- How to Build a Patient Management Software Application
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Planning to build patient management software for your healthcare practice? Do the following:
1. Review other patient management solutions and compare your ideas for a patient management system with them
When you conceptualized your patient management software, you have probably noted down several ideas. Can the other patient management systems in the market help you to get more ideas? Review them and find out.
The following are some of the best patient management software:
- SIMPLEX HIMES;
Reviewing them can help you decide on the features of your practice management software.
2. Assemble a senior team to initiate and plan your proposed patient management software development project
Form a team with a few senior roles. This team will kick off the project and carry out the planning exercises. It will gather and document requirements, furthermore, this team will formulate a software development approach.
You should find a skilled and experienced project manager (PM) to lead this team. You need a PM with the following knowledge:
- PM functional and knowledge areas;
- Important project management tools;
- Notable PM best practices;
- Well-known PM frameworks;
- Key PM methodologies.
Onboard a software architect in this team. You also need one or more business analysts (BAs).
3. Identify the features to offer in the proposed patient management software
The gathering of functional requirements should start now, and BAs should do this. BAs should talk to business stakeholders in your organization. They should analyze the requirements and document them. The PM and architect should assist in this effort.
Your proposed medical practice management software can have one or more of the following capabilities:
- A patient portal;
- Patient registration;
- Managing patient records like electronic health records (EHRs), patient files, etc. securely;
- Managing administrative tasks like patient scheduling, sending appointment reminders, etc.;
- Claims management;
- In-patient tracking;
- Medical billing;
- Managing patient communication;
- Tracking patient satisfaction and patient outcomes;
- Creating reports used by medical practices;
- Managing patient discharge;
- Analytics that help to achieve better health outcomes;
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1. The above is an exhaustive list of features and capabilities.
2. You need to decide whether to offer web and mobile apps. For the purpose of this guide, we assume that you will offer a web app. We also assume that you will offer a native Android app and a native iOS app.
4. Choose the features of the patient management system MVP (Minimum Viable Product)
While you might have robust ideas for a patient management system, they only exist on paper now. Can these ideas work in the market? Only the market can answer this question! You need to launch an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) to test your business ideas in the market.
While your MVP will be a functional product, you can offer fewer features than the final app. Identify the features you want to offer. Consult our MVP guide to prioritize features based on impact and ease of implementation.
5. Finalize the non-functional requirements of the patient management application
At this point, your architect needs to finalize the non-functional requirements (NFRs). The architect needs to analyze the relevant industry benchmarks for this.
Performance, scalability, maintainability, testability, and security are a few examples of NFRs. You need to pay special attention to security. The healthcare industry is highly regulated, therefore, data privacy and security are important. E.g., your proposed system should be HIPAA-compliant for using it in the US.
6. Formulate a software development approach and decide on a technology stack
Choose your technology stack. Your architect should also come up with a credible software development approach. These involve the following steps:
A. Selection of a suitable software architecture pattern
Most medical software applications tend to be complex, which might also be true with your proposed patient management software. You can navigate software development complexities with the help of a sound software architecture.
The architect should choose an appropriate architectural pattern. Well-reasoned architectural decisions can help you considerably.
B. Selection of cloud platforms and a cloud provider
You can significantly expedite a medical practice management software development project with the help of cloud computing. The architect in your team should decide on the following:
- Which cloud deployment model should the team use, e.g., public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud?
- Which cloud provider should the project team use?
- Should the team use an IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service), PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service), or MBaaS (Mobile-Backend-as-a-Service) platform?
- Which PaaS platform can deliver optimum value to the team?
- Which MBaaS platform should the team use?
C. Deciding on an API development approach
You can use 3rd party APIs for a few non-core features. A set of non-core features includes appointment scheduling, bulk SMS, etc. Several 3rd party software solutions exist for scheduling appointments, automated SMS messages, etc. Using external APIs to book appointments or share promotional content on social media might be fine. However, you should develop your own APIs for core features.
