Future-Proofing Healthcare: Developing Scalable Custom EHR Systems

By Srikanth
13 Min Read
Future-Proofing Healthcare: Developing Scalable Custom EHR Systems 1

Do you check your symptoms on the Internet?

Advertisement

Well, you’re not alone. Research by the Pew Research Center in 2013 stated that almost 72% of adults in the United States look for information regarding their health on the Internet. That number has indeed increased in the last decade, and the digital transformation of the healthcare landscape has encouraged such practices.

Adding more to this digital wave of healthcare practices, as much as 83% of hospitals have adopted electronic health records systems in their practice to effectively manage and store patient data.

Despite the widespread adoption of healthcare technology and EHR systems, there are a lot of limitations faced by healthcare providers due to their existing electronic health records system. That is the reason why custom EHR systems have been the latest trend in the healthcare industry.

In this blog, let’s see the exclusive benefits of custom EHR systems along with the scalability features they offer to future-proof your healthcare practice.

Addressing Limitations of Traditional EHR Systems

Before getting into the intricacies of the benefits of custom EHR systems in healthcare, let’s first understand the limitations of traditional EHR systems that gave rise to this latest trend in the healthcare industry. Below are some of the limitations that a generic traditional EHR system presents:

  1. Lack of Customization: One of the major reasons why traditional EHR systems failed to meet the growing needs of healthcare providers is because of its inability to adapt to the specific workflows of clinical practices. Also, different clinical practices and specialties have unique workflows; since traditional EHR systems did not allow any customizations in the workflow, it made care delivery and patient management hard for healthcare practices.
  2. Data Silos and Integration Issues: Traditional EHR systems are also called off-the-shelf EHR systems. These electronic health records systems presented challenges while integrating with other healthcare systems. Due to this, incomplete data was stored in the EHR system, which led to fragmented patient information and, again, hindered the care delivery process.
  3. Limited Scalability: The major challenge that gave rise to custom EHR systems was the limited scalability offered by the traditional EHR system. As a healthcare practice grows, the data also grows with it, and since traditional EHR systems offer very limited scalability options, for a long-term growth of the practice perspective, hindering the growth of the practice.

The Advantages of Custom EHR Systems

Custom EHR systems offer many lucrative benefits that not only help healthcare providers streamline their practice but also improve the efficiency of their practice. By streamlining the data flow in the healthcare practice and system, healthcare providers can focus more on patient care. Here are some of the advantages of integrating a custom EHR system in your healthcare practice:

  1. Improved Workflow Efficiency with Custom EHR solutions:

Every healthcare practice’s workflow is unique and custom EHR systems are curated on the basis of that. Meaning, after understanding the unique needs and requirements of the healthcare practice, the EHR system can be developed. Whether the healthcare provider wants to focus on improving clinical workflow or enhancing data entry, custom EHR systems cater to every need providing a perfect software system for healthcare practice.

  1. Enhanced Data Interoperability:

Achieving interoperability has always been a concern for healthcare systems. Since it allows the healthcare systems to exchange information and data efficiently and make sense of it, it promotes a holistic view of patient data which encourages data-based care delivery. With custom EHR systems healthcare providers can follow the standard interoperability like FHIR, HL7, etc., driving efficiency and data-backed healthcare practices in their practice.

  1. Scalability and Future-Proofing:

Despite all the lucrative benefits of custom EHR systems in healthcare, scalability and future-proofing it allows for the practice is what gives you the edge in the competition. This is because of the very nature of its development, being flexible in development, and the systems easily adapting to the changing needs of the practice, like growing patient population, integrating AI in custom EHR systems, adhering to the regulatory landscape, etc.

By offering scalability, the custom EHR systems make the healthcare practice future-ready, giving the practice an edge in the competitive landscape. By staying agile and responsive to emerging trends, organizations can stay ahead of the curve and maintain a competitive edge in the market.

Developing a Scalable Custom EHR System

  1. Needs Assessment and System Design

The very first step in developing scalable EHR solutions is to understand the system needs and requirements of the clinical practice. Since every healthcare practice is unique in its operations, clinical workflow, and other aspects of care delivery, it is important to understand what practice needs to be designed in the system accordingly.

Some of the things that can help you in assessing the electronic health records systems are:

  • Patient Population
  • Scheduling
  • Billing & Claims
  • Interoperability
  • Healthcare System Integration
  • Alerts & Notification, etc.
  1. Data Security and Compliance

The other part of healthcare is developing a scalable custom EHR system, which obviously involves data security and compliance. The data the custom EHR system is going to deal with is sensitive in nature, making it prone to cyber-attacks and threats. Furthermore, it can also compromise the very fundamental rights of the patients.

Given the sensitive nature of the information the software systems have to deal with, it is important to adhere to regulatory requirements such as HIPAA, GDPR, HITECH Act, etc Abiding by these regulatory landscapes can not only help you safeguard the information stored or managed in the EHR system but also help you navigate smoothly through the legal landscape.

