How To Develop an EHR System

In the era of COVID-19, with the widespread adoption of digital tools like video calls and e-prescriptions, electronic health record (EHR) systems are emerging as transformative forces in the medical industry. 

According to PRNewswire, the global EHR market is projected to reach USD 52.98 Billion by 2027 with a CAGR of 9.3%.

Advancements such as telehealth, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), and EHR software development contribute to the overall evolution of the healthcare sector, benefiting patients, doctors, and entrepreneurs alike. 

In this blog, understand the advantages of EHR systems, operational aspects like types of EHR systems, their functionality, development process, key features, and an analysis of EHR software development costs.

What is an EHR system?

EHRs are digital versions of patients’ paper charts, containing comprehensive and real-time data about their medical history, diagnoses, medications, treatment plans, immunization dates, allergies, radiology images, and laboratory test results.  

One of the fundamental advantages of EHR systems lies in their ability to streamline communication and collaboration among healthcare professionals. EHRs facilitate seamless information exchange among healthcare providers involved in patient care by providing a centralized and interoperable platform. 

This enhances the continuity and coordination of medical services and reduces the likelihood of errors that can occur with manual record-keeping. EHRs also empower patients to actively engage in healthcare by granting them access to their records, fostering a more informed and participatory approach to medical decision-making.

An electronic health record is a fully digitalized software system encompassing comprehensive details concerning patients’ health such as:


1. Medical History

The electronic health record (EHR) serves as a comprehensive repository for patients’ medical histories. This includes a detailed account of past illnesses, surgeries, and medical procedures, providing healthcare professionals with a holistic view of a patient’s health journey. The accessibility of this information within the EHR ensures that clinicians can make informed decisions based on a patient’s medical background.

2. Vaccination Details

EHRs play a crucial role in tracking and managing patients’ vaccination records. This feature is especially significant in public health initiatives, enabling healthcare providers to monitor and ensure that individuals are up-to-date with immunizations. The vaccination details within the EHR contribute to preventive care efforts and support public health initiatives.

3. Test Results

Test results are integral components of the EHR, providing a digital record of diagnostic assessments. From blood tests to imaging results, having this information readily available in electronic format enhances the efficiency of healthcare delivery. Clinicians can quickly analyze and interpret test results, facilitating timely interventions and treatment decisions.

4. Vital Signs

EHRs capture and store vital signs such as heart rate, blood pressure, temperature, and respiratory rate. Monitoring these vital signs over time helps healthcare providers track changes in a patient’s health status, assess the effectiveness of treatments, and identify potential health issues. This real-time data contributes to more accurate and personalized patient care.

5. Allergies

The EHR includes a dedicated section for documenting patients’ allergies, providing a crucial alert system for healthcare professionals. This information helps prevent adverse reactions to medications or treatments, ensuring patient safety. Having a digitalized record of allergies enhances communication among healthcare providers and reduces the risk of medical errors.

6. Medications

EHRs streamline the management of medications by maintaining a detailed list of prescribed drugs, dosage regimens, and patient adherence. This digital record facilitates medication reconciliation, minimizing the risk of drug interactions and ensuring that healthcare providers have an accurate overview of a patient’s current pharmaceutical regimen.

7. Lab Data

EHRs house comprehensive laboratory data, including results from various diagnostic tests and screenings. This digitalization of lab data improves accessibility and data interpretation, allowing healthcare providers to analyze trends, make informed diagnoses, and tailor treatment plans based on precise and up-to-date information.

8. Progress Notes

Healthcare professionals utilize EHRs to document progress notes, recording observations, assessments, and plans for ongoing patient care. These notes provide a chronological record of a patient’s health journey, facilitating communication among care teams and ensuring continuity of care.

9. Insurance Information

EHRs include a segment dedicated to patients’ insurance information, streamlining administrative processes and billing procedures. Having accurate and up-to-date insurance details within the digital record contributes to efficient claims processing, reducing administrative burdens on healthcare facilities.


EHR System Types

Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems come in various types, each catering to specific needs and functionalities within the healthcare landscape. The diversity in EHR systems allows healthcare organizations to choose platforms that align with their unique requirements. Here are some common types of EHR systems:

A. Physician-Hosted EHR Systems

Physician-hosted Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems refer to platforms where the healthcare provider takes on the responsibility of hosting and managing the EHR infrastructure within their own practice or facility. This type of system offers physicians a higher degree of control over their data and customization of the EHR environment. Physicians can tailor the system to meet the specific needs of their practice, ensuring a personalized and efficient workflow. Subtypes of physician-hosted EHR systems may include locally installed software and server-based solutions.