Your architect should analyze approaches like GraphQL and REST for API development. GraphQL is a modern approach with many advantages, you will likely find more developers with RESTful API development skills.
D. Deciding on a technology stack for mobile development
To start with, we recommend you develop native Android and iOS apps. You code native apps in programming languages that work seamlessly with the corresponding native mobile operating systems. Native apps can make the best use of device-specific hardware capabilities. These factors make native apps performant, secure, and easy to use.
You can use Kotlin, a modern programming language for native Android development. Alternatively, you can use Java. Both languages offer plenty of advantages. You might find more Java developers though since it’s more popular.
We recommend you use Swift for native iOS development. Apple also recommends you use this modern and develop-friendly programming language with powerful features.
E. Choosing a technology stack for web development
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You can also use several other popular programming languages for back-end web development. Golang, Java, and Python are a few examples.
D. Deciding on databases for patient management software development
Your architect needs to choose the right database solution for your project. The architect might consider the following factors:
- Strengths and limitations of SQL and NoSQL databases;
- Whether to choose MySQL or MongoDB;
- Scalability, ease of use, data integrity, etc.;
- Strengths of MongoDB and PostgreSQL.
Note: Do you need to use niche technologies like AI (Artificial Intelligence), ML (Machine Learning), IoT (Internet-of-Things), etc.? Choose the appropriate technology stack for them. For example, TensorFlow or other machine learning tools can help with ML programming.
7. Plan your patient management software development project
Now that you have decided on the technology stack, you now need a robust project plan. The PM should lead the effort to create it. The software architect should support the PM.
A project plan must cover key aspects, e.g.:
- The technical environment of the project;
- Human resource management;
- Risk management;
- Project communications;
- Project schedule and milestones;
- Quality management.
The PM should use the agile methodology for planning this project.
8. Hire software developers to create the proposed patient management software
Hire developers, testers, etc. to form the complete software development. Do the following:
A. Finalize the roles for which you will hire people
Your project needs capable people for the following roles:
- User interface (UI) designers for web and mobile apps;
- Web developers with front-end and back-end development skills;
- iOS developers with native iOS development experience;
- Android developers with native Android development skills;
- Web and mobile application testers;
- DevOps engineers.
B. Look for developers with knowledge of the healthcare industry including medical billing
Creating a patient management software application for healthcare providers requires developers that know the healthcare sector well. You should look for developers that know the following:
- What patients and healthcare professionals expect from patient management software;
- How to process patient data securely;
- Best practices for complying with important regulations like HIPAA when processing crucial patient data;
- How to manage patient information like electronic medical records (EMRs) effectively;
- Key factors for healthcare organizations to consider when they plan patient care;
- Best practices for managing healthcare facilities like medical clinics efficiently, e.g., providing an orderly waiting room;
- How healthcare providers try to achieve the best patient outcomes;
- Best practices for building strong patient relationships;
- The set of factors that increases patient satisfaction, patient loyalty, and patient retention;
- Best practices for electronic billing;
- How healthcare organizations manage the billing process and billing records;
- Records management best practices relevant for managing billing information, medical records, etc.;
- Key innovations in the healthcare sector to manage patients better;
- Emerging software solutions to manage health outcomes, patient encounters, and population health data;
- How the care providers in the healthcare sector can provide value-based care;
- Examples of medical centers that manage health records effectively;
- How a healthcare practice running smoothly can embrace disruptive innovations;
- Examples of healthcare providers improving operational efficiency by streamlining claims processing, determining insurance eligibility, managing treatment plans, etc.;
- How healthcare providers improve patient engagement;
- The importance of organized patient intake flow for healthcare practices;
- Industry-standard tools to schedule appointments online, manage scheduling, send automatic reminders, etc.
C. Select the right hiring platform
You might think that hiring freelancers to build a patient management system is a good idea. However, building such an application can be complex. We don’t recommend you hire freelance developers for such projects.