Ensuring Scalability for Future Growth

As patient volumes increase, regulations evolve, and technology advances, healthcare organizations must ensure their systems can keep pace. One critical area where scalability is essential is in Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems.

Here’s how to ensure scalability for future growth:

  1. Modular Design:

To make the custom EHR systems scalable, they must have the ability to customize whenever required. This process becomes much easier by following a modular design where different models come together to form a system. This way, adding any new feature or functionality in the EHR systems becomes easy, giving you enough scope and flexibility for customization in healthcare. Along with that, following a modular design also simplifies maintenance and upgrades.

  1. Cloud-Based Architecture:

Another feature that boosts scalability in custom EHR systems in the cloud-based architecture. Having a cloud-based EHR system can literally remove the concerns of storage and accessibility. This way as your practice grows, you don’t have to worry about the storage of data and the on-demand scalability that it offers can simply transform your practice.

  1. Open APIs:

Achieving interoperability is one of the most important aspects of any healthcare software system. To add another layer of scalability and flexibility, achieving it becomes even more difficult. However, using Open APIs of Open Application Programming Interfaces can facilitate that effectively and efficiently. Along with that, Open APIs also make your custom EHR systems capable of exchanging information from other healthcare systems and devices, making your EHR system interoperable in every way.

Maintaining Data Security and Compliance

The scalability and flexibility of a custom EHR system depend majorly on security and compliance. Since every addition to the system puts the entire system at risk. So, here are some ways in which you can ensure data security and compliance in your custom EHR system.

  • Robust Encryption: Industry-standard encryption protocols can help you protect sensitive patient data and ensure the integrity of your custom EHR system.
  • Role-based Access Control: Limiting access to patient information based on the roles is important. By applying role-based access control, you can ensure that only authorized personnel can access the information.
  • Regular Security Audits: One of the best practices for ensuring the security of your EHR system by conducting regular security audits. This is a proactive way to identify and address potential security vulnerabilities in the system, which can be easily addressed and fixed in software updates.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the evolution of healthcare necessitates a shift towards scalable custom EHR systems to overcome the shortcomings of traditional solutions. By addressing issues of usability, interoperability, and scalability, these tailored systems enhance workflow efficiency and promote data interoperability and future-proof healthcare practices. Partnering with a healthcare IT development company versed in building such systems is paramount. Take the next step towards optimized patient care by reaching out for a consultation today.

_________________________________________________________________________

FAQs

  1. How can custom EHR systems improve patient care?

Custom EHR systems can enhance patient care by streamlining workflows, providing tailored alerts for potential issues, facilitating data-driven decisions, ensuring accurate documentation, enabling better communication among healthcare providers, and offering personalized treatment plans.

  1. What factors should healthcare providers consider when choosing a custom EHR solution?

Healthcare providers must consider the following factors when choosing a custom EHR solution:-

  • Customization options to meet specific needs
  • Compatibility with existing systems and workflows
  • Security features to protect patient data
  • Scalability for future growth
  • Ease of use and training for staff
  • Cost-effectiveness in the long term
  • Vendor reputation and support services
  1. How does scalability impact the long-term success of EHR implementations?

Scalability ensures Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems can adapt to growing needs, accommodating increased data, users, and functionality over time. Long-term success hinges on scalability’s ability to sustain performance, usability, and efficiency as demands evolve.

  1. Are there regulatory considerations when developing custom EHR systems?

The following are the regulatory considerations when developing custom EHR systems:

  • Compliance with HIPAA regulations is paramount.
  • Ensuring data security and confidentiality.
  • Adherence to interoperability standards for data exchange.
  • Regular updates to accommodate evolving regulatory requirements.
  • Incorporation of user authentication and access controls.
  • Risk assessment and mitigation strategies implementation.
  1. What ongoing support is available for organizations implementing custom EHR solutions?

Organizations implementing custom EHR solutions can access ongoing support through vendor-provided maintenance contracts, user training, help desk services, software updates, and community forums for troubleshooting and sharing best practices.

  1. How long does it take to develop a custom EHR system?

The development timeline for a custom Electronic Health Record (EHR) system varies based on complexity, features, and team size. Typically, it may take 12 to 18 months or longer for full development and implementation.

  1. What features should I consider including in my custom EHR system?

Following are the custom EHR system features that you must consider:-

  • Comprehensive patient profiles
  • Secure data storage and access controls
  • Customizable templates for various medical specialties
  • Integration with lab systems and imaging tools
  • Decision support tools for diagnoses and treatments
  • HIPAA compliance measures
  • Mobile access for on-the-go healthcare professionals
  • Reporting and analytics capabilities.
TAGGED:
Share This Article
Passionate Tech Blogger on Emerging Technologies, which brings revolutionary changes to the People life.., Interested to explore latest Gadgets, Saas Programs
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *