Today, healthcare providers are thoroughly keeping up with the most advanced digital medical tech solutions. Using digital health technologies allows medical organizations to work smarter, providing continuous and high-quality patient care. The role of information systems in healthcare is crucial, as here, the main focus is on overall health management, organizational effectiveness, and accurate decision-making support.
In this article, you’ll discover the importance of health management information system for healthcare business, including their types, features, and implementation strategy.
What Is Health Management Information System and Its Role?
Healthcare Management Information System (HMIS), is an integrable framework that assists healthcare organizations in the systematic collection of diverse healthcare data, its storage, processing, retrieval, and dissemination.
Data types that HMIS can operate include:
- PHI (Personal Health Information)
- e-PHI (Electronic Personal Health Information)
- Administrative information
- Financial information
For healthcare establishments, it’s strategically important to incorporate such software into their activity. This is implied by HMIS’s robust ability to manage vast healthcare datasets effectively, which results in simplified accessibility. Moreover, a well-designed HIM system appears to be a powerful tool supporting financial data integration, helping medical enterprises reduce the percentage of billing errors and inform important financial decisions.
Besides, HMIS ensures interoperability between other healthcare solutions like:
- EHR/EMR systems
- Pharmacy information systems
- Patient portals
- Medical billing software
- Laboratory Information Systems, etc.
Apart from this, HMIS enables healthcare personnel to receive a unified overview of patients' states. In turn, a broad overview of patients' health contributes to future public health planning and research, providing valuable datasets for targeted interventions and the identification of tendencies.
Management systems for hospitals and labs designed by Cleveroad. Source: Dribbble
6 Benefits of Health Information System
Indeed, the importance of health management information systems may not be underestimated. However, let’s highlight the key reasons why you should integrate health data solutions into your internal operations.
Enhanced patient care
By leveraging health information technology, medical providers can find an informed, tailored approach to each treatment case. Healthcare data system centralizes all types of patient records, making it structured and quickly accessible as required.
Moreover, HMIS fosters better coordination among medical teams, as all of them can enter the needed dataset, reducing the likelihood of redundant treatment and tests. At the same time, automated alerts help medical service providers track, observe, and manage chronic conditions, ensuring the appropriateness and timeliness of interventions.
Optimized information management
HMIS implementation enables health facilities to streamline health data collection, storage, and retrieval, which frees up time for strategic goals and core task completion. Besides, HMIS software is interoperable with most digital tools and systems. Consequently, it becomes easier for healthcare providers to scoop diverse data from multiple sources and obtain a holistic view of a patient's health. It is also worth noting that the HIM system facilitates real-time health data updates, giving medical workers an opportunity to provide up-to-date care based on the latest healthcare information.
Effective resource allocation
The fundamental function of HMIS in the context of resource allocation lies in its ability to help medical providers tailor services to real demand. This is conducted by gathering valuable insights into patients' demographics, healthcare utilization patterns, prevalent diseases, risk factors definition, etc.
Data about healthcare utilization and service demand helps guide decisions about facility expansion, staff allocation, healthcare supply unit acquisition, strategic resource investments, etc.
Deliverance from administrative burdens
The importance of health management information system also hides in a great contribution to the resolution of the majority of administrative functions. This includes:
- Billing and claims processing. HMIS ensures error-free and accurate invoicing for health services as well as claims processing for insurance reimbursements
- Appointment scheduling. Health management software makes scheduling completely automated, resulting in optimized facility planning. Patients also can book appointments online, reducing scheduling conflicts and the need for coordination efforts.
- E-prescribing. HIM system enables simplified electronic prescribing of medications. It also facilitates accurate prescriptions due to data-driven decisions and collaboration with pharmacy systems.
- Documentation management. With HMIS, it’s unnecessary to rely strongly on paper documentation, which simplifies document sharing, storage, and retrieval and creates a convenient administrative environment.
Data-driven decision making
Healthcare management information systems offer a wide range of decision support tools like benchmarking and comparative analytics, predictive modeling tools, risk management models, decision trees and algorithms, and more. Using this, healthcare administrators and practitioners can conduct more effective strategic planning, identify trends, and allocate resources where most needed.
