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Are you interested in building a healthcare ERP system?
The global healthcare ERP market is expected to reach $11.6 billion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 5.96% from 2022 to 2030.
In recent years, the healthcare industry has undergone a major digital transformation in terms of using applications to aid in everything from medical procedures to clinical processes, etc.
As such, healthcare organizations exceedingly rely on the latest healthcare technologies to provide high-quality patient care, perform accurate diagnoses, execute critical medical operations, etc.
There is no doubt that doctors and other healthcare professionals need an integrated and consolidated platform to manage communication and organize healthcare processes. This is where a healthcare ERP comes into play.
If you are a healthcare provider or are a startup or enterprise company that is planning to get a foothold in this highly lucrative market then here are the steps that you will need to follow to build your own healthcare ERP solution.
Build a Healthcare ERP
You need to undertake the following steps to build a successful ERP software for healthcare providers:
Decide Healthcare ERP Project Scope and Features
We suggest that you start the ERP development process by outlining your project scope and deciding what you want to accomplish with your healthcare ERP system. This might sound strange but the better you know all the details of your project’s goal, the better the end result will be.
For example, this can include an enhanced patient experince via a customer care chatbot, push notifications to remind of appointments, etc., a streamlined reporting system, a better-integrated prescription process, etc.
You should study the current healthcare solutions and decide on the features you want to implement in your healthcare ERP solution.
Typically, a healthcare-specific ERP solution has the following functionalities:
Registration and Appointments: A well-integrated registration system helps a healthcare organization save a lot of the manual work of having to enter patient data in multiple departments.
Compliance Management: Healthcare is a highly regulated industry. It is critical that all your app functionality conforms with hospital processes and the relevant healthcare industry regulations. This includes data protection.
Some common examples include HIPAA helping with patient privacy, HITECH providing IT compliance standards for using electronic medical records, etc. You need to get these right or you could find yourself being fined or worse.
Supply Chain Management: This helps track stocks of medicines, medical equipment, and other hospital supplies in real time.
Medical supplies account for about a fifth of hospital expenses and a high-performance supply chain system can reduce supply expenses by 10% in addition to other advantages like enhanced patient care and increased satisfaction among healthcare givers.
Patient Management: You can make available all the patient healthcare data for the concerned healthcare staff to view and share. This includes diagnostic reports, previous prescriptions, billing data, etc. Such an ERP helps deliver value-based patient care. 99 percent of hospitals now utilize patient billing software and consider it vital to improve the patient experience.
Business Intelligence: This module is related to streamlined data analysis, efficient data processing, data management, and reporting capabilities in an ERP for healthcare.
The healthcare sector generates nearly 30% of global data volume. The healthcare business intelligence market is projected to exceed $23.6 billion by 2030 with multiple use cases such as clinical decision support, strategic analysis, claims processing, etc.
Financial Management: A secure financial system helps track and manage transactions, expenses, tax, and overall budget.
It provides a complete financial picture of the institution, which helps in effective revenue management, without any issues of budget overruns and with increased cost savings. In 2021, finance and billing led the healthcare ERP market under the application category to track profitability, manage ledgers, tax management, etc.
These are a few of the many features that you can implement in your healthcare ERP solution.
You should complete the requirement analysis, decide on the required features, and prepare a system requirements specifications document that would help your project team in developing the required system.
Build a Project team
You need a competent team to undertake any custom healthcare ERP development project. You will require the following professional roles:
- A project manager plans the project lifecycle, assigns, and manages development tasks, provides deliverable timelines, etc.
- A business analyst performs requirements analysis and market research and helps develop a product that meets end-user requirements.
- A healthcare knowledge expert such as a clinician or a healthcare administrator helps meet stringent healthcare regulatory requirements and build a medical ERP system that conforms to industry standards.
- UI/UX designers and front-end developers design an intuitive user interface and implement it effectively.
- Backend developers develop the core healthcare ERP features, perform database and API integrations, and conduct deployment activities.
- A machine learning engineer develops advanced AI-based features.
- QA Engineers test your ERP system comprehensively and ensure that all functional and non-functional requirements are met.
Overall, it is important to have a diverse and skilled team in order to successfully develop a healthcare ERP solution.
Select Development Infrastructure
After forming a project team and providing them with the project specification information, you should provide them with all the necessary tools so that they can get started with product development.
Cloud computing technologies are becoming the norm among software development experts. Cloud-based infrastructure is robust, secure, scalable, and flexible.
