When compared to other industries, the health care sector is improving, with the help of advanced technologies like the Hospital Management System (HMS). The current medical care computerization is being hampered due to a lack of a perfect interface between computers and medical care providers.

The two main issues that are commonly faced during implementation of an HMS are as follows

  1. HMS implementation begins but the users start facing issues by the end

This is generally due to the inflexibility of the HMS software, a weak administrative will and an inexperienced team for implementations.

    2. HMS implementation gets completed, but only a single part of the functionality gets implemented

This is due to non-user friendly software or the unplanned and unconfigured executions.

Pre-Implementation Assessment:

All hospital administrators who implement the HMS software in their hospitals will be apprehensive that the process may end in a partial or complete failure and measures should be taken early in order to prevent such an event from happening. The software should be well assessed before being purchased by the hospital.

Software Assessment:

Choosing the right kind of software is one of the crucial and primary steps for getting the best results.

Earlier, all HMS Software had a single development cycle starting with a single hospital being computerized by a local developer for a single hospital. But this type of HMS development is outdated. In such cases, there is a risk of the vendor providing software that was customized for a different hospital. Implementing them may cause various issues, and it may cost more in the long run. It's better to purchase the software from a firm, that specializes in hospital management software, than getting any software company to design software for your hospital.

It's better to choose a software that is easy to upgrade, scalable and is not hardware intensive. Cloud-based online software is better than offline software in these aspects. The providers could also easily fix any errors or bugs in case of online software.

Another aspect to be considered is to check if the customization of the software is done primarily through programming code or by using master tables during implementation. Hospitals may require some form of alteration to the purchased software, so as to better suit their needs, and in the case of master tables, such changes may easily be made by the hospital itself. In the case of online software, this may not matter much, as maintenance and support are provided by the software provider.

Vendor Assessment:

Only a few vendors of international or national repute can be trusted easily. A drawback with a large vendor is that they don’t always accommodate the requirements of small hospitals. In the case of small vendors, the hospital administrators may have to do thorough research to see if they are trustworthy.

An important aspect to be known is if the current implementation team will be available during the entire implementation cycle. Checking the attrition rate of the software company, and discussions with other hospital administrators may give you an idea about this.

Visits to Hospitals with Hospital Management Systems:

A well-planned visit to hospitals where the software has been implemented will give you insights on the performance of the software, the support provided by the vendor, and if the vendor has achieved all the goals that were initially planned. To get a good picture, it's better to visit hospitals like your own, in terms of capacity, number of specialties, and number of departments, as well as hospitals that have implemented the software that you are considering. This will give you an idea, not only about the trustworthiness of the vendor but also on how well the software will be suited to your hospital.

Discussions with hospital administrators who have previously implemented the software in their hospitals will also give you good insights on the possible difficulties you may face during the implementation process, and on how to overcome them.

Getting your Hospital ready:

Problems may arise in HMS implementation, due to issues within the hospital. Lack of a systematic and uniform workflow within all the departments in the hospital may make the implementation process difficult. Information regarding the various equipment used, tests performed, schedules of doctors in different departments, etc must be readily available so that it could easily be imported to the system.

An important aspect is the cooperation of the various end-users, that is, the hospital employees. They have to provide enough awareness of the usefulness and importance of implementing the HMS software. The implementation may put additional stress on the employees until they get used to the system, and this may hamper the efforts of the hospital administration.

HMS implementation begins with a pre-implementation phase, in which software is chosen and the hospital prepares for the change, followed by the implementation phase and the post-implementation phase, in which the final kinks are ironed out. The whole process could be made smooth with a thorough pre-implementation phase.

Choosing software that is well suited to your hospital, having clearly defined workflows, and complete information about the working of the hospital will help you to easily implement the HMS in your hospital. Having a good team, and ensuring the cooperation of the hospital employees would help the hospital achieve its goals with the HMS.

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Hospital Management System is being used for decades. Most of the hospitals in India make use of HMS but they face certain challenges in implementing it. Among them,  technical and human challenges are considered to be the complicated factors while implementing HMS.

How can you face the challenges while implementing HMS?

The HMS system helps to manage every information about the patients like their personal data, comprehensive medical data, previous medical histories along with their diagnoses, treatments, investigations and other medical decisions. Apart from that, HMS help in improving the safety, quality as well as one of the most affordable options available in the healthcare industry.