Operation in a unified digital environment
Probably one of the most tangible advantages of health management information system, is interconnectedness and, basically, its capability to form a single medical digital environment. The seamless connection among diverse systems contributes to smooth and synchronized collaboration between specialists and departments.
Must-Have Features of Information System in Healthcare
When it comes to the feature set, the final number of incorporated features may depend on your unique needs, conditioned by the budget, business scale, treatment focus, etc. However, below, you’ll discover essential functionalities that have to be added to every HMIS software
Secure patient registration
This feature helps to ensure confidentiality and patient data accuracy during the registration process. By significantly minimizing the amount of paperwork, it allows patients to have a smooth start of interaction with healthcare facilities. To ensure safe patient registration, try to use:
- Two Factor Authentication (2FA), the username of password combinations
- Role-Based Access Control (RBAC)
- Secure automatic logout
Security and compliance measures
Due to the sensitive nature of medical data, it’s vital to implement steel-strong security measures into your HIM system. By doing this, you’ll be able to safeguard medical data from breaches and leakages and minimize the possibility of unwanted, malicious penetrations within your healthcare management information system. The most common and reliable security measures include:
- Authentication protocols (e.g., Open Authorization, OpenID Connect, etc.)
- Encryption techniques
- Role-based access control (RBAC)
- Audit trails
- Firewall and network security
- Regular data integrity checks
Your HMIS software has to strictly align with the industry standards (e.g., HIPAA, GDPR, PIPEDA, etc) to protect patients' privacy and data security, promote high-quality medical practices, avoid legal risks, and build patient trust.
Integrating Electronic Health Records (EHR) into health management information systems software is required to access patient records quickly. This includes:
- Medical history
- Treatment plans
- Prescribed medications
- Immunization dates
- Laboratory test results
- Radiology images
- Allergies, etc.
Such capabilities make it possible to streamline information sharing among healthcare providers for cohesive and versatile patient care.
It’s very important to give your patients the ability to comfortably book appointments, as well as make it possible for you to track and manage them effectively. A well-designed appointment functionality can play a great role in wait time reduction, contributing to a well-organized and patient-centric medical environment within a HIM system.
Here are the main attributes of a good appointment scheduling feature:
- Intuitive and user-friendly interface
- Efficient calendar optimization
- Seamless integration with other HMIS features
- Automated patient reminders
- Possibility of urgent appointments, etc.
Note: You can learn more insights about doctor appointment app development in our guide.
No healthcare activity can be performed without proper billing. Automated medical billing within HMIS handles all types of financial operations, from invoicing to claims processing. Working in tandem with medical billing software, health information systems help health managers deal with revenue cycle management and appear as a comprehensive healthcare administration setup.
Why you need to make medical billing software? Learn about features, cost in our guide
Such an integration is another advantage of health information systems. Electronic prescription management digitizes the prescription process, reducing the risk of medication errors and significantly improving accuracy. This solution enhances patient safety and provides a secure means of drug management. Integration with pharmacy systems streamlines the fulfillment of prescriptions.
You can discover more about E-prescription app development, by checking our guide: benefits, cost, and more.
Laboratory data integration
The laboratory data integration feature within HMIS allows health workers to obtain a complete overview of patient health. Such integration goes far beyond basic data exchange, providing data into patients' blood tests, imaging studies (X-rays, MRIs, ultrasounds, CT scans), hormone assays, cardiac biomarkers, etc.
Telehealth services integration
Integration with telemedicine software significantly broadens the capabilities of healthcare providers. This involves engaging virtual care capabilities that allow practitioners and facility administrators to conduct remote consultations, track patients' health status remotely, and accomplish seamless health data exchange between digital platforms. Telehealth applications turn traditional imaging of healthcare services upside down, making the delivery of medical care beyond in-person visits possible.
