The Essential Modules of a Hospital Management System

Arun Joseph VargheseArun Joseph Varghese on November 21, 2021

Hospital management systems can be highly confusing. The hospital industry is always changing, and the hospital management system needs to change with it. New modules are being developed all the time, so deciding on which ones to incorporate into your hospital's systems can be a daunting task! 

That's why we’ve compiled a list of 10 'must-have' modules in a hospital management system, and how each of them helps streamline processes at your hospital. Read on!

1. Registration

The registration desk at a hospital without an HMS suffers from major setbacks including the lack of digitized documents which has major impacts on the patient experience at these institutions. 

Here are a few features of the registration module within an HMS:

  • Pre-registration with patient information generates a unique patient identification ID or medical record number that patients use throughout their visit/stay at the hospital.
  • Consultant wise token numbers are auto-assigned upon registration and registration bar-code stickers and cards are printed.
  • Insurance cards or patient documents are scanned and uploaded at the registration itself.
  • Patients are tagged as an emergency, unidentified or medico-legal case, VIP, or based on confidentiality for controlled access to a patient's medical records.

2. EMR

Electronic medical records (EMR) is a centrally stored database that provides hospital staff with access to patient information. They display medical records generated along the patient’s journey across various patient touchpoints in the hospital and are centrally stored in a digitized format that makes it accessible across all departments, thereby reducing the chance of error.

EMRs contain hospital information such as:

  • patient’s demographics and insurance details. 
  • vital signs, past medical history, and allergies of the patient. 
  • current medications, ongoing care plan for patients in hospital or at home with telemetry devices. 
  • all radiology images (X Rays/MRI/CT scans)
  • laboratory results and hospital notes. 
  • discharge summaries after hospitalization, which help reduce readmissions to the hospital by providing a summary of care for patients as they leave the hospital.

3. Scheduler

As the name suggests, the scheduler module schedules the tests, surgeries, resources, and calendars of doctors and other staff. It also tracks appointments by their status of 'booked', 'confirmed', 'no shows', 'cancelled', etc.  

The interesting waitlist feature allows overbooking appointments so as to manage patient expectations, waiting time, and maximize resource utilization.

4. IP and OP modules

The OP and IP modules of an HMS help hospital staff keep track of patients more accurately and streamline the hospital's processes. 

If a patient checks into a hospital for surgery or other procedures, the hospital management system will automatically place them as an inpatient and log them on. The modules allow hospital staff to efficiently manage appointments, surgical operations, and scheduling.

The OP module provides staff members access to the patient’s previous prescriptions and contains templates specifically designed for capturing clinical documentation, SOAP notes, medical history, review of systems, history of patient illness, physical examination, image charts, allergies, vitals, problems, diagnosis, and other progress notes.

The IP module has a ward-activity tracking feature that enables the nurse to convert a physician order to a billable order and review upcoming/completed/missed clinical activities.

5. Vaccination module

The vaccination module in hospital management systems can help a hospital stay up to date with their immunization records. It can also keep track of which vaccines are due soon and auto-schedule those for the right patient. 

It can also be set to send automated notifications and alerts to patients about their vaccination dates and dosage. 

6. Patient Communication

Effective communication between the patient and the staff is one of the most essential aspects of running a hospital. The patient communication module can send automated promotional and transactional messages and emails to patients regarding new treatment plans, and notifications on upcoming appointments. 

A two-way SMS system allows patients to confirm or cancel their appointments without having to visit the hospital or make a call.

7. Billing

The billing module helps hospitals stay up to date with their invoicing and payments. The hospital can also keep track of other hospital-related tasks such as insurance receipts, bills to other departments, and other hospital-related charges.

Here are a few features of the hospital billing module:

  • A new bill creation process initiates a new bill for every new patient visit.
  • The reconciliation feature synchronizes hospital charges to accounts to streamline the payment process.
  • The billing displays view outstanding bills for a department or upcoming bills for a department 
  • Allows creating one’s own custom report based on needs such as bills paid or not paid, outstanding invoices, etc.

8. Inventory

Keeping track of hospital equipment, medical supplies, and stocks is a tremendous task that falls on the shoulders of the stock manager. This is where the inventory module comes in. It keeps track of hospital equipment and hospital supplies and provides an audit trail of who accessed hospital equipment, when it was used, and more.

The inventory module has the following features:

  • Tags items with their name, size, color, and categorize them according to the batch number and expiration date.
  • Automated first expiry-first out batch determination that makes sure the medication with the earliest expiration date is used first.
  • Maintains a list of hazardous material 
  • Creates unique IDs for each new item to avoid duplications during the process 

9. Insurance

This module plays an important role in the core administration, operational and financial processes of a hospital. It improves productivity with lower error rates, reduce claim rejection rates with accurate billing, and improved turnaround rates on claim submissions and resubmission cycles. 

Here are a few features are generally seen in insurance modules:

  • Manual and online pre-authorization request creation, approval tracking, cancellation, and resubmissions.
  • Coder claim review features to ensure tracking and liaising of changes between the medical coder, clinician, and administrative staff.
  • Claim history tracking.

10. Pharmacy

The main objective of a pharmacy module is the efficient management and delivery of pharmaceutical drugs in a hospital or medical center. The module is linked to the rest of the modules within a hospital management system. This allows doctors to prescribe drugs presently in stock and notifies the inventory module to order those drugs out of stock.

Pharmacy modules should have features including 

  • Automated dispensing flow against OP prescriptions to sales by brand names.
  • Item and bill-wise discounting and capturing discount authorizer.
  • Cash and single or multi-sponsor-based billing.
  • Separate pharmacy billing or option to add to the centralized hospital bill.

 

These 10 modules in a hospital management system are so important for the success of medical practices. If you’re considering upgrading your current software, or just starting from scratch with a new product, take the time to research these different systems that could work best for your business needs. 

Insta’s cloud-based hospital management system provides the above-mentioned modules and much more? Finding it difficult to believe? Book now for a free demo!

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November 21, 2021