There is a lot of buzz now-a-days about ERP software. It is slowly and steadily becoming an indispensable IT resource for any business or services provider. Healthcare providers especially hospitals are actively hiring IT managers, allocating budgets, publishing tenders to procure an ERP system and making active phone calls to software vendors for numerous customizations. Software vendors are becoming extremely competitive with everyone bragging as to how their ERP solution is the best in class and offering better ROI than anyone out there. All this tedious task and nail-biting competition for the so called ERP software! Is it really that worth?
ERP short for Enterprise Resource Planning is a software technology or to say better, business process management application providing a common ground facilitating effective communication between different departments within an organization. ERP software typically integrates all the aspects of business operations viable for an organization —includes administration, payroll, billing, inventory, HR etc. — in to a single application having a database and user interface. If we talk in medical terms, an ERP is a brain connecting a complex network of nerves and cells to receive and send information as requested by different body parts to function in a coordinated and synchronized manner.
Due to its unique capability, ERP has grown more of an enterprise application handling large and complex processes satisfying an organization’s requirements rather than any individual. As a result, today, ERP is being endorsed by many industries to streamline their daily business operations, including the healthcare industry.
The ERP word usage in healthcare is generally referred as Hospital Management System (HMS), Hospital Information and Management System (HIMS) or Hospital Information System (HIS). If an ERP is to be defined as per Healthcare industry, it is a system that facilitates managing the functioning of the hospital or any medical set by offering:
- Paper-less atmosphere creating more office space.
- Economic, scalable and sustainable options for streamlining and automating the entire organization as IT technology upscale itself.
- Fool-proof security of patient data and other medical health records through industrial standard compliance.
- Reliable storage and backup
- Intra- and inter-department co-ordinations at their highest level
- Complete audit trail
Automation is the key to any industry today, be it energy sector, manufacturing, aviation etc. Digitization is a boon towards fast pace growth in innovation, technology and sustainability globally. Definitely, human factor cannot be ruled out ever and operations cannot function smoothly without human intervention. An ERP can help or rather assist the entire organization’s staff in unimaginable ways which is otherwise impossible at manual level.
The sole objective of any healthcare provider is to realize that they are dealing with a patient’s life 24x7. Time is crucial that decides life and death of any person. Slightest delay in the patient’s registration process or a doctor being unable to make important decisions due to non-access of medical history, depletion of medicine stock with no indicators etc., can create havoc and panic situation. This would in turn bring the entire hospital operations to a complete halt. If there is no automated system like an ERP in place that seamlessly communicates, retrieves data or relevant information, hospitals can suffer significant monetary damages and public backlash.
Let’s check what a good and advanced hospital ERP or we better refer it as, Hospital Management System should be able to:
- Build quality patient data or electronic medical record (EMR) and health records (EHR)
- Reduce browsing and searching of old medical records or any information on demand
- Help preserve scans and x-rays and associate with the patient data
- Schedule patient appointment and surgeries
- Handle IPD and OPD patient admissions
- Report medicine and equipment stock status
- Report occupancy of patients in real time to manage ward and bed availability
- Provide tools such as dashboards and Management Information System (MIS) to generate charts and graphs to make valid conclusions Schedule services of specialized doctors and emergency cases Connect every department and staff member within an organization Associate dedicated resources and services for patient care anytime Carry financial transactions to maintain and track billing, receipts, inventory, supplies, purchase etc.
- Handle Third Party Administrator (TPA), health insurers and health insurance claims
- Ensure compliance with federal regulations such as Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and National Accreditation Board of Hospitals & Healthcare Providers (NABH)
ERP is thus helping the medical industry and healthcare providers manage their finances better and giving better return on investments (ROI). Management can keep an eye on administrative, department and person level mistakes, daily tasks, resource wastage etc., since an advanced ERP system accurately monitors every process. Surely, ERP is transforming the way the hospitals operate. Communications are no longer issues of grave concerns hampering productivity or compromising with patient’s life. Buy an ERP based HMS today and expand your hospital services, ultimately growing business!