Why telemedicine software development is a must-have for a modern healthcare provider? Learn about the main benefits, costs, and features in our guide
A lot of advantages of a health management information system directly touch its capabilities of integration with other health systems, including EHRs and other health databases. However, that is not limited only to software systems. HMIS flexibility is also implied by the incorporation of smart devices:
- Wearable fitness trackers
- Smart blood pressure monitors
- Smart glucometers
- Pulse oximeters
- Smart inhalers
- Smart hearing aids
- Digital mental health apps, etc.
These devices actively contribute to patients' awareness of their own health and at the same time, empower healthcare professionals to make data-driven treatment plans and interventions.
Types of Health Information Management System
All of the systems you’ll learn about below are interconnected. Even though they can operate separately, you’ll get the best outcomes from a combination of multiple digital healthcare software systems. So let’s check them out:
EHR (Electronic Health Records) and EMR (Electronic Medical Records) are digitized versions of patients’ paper charts. While EMR is a localized system specific to a single practice, building EHR system is more expansive and is designed to optimize data streams among multiple healthcare organizations. Both of the systems contain real-time and diverse patient information to facilitate up-to-date treatment.
Hospital Information System
Hospital Information System (HIS) is a data management system that primarily focuses on streamlining administrative, clinical, and financial workflows within a healthcare facility. It includes modules for patient registration, billing, appointment scheduling, laboratory information, pharmacy management, and EHR. HMIS aims to enhance operational efficiency and improve patient management within the hospital setting.
You can examine our guide on hospital app development to see how you can benefit from a separate solution for your hospital
Clinical Information Management System
Clinical Information Management System (CIMS) mainly serves as a tool for clinical data and workflow management. The importance of this HIM system lies in the assistance and support of medical professionals by creating a comprehensive and dynamic electronic health record.
The data managed by CIMS include:
- Patient demographics
- Care plans
- Laboratory results
- Vital signs (blood pressure, heart rate, etc.)
- Procedures and interventions
- Clinical notes, etc.
Pharmacy Information System
Creating pharmacy management system helps optimize and standardize medication and pharmacy-related processes, including inventory management (expiration dates, stock levels, and restocking needs), prescription processing, inventory integrity, etc. Moreover, such software contributes to patient safety by issuing alerts for potential drug allergies, helping pharmacists identify and mitigate medication-related issues before dispensing.
Telehealth and Telemedicine Systems
Telehealth and telemedicine systems use information technology to transcend geographical barriers in healthcare service delivery. Such software encompasses video conferencing platforms, tools for remote patient monitoring, and healthcare mobile and web apps health to make healthcare more accessible for everyone.
Telemedicine app development enables virtual consultations, remote monitoring of patients, and seamless and easy exchange of medical information. Such platforms foster trust between a practitioner and a patient, extending healthcare services far beyond traditional settings.
Home Health Information System
The Home Health Information System (HHIS) helps facilitate effective medical care in home-based conditions. Such a platform facilitates efficient management and creation of individualized care plans utilizing features for remorse patient monitoring through digital health devices. As all healthcare processes are conducted remotely and digitally, home health information systems are designed to account for robust security measures to ensure the safety of sensitive patient data.
Apart from this, the home HIM system connects patients and caregivers through educational resources and communication channels, making the interaction more ‘human’ for a patient and optimizing visit planning, medication management, and scheduling processes for medical personnel.
Learn about how we assist healthcare providers through providing healthcare software development services
How to Implement Health Management Information System
The development of information system in healthcare requires structured work, including management, financial contributions, and a comprehensive time frame. Discover a short list that may become a reference point during the development and implementation of your HMIS software.
Step 1. Evaluation and planning
During this step, you’ll need to establish why you need HMIS software primarily. Define what exactly you want to achieve. For example, you may want:
- Increase operational efficiency
- Reduce administrative costs
- Enhance interoperability among different health systems, etc.
To determine your main needs, it’s highly recommended to thoroughly analyze existing IT infrastructure and current gaps, healthcare processes, etc. Then, you can go straight to detailed project planning, including main milestones, timelines, and resource allocation.
