Top Reasons to consider upgrading your HMS/EMR?

Arun Joseph VargheseArun Joseph Varghese on September 23, 2014

This article summarizes some of the top reasons that lead to Organizations adopting new HMS/EMR applications. More often than not due diligence is done by the management and the IT department and often the below points are considered:

-          Obsolescence of technology – are you still stuck with a client server based application which requires pre-installation across every desktop in the organization, resulting in the difficulty to apply patches and get software upgrades. Is the application web-based? Can the MIS reports be emailed? Can the patients receive SMSs, alerts or notifications of any kind? Is there an option for a patient portal or upload scanned documents?

Obsolescence of the technology is one of the important drivers to consider change of the use of the HMS/EMR at your clinic/hospital. With new cloud based solutions there are significant cost effective reasons also to considering upgrading your application such as no need to invest in hardware, dedicated IT staff or server based infrastructure. In fact clinicians who often are involved in running their facility can have the peace of mind that their data is securely stored on the cloud and not worry of sensitive clinical data being hacked into, being stolen or being lost.

-          Overall TCO – If you are to implement a new upgraded solution, can the existing data be migrated, what are the limitations if any, do I need to purchase database licenses?

Am I to pay per user / per center? Can I use the application on pay per use model or a license based? Do keep in mind that the license and web based solutions come with pros and cons. Is the application open source or windows based? Does each end user need a Windows license? What about Anti Virus Software?

-          Resolving Pain Points – Asking the business users to make a note of exiting pain points could help with the change management aspect of the new implementation project as 1 – it measures whether the new application would solve existing pain points? 2 – it helps with the buy-in of the end users to adopt the new application and introduce a bottom up approach which is always seen as more effective.

-          Scalability – If my facility were to multiply into several branches across the city/country thanks to capital infusion from investors, would the application and the underlying infrastructure support addition of users and centers.

-          Ease of use of the application – Though this point might seem like a relatively lower weighted point to consider, this aspect could make or break the difference between actual system adoption and its effective use.

-          Data Security and Audit Trailing – Are your current crop of users so comfortable with the current application that they have open access to the database and can manipulate data since there are relatively low levels of access controls.

-          Clinical or Operational focus – Be realistic of the approach, am I trying to improve the overall operational, clinical or both levels of processes within the organization? Will my patient outcomes improve? Will there be an improvement of my customer satisfaction as there is a seamless flow of information within the organization? Are my users competent enough to adopt change?

Above all the success of an IT implementation is in its organization wide adoption and effective utilization.

Arun Joseph Varghese

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Arun Varghese
Passionately solving healthcare problems with IT solutions for over a decade is the Product Owner for Insta HMS by Practo.

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