What is an Electronic Health Record (EHR)? Step-by-Step Process to Create EHR Software Solution

Health is a gift from God and the electronic health record software is a gift from humans to humans. Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, EHR software has proven to be one of the effective ways to tackle healthcare workers’ inefficiency, low productivity, and reduce the number of medical errors.

However, in telemedicine and telehealth, the EHR software has been rolling around since 2003, but it was not generously welcomed by all clinics back then as it is now. Because until we don’t need it, we don’t value it. But today it is a hot topic and with that, the global EHR software market is likely to hit $40 billion by 2025. The key reason behind the growing demand for EHR software is that it removes paperwork and offers patients to review digital health records in only a few clicks.

Thus, now is the perfect time to develop an EHR software for your ambulatory practices as it has a lot of potential, accessibility, and flexibility. So, keep reading this blog page and understand the complete process of building EHR software.

What is an Electronic Health Record (EHR)?

An automated representation of a patient’s paper chart is an electronic health record (EHR). It is capable to grant access at any time, anywhere from a tablet, laptop, or even desktop. EHRs are patient-centered, real-time databases in the Microsoft word template format that make information available to approved users quickly and safely.

In other words, EHR is the official health documentation of patients and is circulated between various facilities and agencies with utmost data security measures. The main thing is, now when more medical information becomes accessible and greater numbers of customers provide smartphone access to health records, EHRs are also becoming increasingly powerful.

So, what kind of information does EHR include?

  • Past medical data / Treatment history data
  • Vital signs and chief complaint information
  • Progress notes and content page
  • Diagnoses data
  • Medication lists (Medication records)
  • Immunization dates
  • Chart for allergies and vitals
  • Lab results data
  • Imaging reports

Traditionally, all of this clutch used to be compiled and placed in a database with the name of the patient on it in the form of papers, diagrams, and graphs. There were also downsides to this conventional method of processing and handling the patient’s records, for example,

  • Clunky administration basis
  • Inadequate data interoperability

But, thanks to the EHR software and digitalization. It makes life better.

What is an Electronic Health Record Software?

In a health practice, EHR (Electronic Health Records) software is a digital means for doctors that handle every part of patient care, from basic logistics to dealing with hospital pie charts, e-prescribing, and billing. EHR apps will offer a platform for direct patient contact so that they can book an appointment with email address login, display test reports, and complete the necessary documents. 

EHR mobile application also provides consumers with the ability to track medical clinical progression through various healthcare providers and experts to see each other. This provides everyone a holistic review of patient care and offers all stakeholders a clear understanding of a patient’s accurate health record. 

Doctors, patients, and EHR – a triangle of trust!

Benefits of EHR Software For Medical Professionals and Patients

Before you make any decision on building front end and back end software, you should have reasons why you need it or need to ask yourself if it is even beneficial or not for your healthcare practice and such other activities. So, let’s discuss how it benefits you and patients as well. 

For Medical ProfessionalsFor Patients
  • Less Documentation and Fewer Issues with Storage: Because your software lets health professionals and personnel keep their workday streamlines with all the information they need in their palm. They do not have to scroll through paper or maintain hundreds of records manually.  
  • High Efficiency and Practice Management: The front end software project often provides useful feature like chart tracking (data tracking) and checking documents using basic queries. As a result, community practices and activities will save enormous amounts of valuable hours and money to serve more people in need of medical attention and improve health problems & chronic disease management. 
  • Reduces Errors and Mistakes: Because unlike handwritten data entry that is always vague, digital information is often easy-to-read and eventually increases its reliability over requirements. It also helps to reduce stress.
  • Streamlined EHR Workflow: As for the clinical and implementation team, customers, and the front desk staff, EHRs significantly reduce the number of paper records and administrative work needed – the healthcare sector becomes more streamlined.
  • Track Data at Any Time: We all know the importance of patients’ on-time delivery of data. If a patient suffers from misdiagnosis, side effects, or inappropriate treatment plans, the patients will still have his EHR to back up and data transfer as evidence. 
  • Better Communication: Scan, share, print, and inform all the resources regarding diagnosis remotely with doctors at any time in fields. This also saves them from miscommunication and increases patient satisfaction.
  • Supports in Emergencies: In situations like accidents, sudden cardiac arrest incidents, diabetes, where a patient can’t carry medical details, EHR software systems can be a great support for patient engagement and satisfaction at home.
  • Appointment Schedule: Users can handle and arrange all appointments with doctors and personnel using the booking option through EHR software.
  • Timely Reminders: Software can send reminders to everyone about bills and appointments of someone automatically.

