Hospital management systems are software designed to keep records and control all aspects of a hospital’s operations. The essential part of the system is the document management component that keeps all data centralized. The system ensures the execution of hospital workflows thus assisting in providing quality services. An HMS facilitates regular activities, promotes communication, streamlines invoicing and billing, and offers other advantages to hospital staff and patients.
In this blog post, we will find out what major components make an HMS and describe their features and benefits. Let us take an HMS in a hospital as an example, but the system can also benefit other medical institutions.
Major HMS components
Smart hospital management system modules
An integrated appointment management module is mutually beneficial to everybody: patients save their time and money, doctors have steady shifts. Also, hospital equipment never stands idle.
The appointment management and scheduling module offers the following advantages:
- Convenience. Both patients and doctors can access an appointment scheduling system and easily book the most optimal time. The hospital staff can have up-to-date schedules available and see new or canceled appointments.
- Automation. Such modules provide useful tools to automate the scheduling process, which frees up valuable employee time. The modules offer the opportunity to synchronize contacts, automatically confirm appointments, and more. The problems connected with making appointments because all the staff are busy can be reduced to a minimum.
- Reduced costs. Thanks to this module, appointments are created in an optimal way to ensure a continuous workload for all hospital staff. Doctors have fewer or no gaps in shifts, and hospitals save money as they don’t have to pay for doctors’ idle time.
- Patient satisfaction. The appointment management module in hospital management allows patients to easily choose the most suitable time. Non-verbal interfaces, like web access or mobile apps, are perfect for those patients who find it problematic to make a call or who might have some speech disorders.
Hospital staff management may be really challenging. The employee management modules allow carrying out all the necessary HR tasks within a single solution:
- Scheduling. It is one of the major functions of the staff management component as accurate scheduling helps to fill shifts and can tackle a staff shortage.
- Payroll. The module contains a secure hospital database of compensation schemes with restricted access and altering/ editing rights.
- HR document management. The system provides a secure storage option for staff records, job descriptions, and other valuable documentation.
- Reminders. The staff management module may be tuned to remind about employee certification expiry dates, qualification verification, continuing education programs, and even upcoming vaccination.
Getting paid for services in healthcare is a long and multi-step process that involves many participants. This journey cannot be shortened, but it can be accelerated by automating the billing process via implementing a billing system. Healthcare institutions may have billing software as a standalone system or, more often, as a part of an HMS or electronic health records (EHR).
Medical billing components offer healthcare providers instant access to any bill or claim. In these systems, one can see when a particular bill was sent to a health insurer and check its status to determine if it has been paid. Billing systems for healthcare institutions boast the following advantages:
- Better control. Billing modules in a hospital management system allow automatically controlling payments and initiating claims if necessary.
- Less paperwork. Medical billing solutions handle invoices and insurance claims without having to keep everything on paper.
- Medical coding. Such systems use a standardized set of medical codes which streamlines the billing process and minimizes errors.
Сlaims management modules allow managing insurance claims within a centralized system. This software can help insurers to lower claims management costs and improve customer and partner services.
Here are 3 main reasons why any healthcare-related business should integrate claims management:
- Enhanced accuracy. By integrating a claims management solution into their workflow healthcare providers can thoroughly verify that each claim is accurately coded and contains correct information before it is invoiced and sent for a refund.
- Improved analytics. By carrying out meaningful data analysis claims management modules enhance productivity and optimize the claiming processes.
- Predictability. These solutions help predict whether claims will be rejected or returned unpaid, which certainly saves valuable time and money.
Supply chain management
Supply chain management in healthcare includes obtaining and consumption of resources, management of supplies, and delivery of services and goods to end-users.
Below are the main advantages that a healthcare provider enjoys:
- Optimized costs. Supply chain management improves supply chain planning and forecasting, thus helping avoid excessive inventory levels. This module allows hospitals to optimize their current assets and free up the cash for other uses.
- Improved safety. The system offers enhanced transparency to prevent counterfeit goods from entering the supply chain and to reduce treatment errors.
The laboratory management component is used to facilitate the work of labs which receive, process, and store numerous samples daily. Its main purpose is to improve the effectiveness of the laboratory work by automating tasks previously done manually.
Typically, these modules possess the following features:
- Storage management. The modules provide visualization of laboratory stocks to accurately locate samples in freezers and be able to find them without any difficulty.
- Sample management. Such a feature aids in managing laboratory samples throughout the entire lifecycle, along with their origin and supply chain.
- Billing. Due to a diversified nature of laboratory services, a billing system is usually a separate component with its own coding subsystem.
- Reporting. Laboratory management modules generate timely reports about all the steps in progress, including the collected and processed samples, the consumption of reagents, turn-round time, and more.
In this blog post, we have mentioned the major components of a hospital management system, but the set of modules may vary, for instance, for specialized clinics (dentistry, neurology, podiatry, cardiology, etc.), for healthcare networks, or for institutions which provide their own insurance plans.
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