According to the World Health Organization, a Hospital Information System (HIS) collects the data of health and other relevant sectors. This data is analyzed; its quality, relevance, and opportunity are assured, transforming data into helpful information for healthcare-related decisions.
Making it simple, a HIS is a hospital management system, controlling from the admission of the patient to the departure, considering charges and consumptions during the stay.
The precision of the gathered and displayed information by the HIS will allow decisions based on historical data and forecasts, for example, the creation, modificatión o regulation of hospital policies; implementation of investigation initiatives, development of training programs, the control or improvement of services, prevention to a possible shortage of resources, among others.
The collected data on the Hospital Information System guide decisions in different levels:
◾ Patient-level: Data allows to see the medical attention needed and treatment.
◾ Health facility: It displays a view of the supplies and resources, social communication activities, and guides about the decisions related to the purchases of medicaments, equipment, and supplies.
◾ Public Health Surveillance: Collected and crossed information of many of this software for hospitals allow the definitions of problems and the opportunity for taking action. It’s crucial when the answers are required urgently, as in epidemic diseases.
Which are the benefits of a Hospital Information System (HIS)?
This hospital software links administrative and operative aspects since the first patient-doctor encounter to keep control of the resources involved until the departure. Thanks to the implementation of this kind of software, the operation gets optimized on several aspects:
◾ Avoid supplies shortage. HIS can monitor the constant supplies flow through inventories and logistics boards, send alerts about fast movements and medication refills.
◾ Improvement on medical equipment and patient-doctor schedule. Some hospital systems provide a portal that allows patients to have a close follow-up. Also, in this portal, patients can see and select the next appointment according to the doctor's availability, avoiding calls or physical visits to the medical center for making an appointment.
On the other side, HIS provides permissions to share patient data locally and coordinate teams with different specialties when a patient requires a high-complex treatment.
◾ More safety and patient attention. With a HIS, the hospital can promote the integration of the information in every stage of the patient stay, resulting in greater patient satisfaction.
The health information systems collect and save patients' information such as diagnosis reports, medical history, allergic reactions, vaccines, treatment plans, test results, etc. With this data, the medical attention providers work with a tool that helps them interact with their patients better and eventually provide more efficient attention.
◾ Efficiency in files organization. The hospital software collects the information reported on the individual records and directories, including the duration and supplies used on patient care or the team performance. Also, it reduces the paperwork time and the possibility to make manual mistakes or miss a file.
In addition, the access to the HIS data can be controlled by giving hierarchy to users, limiting the files with sensitive information to authorized users.
◾ Operational savings. The Hospital Information Systems allow people to make decisions based on historical records and forecasts by keeping the data organized. Also, assign resources planned and save considerable amounts of expenditures, energy, and supplies.
Also, if acquiring a SaaS-type cloud-based HIS, in other words, an online and always-updated software, health institutions take more advantage of the physical space and save the energy that traditional on-premise software consumes.
Another benefit of using HIS is sticking with international health standards, such as HL protocol, the language of marking, and sharing health-related data used worldwide. When hospitals incorporate global standards into their management system, the errors in operation and the resulting correction expenditure are minimized.
How to select the best HIS?
When choosing a HIS software, hospitals may decide whether to create their own in-house system or acquire a software license already in the market.
If creating an in-house system is chosen, the hospital gets the benefit that the software will be made to measure institution operations. Nevertheless, other involved factors must be considered, like development and launch time, specialization of the programmers to understand medical terms and hospital operation, staff retention, new team integrants' learning curve, reaction capability and modification when unforeseen scenarios happen, and compliance with health regulations.
In contrast, if acquiring a Hospital Information System is chosen by buying software licenses, some essential points to consider. It must be assured that the purchase includes forever-free updates, or if these updates are free for a specific time or have an additional cost. Also, hospital executives must check if the software really fulfills all the hospital needs or if new spaces, furniture, or specific equipment are needed. Last, clarify if the new provider will offer training and how the post-sale client service is.
Cirrus’ Hospital Information System optimizes clinical processes in an intuitive, always-updated, and easy-to-use way. Also, it allows a reduction of operational costs and better patient attention during the stay. The experience acquired after implementing Cirrus in hospitals located in Mexico, Argentina, Latin America, and Saudi Arabia helped assure the best practices through Cirrus products HIS, EHR ERP, and RCM to clients with global quality.