How to create an EHR Software system?

What exactly is EHR software development? Is it just electronic paper and pencil?

Yes, you heard it right, the electronic health records are the new paper and pencil. It carries multiple benefits that improve care for your patients much better than the traditional paperwork or EMR solutions.

Think about the number of times you could recall a patient’s medical history and quickly find the records you were looking for. The answer would be vague.

Custom EHR software development helps clear the confusion and efficiently manage or share the records.

What is an EHR System?

An Electronic Health Record (EHR) System is software that stores and manages the digital version of a patient’s entire medical history. It allows authorized healthcare professionals to share information like diagnoses, medications, treatment plans, allergies, test images, and results. Patients can even access the information through their portal.

EHRs allow medical information sharing among healthcare organizations. This improves collaboration and allows physicians to analyze the patient’s medical history. These HIPPA-compliant software systems come with IDC9/10, CPT, and other EHR standards compliance.

Another term often used interchangeably with EHR is EMR. So, what is EMR, and how is it different from EHR? Let’s understand!

EMR Or EHR Systems? How A Single Letter Makes All The Difference

The terms EHR and EMR are often used interchangeably, but there are some key differences that you must know. Before that, let us first understand EMR.

Electronic medical records (EMRs) are software packages containing digital versions of patient medical data of a particular healthcare facility for the physician’s monitoring. Now, moving forward to the differences:

Basis EMR EHR
Scope A digital version of a patient’s medical data from a particular medical facility. A digital record of the Patient’s entire medical history from multiple healthcare organizations.
Interoperability Information stays within the organization and cannot be shared outside that healthcare facility. Allows data exchange across multiple healthcare providers and systems.
Patient Access Allows only the provider to access the system It allows the providers and the patient to access the system.
Data Provides limited information about a patient from a particular medical facility. Provides a complete picture of the patient’s health from different sources
Decision-Making tools Provides only clinical-specific data like previous prescriptions and lab test results related to the diagnosis they are being treated at a specific clinic. Includes decision-making tools based on healthcare data related to previous treatments at other healthcare facilities.

In short, EMRs are used strictly for medical records in a particular facility, whereas EHR holds an entire record of the patient’s health history.

Are you still confused as to why EHR is more popular? Let’s check the statistics

As per statistics, the EHR market is estimated to reach 47.25 Bn by 2027 at a CAGR of 71.4%. This depicts that the electronic health records market is growing higher. For better understanding, check out the below-given image.

Globa EHR EMR Market

Understanding the difference between these two is the first step for your development project.

Read More: Benefits of mHealth Mobile Apps for Healthcare

Features Of EHR Software System

Let’s have a look at the top features that an EHR software generally comes with:

Patient Panel

The core of the EHR system is the patient panel, where you can get a comprehensive view of the patient’s detailed medical information and history. This information includes contact details, medications, medical history, allergies, diet chart, lab and test results, insurance information, and billing.

This feature allows healthcare providers to instantly access and update the patient’s information so they can have a real-time and complete understanding of the patient’s health condition. All this data is accessible to healthcare professionals, ensuring the accuracy of patient treatment.

Another similar feature is the Patient Portal, which allows patients to access their medical records in the EHR system.

Documentation

EHR systems are beneficial for documentation. For example, if a patient books an appointment online, all the details of the patient, along with medical history, are automatically available in the system.

EHR systems offer clinicians structured lists of patient illnesses, surgeries, allergies, and medications, simplifying data retrieval and tracking. The Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) and International Classification of Diseases (ICD-9 or ICD-10) are codes used for billing and reimbursement. The Systematized Nomenclature of Medicine (SNOMED) is used for clinical documentation and the National Drug Code (NDC) for medication management. All of these are integrated into the EHR to support smooth documentation and healthcare operations

EHRs are 24/7 accessible and efficient, transforming record rooms into productive areas like exam rooms.

Integration With Lab

Integration of the Lab Information System (LIS) is essential for managing and analyzing lab test results. This integration offers several benefits for Healthcare organizations and patients. Firstly, the lab results will be automatically updated and accessible to healthcare providers. Further, it ensures real-time data sharing and reduces the risk of transcription errors.