I.  Locally Installed Software

In this subtype, the EHR software is installed directly on the computers or servers within the healthcare facility. This provides the advantage of quick access to patient data without reliance on external servers. However, it also demands a higher level of IT expertise for maintenance, updates, and security measures.

II. Server-Based Solutions

Physician-hosted EHR systems may involve setting up dedicated servers within the practice. This allows for centralized data storage and management. Server-based solutions can enhance data security and offer more control over system configurations, though they require ongoing maintenance and infrastructure investment.

B. Remotely-Hosted EHR Systems

Remotely-hosted EHR systems, also known as cloud-based EHR systems, involve storing patient data on external servers managed by third-party providers. This type offers healthcare organizations increased flexibility, scalability, and accessibility. The responsibility for server maintenance, updates, and security is transferred to the external hosting service. Subtypes of remotely-hosted EHR systems include Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS).

I.  Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

IaaS involves outsourcing the entire IT infrastructure, including servers, storage, and networking, to a third-party provider. Healthcare organizations using IaaS benefit from reduced hardware costs, scalability, and the flexibility to customize their EHR system without the need for extensive in-house hardware management.

II.  Software as a Service (SaaS)

SaaS EHR systems provide access to the EHR software over the internet on a subscription basis. This eliminates the need for local installation and allows healthcare professionals to access patient records from any location with an internet connection. SaaS solutions often come with automatic updates, reducing the burden on healthcare organizations for system maintenance.

Advantages Of EHR Systems For Key Stakeholders

The adoption of Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems has emerged as a transformative era in healthcare, offering a range of benefits for businesses, patients, and hospitals.


I. EHR Software Development Advantages for Businesses

From operational enhancements to innovative opportunities, businesses in the healthcare sector leverage EHR systems to optimize their processes and deliver higher-quality patient care.

1. Scope for New Opportunities

The development of Electronic Health Record (EHR) software presents businesses with a dynamic landscape that rejects a ‘one size fits all’ approach. Diverse healthcare organizations, varying in size and geographical location, exhibit distinct EHR software requirements. This inherent variability opens up significant opportunities for innovation, encouraging the exploration of new business models tailored to meet the unique needs of different healthcare entities.

2. Multiple Monetization Options

EHR software development introduces businesses to a spectrum of monetization models sch as subscription-based services, free software with premium features, and pay-per-use structures. The broad array of monetization options not only caters to diverse client preferences but also renders EHR system development a lucrative investment, offering businesses the adaptability to choose models that align with their financial strategies and market demands.

3. Enhanced Operational Efficiency

EHR software development provides businesses with the opportunity to streamline and optimize their operations. Automation of routine tasks, such as appointment scheduling, billing, and prescription management, reduces administrative burdens. This enhanced efficiency not only improves resource utilization but also allows healthcare professionals to focus more on patient care, ultimately contributing to better overall service delivery.

4. Data-Driven Insights and Analytics

EHR systems empower businesses with valuable data-driven insights and analytics. The ability to collect, analyze, and interpret patient data on a large scale enables healthcare organizations to make informed decisions. From identifying trends in patient health to optimizing resource allocation, the utilization of data analytics enhances strategic planning, leading to more effective and evidence-based healthcare practices.

II. EHR System Development Advantages For Hospitals

Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems for hospitals brings advantages that revolutionize patient care and administrative processes.

1. Enhanced Operational Efficiency

Opting for EHR system development brings about superior operational efficiency for hospitals. Regardless of the type of EHR system chosen, the elimination of paperwork for tasks like bill management and report generation is a universal benefit. 

Accessing patient information within seconds contributes to a high level of digitalization, facilitating quick data exchange between labs, doctors, and patients. This digital approach streamlines processes such as prescribing medications and tracking patients’ medical history.

2. Reduced Risk of Medical Errors

The implementation of electronic health record software significantly lowers the risk of medical errors in hospitals. The detailed patient information provided by these systems, coupled with data analytics-powered medical insights, enables healthcare providers to identify issues such as incorrect dosages, adverse reactions, and potential drug interactions. This heightened awareness contributes to minimizing the risk of malpractice and medical complications, fostering safer healthcare environment.

3. Robust Security Measures

Every well-designed EHR system incorporates a high level of security, including automated session termination, digital signatures, encryption, and multi-factor authentication. These comprehensive security measures virtually eliminate the risk of software breaches, ensuring the confidentiality and integrity of patient data. Hospitals can confidently rely on EHR systems as a secure and protected platform for managing sensitive health information.