Freelance platforms don’t offer project management support. You need to find replacement developers if freelancers leave your project mid-way. Freelancers work part-time on your project. Managing part-timers can be hard.
We recommend you hire dedicated developers from a reliable software development company like DevTeam.Space. Our programmers have the relevant expertise. They are experienced and motivated. At DevTeam.Space, we provide project management support.
D. Interview developers
Having found the right hiring platform, you ought to post your job requirements. You need to now review resumes and interview candidates. Focus on relevant experience and practical skills, and don’t ask only theoretical questions.
You can get help from sets of interview questions and answers provided by us, e.g.:
- Swift interview questions;
- Node.js interview questions;
- Java interview questions;
- SQL interview questions.
- Python interview questions;
- Software engineer interview questions;
- Angular interview questions;
- ReactJS interview questions.
E. Onboard the developers you hired
You have hired developers, and you now need to onboard them. Describe the project requirements to the new team members. New developers need the relevant project documents, therefore, share these with them.
Provide the necessary access. Introduce your existing team to the new programmers. Explain the project schedule and milestones. Establish accountability with the new team, furthermore, set up a communications protocol.
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9. Design and develop the proposed patient management software
Start the application design and development processes, which involve the following:
A. Planning iterations
Utilize the Scrum framework. The PM should plan for iterations, which are called “sprints”. Your team should estimate features and plan for them in iterations.
B. Designing the mobile and web app UI (user interface)
The PM and architect should lead the design team for designing the mobile and web app UIs. UI designers need to follow the relevant guidelines. They need to follow the Material Design Guidelines for designing the Android app UI. On the other hand, iOS app UI designers should follow the Human Interface Guidelines.
C. Taking care of application security
A patient management software application will process sensitive information. You ought to take the relevant data security and privacy measures to comply with the applicable regulations. Your team should use one or more of the following tools and techniques:
- Data encryption;
- MFA (multi-factor authentication);
- Tools like antivirus, firewall, and digital signatures;
The team should proactively mitigate application security vulnerabilities. You need to take security and compliance testing seriously.
D. Developing APIs
Your team needs to develop RESTful APIs, which involves the following steps:
- Creating APIs using an API development tool like Postman;
- Documenting APIs using a tool like Swagger;
- Securing APIs using encryption and authentication;
- Creating rules for API requests and responses;
- Designing API endpoints;
- Testing APIs;
- Hosting APIs using a cloud computing account.
E. Developing, testing, and deploying mobile and web apps
Use a popular integrated development environment (IDE) like IntelliJ IDEA or Eclipse to code the web app. Integrate APIs and test the web application. Deploy it using the DevOps tools offered by the cloud provider.
Code the Android app using Android Studio. Integrate APIs. You can use Espresso to test the app. Subsequently, publish the app by following the Android developer documentation.
You should code the iOS app using Xcode. Test it using XCTest after integrating APIs. You should use the relevant Apple App Store instructions to submit the app.
Submit a Project With Zero Risk
Building top-notch patient management solutions can take significant effort. You need smart software developers.
At DevTeam.Space, we provide competent software developers with relevant expertise. Our dedicated developers are trained in our AI-powered agile process. They are vetted, therefore, you can expect quality.
If you want to learn more, please fill out our DevTeam.Space product specification form. An experienced account manager will get in touch to answer any questions you might have.
DevTeam.Space has skilled software developers. Our developers have relevant expertise in developing software systems for managing medical clinics. We have world-class development processes, which go a long way toward your success.
DevTeam.Space team members will build a world-class medical practice management application for your organization. Furthermore, we clearly recognize the importance of maintainability. You will get supportable and maintainable code when you engage DevTeam.Space developers.
At DevTeam.Space, we provide high-quality developers and high-performance software development teams. That’s not all! We offer complementary support from a dedicated tech account manager. DevTeam.Space account managers provide oversight of the work done by our software engineers.