In addition, the advanced EHR system architecture may contain patient portals which include educational materials for patients’ benefits. These materials increase their level of involvement in the healthcare industry. Great. Isn’t it? 

But wait. Before you make up your mind, which EHR system is optimal for you to store the patients’ data effectively? There are two broad forms and options that you need to understand to build an EHR software. Let’s see what those are.   

Types of Electronic Health Record (EHR) Software

Types of Electronic Health Record Software

  1. Server-Based System (Client-Based System)

    The server-based EHR system, also known as a client-based system, is focused on a server or set of servers and API, depending upon the size of the practice and projects. The thing is, these servers have to be installed within the practice by someone and are managed by professional staff.  

    However, to buy hardware, computers, and software that needs to be installed on a website, a server-based device needs medical procedures separately. The biggest advantage server-based healthcare systems have is the EHR data is stored with the physician’s server room itself.    

    Additionally, your server-based EHR (health record) systems would perform wonders if you have reliable servers and a stable internal network. For speed and usability issues, you won’t have to rely on internet access, or on the healthcare provider to access data. 

    Pros and Cons:

    ProsCons
    • The speed of systems is dictated by the strength of the internal network and server equipment rather than internet connections
    • No limit on upload, comments, or download service
    • Complete team control over data encryption and website project activities
    • Greater priority section and share resource items
    • Streamlined workflows
    • Easy procedures and activities
    • Place integration is possible
    • Great privacy transition
    • Data interoperability and impact
    • Fewer complaints and more organized clinic
    • High state and country upfront data costs for the project
    • High project responsibility requirements for maintaining and updating all the software program
  2. Cloud-Based System (Web-Based System)

    Often known as a web-based EHR system, this cloud system maintains the patient information on remote servers instead of servers stored inside the premises of a medical healthcare center. Meaning, cloud owes much of its features to a third-party server (from vendor) for healthcare services. The program for this EHR usually needs to be bought directly from the manufacturer, but depending on the product you select, its usability can vary. 

    The health IT vendor loads this program partially on their client’s machines, while others have specific website portals that allow the program to be completely downloaded according to the specified schedule. 

    Pros and Cons:

    ProsCons
    • Competitive pricing and low monthly licensing cost to use
    • These tools and resources do not require set-up costs to use from the vendor
    • Better client support from the vendor
    • Easy way to meet HIPAA compliant and regulations to use server room
    • Access to various resources for colleagues
    • Do not ask for commitment and responsibilities for making it into mobile effect
    • No customization, changes, roles, and improvements on a project to use in place
    • Users and employees have no control point over data and confidentiality over the project
    • Takes time to upload large files
    • Employees have difficulty to conduct rural healthcare practices and activities
    • No streamlined workflows for project and face issues
    • High challenges and less impact
    • No integration can be done
    • Privacy concerns over standards
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How to Build Electronic Health Record Software?

Now that you have recognized topics like forms and advantages of EHR software development, the question is how to build EHR software solutions? So let’s move on to identifying the stages of EHR software development.

How to Build Electronic Health Record Software

Step 1. Validate Your Idea

Before you start anything, you need to check its validity, ability, and the possibility to guarantee that you can go ahead with developing apps. Therefore, to build an EHR system, you should start with the first phase, 

  • Identifying the needs and perspectives of patients or users
  • Identify and study the challenges for adoption tools
  • Create a list of EHR software development process queries, hardware needs, norms, and issues
  • Define your strategic click goal and niche

Once you define expectations of patients, ask yourself questions, for examples,

  • Will EHR systems effort help patients and fulfill your objectives and purposes?
  • Is it possible to have interactions and contact patients & other physicians with a software facility? If yes, what are the ways, entries, procedures, and principles to follow?
  • What are the capabilities from the beginning to the end?
  • Which platform do you need to consider? Android, Apple (iOS), or Web Windows?

While you receive answers to these questions, it will bring you something closer to what a person wants. This way, you would have a greater idea and views of how EHR can be developed. It is also important to review organization strategy, as it is crucial for the success of the implementation and adoption process of the EHR framework and for the EHR development speed. 

Step 2. Define Features and Process

When you ensure your ideas, you and the vendor need to enter into the second phase, which is to create a flowchart, checklists, component, and prototype for the process that involves a list of EHR features, specification, and what health record technology it needs to build EHR system tools.