The data from EHR systems can be stored and accessed anytime. You can order laboratory tests, and healthcare professionals can access the results anytime and anywhere. This improves the quality of care provided to patients.

E-Prescriptions

The days of manual, handwritten prescriptions are gone! Prescriptions are also getting digitized as EHR software systems offers the Electronic-Prescription facility.

The e-prescription can be directly sent to the hospital’s pharmacy department, and the medications can be sent to the required department without any delay. Another interesting offering is Electronic Prior Authorization, also known as, e-PA. It automatically sends a patient’s e-prescription information to the insurance provider for review, reducing manual administrative efforts.

Billing & Financial Detail

Financial reporting can be easy and efficient using EHR software systems, compared to the complex and time-consuming traditional methods. EHR appears to be a secure and reliable mode to track patient data, billing, and financial information.

It comes with HIPAA compliance, making sure that patients’ information stays safe and secure. These EHR systems also receive the standard codes mentioned above, and they ensure that documentation is done accurately and supports the insurance claim submission processes.

Appointment Scheduling

This feature manages appointments automatically through the EHR. It allows for setting, modifying, or canceling patient appointments.

Doctors can view patient details when viewing their schedules to find the perfect time slot for the checkup. You can set up follow-up appointments and even automated patient reminders. It also helps medical staff better manage their time and resources. Medical professionals can reduce wait times and avoid overbooking, ensuring a satisfying patient experience.

Access Control

It is a feature that controls or limits access to the EHR software system for resources and information. The main objective is to avoid unauthorized access that can modify medical data or sensitive financial information.

Healthcare organizations can use access control to authorize only certain individuals to view or use it. It can also be used to monitor network activities and detect suspicious activity. Some commonly used access control methods in EHR software to verify a user’s identity are as follows:

  • Passwords: Passwords are the most common form of authentication, requiring users to enter a unique combination of characters to access the system.
  • Biometrics: Biometric authentication uses unique physical characteristics, such as fingerprints, iris scans, or facial recognition, to verify a user’s identity before allowing access to the EHR.
  • Two-factor authentication: This method requires two forms of identification, such as a password plus a one-time code sent to the user’s registered mobile number or e-mail ID, to provide an extra layer of security.

Read More: How Telemedicine App Development?[Money-Making Business Ideas]

Benefits of EHR Software

Now, let’s find out why you should invest in EHR software and what benefits it has to offer you.

Improve Patient Care

With effective EHR systems, healthcare organizations can instantly acquire precise information on previous diagnoses, test results, medications, and treatments.

Doctors can thoroughly analyze patient data, track changes over time, and make well-informed decisions. This is crucial, especially for patients with chronic conditions who see multiple healthcare providers.

It also informs patients by sending them alerts about scheduled medical examinations or checkup appointments.

Plus, the streamlined documentation process allows providers to focus more on patient care. Lastly, EHRs provide health analytics that help analyze health patterns and predict diagnosis. These analytics result in more effective patient treatment rather than trial-and-error methods.

Communication

Effective treatment needs clarity in the communication between the patient and the healthcare provider. EHR provides a collaborative environment between patients and healthcare providers.

It acts as a centralized repository for patient health information. EHR enables seamless data exchange between healthcare professionals, leading to a better collaboration environment. EHR software also offers secure messaging, task assignment, and reporting capabilities.

Increase Operational Efficiency

As mentioned above, features like e-prescription, appointment scheduling, and billing help streamline the organization’s operations.

By letting patients book appointments themselves, it automates the scheduling process. This way, you won’t need to allot a person only to schedule the appointments manually. It also keeps the organization and patient updated with real-time information and reminders.

The diagnostic results are automatically updated in the systems. This technology is even applicable in the billing process, as it also automatically generates bills and helps patients identify discrepancies in the final bill. Physicians can access e-prescriptions within the EHR, enabling them to make informed prescribing decisions.

Easy Data Access & Anytime Anywhere

Now comes the most talked-about element of EHR: easy data access. It is one of the primary reasons why healthcare institutions are increasingly using it. With the implementation of the HITECH Act, patients are given the provision to access their healthcare information through the patient portal.

The healthcare provider and patient just need an app, an internet connection, and authorization to access the information. With the emergence of Cloud-based EHRs, providers can access and update patient information remotely.

