The healthcare sector constantly looks forward to implementing new digital solutions for administering clinical, administrative, and financial operations of medical organizations. The arena of healthcare informatics, combined with healthcare data, information technology, and business, has gained a huge boost from technology implementations. Health Information Systems, commonly recognized as HIS, is one of the technological boons for the health industry, helping the management of healthcare data with utter efficiency.
Additionally, the patient information management system assists in storing health information, personnel data, and inventory that can be easily transmitted across the HIS in healthcare. The implementation of this system helps in improving the quality of patient care, reducing operational costs, making administration data error-free, and shaping the entire internal management process more organized.
The end-to-end management information systems in healthcare improve the functionalities of care service organization through reliable and high-fidelity Health Information Systems including – Electronic Health Records (EHRs) and Electronic Medical Records (EMRs), doctor’s prescriptions, diagnostics, durable medical equipment (DME), emergency transportation, and more.
Today, we will be dissecting the framework of HIS in healthcare and defining the various factors and components required to incorporate such an efficient information management system. This post will help you understand the important features of HIS, what benefits you can get from HIS, and how it can make your business activities seamless and profitable.
What is Health Information System and How is it Significant in the Healthcare Industry?
People involved in the setting up of healthcare organizations including clinicians, patients, public health officials, and others are required to directly interact with a Health Information System. HIS in healthcare involves an accumulation of subsystems that handles data-related activities of healthcare organizations and providers. Additionally, the medical information system along with HIS takes care of supporting the healthcare policy-making decisions to enhance care delivery services.
With the high fidelity and security of a healthcare organization’s intranet, the information system in healthcare operates online and survives on top of the existing framework. According to the diagnosis of various illnesses and concerns, physician recommendations, healthcare IT trends, patient history, and more, HIS database servers ensure the safe storage of relevant health information.
Health information system management is utilized for setting digital appointments with providers, transferring reports to nurses from one shift to another, and taking care of other health information-related activities. HIS in healthcare streamlines the process of retrieval and storing of every healthcare data and manages any payment-oriented invoices and medical billing cycles of patients.
Let’s understand the various components of HIS in healthcare.
Key Components of Health Information System Management in the Medical Industry
HIS is essentially a conglomeration of various specialized information subsystems that is responsible for managing different functionings of healthcare organizations. Some of the key components of information systems in healthcare are listed below.
- Core Administration Management
The core administrative system in healthcare organizations is either independent or cloud-based computer systems for health information technology framework. This system helps to capture and incorporate the daily activities of every department of a healthcare system.
- Financial Software Component
Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) or those who are responsible for tracking and managing the revenue cycles carry out their management process and strategizing via HIS software component. Financial management and SaaS accounting plug-ins are often interlinked to form a solid foundation for financial management services. Having proper monitoring in place for healthcare revenue cycles, can enhance the resources and free up the ecosystem to increase expenditure for value-enhancing operation tools and software.
- ERP/Personnel Management Tools
Employee and patient management tools together assist the personnel management capabilities incorporated by Health Information System. These healthcare IT systems help in facilitating transparent resource allocation, communication, and scheduling of appointments between patients and providers across various facilities and departments. The major ERP system supplier strategically considers the healthcare potential of its growing market.
- Documenting Medical Information
EHR and EMR information systems help in tracking appointments of patients, financial information, care notes, etc., for dedicated documenting frameworks for implementing overall HIS in healthcare. This assists in ensuring high-priority documents from patient information to financial details are maintained across encrypted and secure health information system portals via proper accessibility control.
- Tracking of Assets
Medical inventory management systems or tracking of assets empowers healthcare administrative inventory management and monitoring across the inventory lifecycle from purchase to compensation process. An item in the inventory facing expiration can be replenished and stocked with the help of access tracking and it makes sure that best practices are followed for inventory maintenance.
- Managing Medial Transportation
Health care information system is required by federal law in the US to compensate the least expensive type of transportation drive patients for their health appointments. This is especially true for both o-emergency and emergency medical transportation. It also has to follow the tracking, allocation, and maintenance of these vehicles as it caters to the HIS in the healthcare component exponentially.
After understanding the key components that make up the health information system, let’s see the benefits it has in the healthcare industry.
Types of Health Information Systems
Patient information management system is critical when it comes to improving the bottom line of healthcare organizations by providing a more reliable and holistic patient care experience. There are several types of health information systems that organizations and medical spaces are integrating for better data storage and retrieval.