4. Cost Savings

While the initial investment in EHR development and implementation may be substantial, the long-term benefits translate into cost savings for hospitals. The reduction in transcription costs, cost-effective storage of patients’ records, and simplified claims management collectively make EHRs a financially advantageous investment over time, contributing to overall cost-effectiveness in hospital operations.

5. Improved Patient-Doctor Interactions

EHR applications play a pivotal role in enhancing interactions and experiences between patients and healthcare professionals. Firstly, they streamline and expedite administrative processes related to appointments and hospitalization formalities. Secondly, patients gain access to their health records, can track clinician notes, and engage electronically with their doctors, fostering a more informed and collaborative healthcare relationship.

III. EHR Software Development Advantages For Patients

Electronic Health Record (EHR) software empowers patients with greater control over their health information and fosters a more connected and informed healthcare experience. Here are a few benefits:

1. Seamless Access to Vital Information

Undergoing EHR software development translates into a patient-centric benefit, providing effortless access to critical medical information. Across various electronic health record systems, a user-friendly patient platform ensures individuals can readily retrieve their medical records, test results, and essential documents necessary for insurance claims or scheduling future appointments with healthcare providers.

2. Reduction in Test Duplications

In healthcare environments where access to comprehensive patient records is lacking, individuals often find themselves undergoing redundant tests. The implementation of effective electronic health record software addresses this issue by centralizing test details and results within the system. This eliminates the need for patients to repeat the same tests, promoting efficiency and reducing unnecessary healthcare procedures.

3. Enhanced Medication Management

EHR software development enhances patient medication management by providing a consolidated and up-to-date view of prescribed medications. Patients can easily review their current prescriptions, dosage instructions, and potential side effects. This proactive approach fosters medication adherence, reduces the likelihood of adverse reactions, and empowers individuals to actively participate in their healthcare decisions.

4. Improved Communication with Healthcare Providers

Patients benefit from EHR systems through improved communication channels with their healthcare providers. Electronic health records facilitate secure messaging, allowing patients to ask questions, request prescription refills, or seek clarification on medical instructions. This real-time communication fosters a collaborative and responsive healthcare relationship, ensuring that patients feel more engaged and informed about their health journey.

Must-have Features In A EHR Software 

Each Electronic Health Record (EHR) solution is tailored to the unique functionalities and requirements of specific medical facilities, however here are some features that consistent throughout the development process of every EHR system.

1. Comprehensive Document Management

Efficient document management is a cornerstone of EHR software, necessitating a system that seamlessly handles diverse formats such as images, textual content, and DICOM for medical images like MRI and CT scans. This functionality empowers both patients and healthcare providers to effortlessly upload, store, and retrieve crucial documents, ensuring a well-organized and accessible repository of health-related information.

2. Detailed Patient Information

Central to EHR systems is the comprehensive storage of patient details, encompassing personal information, medical history, diagnosis, test results, prescribed medications, and other pertinent data. This centralized repository offers healthcare professionals valuable insights into a patient’s health journey, enabling personalized and informed decision-making in the provision of medical care.

3. Efficient Prescription Management

EHR systems facilitate remote prescription management through e-prescribing features, allowing doctors to prescribe medications while remotely accessing patients’ medical data to ensure compatibility and avoid drug interactions. Simultaneously, patients can easily track their medication history, fostering a collaborative approach to healthcare management.

4. Robust Data Access Control

Ensuring the security and privacy of patient data, EHR systems incorporate robust data access control mechanisms. This critical requirement prevents unauthorized access by implementing differentiated levels of data access, ensuring that individuals at various roles, such as nurses and doctors, have access only to the data relevant to their responsibilities.

5. Real-Time Appointment Scheduling

EHR software empowers patients to schedule appointments with their healthcare providers in real-time. Concurrently, healthcare professionals benefit from a streamlined dashboard that provides an overview of appointments along with patient details. This feature enhances the efficiency of scheduling processes for both patients and doctors.

6. Strategic Reporting Capabilities

Reporting functionalities within EHR systems play a pivotal role in offering practitioners a comprehensive overview of patient demographic data, treatment outcomes, and success rates. Patients, too, benefit from graphical representations of their treatment progress, upcoming appointments, and other relevant health metrics, fostering transparency and informed decision-making.

7. Seamless Labs Integration

Integration with test labs is a crucial aspect of EHR systems, facilitating swift data exchange and expedited decision-making. Direct transmission of test results to the EHR applications streamlines accessibility for both patients and doctors, ensuring timely access to critical information for informed medical interventions.

8. Automated Invoicing and Payment Features

EHR systems simplify the invoicing process within healthcare facilities, automating the journey from invoicing to payment. Many modern systems also include payment features, enabling patients to directly settle payments for treatments. This automation enhances operational efficiency and contributes to a seamless and transparent financial workflow within healthcare organizations.