24/7 Support

These EHR software provide a patient portal that allows patients to log in to access information specific to their healthcare needs. The data stored in these systems is available 24*7 and can be accessed anytime.

So, in any emergency, hospital authorities can instantly access the system and retrieve the information they need. The system offers real-time notifications or alerts on patient’s cruicial information like abnormal test results or emergency situations, to ensure that providers are aware of potential issues, even during off-hours.

Also, EHR softwares comes with Chatbot features that addresses any technical issues or questions that arise within the system and with internet connectivity, it is available at anytime.

Why Is EHR System Development Reliable? – Example

Best EHR System Development
Let’s consider a patient who has visited you after a few months of treatment. Of course, you would need to recall the previous reports and the medications you prescribed.

Or,

If the patient has changed the doctor and is visiting you for the next course of action, changing the medication is not possible as you do not have access to the previous dose provided by the other healthcare providers.

Is there any solution to these issues?

Yes, the ultimate solution to manage all of these is to implement EHR systems. These solutions are unquestionably robust with all the benefits mentioned above.

However, do not forget the importance of compliance regulations in the healthcare industry. When switching to EHR, consider HIPAA compliance. The HIPAA EHR privacy rules will allow healthcare providers to safeguard the sensitive personal health information of the patients.

Build your secure and robust HIPAA compliance application to protect with sensitive healthcare data our full-fledgedHIPAA compliant application development process.

How To Build An EHR System – A Detailed Process

Now it’s time to explain briefly the EHR software development process and all the things you should consider to have a well-functioning EHR system without any fear of penalties from regulatory authorities.

Ideation

This is the first and most crucial step of the development process. As an entrepreneur, you must study the market, existing EHR solutions, features, pricing, and USP. It’s best to perform a SWOT analysis to identify gaps in the current offerings that your system can address.

You can engage with healthcare providers and administrators to understand their pain points, workflow challenges, and desired functionalities in an EHR system.

This will help you finalize the elements and features you want to add and create a differentiating factor. You’ll also need to define the overall system architecture, which will include choosing the latest tech stack and features that will be implemented.

Your chosen development company will then review the idea or plan from a technical standpoint and start with a prototype design first.

Discovery and Prototype

Once the idea is reviewed, the next step is designing the prototype. Here, a detailed project plan will be developed, which includes the timelines, milestones, budget, and resource allocation. For the developer’s side, a process flowchart needs to be presented. All the tech stacks will be finalized in this phase.

Most importantly, create a list of the compliances, regulations, and encryptions that are to be followed. Some of them will be:

  • ONC-ATCB Certification (Office of National Coordinator- Authorized Testing and Certification bodies).
  • Data encryption support includes HL7, HTTPS, and WebRTC.
  • 2FA and Biometric Authentication.

Next, you can proceed to build an MVP Application that includes the basic features and functionalities. This will help you understand how the software is working and whether it matches your requirements. The MVP’s user feedback will tell you the customer’s needs and let you improve the product accordingly.

Design and Development

Once the MVP gets a thumbs up, the EHR System’s full-fledged design and development phase starts, including the User Interface and underlying frameworks to ensure efficient patient data handling.

Designing an EHR Software

The user interface (UI) design directly impacts the user experience. The process starts with creating wireframes to visualize the layout, information hierarchy, and critical functionalities. The objective is to create a simple and readable user interface. Tools like Figma, Adobe XD, or Sketch in be implemented in this process.

Following this comes front-end development, which involves creating responsive UI designs using JavaScript frameworks like React, Angular, or Vue.js. UI frameworks like Bootstrap can reduce development time by providing pre-built, customizable elements.

Developing the backend of an EHR Software

The backend handles data management and integration with other healthcare systems using robust server-side technologies like Node.js, Python, or Java. Cloud-based solutions like AWS are more reliable and secure and will help you save money on in-house infrastructure.

Lastly, APIs play the role of seamless integration with various healthcare systems and protocols like HL and FHIR in secure data exchange.

Excellent Webworld uses a milestone strategy, breaking the entire process into several agile phases. This allows for quicker delivery and instant quality checks for every element.