Despite their benefits, the healthcare industry faces many challenges. Implementation of HMS still fails in some hospitals due to the barriers.

Few Challenging problems that you face while implementing HMS

Human Challenges

While considering the human factors, they include

  • Awareness of HMS advantages & importance.

  • In general, Experience, and knowledge of using computer applications.

  • Impressions and Beliefs regarding HMS and making use of them efficiently.

The researchers in a study have identified three main human challenges that are being a barrier in adopting the HMS in healthcare industries namely.

  • Shortage of professional healthcare faculty who have in-depth knowledge of HMS and other similar technologies.

  • Poor acceptance of HMS Software.

  • Shortage of health informatics professionals who are well capable of establishing and implementing the techniques.

Another few significant problems for unsuccessful HMS implementation includes.

  • Healthcare specialists nature,

  • the lack of time allowed training and learning on making use of the HMS,

  • the lack of healthcare professional support, motivation, and more.

Many studies illustrate that HMS needs more effort, time, adds more works. There are high chances of HMS to get slow down and cause a decrease in productivity.

Technical Challenges:

Other few technical challenges that fail the implementation of HMS in the healthcare industry includes Networks and computer have different maintenance problems, lack of no standards for Data entry and data retrieval, difficulties in training users technically to use HMS.

Few tips to overcome Human Challenges

Proceed below to check out few things you can follow to overcome the human challenges that make HMS implementation tough.

One can improve the awareness of advantages and benefits of making use of the HMS by a focused multi-phase approach on any topic. The approach can be made use from the starting level of healthcare industry schools, colleges, then with the undergraduate degree and through various aspects of postgraduate medical education. All Medical education programs should include the significance of HMS, their applications and advantages.

Formal training while taking a various level of medical practice and education is capable of improving the knowledge in using a Hospital management system correctly. Many types of research suggest HMS training and teaching needs to be developed and also implemented as a subject or course of the postgraduate and undergraduate medical education programs.

Every health information management should include subjects of HMS short courses for medical education programs and healthcare professionals. These programs should be initiated by the health ministry and its formal channels for every healthcare specialists at any healthcare organizations and hospitals. Apart from that, developing and enhancing self-taught computer science courses in nursing education, medical schools, and postgraduate training is also essential.

It's a good idea to develop both postgraduate and undergraduate specialized programs in Health Information Management, Health Informatics, Health Information Technology, which increases the number of health informatics specialists and technicians.

Overcoming the negative impressions on HMS new and experienced staffs can be neglected through the development of HMS training programs and in-house hospital orientation programs.

You can make the healthcare professional participate and involve in various stages of system implementation, development, and deployment to improve the healthcare specialists support.

You can offer the healthcare professional with overtime payment, direct and indirect incentives, rewards, bonus and more for the hospital departments and sections that implement HMS successfully in a healthcare organization.

Offering healthcare professionals with enough time convenient and suitable for them to learn and get trained on HMS.

Another good idea is to conduct different interesting training programs for healthcare professionals so that they get to know about HMS implementation in depth and gain a better understanding.

Few tips to overcome the Technical Challenges

You need to make sure whether the HMS commercial providers and vendors are offering right user manuals, documentation, troubleshooting and guidelines of using HMS to the hospitals in a proper way.

Ensuring the working conditions of computers and networks is more important for the software to work better and have fewer maintenance problems. Technical support and hardware maintenance is also significant.

Upgrading your old communication networks and computers to a new one for the enhanced performance.

Make sure you perform every analysis required in depth before the start of the design phase and the implementation phase.

Implementing newer innovations in both hardware and software is required to overcome data entry difficulties.

While considering the software innovations, the system needs to be designed to support the structured data entry instead of the unstructured one. In the case of hardware innovations, implements hand-held devices, touch screens, tablets pcs helps in minimizing the gap between recording and data acquisition process and this leads to easier accessibility.

Elimination of health information technology and management staff overload can be through outsourcing few electronic processing tasks namely medical transcription of dictating the voice files.

Make sure about the system interface design, check whether they are understandable and user-friendly.

Data standards usage is one of the crucial steps for source accuracy, quality, reliability as well as to validate system data.

Make sure you increase the computer terminals numbers at the point of care.

Hope the above tips will help you to get rid of all challenges while implementing your Hospital management system. Any queries or other information regarding the topics are welcome in the comments section.

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