- EMRs and EHRs
EHR and EMR exist independently of each other and are largescale contributors to HIS in healthcare. Both these health record systems maintain a systemized collection of health and patient information in a digital format regardless of the type of setup, capacity, or care setting of a healthcare organization. These are also patient information management systems that help in sharing data across various channels. They also assist with simplifying patient information and preparing charts about general trends, reports, and patient statistics.
- Clinical Information Systems (CIS)
CIS or Clinical Information Systems are digital solutions that automate the collection of electronic data from ventilators, monitors, filtration equipment, infusion pumps, and more. These devices are comprised of the everyday urban and modern clinics of the present. These patient information systems import and export health and patient data between medical instruments that allow the free flow of information across data storage systems.
- Practice Management Software
Having practice management software enhances the efficiency of medical practices, streamlines patient care delivery, and professional satisfaction with a holistic approach. These information systems healthcare solutions usually manage the departmental workflow, registration, scheduling, accounting, patient tracking, and reporting. Having this single platform can enable payment collection across all patient accounts.
- Medical Decision Support Systems
Support tools for medical decisions are developed for assimilating large volumes of treatment-related and patient data. These decision support systems process the data, categorize them, and automate the suggestion of the next best course of action for patient treatment and diagnosis factors. This software promptly provides reminders to assist in the integration of evidence-based medical guidelines at the care delivery axis.
Benefits of Health Information System
The benefits of health information technology is designed to store, manipulate, collect, and analyze patient information to support their decision-making process in healthcare facilities. In the present time, it has become a growing recognition as a potential benefit of HIS in healthcare.
- Organized & Coordinated Treatment Process
Health Information System is a technology-driven system that makes the process of sharing protected health information (PHI) between organizations and providers hassle-free. Also, because of this system, patients can get seamless and coordinated treatment from healthcare providers. Especially, the patients whose diagnoses need cross-specialty treatment coordination and substantial medical information management get the maximum benefits from HIS. And above all, it improves the delivery of care and outcomes for the patients.
- Improved Patient Safety
As you get easy access to patient data with the help of Health Information Systems, you can save all the information and share it across multiple databases to improve the safety of the patients. Even you can get alert notifications whenever there are any issues related to a patient’s health. For example, healthcare providers can receive an alert from program security checking about the harmful effects patients may experience on any particular medicine if they have that without being prescribed. This way you can avoid committing any serious mistake that happens due to the lack of details available during making the decisions.
- Betterment in Patient Care
By collecting and saving patients’ information, including diagnosis reports, medical history, allergy reactions, vaccinations, treatment information plans, test results, etc., Health Information Systems provide healthcare providers with a complete and orderly framework that helps them interact with their patients in a better way and eventually deliver care to them in a more efficient way.
- Hassle-free Process of Performance Analysis
Using Health Information Systems enables multiple avenues through which you can access your staff performance, analyze patient care, and check the efficiency and stability of your organization. HIS reduces the paperwork and makes every record computerized. You can take any decision related to your staff based on their skill sets. Also, you can take decisions after focusing on previous performance details. With HIS, your patients get the chance of sharing reviews regarding the level of care they are receiving from your staff so that you can stay aware of the performance of your staff and analyze the effectiveness of your organization.
- Transfiguration in Clinical Procedures
With HIS, you can address any kind of stressful situation for your patients. You can have a virtual view of patient flow and what every individual patient experiences during their meeting with health care providers, administrative personnel, lab technician, and financial assistants. Careful attention to this helps you spot the areas where you can bring betterment.
- Circumvention of Medical Errors
As Health Information Systems maintain less paperwork and makes everything computerized and automated, you get error-free reports and information. As a result, various medication errors can be avoided and patients’ safety can be ensured.
- Instant & Seamless Accessibility to Patients’ Details
According to a report, published by World Health Organization (WHO), “The Health Information System collects data from the health sector and other relevant sectors, analyses the data and ensures their overall quality, relevance and timeliness, and converts data into information for health-related decision-making.” And the more reliable the information is, you have the better chance to make any decision, implement any policy, execute any regulation, conduct health research, training, and development program, and check on service delivery.
- Minimized Operational Expense
Health Information Systems Enable health organizations to assign resources in a planned manner and save potentially remarkable amounts of expenses, energy, and supplies. In a nutshell, you can make your healthcare service better for your patients while saving lots of money.
- Saving of Time
Other than saving money, Health Information Systems help in saving time as well. By making all the patients’ information computerized and personal activities automated, HIS saves a significant amount of time in making patient care coordinated and hospital management seamless.