For your ease, based on our proficient experience in software and app developments, we have curated the list of the technology stack and variety of skills which are as follow:

ParameterTechnology Stack
Code languages
  • Java
  • Python
  • Swift
  • Kotlin
  • JavaScript
  • PHP
Frameworks and Libraries
  • Angular
  • jQuery
  • Django
  • Node.js
  • Bootstrap
Databases
  • MySQL
  • PostgreSQL
Web Servers
  • HTTP Server room
  • Nginx
Utilities
  • Cloudflare
  • Microsoft Azure
  • Amazon S3
Analytics
  • Amazon EMR systems (EMRs)
  • Google Analytics
Payment Gateways
  • Braintree
  • PayPal
  • Stripe

Once you analyze features, ways, learning curve, and tech stack, you may find professional software developers with good command, (one backend developer and one front-end developer), vendors, a project manager, a technology partner, or contact an EHR software development company that will conduct the process for building EHR software products.

Step 3. Design and Develop

After someone or you search (search main) front end developers and back end developers, the next phase in the lineup is to design the software! You can get a raw EHR design, as per the business requirements. But remember, when it comes to layout elements, the point of view of the user is significant. It also has to be handy and user-friendly. So, make sure the designs you opt to have a 100% interactive and responsive layout.  

You can also make decisions to create different modules and sprints to streamline the task with the help of the project manager and fast track record of the open-source EHR development process of front end and back end. This will eventually help to conduct efficient screening and performance checks at regular intervals in a manner. 

Once the design is ready, the EHR software development team from the software development company will come into the picture and will conduct codes – the lengthiest part of the process!

Step 4. Test

It’s time for a quality team and their colleagues to take full control of everything. In this phase, mistakes, glitches, bugs, or defects, if any, are all detected by the quality assurance team to show you demos. They will run through the early web development stages, revisit the strategy and articles, and observe other tasks and the entire project carried by the development team. They also figure out how to build a better iteration of EHR systems for negotiation. 

The purpose of this stage, however, is to know whether or not an EHR program satisfies the needs of the person and expectations of healthcare organizations through test results. Therefore, until and unless the functionality of the EHR healthcare software tools meets requirements, customization, and findings, the test will go on and on. 

Once all defects are identified, they run an EHR app for debugging and conduct Alpha testing among close relatives, individuals, family members, team members, friends, and neighbors to receive feedback, response, and reviews. 

Step 5. Launch and Maintain

Once the Alpha test results are identified and become successful, it’s time for the beta testing phase – that means to launch the software to the real world and get real user feedback and opinions. But if you think, you have to stop here, you’re mistaken. The first and last rule to success is to keep yourself and software updated. Meaning, you have to keep in check your software at frequent times and maintain it for overview user experience and effective medical practice. You may also conduct an emergency risk assessment for maintenance.

Bonus: Key Points to Implement EHR Software System Successfully 

  • The software solutions must comply with HIPAA/GDPR guidelines (Health Insurance Portability Accountability Act) once it is developed.
  • The user interfaces of the health record system (EHR) must be mobile-friendly and environment friendly.
  • Use legal contracts, NDA, and watch medical encounters things in detail as an unauthorized contract may harm your reputation than your competitors.
  • All candidates make sure that it matches standards and protocols (like HL7) with cybersecurity and networks, or you communities have to pay huge fines and penalties.
  • In most cases, EHRs should be problem-free and must have passwords.

Also, make sure you get the EHR software certification before you launch.

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Unique Features of Electronic Health Record Software

Features of Electronic Health Record Software

  1. Patient Profile & Scheduling

    This is, of course, one of the required functionality of EHR software. When user enter unique username and password to their account, they should be avail the average information about the clinical records of patients (in a table doc, tables, page, file, pdf, or any other format), such as 

    • The history of the illness
    • The history of treatment

    General information such as first name, last name, age, and gender also must be included. In addition, prohibiting access to the medical profile by third parties is also equally important. So be very sure that no one can access the users’ medical records except doctors, nurses, specialists, colleagues, medical providers, and trustworthy associates. 

    Next, your software should let the office staff plan patient meetings and pick the reason for their visits. To improve the screening process and reduce the number of patients who do not show up for their appointments or visit, it should even send appointment email updates regularly with this new EHR feature. No wonder, it simplifies workflows. 

  2. Charting

    In 2018, a case study revealed that most doctors consider the job related to the paper the least favored and indicate that it can be performed more effectively. 

    Most doctors said,

    • Long documents period per appointment of person and post-work hours documents always create wasteful usage of poorly crafted note templates by hand
    • The extensive length of document of person gives inefficiencies

    That’s why an EHR approach must provide rapid generation of documents and mapping in a hassle-free and effective way by adding,

    • Customizable word processing templates and menu
    • Voice recognition for pharmacy navigation lives (Speech recognition)
    • Machine learning

    In fact, to add charting of various voice recognitions with the help of AI is like a cherry on the cake since this option will make it more efficient because dictating saves more time than manually adding the results.  