It helps enterprises develop software solutions using the latest tools and technologies with minimum startup costs. The real bonus is that they can quickly scale their resources as they expand.
Moreover, cloud service providers handle the maintenance and support of cloud technologies, including servers, database solutions, networking, development platforms, etc., leaving users free to focus on business and product development.
Leading cloud providers like Amazon AWS, Microsft Azure, etc., are ideal infrastructure solutions that will enable your project team to quickly get started on ERP design and development.
Multiple PaaS, SaaS, and MBaaS offerings from Amazon AWS can help you expedite your healthcare ERP development project. Consider the example of Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3). It provides the following advantages:
- You can store and protect healthcare data of any size and use it for cloud-native apps, mobile apps, etc.
- You can efficiently manage and organize your ERP data and also utilize access controls to meet healthcare compliance and security requirements.
- It is easy to replicate large amounts of healthcare data for robust access using flexible replication tools.
Healthcare systems often integrate multiple data services from IoT devices for remote healthcare services. AWS Lambda helps you to access multiple services and implement custom processing on them. A serverless computer service, AWS lambda, offers the following benefits:
- You can perform real-time computations of healthcare data without provisioning or managing backend servers.
- Offers easy scalability to match data volume.
- You can apply data preprocessing before analyzing it with advanced machine learning models that are commonly used in healthcare systems for predictive analytics, etc.
Read our guide for more details about the top cloud computing service providers in the market today.
Design and Develop a healthcare ERP Product
Now, your UI/UX designer needs to start designing the layout and interface of your ERP application.
They should use tools like Adobe XD and InVision to develop prototypes and wireframes of initial product designs. Your designers should use multiple tools offered by Adobe XD for typography, colors, and styling. They may well import ready-to-use illustrations and create impressive templates.
You need to design a user interface that is interactive and easy to use for your ERP users. Your project team needs to utilize the following guidelines to build an effective ERP layout:
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- User interface guidelines for a web application;
- Human interface guidelines to design a UI for an iOS application;
- Material design guidelines to design an Android app UI.
These guidelines would help your design team build a responsive UI as your users might want to access ERP from various devices with different screen sizes. Moreover, the UI should be configurable to meet particular requirements such as via customizable dashboards, etc.
Your development team should use these prototypes to code the actual product layout and features.
Vue.js helps in developing reactive web user interfaces. It offers multiple features such as Virtual DOM, data binding, event handling, etc., to swiftly connect ERP users with the required data only and display it on their screens.
Your backend developers should use programming languages like Java, PHP, etc., and frameworks like Grail, Laravel, etc., to efficiently build the core ERP features using many supporting tools and ready-to-use programming libraries.
For example, you get the following advantages by using the Grail web application framework with Java programming language:
- Your ERP developers can easily learn and get started with Grail without server configurations.
- Plugin-based development approach helps you build a modular ERP application via code reusability.
- Built-in REST support and plugin collections help your developers efficiently build extensive healthcare ERP features.
Your development team can also use open-source ERP development frameworks to accelerate the process of healthcare ERP development.
One example is ERPNext, based on Python and PHP programming languages. Being open-source, it allows developers to customize functionalities and meet specific business needs.
Your developers might also use communication protocols like WebSockets to enable communication between clients and servers.
Your development team should also have a database developer on board. A database expert will set up the database management system, create a database schema, and maintain it with the relevant data.
You can use database technologies like MySQL, MongoDB, etc., according to your business data requirements.
MySQL is an easy-to-use relational database management system based on structure query language. You can build a secure, reliable, and scalable healthcare ERP database using MySQL. As it is open source, your developers will also benefit from its vast developers’ community support.
MongoDB is a NoSQL-based cloud database platform that can help you handle diverse healthcare data types. Your development team can quickly build a scalable ERP application via a document-based MongoDB schema.
Machine Learning and Big Data
An advanced healthcare ERP system uses cutting-edge technologies like machine learning and big data for features like remote patient monitoring, routine health checkup automation, patient health data analytics, etc.
Moreover, they can use ML to automate routine tasks. One healthcare organization has reported reducing the timecard processing time of hospital staff by up to 68% by implementing an automation solution that handled a few existing processes. Similarly, a pharmaceutical company managed to save $120K by automating several manual tasks.
Your software developers need to have enough understanding of machine learning algorithms like supervised and unsupervised machine learning, deep learning, neural networks, statistical techniques, data processing, etc.