Advanced Features To Have In EHR Software

In this section we will explore advanced functionalities that can set EHR systems apart, addressing the growing demands of the healthcare industry.

1. Auto-Scheduling Functionality

Enhancing the EHR system with auto-scheduling functionality goes beyond traditional appointment management. This innovative feature not only streamlines the scheduling process but also empowers patients to easily book appointments at their convenience. By automating this aspect, healthcare providers can optimize their time, reduce no-shows, and ensure a more efficient use of resources.

2. Integration of Next-Gen Technologies

The integration of cutting-edge technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Blockchain is a pivotal move for EHR systems. AI can revolutionize data analysis, offering predictive insights for personalized patient care. Incorporating Blockchain ensures heightened security and integrity of health records. While the adoption of these technologies requires careful consideration of costs and potential delays, the long-term benefits in terms of improved efficiency and data security make it a strategic investment.

3. Vendor Selection Enhancement

Managing multiple vendors in healthcare settings can be challenging. By introducing a vendor filtering and tracking feature in the EHR system, healthcare providers gain a valuable tool for efficient procurement. This functionality enables clinicians to categorize vendors based on factors such as location and cost, streamlining the selection process and ultimately contributing to cost-effectiveness in healthcare operations.

4. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Integration

Successful EHR adoption hinges on effective patient engagement, and CRM integration plays a pivotal role in achieving this. By incorporating features like chat options, report viewing, complaint submission, newsletters, and push notifications, the EHR system becomes a comprehensive platform for patient interaction. This patient-centric approach not only improves communication between healthcare providers and patients but also ensures a more active and involved patient community, ultimately leading to better health outcomes.

Things To Consider When Developing An EHR System

Developing an Electronic Health Record (EHR) software demands careful consideration of various factors to ensure compliance, usability, and effectiveness. In this context, key aspects such as regulatory adherence, mobile integration, and data migration strategies play pivotal roles in shaping a successful EHR system.

1. Developing a Mobile Version of the EHR

In addition to the essential web version, creating a mobile EHR facilitates convenient connectivity for both patients and doctors on the go. A mobile EHR enhances patient engagement in their treatment journey, offering flexibility and accessibility.

2. Ensuring EHR Compliance and Certifications

One of the primary considerations in EHR software development is ensuring compliance with regulations such as HIPAA, GDPR, CCD, HL7, and obtaining certifications like ONC-ATCB and EuroRec. Non-compliance can lead to significant financial penalties and compromise the system’s security.

3. Efficient Data Migration Strategies

Moving from an existing EHR system to a new one requires meticulous data migration. Adopting a milestone-based approach ensures a seamless transition, transferring key information in phases and preventing disruptions in the process.

4. Understanding the EHR Software Development Cost

As an entrepreneur or business leader, it’s crucial to consider the financial aspect of EHR software development. This includes budgeting for compliance, certifications, mobile development, data migration, and ongoing monitoring to ensure a successful and sustainable EHR system.

5. Quality Assurance in EHR Development

Emphasizing the quality of the EHR system is critical. This involves ongoing efforts to ensure that the system meets established standards, including user-friendly interfaces for physicians, positive ROI, and high-quality patient care based on continuous feedback.

6. Continuous Monitoring of EHR System Performance

The ongoing success of an EHR system hinges on monitoring its performance. Key metrics include assessing the ease of use for physicians, calculating Return on Investment (ROI), gauging the quality of care through patient feedback, and overall system usability.

How To Develop An EHR System?

Developing an Electronic Health Record (EHR) system involves a series of strategic steps aimed to fulfill the needs of the healthcare environment. Here are steps to consider for developing an EHR software system:

1. Idea Validation

Before commencing the development of a custom Electronic Health Record (EHR) solution, the software development company conducts a comprehensive validation of the idea. This involves assessing the feasibility and market fit of the proposed EHR system. Through collaborative discussions with the client, the development team gains insights into the vision, requirements, and competitive landscape, identifying distinctive features that would set the solution apart.

2. EHR Prototype Development

Upon confirming the viability of the EHR software idea, the development process proceeds to creating a prototype. This stage involves outlining a feature list, finalizing the technology stack, and assembling the development team. The team then constructs a prototype that closely resembles the envisioned software, providing a tangible representation of its appearance and functionality.

3. Design, Development, and Testing

With approval of the EHR software prototype, the development cycle advances to the design phase. This includes crafting wireframes and user journeys that depict the final designs of the EHR system. Subsequently, the development team initiates the creation of the EHR system, incorporating features, integrating technologies such as AI, IoT, or Blockchain, and implementing security measures. Employing an agile sprint approach, the development process is divided into multiple stages, ensuring faster delivery and real-time quality checks.

