Technology is helping in all walks of life and healthcare is no different. There are many healthcare software available today and the adoption of these software have enhanced since the HITECH (Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health) Act came into existence. The Act focused on promoting the adoption and meaningful use of health information technology.
If you are the one who is planning to get any such software for your hospital, home care agency or home health, then here’s a useful guide on how to choose one.
- Decide What Is Important for You: Ask yourself some important questions before hiring any healthcare IT consulting services. The important thing to find out first will be – ‘Do you need a software that saves several hours a month of your biller or you want a solution to save the precious time of your nurses say saving some 30 minutes a day of your 150-strong workforce’. So, decide what is more important for you and find the solution accordingly.
- Foresee Future Growth: Choose the software keeping in mind the way you want to grow and diversify in future. If you want to add some complimentary services or community-based programs then get a software that can suffice your immediate future needs. Else, you would be either juggling between multiple software solutions or will be documenting the things on paper both of which are bad for the efficiency of the processes.
- Look for Customisation: It is quite possible that the new software you choose might not have any particular feature that you are hooked on to. It’s normally difficult to get hung up on a favourite feature and thus ask the new vendor if he is open to customise the solution for you. It might also be possible that the same feature is achieved through some other functionality feature in the new software. So, be vocal about your concerns and at the same time be open to change.
- Security: This feature is of critical importance as details about your patients are all updated in the software. In this era of cloud computing, you need to know how secure your data is and where it is housed. You should, in fact, insist that your cloud-based software provider to sign the BAA (Business Associate Agreement) defined under HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) of 1996.
There are many sub-standard software available in the market. Any basic, but quality software should allow you to:
- Record SOAP notes.
- The prescriptions can be transferred to pharmacists using the computerised physician order entry.
- Help the physicians to check the treatment recommendations.
- Offer some information transfer between the various systems.
You should choose the software judiciously as it is meant to improve your efficiency. Whether it will increase it or become a headache depends on how well you select.