The IT system has revolutionised the field of medicine. In this fast-paced world of medicine, it is a daunting task to manage a multi-speciality hospital. A hospital management system (HMS) is a computer or web based system that facilitates managing the functioning of the hospital or any medical set up1. This system or software will help in making the whole functioning paperless. It integrates all the information regarding patients, doctors, staff, hospital administrative details etc. into one software4. It has sections for various professionals that make up a hospital.

Doctors

This section includes the list of the doctors and their schedules3. It also includes doctors’ emergency numbers. The doctor can check his schedule and that of other doctors too. This helps a doctor to edit his schedule accordingly. It includes list of the available medicines for specific diseases so that the doctor can easily look for an alternative when in need. The patient can be given an appointment referring to the doctors’ schedule. The use of HMS makes the co-ordination between a doctor and patient easy and hassle free.

Patient information

New patients can be registered in the system. An electronic medical record system is in-built which stores all the basic and medical details of the patient2. One can also add a feature to store photos of the patients as identity proof which can also help in medico-legal cases of false identities or fraud1.

Occupancy

Using HMS one can quickly check the availability of rooms/beds so that the receptionist can adjust transfer of patients from one ward to another or allot the bed to the new patient. This data is constantly updated to keep a track of discharged patients. This section also includes the detailed schedule of the operation theatres. This helps the receptionist or the nurses to know which theatres are vacant to slot other surgeries3.

Staff

It includes names and timings of the nurses and ward boys on duty with their respective ward numbers. The instructions given to the nurse for each patient are entered in the system.

Supplies control

A thorough inventory can be maintained about the stock of supplies in the hospital like surgical instruments, medications, laboratory supplies, stationary, staff supplies, etc. This record helps the administration to have a quick look at the usage and keep a control on the wastage of the supplies.

Billing

A separate automated section is meant for billing purposes. HMS helps to sum up all the expenses of a patient at one time and produce a complete bill at the end of the consultation or at discharge. This saves time and effort for each department as they need not produce separate

Insurance

The respective insurance company can check the details and further the process of passing the claim. This data is then stored in the database and hence can be recovered for any later use by the hospital or patient or insurance company.

Laboratory/Radiology

When the doctor advises a certain list of tests the same is updated in the HMS and directly received by the laboratory. This interfacing helps to reduce errors caused by the staff. Since all the data is fed in the system, one can retrieve and review the past reports of the patients anytime. This section also includes details of the blood bank

Employees

This section includes basic information of the employees including contact numbers and address along with professional details. Every new employee is registered in the system. Medical details of the employees also can be entered for their benefit.

Statistical Reports

All the data in a HMS is integrated and can be analysed. This helps in creating a statistical database for the internal use of the hospital which can be submitted to the administration1. This section helps the administration in summarizing the expenses of the hospital and evaluating the necessary and unnecessary expenditure.

Telehealthcare

A Web based HMS can be used for providing online services to patients, appointments and obtaining opinions of consultants sitting away from the hospital set up.

One does worry about the security aspect of the data. Hence, a HMS has passwords, photo identifications etc. to prevent any leakage of important and A hospital management system acts like an interface between the patient and the hospital administration. With the help of this system one can access all the essential information anytime and anywhere. Another advantage is that it can be modified and customized to suit a small hospital or a big multi-speciality hospital4. As it provides multiple facilities, it helps in reducing hospital costs, which in turn reduces the expense of quality healthcare for the patient.

Contributed by Dr. Rachita Narsaria, MD

1. http://www.coppernet.zm/index.php?option=com_joomdoc&task=doc_download&gid=22&Itemid=7

2. http://itprojectshub.com/documentation/hospital-management-system.docx

3. http://www.softaiminnovations.com/web/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=19&Itemid=28

4. http://www.acgil.com/products/hospital_management_system.htm