now discuss primary Hospital Information System modules.
It enables the system to record patient visits and medical records and display them in clinical procedures.
- Order entry and reporting
This module helps manage orders and minimize duplications or other errors. Thanks to that, patients’ test results are listed with alerts about abnormal results.
- Clinical documentation
It is a module that provides a healthcare facility with clinical encounters like flowcharts or structured notes shared across different departments.
- Patient scheduling
This compound enables patients and medical professionals to set appointments for various tests and procedures.
- Patient billing
A part that provides practices with the ability to quickly draw up an account for any services and patients to monitor and pay their bills.
- Security layers
A module that prevents access of any unauthorized person and protects from illegal activities.
- Data Backup
Crucial compound that guarantees all the essential data and medical records won’t disappear in case of system issues.
Open source hospital information systems
Over the recent years, open-source software has emerged among HIS solutions. It gained popularity as supposedly; it could be a less costly and more flexible alternative to the traditional, vendor-licensed systems. On the other hand, open-source tools still trigger some skepticism. What are the differences between those two types of hospital information systems? Why do some opt for and some against it?
Open source hospital IT systems can bring many benefits that excel them in comparison with the traditional software. To begin with, they are less expensive as you don’t have to pay for the company’s marketing and general expenses. Moreover, such systems are straightforward to acquire as all you need to do is download them from the Web. Meaning, you can test various options before you decide to implement one of them in your facility. Finally, you can customize open-source systems the way they meet your specific needs.
On the other hand, open-source solutions, even though their purchase might not be a high-cost investment, their implementation and maintenance is a different story. Thus, paying for additional support might result in less beneficial in the bigger picture. Moreover, open-source solutions that provide you with many customized interfaces might lack some aesthetics or essential functionalities. Therefore, it could turn out that your customers wouldn’t want to use it as it’s not as helpful as they expected.
It is worth mentioning that open source tools are designed to be adaptable in poor environments and can be modified without complicated development. Therefore, such medical software is an excellent solution for developing countries with many diseases and poor healthcare services.
What are the benefits of HIS?
The main goal of Hospital Information Systems is to provide more efficient and effective healthcare services across medical facilities. Let’s dive into the main advantages of this tech-based solution.
Healthcare facilities produce a vast amount of data daily. HIS helps to collect, store and analyze and manage all that information. As a result, it reduces costs, improves patient care, and makes the whole system more efficient.
Many times patients need various treatments or procedures from different medical providers. Thanks to HIS, the information about their medical records can be shared across other departments or facilities, enabling them to deliver the right services seamlessly.
Reduced operation costs
Digital healthcare solutions can reduce the costs of general facility maintenance and medical services. It minimizes the number of manual tasks that concern documentation and record-keeping. Also, it helps to cut down human resources as a lot of work gets automated and doesn’t need human support.
Improved patient care
Automated systems that collect and analyze the data can enhance the medical care of many patients. For example, doctors and nurses can respond quickly to patients’ needs when they see their medical history and overall facility statistics. The faster they get diagnostic, the quicker they can make the right decisions about future treatment. Also, telehealth tools that read body functions can send real-time information about a patient’s condition to get needed assistance immediately.
Why is the use of information systems in healthcare important?
Hospital Information Systems are widely used across the healthcare industry, and with all the benefits it brings, there is no wonder why. Tech-based solutions support us in the daily tasks in almost every sphere of our lives, so it is hard to imagine we wouldn’t implement them in medical services. In addition, health informatics focuses on improving administrative aspects, which result in better general facility organization and enhanced patient care. By choosing HIS tools, you support sustainable solutions, too, as by automating data storage and analysis, you reduce paper usage. Due to many mediating and dominating factors such as organization, people, and technology, hospitals, and other medical facilities inevitably become more reliant on IT hospital software.
Future of hospital IT systems
Many healthcare facilities keep on being skeptical about Hospital Information Systems. They fear that it will be a high-cost investment that’s complicated to implement, and employees won’t want to take advantage of it. Of course, changing a system that was working just fine for years is always a challenge; however, in this case, it could bring much more benefits than turnover. Once you decide to try one of those systems out and see how it can improve your facility’s workflow, there is no turning back. Thus, as more and more hospitals decide to invest in these tech-based solutions, Hospital Information Systems undeniably are the future of the healthcare industry.