4. Launch and Maintenance

Following the successful development and thorough testing of the EHR system, the software is launched either as an addition to an existing system or as an entirely new software. Deployment experts play a crucial role in ensuring a seamless launch process. Post-launch, ongoing maintenance is carried out to address any potential issues, ensuring the software’s continuous functionality, security, and adherence to quality standards.

Cost Affecting Factors To Consider To Develop An EHR System

The cost of EHR software development is influenced by several factors that are specific to the project’s scope and requirements. Here are the cost estimating factors, tailored to the specific project needs of the healthcare organization.

1. Customization Complexity

The level of customization needed for the EHR software significantly impacts development costs. Tailoring the system to meet specific workflow requirements, integration with existing systems, and accommodating unique features can increase development expenses.

2. Integration Requirements

The complexity of integrating the EHR system with other healthcare applications, third-party services, or medical devices plays a crucial role in determining costs. Seamless interoperability often requires additional development efforts and resources.

3. Compliance and Security Standards

Complying to strict standards such as HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) and ensuring robust security measures are implemented can incur additional costs. Compliance requirements demands an intense attention to data protection, privacy, and regulatory standards.

4. User Training and Support

The cost of implementing effective user training programs and providing ongoing support is a significant factor. Ensuring that healthcare professionals, administrators, and end-users are proficient in utilizing the EHR system is crucial for its successful implementation.

5. Scalability Requirements

Building a system that can easily scale to meet increased data volumes, user loads, and evolving healthcare needs may involve additional upfront costs but can provide long-term cost-effectiveness.

Technology Stack To Consider To Develop An EHR Software

Developing an Electronic Health Record (EHR) program involves careful evaluation of the underlying technological stack. Understand the critical components and technologies to be considered while building a reliable and effective EHR system.

1. Programming Language

  • Java 
  • Python
  • Swift
  • Kotlin
  • Php
  • Javascript

2. Framework & Libraries 

  • Django 
  • Angular
  • jQuery
  • Node.js
  • Bootstrap

3. Analytics

  • MYSQL 
  • Popstre SQL

4. Databases

  • Amazon EMR
  • Google Analytics
  • Optimizely

5. Web Server

  • Apache HTTP
  • nginix

6. Cloud Services 

  • Cloudflare
  • Microsoft Azure
  • Amazon s3

7. Payment Gateway

  • Stripe
  • Paypal
  • Braintree

Conclusion 

The development of an Electronic Health Record (EHR) system offer benefits for healthcare providers, patients, and various stakeholders. 

The continuous advancement of technology, coupled with the increasing reliance on digital solutions in the healthcare industry, emphasizes the significance of well-designed and efficient EHR systems. 

As the landscape of healthcare continues to evolve, embracing EHR development not only enhances data management and accessibility but also contributes to improved patient care, streamlined workflows, and overall advancements in the quality of healthcare services. 

How Idea Usher Can Help You With EHR System Development?

At Idea Usher, we’ve successfully created EHR for hospitals and organizations. Our developers understand all the healthcare rules, ensuring your EHR system is efficient and compliant. 

We’re known for crafting cutting-edge EHR software using the right technologies, guaranteeing high security, scalability, and easy communication between different systems. To start your EHR journey, contact our development experts!

Here is the detail about “Mediport” a medical solution platform, you can check to gain an idea about our expertise on software development in the healthcare industry.


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FAQ

Q. What is an EHR software?

A. An Electronic Health Record (EHR) software is a fully digitalized system that stores comprehensive information about a patient’s health, including details such as medical history, age, vaccination records, and prescribed medications.

Q. What are the different types of EHR systems?

A.  EHR systems generally come in two types: Physician-hosted and Remotely Hosted. In Physician Hosted, the data is stored on servers the physician maintains, ensuring that the information is housed within the physician’s office infrastructure. Alternatively, in remotely hosted EHRs, the server is situated outside the physician’s office, providing a decentralized hosting solution for the electronic health records.

Q. How much does it cost to build an EHR system?

A. The cost of building an EHR system varies based on factors such as the desired features, level of customization, integration with advanced technologies, and compliance requirements. Generally, it can range from thousands to millions of dollars, depending on the complexity and scale of the project.

Q. What are the things that I should keep into consideration when developing an EHR?

A. Considerations for building a successful EHR system include factors such as compliance readiness, the presence of a mobile version, and meticulous data migration. For a comprehensive understanding of these crucial elements, feel free to reach out to our team of healthcare developers.

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