- Improved Patient Satisfaction
By adding value to the clinical process Health Information Systems don’t only make the daily job of healthcare providers and administrators easy but also improve the satisfaction level of the patients. The patients can rely on your service, and when you become a reliable name in your sector, you get more patients and get a great return on investment.
After going through the benefits of Health Information Systems, it is clear that HIS offers healthcare providers various opportunities to provide better care to patients while saving costs and making work seamless.
Now let’s have a look at what makes Health Information Systems proffer these benefits. And to have a clear idea about that, you need to know the features of HIS. So, without further ado, let’s talk about the monumental features of HIS.
Important Features of Health Information Systems
- Patient Portal
The patient portal is an important feature of the Health Information System. It is a platform, similar to the electronic health record, but what makes it different is that these patients are capable of having secure online access to their medical records, scheduling doctor appointments, communicating with the doctor, checking medical bills, and processing payment online. All they need is a smart device to avail the maximum benefits of the feature.
Instead of following the age-old process of scheduling a doctor’s appointment, they can just log in to their account in the patient portal, have a look at the availability of their doctors and make an appointment as per their convenience and doctor’s availability.
After scheduling the appointment, they can check the bill and make the payment or set the details for future payments. The popularity of the patient portal is increasing day by day because it improves the accessibility for patients and maintains transparency between the patients and their treatment processes. Therefore hospitals opt for this to improve their patient satisfaction level and build themselves as reliable ones.
- Medical Billing
Online medical billing feature manages all the billing tasks in less amount of time than usual. Gone are the days when hospitals used to spend a major amount of time managing all the appointments and billings. Now with the medical billing feature, patients’ billing, insurance details, patient tracking, and payment process – everything can be handled with efficiency. You can even receive a notification alert if there is any delay or other issues in payment so that you can take action accordingly.
Moreover, the claim scrubbing tool in medical billing helps you detect any type of medical errors way before they start to slow down your management process. It includes scanning and getting rid of any LCD, CCI, or HIPAA-based errors, and delivering you the latest updated reports.
- Patient Scheduling
Just like the patient portal, with patient scheduling patients can schedule their own appointments by simply logging into their respective accounts. This way they neither have to wait in line in front of the doctor’s chamber or clinic nor need to call the clinic again and again to make an appointment. All the facilities will be available 24/7 with just a tap away. They can even match their convenience with the availability of the doctor and book appointments accordingly. This feature is beneficial for the care providers as well. They can assign their staff, test rooms, and specialty apparatus (if needed).
This software in Health Information Systems speeds up the complete prescription process, usually done by the staff members of the medical practitioner’s office. They can send and fill the prescriptions of every patient to the pharmacies online. Also, they can track the entire process and take any action if needed. This way the whole process becomes quick, safe, and error-free.
- Remote Patient Monitoring
This is another promising feature of Health Information Systems, enabling access to patients’ details easy, helping care providers deliver good health care to the patients, and minimizing severe condition expenses. Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) is really useful for patients who are suffering from chronic health issues. Doctors use the information collected through RPM for monitoring patients’ health status. Also, with these details, they can foretell or put a stop to the situations that would or else need serious medical intervention. Other than chronic health care, RPM is helpful for other cases as well, such as care for senior citizens, care after discharging a patient, treatment for behavioral health and substance abuse, etc.
- Master Patient Index
Master Patient Index is quite popular across many hospitals and large organizations of medical practices. With this technology, one needs to feed the patients’ information once. After that, it gets connected to multiple databases and as a result, this data can be useful in the future for other lab tests and clinical departments. There will be no need to feed the data manually every time. The ease of access to patient’s details is the most important benefit of using the Master Patient Index. Also, it is completely automated, reduces the possibility of errors, and improves the safety of the information.
Wrapping it up,
Health Information Systems will continue to bring changes in healthcare services. With the assistance of robust systems in hospitals and medical procedures, not only the efficiency of the professionals will be increased but also their work becomes easier and more organized. As a result, they put focus on giving better care to the patients and improving patient engagement and satisfaction. In a nutshell, HIS offers a win-win situation for both the patients and the healthcare providers when it comes to improving care delivery services.
Shailendra Sinhasane (Shail) is the co-founder and CEO of Mobisoft Infotech. He has been focused on cloud solutions, mobile strategy, cross-platform development, IoT innovations and advising healthcare startups in building scalable products.