Step 2. Choice of an experienced IT vendor
Selection of a reliable healthcare IT vendor is critical to the success of your HIM system development. Here, the more your potential partner knows about the specifications of industry regulation, the better data security and compliance you’ll receive. Also, check the vendor’s tech proficiency by checking the feedback of their previous customers on professional platforms like Clutch.
While searching for a reliable tech partner, ensure that the vendor provides healthcare software development services and ongoing support to accommodate future needs.
Outsourcing healthcare software development is a favorable course to find the necessary expertise fast. Thus, you won’t need to spend time on hiring — you get a pre-screened team of experts to work on your medical project.
There are two ways to start cooperation with an outsourcing IT provider:
- Work with nearshore software engineers
- Work with offshore IT vendor
Nearshore software development implies delegating health information system development to IT providers from nearby regions or even your country. This approach may be beneficial in terms of smoother communication, as it’s easier to establish a seamless flow with professionals from similar backgrounds. Such a development approach enables alignment in time zones and cultural compatibility, as well as reduces language barriers during cooperation.
Offshore software development means entrusting development to tech providers from remote regions. This approach enables you to access a wide specialist pool worldwide, providing high-level, niche expertise. The offshore partnership offers scalability options, allowing healthcare providers to quickly scale resources up and down based on business needs and market demands. Moreover, cooperating with offshore programmers allows you to leverage cost advantages in terms of labor costs, operational expenses, and infrastructure.
Step 3. Development and implementation
Your health management information system has to be developed according to the specified requirements, with a robust focus on customization to meet the unique workflows and processes of your clinic. Implementation is typically carried out in iterations to facilitate thorough testing and validation at each step.
This approach ensures that you leverage all advantages of health management information system, including seamless integration into existing systems (EHR/EMR, Pharmacy Information System, Laboratory Information System, etc.) while minimizing disruption to habitual operations.
Apart from this, during development and further HMIS implementation, prioritize security and compliance with industry standards. It’s vital to safeguard sensitive patient data by incorporating strong encryption and access controls, enabling data backups, and conducting regular security audits. Adherence to healthcare regulations such as HIPAA, HITECH, CDA, TX-HB300, GDPR, etc., will help you foster trustworthiness, data confidentiality, and availability of PHI (Protected Health Information).
Step 4. Data preparation and migration
First and foremost, before the health data migration, your tech team needs to conduct a thorough data cleansing. To make it properly, it’s needed to keep up with the following actions:
- Define data types, patterns, and potential anomalies
- Standardize data formats
- Deduplicate data
- Apply predefined data validation rules
- Generate reports highlighting possible errors
- Transform data types to comply with the desired data model
It’s vital to create a reliable and well-structured health data migration plan to minimize downtime and avoid data discrepancies. Ensure migrated data quality through quality assurance and testing.
Discover more about the role of data migration in healthcare in our detailed article
Step 5. Personnel training
To make your freshly implemented HMIS efficient, contribute the most to the personnel training. To maximize the benefits of health information system, develop a tailored training program to address the needs of various user roles, like administration, practitioners, and support staff. Besides, think about user manuals, workshops, and hands-on training sessions. This may ensure your worker's proficiency in using a new HMIS, being encouraged to continuous learning and flexibility.
Step 6. Support and maintenance
Robust support and software maintenance may ensure the long-term success of your HMIS. Regular updates to the HMIS are carried out to deal with security vulnerabilities, incorporate new modernized functionalities, and align the system with industry regulations that may transform over time. Monitoring of your health control information system performance and user feedback gathering enables improvements, ensuring that the HMIS remains responsive to the organization's changing needs.
Cleveroad Experience in HMIS Development and Implementation
As a healthcare IT provider, we have experience in the creating and delivery of various medical software solutions. Let us show you our featured cases in HealthTech:
Clinic management system for rehab services provider
Our customer, a US-based rehab clinic, needed to obtain a customized clinic management system to abandon bulky and excessive SaaS EMR platforms. Also, it was required to design software that could accomplish overall workflow and appointment management within a single platform. Lastly, it was essential to conduct safe and reliable data migration, ensuring systems compliance with HIPAA.