Testing and Debugging

This step is a mandatory requirement before the launch.

At this stage, the quality assurance team performs tests to identify bugs or flaws in the app. It is done so that they can be bought into immediate notice and fixed before being delivered. There is no room for error in the healthcare industry, so this step needs special attention.

Some important tests include:

  • Unit tests: These tests verify the individual components or modules of the EHR software.
  • Interoperability Testing: This validates the system’s ability to exchange data between the EHR system and other healthcare IT systems, such as LIS and patient portals.
  • End-to-end tests: These tests simulate real-world scenarios, testing the entire EHR system from start to finish to identify any issues.
  • Security tests: These tests analyze the EHR software’s ability to protect patient data and prevent unauthorized access. It tests the access controls and encryptions.
  • Performance tests: it evaluates the software’s ability to handle high user loads and large amounts of data without performance degradation
  • Compliance Testing: Compliance testing verifies that the EHR system adheres to relevant healthcare regulations and standards.

All these tests can guarantee that the EHR software is robust, secure, and reliable.

Launch and Maintenance

Finally, after all the planning, designing, and testing, it’s time to launch the EHR software, either by launching a brand new one or by integrating it into an existing system.

After the launch, you must continuously monitor system metrics like user activity, data throughput, error rates, and system uptime. Also, feedback from end-users should be gathered to identify areas for improvement. In case of any problems or bugs, you should provide real-time technical support and updates to the software with the latest security patches and bug fixes

To ensure that EHR systems stay relevant and reliable, software updates can help availing new features and enhance the functionality and user experience.

How Much Does It Cost To Develop an EHR System?

The exact amount of EHR system development depends on many factors, such as app complexity, engagement models, and others.

App Complexity

If we consider three levels of feature complexities, then the cost range for building an EHR software with basic features is between $30,000 and $50,000; for software with a standard set of features, it is between $50,00 and $1,00,00; and for software with fully advanced features, it is between $1,00,000 and $300,000+.

The table given below will give you a better understanding of the features that are on offer at all three levels:

Basic Standard Advanced
  • Patient registration and scheduling.
  • Patient data storage.
  • Basic operational and financial analytics (e.g., the total number of patients, staff workload, billing process duration).
  • Manual data entry.
  • Basic security measures.
  • Patient registrations and scheduling, along with Alerts and Notifications.
  • Advanced clinical documentation tools.
  • Order entry and results management.
  • Standard reporting capabilities.
  • Automated data entry.
  • Integration with lab and diagnostic equipment.
  • Patient portal for basic communication.
  • Reporting with basic data visualization.
  • Decision support tools.
  • Clinical workflow automation.
  • Secure messaging for patient and provider communication.
  • Advanced reporting and data analytics.
  • Automated generation of billing and reports.
  • AI-powered virtual assistant for medical staff.
  • Predictive analytics for operational, financial, and care-related decision-making.
  • Blockchain-based health records storage.

Apart from these complexity levels, another factor is the hiring model, which will be discussed next.

Hiring Model

After considering the features, three different hiring models influence the cost when you move forward toward hiring developers. Let’s understand them one by one and the cost associated with each model:

In-House Hiring Model

In this model, the entire development process is managed by an internal team of developers, designers, and other experts that you hire. Though this approach will give you full control over the project, it comes at a cost. Initially, you must hire professionals who will shortlist and hire developers. Following that, you’ll need to train and manage a dedicated team.

The costs will include monthly salaries and employee benefits. Investing in tools, infrastructure, and maintenance will also be important. Overall, this is a complex and capital-intensive model that will cost between $5,00,000 and $2 million annually.

Dedicated Team

Under this model, you partner with a healthcare app development company that provides a dedicated team of skilled and experienced developers to work on your EHR project.

Unlike the in-house model, where you bear all the efforts and expenses associated with the employees, here the software development company takes care of everything. The company manages the time and effort required in the recruitment and training of developers. Plus it also covers expenses like employee salary, perks, insurance, and funds.

You only have to pay for the services you choose. The company will also provide a dedicated project manager, who will manage the development team and will constanly communicate with you to keep you updated about the progress of the project. This approach will cost you between $60,000 and $3,00,000 annually, which is a cost-effective option.

