StarNavi Blog - Healthcare Software Guide: Types of Apps, Main Features, & HIPAA

By starnavi | Development | August 2020 | 426 views

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When it comes to healthcare software, there are a variety of programs out there that perform a bunch of different functions. There are a number of different apps, most of which have some staple main features, but others take those features to a new level. From there, there are various HIPAA requirements that need to be taken into account both on the side of the user and the app developer. So, what does it all mean? For your healthcare app, it’s important to know exactly how much value it’s bringing to the table.

In this extensive article, we’re going to take a deep dive into everything that you need to know regarding healthcare software, healthcare software development, and finding the right healthcare app for you. So, if you’re interested in learning how to build a medical app that delivers on the types of features we believe to be essential in healthcare software, then it’s time for you to read more.

The Main Types of Healthcare Software

When it comes to healthcare software, there are a number of different healthcare apps available out there that doctors, medical companies, health institutions, and other related organizations not only use, but they rely on each and every day. However, there’s been a shift recently, where the industry has begun to move closer toward applying IT solutions in the form of healthcare software systems – and this is what our conversation is going to be about today.

ERPs – Electronic Health Record Software

One of the most popular forms of healthcare software applications currently being used is ERPs. ERPs – also known as electronic health record software applications – are essentially just that. They are digitized patient health records that doctor’s offices, hospitals, and medical institutions use to more efficiently keep track of and monitor patient records in a simple, convenient, and more cost-effective way. Speaking about cost-effectiveness, we can't forget about ETL services. Consider them when building your app.

Scheduling Software

When it comes to large-scale hospitals and medical research facilities, it has become increasingly difficult for administrative staff to maintain an effective and efficient way to schedule their personnel. Nursing departments from around the world are utilizing scheduling software to automate the process and to provide more efficient tracking of shifts to prevent burnout and overwork.

Medical Equipment Management Software

As the world of healthcare becomes more technology-driven than ever before, hospitals, facilities, and institutions are relying more and more on medical equipment management software. For instance, ICU units (intensive care units) are utilizing this type of healthcare software to more effectively monitor the health of the machines and equipment used in emergency rooms around the world. Along with that, the software loaded onto these machines are used in a practical way as well for the purposes of patient care.

As you can see, these are just three important ways in which healthcare software is utilized in the industry, but they certainly aren’t the only types of software. For instance, medical diagnosis software, imaging, and visualization software, medical database software e-prescribing software, appointment scheduling software, hospital management software, medical billing software, and even medical research software are all important tools that healthcare professionals not only use but depend on each and every day to keep their patients safe.

Now, along with this wide and varying selection of healthcare software, there are some important features that need to be considered and dissected – especially for the purposes of learning how to build a medical software application. Let’s talk about that next.

types of healthcare software

Important Features of Healthcare Software

It should come as no surprise that important technologies like analytics, reporting, security, and automation have made their way into the different types of software applications we use on a daily basis. But in the medical field, these features have also made their way into the many different healthcare software applications that we’ve mentioned above. For instance, the main features of a healthcare app typically include the following:

  • User and Doctor Profiles

  • Search Features

  • Listing Features

  • Booking Features

  • ePrescriptions

  • Medicinal Records

  • Chat Features

  • Patient Privacy

  • Payment & Invoicing

  • Reporting & Analytics
     

features of healthcare software

Let’s take a closer look at a selection of these features.

Booking Features

One of the most convenient technologies to make it into the hands of consumers in the history of technology is mobile technology, without a doubt. And consumers have clearly climbed on board the bandwagon. For instance, having the ability to pull out your phone, log into your primary care office’s application, view their schedule, and instantly book your next check-up, all while standing in line for a coffee at the nearest café is a significant achievement. Not only does it ensure that medical care is accessible, but it ensures that the process to maintain your health is simple and easy.

Patient Privacy

For healthcare facilities, hospitals, and doctors’ offices all around the world, nothing is more important than ensuring that your patient privacy policy is absolutely safe, secure, and reliable – especially when HIPAA violations could potentially damage your practice. For that very reason, healthcare software has made it one of its main focuses. Patient privacy typically comes in the form of encrypted data, so that patient records, sensitive information, and payment information cannot be accessed by third parties – this is absolutely integral in a healthcare industry dominated by HIPAA.

Reporting & Analytics

This is an important one because we live in a world of big data. For hospitals, healthcare facilities, and even private practices, having the inside scoop on your patients isn’t just important on an individual level, but it’s important for the medical community too. By having the ability to track and monitor your patients’ health, you can more adequately spot instances of common illnesses. For example, the COVID-19 pandemic has made it more critical for healthcare institutions to have the ability to more clearly and efficiently make correlations between varying degrees of symptoms across patient populations to spot patterns and similarities – although this can also be much simpler. Offices and facilities can also use these features to simply track the flow of patients.

HIPAA & The Implications of Violating It

Should you, your app, or your organization violate HIPAA, there is a wide range of implications that could potentially wreak havoc on you, your application, or your organization. Let’s take a look at the four potential outcomes:

  1. Violation Could Be Dealt With Internally By Your Superior

  2. You Could Potentially Be Terminated

  3. You Could Face Professional Sanctions

  4. Depending On Severity, You Could Face Jail Time

possible outcomes of HIPAA violation

Now, with that said, it’s important to remember that all of the above will depend on the severity of the violation. In addition, it’ll be taken into account your awareness of your violation, if you took corrective action, if there was malicious intent, if there was harm caused by your violation, or if there was a significant number of individuals who were negatively impacted by your violation.

For this very reason, it’s absolutely critical that you do everything you can to ensure that your application complies with all HIPAA requirements. Otherwise, you could face some severe civil penalties as well, which begin at $100 per violation and can stretch as far as $25,000.

The Best Medical Apps To Consider

If you’re on the other side of our discussion and you aren’t looking to build your own medical app, then it’s important to know which apps to consider. Well, depending on the type of healthcare software you’re actually looking for, there are so many different brands to choose from. So instead, we’ll point you in the direction of what you should look for in each of them.

First, you’d want to consider the ways in which the application guarantees HIPAA compliance. You’ll want to conduct your due diligence research and verify all of the protections required to ensure that the app keeps your patients safe. From there, you’ll want to take a look at the type of entities that already use the app. Are they similar to your organization? Different? How?

Next, you can look at the type of data that this app collects. Is it important that you have access to this data? Lastly, take a look at the security protections. What does this app do differently to ensure that the sensitive information of its users – whether that be your team members or your patients – is protected?

Contact StarNavi

If you’re looking to build your own healthcare software application, then it’s time for you to contact StarNavi. We’d be proud to work with you to ensure that your app is fully HIPAA-compliant and designed to address the unique needs of your organization.