Our health software programmers managed to create a bespoke healthcare solution and accompanying mobile apps for appointment scheduling, aligning it with billing and user management within one digital environment. During the process, we strictly kept up with the customer requirements, including user roles and specific health niche aspects. The data migration and solution deployment were performed on AWS cloud hosting - a HIPPA-compliant provider.
As a result, the customer received a cost-efficient, secure, and fault-tolerant clinic management system platform that meets all best healthcare practices, orders the workflow, and optimizes schedule management, preventing schedule conflicts. All essential datasets were successfully migrated, considering all essential data security and HIPAA requirements, reducing all possible legal risks.
Telemedicine appointment scheduling system
Our customer, the UK-based healthcare provider, reached out to us to design a system for receiving and providing remote medical services and to enable convenient appointment management for practitioners, administrators, and patients. The most important aspect was to create telehealth software that could be seamlessly submitted by local UK authorities.
The telemedicine solution we delivered was a completely ready-to-use system, compliant with GDPR requirements and UK regulators like CQC and MHRA. The software appeared to be highly flexible, customizable, and accessible, enabling 24/7 online access to professional medical care, including video and audio consultations and simplifying appointment booking.
As a result, the customer received a telemedicine solution that allowed the organization to generate significant revenue. The software is precisely tailored to their current business model. A highly patient-oriented solution enabled both parties to operate within one digital environment, considering all user's demands and needs. Furthermore, the platform is compliant with essential UK regulations and can be certified by local authorities in the shortest terms.
Cleveroad is a healthcare software development company with over 11 years of experience in the domain. Our client base counts healthcare providers and organizations from all around the world, including the US, the UK, Australia, Nordic regions, Saudi Arabia, France, Singapore, etc.
However, what are the main advantages of cooperation with us? There's only a short list of benefits:
- Tailored healthcare software development. Get custom telemedicine software development services to receive software based on specific aspects of your business, ensuring smooth integration of new software into existing workflows
- Compliance-centered development approach. We accomplish the delivery of healthcare and telemedicine solutions compliant with industry regulations like HIPAA, PIPEDA, Hl7, GDPR, etc.
- Security-first approach. Keeping in mind the sensitive nature of health data, our experts incorporate strong security measures, including encryption, role-based access, data backups, and regular security audits for proper safeguarding.
- Collaboration with an ISO-certified vendor. We received certifications for ISO 27001:2013 (security) and ISO 9001:2015 (quality) Standards, meaning that our healthcare software development practices align with the best standards of international information security management and show our proficiency in maintaining consistent quality of healthcare software development services.
Thinking of HMIS implementation?
Our Healthcare subject-matter experts will review your business landscape and assist you in development and implementation of custom health information system to increase workflow efficiency
Healthcare Management Information System or HMIS, is an integrable framework that assists healthcare organizations in the systematic collection of diverse data, its storage, processing, retrieval and dissemination.
For healthcare organizations, it’s strategically important to incorporate such software into their activity. This is implied by HMIS’s robust ability to manage vast healthcare datasets effectively, which results in simplified accessibility. Moreover, a well-designed HIM system appears to be a powerful tool supporting financial data integration, helping medical enterprises reduce the percentage of billing errors and inform important financial decisions.
Health information systems can transform traditional facility operations management, contributing into:
- Enhanced patient care
- Optimized information management
- Effective resource allocation
- Deliverance from administrative burdens
- Data-driven decision making
- Operation in a unified digital environment
The main components of a health management information system may include:
- Secure Patient registration
- Security and compliance measures
- EHR functionality
- Appointment scheduling
- Medical billing
- E-prescription management
- Laboratory data integration
- Telehealth services integration
- Interoperability with smart health devices
Evgeniy Altynpara is a CTO and member of the Forbes Councils’ community of tech professionals. He is an expert in software development and technological entrepreneurship and has 10+years of experience in digital transformation consulting in Healthcare, FinTech, Supply Chain and Logistics
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