  3. Patient Portal

    When developing an EHR, your main concern should be customer experience. So, it need not be only doctor-centric but should also be patient-centric. Therefore, the patient portal becomes a necessity more than a convenience. Because a patient portal makes it easier for patients to log in and access patient health records and take the appropriate steps. Such features and estimation typically allow patients to have access control to their, 

    • E-prescribing (E-Prescriptions, article)
    • Laboratory results in data integrity
    • Changes or discharge initial research report file
    • Use and share insurance data menu
    • Medical history and sources of appointments
    • Admin billing system and share information
    • Download fill-out intake forms
    • Both study FAQs and training menu 
    • Breadcrumb integrations module
    • Data interoperability of treatment

    Moreover, a patient portal (patient management) with in-app messaging can also minimize no-shows, provide approved patients with immediate and encrypted information, and lead to a highly engaging doctor-patient relationship overall. Also, offer the patients the comfort they want while strengthening patient data safety, privacy, and protection with an end-to-end EHR system down the road.

  4. Clinical Specialty Templates

    Doctors have to make reports to patients or users in addition to treating them. They treat patients with the same problems often and have to make the same statements over and over again. So, the feature allows doctors to build models that can be replicated when treating patients with identical disorders via a successful EHR method for the person. By eliminating unnecessary tasks, it saves a lot of time & money and something that helps doctors to concentrate on treating more patients with available items.

  5. E-Prescription

    E-prescription is also one of the effective features to use that helps physicians to write and deliver another advanced medication online rather than handwritten notes to patients or pharmacies. There are some advantages of introducing the e-prescription function in EHR (system development), for example, a reduction of mistakes, a stored log of prescribed medications, and even prompt reminders for a refill. E-prescribing minimizes mistakes, since they are more legible than handwritten documents, as per the Department of Health and Human Services, which are often misinterpreted as reading.

  6. E-communication

    E-communication is one of the successful features of EHR applications to use. Doctors and patients may be able to communicate and handle all health-related issues online using such features. Sometimes, in-app chat can be a life-saving remedy for resolving minor issues as it also helps to record non-electronic communications (phone calls and phone support) and creates objects of a paper message where appropriate. You can also use photo upload features to update your chat and help patients post pictures of their disease symptoms with their permission.

  7. Free Support and Training

    Client reports consistently emphasize help and instruction, regardless of what the program is. So successful EHR programs must give comprehensive FAQs and costly consultants to be offered.

    Great EHR systems, combined with a user-friendly application programming user interface at a low cost, offer excellent and attentive customer support service. Such services will help you to spend your time giving your patients excellent care management, change management, and not troubleshooting technological problems on devices.

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What’s The Difference Between EHR And EMR?

When we are talking about EHR, how can we forget EMR (Electronic Medical Records)? An EHR and an EMR are used interchangeably by many, but it differs considerably.

A scanned image of a document of patient records saved on a computer is an EMR (electronic medical records) and an EHR (electronic health records) is a portable health information record. Apart from this, there are so many differences that we must take into confederation when deciding on front end software development. Here are a few.

  1. Difference Based On DefinitionEHR (electronic health record) is an electronic version of a medical chart that is meant to be shared with other healthcare providers so that registered patients can view the EHR of a medical report within multiple healthcare providers immediately. While, EMR software is also a digital version of patient paper charts, but only for a single practice. An EMR involves the medical history, diagnosis, and care of patients by a professional doctor, nurse practitioner, physician, dentist, surgeon, or laboratory. Follow some other distinctions as well.   
  2. Difference Based On UsabilityEHR is a more inclusive tool for, 
    • Patients
    • Doctors, MD
    • Physician
    • Healthcare specialists
    • Nurses
    • Insurance companies and organizations
    • Government specialist
    • Medical institution departments and hospitals
    • Other many interested parties

