Not so long ago, patients’ medical information was in the form of paper records – handwritten, bound together, labeled, and filed away till the next visit. In fact, this is still how things are done in many countries.
In the mid 2000s, the mass adoption of information technologies encouraged many healthcare businesses to start integrating electronic medical record (EMR) systems into their business processes. EMR systems serve as a digital version of paper charts, containing all medical and treatment history of a patient within a practice.
As time went on, hospital app development started growing in popularity, and more and more providers around the US started implementing EMR systems in their clinics. In turn, this caused the US government to recognize the necessity of enhancing communication between healthcare providers by making their medical software interoperable. That’s how electronic health record (EHR) systems were born.
Challenges for existing EHR solutions
Today, 87 percent of physicians use either an EMR or EHR system in their practice. That’s not surprising: according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, as of the beginning of 2019, “all Medicare-eligible hospitals, dual-eligible hospitals, and critical access hospitals are required to use the 2015 edition certified electronic health record technology (CEHRT) and meet the new requirements outlined in the 2019 IPPS final rule.”
Still, 40 percent of doctors aren’t satisfied with the system they use according to the Physicians Foundation.
As the demand for healthcare software continues to grow, so do physicians’ expectations for these systems. According to Deloitte, many doctors expect improvements in documentation management, communication and care coordination, prescription management, interoperability, and user-friendliness of their EHR software. Moreover, many providers surveyed in the Deloitte study mentioned the high cost of maintaining their EHR solutions, while others complained about the complete inability to customize their systems without the vendor’s help.
Research conducted by JAMA in 2018 found that poor usability of EHR systems was partially responsible for more than 557 patient safety events in the period from 2013 to 2016. Additionally, industry experts believe that a poor user experience is partly to blame for physician burnout in recent years.
According to Boyd, much of the problem lies in the lack of specialty-specific EHR interfaces, which should be crafted based on the specific requirements of a healthcare facility.
This may encourage healthcare businesses to work with a medical app development partner and create their own medical platforms from scratch rather than use off-the-shelf solutions. Below, we share our insights on EHR app development to help you overcome your most burning healthcare business challenges.
EHR system development: where to start?
However obvious it may sound, first you need to figure out what you want from your EHR system. In other words, you should start with clearly defining your business requirements. And to do so, you need to be methodical