Top 7 Benefits of healthcare ERP systems

Marlena Walburg

Healthcare is one of the industries that still has not undergone significant digital transformation. The lack of advanced solutions for medicine and reliance on obsolete practices is still a problem in many countries. Fortunately, you can see a gradual change in approach and the arrival of more and more modern technologies that allow medical units to function much more effectively. It is essential not only for healthcare providers but also for patients who gain better access to their data, faster and more convenient care and effectiveness. Modern software is, therefore, the answer to various problems of the healthcare industry. Hence, see the benefits of implementing ERP systems.

What is an ERP system in healthcare?

The ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system is a type of software used to support enterprise management or cooperate with a group of cooperating enterprises by collecting data and enabling operations on the collected data. This support may cover all or some of the management levels, and it helps to optimize the use of the company’s resources and processes. Such software automates repetitive tasks, improves processes, centralizes the database and facilitates communication. It can cover various aspects of your business, such as accounting, human resource or inventory management, analytics, reporting and production. Therefore, it is a helpful tool for the healthcare industry, where it can improve data flow, facilitate access to it, and generally speed up work.

What problems does ERP solve?

ERP software helps you to streamline and manage your business and organizational processes. It gives insight into all relevant data and allows you to analyze and monitor it regularly. It also increases the safety of patients, the comfort of their service and the speed of responding to their demands. ERP enables you to avoid communication problems through a centralized database from which you can obtain information. It speeds up the search for specific data needed at a given moment. It minimizes manual work and thus possible errors resulting from the human factor and also automates repetitive tasks. Finally, it helps you manage your finances effectively. In short, ERP software eliminates the pain points of medical organizations. It can serve a specific task or, ideally, constitute a complete system for managing the entire operational processes of a medical unit.

How is ERP used in healthcare?

Healthcare service providers usually decide to implement ERP systems to improve the quality of patient care, automate and speed up work, minimize the number of errors, or facilitate access to data. It is also often a decision dictated by a budget that can be managed more effectively with the help of ERP software.

Comprehensive ERP systems are used by various departments of medical organizations, from laboratories to registration. The software ensures the flow of information between all units and easy access to them by authorized persons. Thanks to this, the patient can quickly access his medical records. Furthermore, an integrated database from all medical departments is also convenient for doctors who have the necessary information about the patient at hand and can choose the treatment more efficiently.

7 Benefits of healthcare ERP systems

The implementation of ERP solutions brings profits on many levels for all medical organizations, regardless of their scale. Here are some of the most relevant advantages.

Reduced costs

ERP allows medical companies to use one universal platform with a central database. As a result, it eliminates software redundancy and associated costs and reduces the amount of manual labor for medical workers. It also gives access to all analytical and business data, which helps to manage costs optimally. It also reduces paperwork costs by transferring all data to a digital database.

Easier access to medical records

Almost immediate access to patient data when he wants to make an appointment or obtain other medical information is vital for a medical facility’s efficiency and practical work. Unfortunately, many of these places still use outdated systems. Not to mention those that still have paper patient databases. Fortunately, they are slowly shifting to digital solutions. Transferring medical records to ERP software significantly improves access to all data and thus the patient’s comfort. It has turned out to be particularly crucial in the era of the Covid-19 pandemic when teleporting has become commonplace. Medical units using modern ERP systems had a significant advantage over others, not modernized.

More accurate cost monitoring

Convenient and quick access to data and analytics and generating reports help monitor and manage expenses effectively. After all, healthcare organizations have to manage their financial processes like any other business, and an ERP system can help address them effectively. Therefore, the financial department can use the tool for managing, accounting and supervising expenses but also generate reports and estimate expenses for the future based on numerous analyses from previous months.

Improved reporting and planning

ERP software makes it possible to analyze, compare data and generate reports on their basis. It also helps plan work, resources, finances and others for the future based on information from previous periods. By having access to the database from various organization departments, the system provides a quick and simple tool for this purpose. 

Data security

Medical records are confidential data, and indeed no patient would like it to be compromised. Unfortunately, in the case of paper files, data breaches are pretty frequent. We eliminate this problem by implementing ERP software. Of course, such a system must also be well developed to ensure the maximum safety of patient data. The data is stored in a database to which only authorized persons have access. Moreover, what helps ERP platforms maintain a high level of data security is that they provide a single entry system. ERP solutions also have built-in controls to keep your data safe.

Easier compliance

The ERP system helps avoid compliance issues or complete non-compliance with standards or regulations that are extremely important in the medical industry. ERP software reacts efficiently and promptly to any irregularities and helps to prevent them. In addition, it provides insight into all processes and information, which makes it easier to track and verify them. Moreover, it protects the privacy of patient data.

Insight into the future

Modern technologies help not to fall behind and be competitive. Implementing the ERP system is a future-proof move that holistically improves the work of medical units and their employees, and above all, patients’ comfort. Eternal reliance on paperwork or outdated software is not wise from a business point of view. ERP software is, therefore, a solid step into the future.

What is the biggest challenge with ERP systems?

There are several challenging issues. First of all, from ready-made ERP systems available, you may not find one that will meet all your business needs. Although the choice is vast, you do not have such an influence on the functionalities available in the software. You also have limited options for personalization. Moreover, such systems tend to be complex and require laborious implementation and training of personnel. Choosing a specific ERP system can therefore turn out to be a challenge in itself and, in many cases, a compromise. However, this software is constantly evolving, and new solutions are created to meet the needs of medical organizations. However, you can get around most of the hurdles by choosing custom ERP software. Dedicated software developed according to your requirements will best meet all the goals you want to achieve. Moreover, it will be optimized and designed to suit your needs.

Future of healthcare IT solutions

New solutions for the medical industry are constantly being created and developed. The time of the pandemic and lockdown fueled this process even more and even gave it a specific direction. Telemedicine, which is now standard and needed but it does not lack shortcomings, will undoubtedly be improved. The role of electronic medical records (EHR) will not diminish, either, and will even increase due to the ongoing digitization. Mobile solutions in medicine are also necessary. MHealth solutions include mobile applications, analytical and aggregation platforms, and intelligent medical devices. The popularity of integrated application systems and vital signs, and other tracking devices is snowballing and is becoming part of mainstream healthcare. Although mobile applications are currently used mainly in health prevention, they are expected to play a more prominent role in treating many diseases in the coming years. Hence, as you can see, not only ERP systems can bring many assets to medicine. So let us hope that this field, which is essential to every human being, will be adequately modernized as soon as possible where it is needed.

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