Outsourcing

Outsourcing developers will give you the benefits from both In-house and Dedicated teams. This model allows you to hire developers from a third-party provider who will work internally in your company.

So, despite having an external developer, you get the authority to control the entire project internally. This method would neither take your time and effort in the developer’s recruitment and training nor your money on their monthly salaries or annual perks, unlike having an In-House team. Here, the outsourcing company will handle everything, and you just pay for the services you opt for.

The good part is that you can outsource from regions with lower labor costs, significantly reducing overall development expenses without compromising on skills and work quality. So, outsourcing developers will cost you between $50,000 to $3,00,000 annually.

Make EHR HIPAA Complaint

You all have read multiple times that an EHR system has to be HIPAA Compliant. But do you properly understand HIPAA and how an app can become HIPAA compliant? Well, you’ll know it now.

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is a privacy Rule that assures an individual’s health information is protected. There are about 75 security protocols under HIPAA that need to be followed. We’ll discuss the three major ones:

  • Encryption: Any ePHI(Electronic Protected Health Information) must be secured before transmission, and this can be done by implementing SSL, TLS, and HTTPS protocols. Access Control tools like passwords and PINs limit a patient’s ePHI access to authorized individuals only.
  • Storage and Backup Encryption: EHR Systems handle sensitive ePHI, so efficient and secure data storage and management are essential. Encryption-enabled cloud services like AWS or GCP can be considered. Industry-standard encryption like AES and RSA can be implemented with strong keys, like 256 bits for AES and 4096 bits for RSA.
  • Identity and Access Control: To comply with HIPAA, the EHR system should maintain access and event logs, tracking login attempts and modifications. Two-factor authentication (2FA), biometric authentication, and Single Sign-On (SSO) ensure that only authorized users can access the information.

Now, that you are completely aware of the EHR software systems, and the compliances that follow; Let’s get straight on to the development process, where we’ll explain the detailed process.

It’s Time For EHR System Development

“Change is Constant.”

On the same note, switching to EHR systems from EMR is equally essential to sustain the healthcare system for years to come. So, how to build an EHR System?

These days, with the help of EHR systems development firms, it is easier to implement such services to improve patient’s care.

To get a fair idea of developing EHR solutions, get in touch with our team of experts. Our engineers have vast experience in almost every industry.

Discuss your requirements now and our team will serve you with the best resources and solutions on how to develop EHR systems.

FAQs

EMR contains only standard information gathered at one clinical office. In contrast, EHR goes beyond the clinical office data and includes more detailed knowledge of the patient’s medical record.

Technically, all EHR systems fall under two main categories.

1. Server-based– It means the records are stored in-house in your network with a local server used on hardware.

2. Cloud-based: Cloud is based on the location of the data stored on a remote server operated by a third party vendor.

With the latest technology, the best move is to use the EHRs with a cloud-based system. It helps a lot in reducing the cost of purchasing the software or hardware.

EHR systems can include information like a patient’s medical history, test, results, growth, and development records, medication records, health insurance, billing information, and any other data that involves the patient’s health.

EMR (Electronic Medical Record) development refers to the process of designing and building a custom software system that allows a particular healthcare provider or facility to store, access, and manage patient medical records electronically.

An electronic health record (EHR) system is a software platform that allows healthcare providers to electronically store, manage, and access a patient’s comprehensive health information. EHR systems contain a patient’s entire medical history from different healthcare institutions, and patients can access it through a patient portal.

If you are thinking about how to develop an EHR, you need proficient developers that help you with how to develop software.

EHR software development will have multiple features and tech stacks used, so hiring an EHR system developer from a software development company is the best option.

Starting from basic to advanced EHR Software, the cost may start from $30,000 and reach up to $3,00,000, depending on your requirements

Yes definitely. Building an EHR system would be the topmost priority if you are a doctor or own a healthcare organization.

You can develop one with the help of the right software development company. With a proficient team of developers, we can create EHR software according to your requirements.

Mahil Jasani

Article By

Mahil Jasani

Mahil Jasani began his career as a developer and progressed to become the COO of Excellent Webworld. He uses his technical experience to tackle any challenge that arises in any department, be it development, management, operations, or finance.