    While EMR software piece is a more restrictive system only for, 

    • Doctors/physician
    • Nurses
  3. Difference Based On Functionality
    FunctionalityEHR SoftwareEMR Software
    Create and maintain an electronic patient record (system)
    Patients history tracking charts
    Lab tests data (Test samples)
    Image reports (reporting)
    Demographical data charts
    Exchange & use relevant data with other health systems
    Electronic signature
    Create a group of patients
    Payments track and analysis
    Create backups for anyone
  4. Difference Based On ResultsEHR software product helps both doctors and patients with, 
    • Care coordination between office physician over requests
    • Improved diagnosis and workflows of clinics and laboratories in place
    • Patient health information and use healthcare data
    • Lines of electronic communications, link, and connectivity
    • Company administrative healthcare processes
    • Sharing and managing the amount of healthcare data and even print
    • Lower cost and investment requirements
    • Store encounter templates and prescriptions
    • Type or text in order, instead of write in order
    • Improved patients experience in the organization
    • Fewer human errors and reduced stress & frustration
    • Clinical and lab dashboard button
    • Stock tip/tips, recommendations, and advice to the clinic and medical company
    • Online discussion on diseases examination
    • Reduce the burden of the clinic and ensure accuracy
    • Offline access to the tablet when the power cuts off, so no downtime
    • High level of data security and improvement
    • Notifications on patient’s death and messages over a serious case
    • Dictionary, or dictionaries for transferable keywords and terminology
    • Accounting, reporting, and easy bill sending
    • HIPAA regulations and basics, so no risks
    • Knowledge over e-learning and certification 
    • No clinician burnout using advanced EHR
    • Work in various cities, countries and elsewhere location
    • Bring positive net financial return and revenue
    • Prevent the issue and error like loss of files

    EMR software market helps both doctors and patients with, 

    • Improved access to patient documentation categories at the home
    • Better tracking of patients over time
    • Interest and improvement over efficiency
    • Reduce keystrokes on platforms
    • Performs some basic functions
    • Transfer and update information internally
    • Notification and collection rate
    • Medical treatment terms at home
    • Eliminates paper record items
    • Low expenses

EMRs and EHRs all help to make medicine more successful and less expensive. However, you need an EHR solution to go beyond simple clinical data and concentrate on each patient’s complete health condition. EHR is also recommended by the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC subscribe), formed to facilitate national health IT systems.

FAQ

  1. How can an EMR system benefit your medical business?

    A custom (an electronic medical record) EMR can offer a lot of advantages to your healthcare company. For an instance, fewer medical record mistakes improved communication with patients and their families, greater alignment of the decision-making process, project plan, and a treatment plan, and strengthened data protection with your users.

  2. How does an EMR improve the quality of care for patients?

    By optimizing supervision, minimizing prescription bugs, mitigating needless inquiries, workflows type, increasing coordination, and relationships with a primary care professional – all these increases the quality of performing tasks, and protection of client at home.

  3. How much does electronic medical records software cost today?

    EMR software development cost depends on various factors, core features, functionalities, and organization needs, for example, complexity, UI/UX design, lab integration, workflow, and compliance. 

  4. How long does EHR implementation take?

    For a health record EHR implementation plan and adoption, set out the timeline and deadlines until you have selected your method. Usually, with organization goals for each healthcare process, the execution takes 16 to 24 months from making them visible and obtainable, from concept to Go-Live to integrating every step. 

  5. How does EHR reduce cost?

    Many healthcare providers have found that by increasing medical efficiencies and cost savings, custom EHR helps improve the task management and workflows of the patient practice plan. Medical best practices are benefiting from EHRs in a number of areas, including lowered transcription costs, reduced cost of map pulling, storage, and re-filing.

  6. What are the criteria for a successful EHR EMR system?

    Three main elements that can be boiled down to an effective criteria selection process for the EMR, EHR system: firstly straightforward, specific, and observable targets. Secondly, understanding how an EHR can lead to the aims of the work. And lastly, subsequent awareness in which EHR gives the best decision support and authentication for achieving the aims in your work.

 

Conclusion

While drawing the final line to the article, EHR is nothing but a modernized project platform that allows electronic storage and recording of a patient’s data for your medical companies. Custom EHR systems development, however, is a demanding and trending form of software development. So, if you’re thinking of developing custom EHR software from scratch, you can rest assured of your medical organization that it won’t be off-placed easily. It is here to stay for long and is a great choice. 

For a best suitable software solution as per your business requirements, if you need assistance & collaboration, feel free to contact us and get a free quote. Our tech team will help you with the best possible solutions as early as possible. See you there!

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Author Bio
Rakesh Patel
Rakesh Patel
Designation: Co-founder and CEO of Space-O Technologies

Mr. Rakesh Patel is a Founder and CEO of Space-O Canada. He has 28 years of IT experience in business strategies, operations & information technology. He has expertise in various aspects of business like project planning, sales, and marketing, and has successfully defined flawless business models for the clients. A techie by mind and a writer at heart, he has authored two books – Enterprise Mobility: Strategy & Solutions and A Guide To Open311.