José Miguel Sainz
Head of Marketing
Expert Contributor

Which Software System Is Best for Your Hospital?

By José Miguel Sainz | Fri, 04/09/2021 - 13:03

Becoming a modern and up-to-date medical center or hospital in terms of patient experience, internal collaboration, cost efficiency of supplies, revenue management and business analysis is only possible with software.

But hospital software investment can be a headache for decision-makers, and the odds are against the software companies that struggle with slow-paced implementation processes and lack of change management.

The variables for evaluating if the hospital is ready for digitalization are varied and complex, ranging from costs to technology and clinical or administrative functionalities. Ease of use and time to adoption are abstract variables that affect the whole opportunity and economic cost.

So many variables and types of software services lead to the question of how to choose and invest in the ideal system for your hospital. Does your hospital or primary care facility need to start a software acquisition journey? Here are some considerations.

Total Cost of Ownership

Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) is the valuation method of direct and indirect costs of a product to quantify its real value, such as software and hardware and everything that is required to keep them working. This metric is very important for ROI (Return on Investment) on IT projects.

Let’s take a look at the variables that affect the TCO:

Support costs: The items needed to keep the system working.

Implementation costs: The costs of installation, configuration, and customization

Acquisition: Items such as the purchase of hardware and software, time spent in the implementation (opportunity cost to perform other activities), machine depreciation, technological obsolescence, and purchase of equipment.

Availability: Where is the data located and how is it accessed? If today your hospital or clinic does not have data on sales costs, purchase costs, inventories, number of patients, doctors and prices, your hospital is losing money. On the contrary, if your hospital has this data and it is not easy to access for review, you are also losing money.

Reliability: According to studies, medical directors or directors general of hospitals have only a 28 percent level of confidence that the data they generate is correct. And if a hospital puts its operations on paper, this data falls to only a 2 percent level of confidence in its data.

Security: Gone are the days when having servers on-site was more secure. Today, the reality is that data hosted in cloud services guarantees more protection. In addition, the cost of implementing software with servers in your hospital generates excessive maintenance and licensing expenses.

Proprietary software versus free software: The easiest way to conceptualize the difference between proprietary software and free software is by saying that the proprietary software was developed for a company that holds the rights to the software and the use is subject to the acquisition of a license.

I highly recommend that you watch your steps in the fog to avoid pitfalls and bad decisions, considering other key factors such as new functionality and innovation or easy-to-use (UX/UI) software for all your final users.  

Also, it's not all about where the medical records are stored, it’s about taking more steps and taking advantage of what you can do with the gathered information. Healthcare software should be able to process the data and display high-value statistics and reports for decision-makers.

To make sure the software acquisition and implementation are worth it, hospital managers must track all the missed opportunities caused by still using paper and turn these situations upside down with the help of artificial intelligence.

Focus on the patient experience: If the data is available, reliable, and secure but is not reflected in the improvement of patient care and experience, the ROI of your investment will be bad.

The best software is the one that allows you to control all these variables, in addition to allowing you to avoid hidden licensing, maintenance, and support costs.

Photo by:   José Miguel Sainz