Software developers use tools like Keras and programming languages like Python to develop and deploy machine learning models efficiently.
Keras is a user-friendly API in Python that your developers can use to build and deploy machine learning models. It offers high-level abstractions and essential building blocks to developers. Your developers can also utilize its extensive documentation and community support for efficient ML feature development.
You may choose to work with API architecture to build and integrate multiple ERP software functionalities. Your application developers should be experienced in REST and GraphQL for API development.
REST architecture helps developers build a scalable healthcare ERP with flexible business requirements.
GraphQL, a declarative query language, will assist your developers with efficient client-side application communication. GraphQL queries return only the required data and solve the problems of under-fetching and over-fetching as in Restful API communication.
Your developers should use tools like Postman or cloud-based API development tools like Amazon API Gateway.
Postman API tool offers multiple features to your developers such as:
- Create or send REST, SOAP, and GraphQL requests using Postman.
- Edit request headers and save preset headers.
- Manage cookies on multiple domains.
Amazon API Gateway is a cloud-based offering by Amazon Web Services. It provides the following advantages:
- It is a fully managed service that would help your developers create, publish, maintain, and monitor APIs.
- You can enable real-time communication between various healthcare ERP modules via RESTful APIs and WebSocket APIs.
- You can perform traffic management, access control, throttling, API version management, etc.
Test the Healthcare ERP System
Developers and QA engineers test software extensively to ensure it works as required. Your developers need to ensure code quality through unit and integration tests. QA testers should perform test routines to assure ERP software performance, security, etc.
Your QA team would use tools like Selenium and Puppeteer to test healthcare ERP software. Selenium is a complete suite of tools to develop and execute test procedures for a range of browsers, programming languages, and development environments. Puppeteer is a Node.js library to perform automated testing and debugging of web application features.
Deploy the ERP Software
When you are satisfied that your healthcare ERP meets all the planned functional and non-functional requirements, you can start the deployment process.
You should draw up a deployment plan to deploy and configure high-priority ERP modules first.
DevOps practices help with continuous integration/deployment routines, task automation, etc. Your developers can use tools like Jenkins to implement the DevOps lifecycle.
Jenkins features like easy installation and configuration, extensive plugin libraries, and support for multiple operating systems would help your developers efficiently implement DevOps routines.
Your ERP development team should also help you ensure that the ERP system integrates seamlessly with the existing healthcare systems. Your developers should test your app’s data migration systems in the live environment and guarantee that all aspects of your healthcare ERP app work as planned.
You might have to train your healthcare staff to use all ERP features efficiently. We suggest that you get help from developers and ERP experts to create training manuals and deliver them to the concerned team members.
Provide Maintenance and Support
Although initial ERP development, testing, and deployment end here, software development is a continuous process.
There will be further updates and improvements to the existing ERP as you get feedback from the end users.
You will require a maintenance and support team to keep up with these requirements and provide support in case of any technical issues.
Moreover, you need to evaluate if your project goals have been met. Monitor your healthcare enterprise progress. You should set KPIs and analyze if there are any improvements in performance and profitability. These evaluations will guide you in further improving your healthcare ERP system.
Planning to Build a Healthcare ERP System?
We have discussed in detail the process of developing a healthcare ERP software application. However, keep in mind that healthcare ERP development is a complex process and requires a competent team of professionals with experience in developing and deploying software products for the healthcare market.
DevTeamSpace can help you partner with the most suitable talent for your ERP development project. DevTeamSpace is a community of field-expert software developers who are vetted for their software development expertise and trained on an AI-based agile development process.
If you wish to partner with developers at DevTeam.Space, then take a moment to fill out our initial project specifications form. One of our account managers will get back to you to discuss further details on onboarding, team development, project planning, and the development process.
FAQs on Healthcare ERP Solutions
Healthcare enterprise resource planning (ERP) software provides software features to hospital managers to streamline business processes and resources and ensure excellent patient care.
Hospitals and healthcare companies can use ready-to-use ERP solutions like Oracle Fusion Cloud ERP, customize open-source healthcare ERP systems, or develop custom healthcare ERP system solutions from scratch to meet their specific hospital management and resource planning needs.
ERP is an enterprise resource planning software to streamline and organize business operations. They help utilize business resources effectively through better control and visibility. It includes human resources management, customer relationship management, etc. EHR or electronic health record is a healthcare technology that contains real-time updated administrative and clinical patient data records.