The Ultimate Guide to Patient Information Management Systems

by | Aug 22, 2022 | Healthcare, Life Sciences, Master Data Management

Patient information management system concept on a laptop.

In less than two years, the shift to digital technologies and virtual operations brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic advanced the pace of digital transformation in information management practices in healthcare and life sciences, such as biopharmaceutical research and development by approximately 10 years. This acceleration has demonstrated inertia beyond pandemic-related trends as new data management tools enter the health tech market. Among these, organizations are keen to acquire patient information management systems– also called patient data management systems or health care data management.

The global market for information management systems in healthcare had a value of $359.8 billion in 2021. Market evaluations predict that value will rise to $967.8 billion by 2030, demonstrating a sustained compound annual growth rate of 13.2% for the duration of the forecast period. Consumer pressure to decrease rising healthcare costs and IT advances enabling better remote patient services will likely continue to drive market gains for healthcare information management. 

Within this larger trend, implementing tools for more effective patient information management in healthcare organizations has become critical to maintaining high standards of patient care and cost-effective operations. In this guide, you’ll learn what patient information management systems are and what key functionalities they should have. 

Key Takeaways:
  • Accelerated digital transformation in healthcare services during the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted an industry-wide need for better patient information management systems throughout the healthcare data ecosystem.
  • Patient information management systems are digital platforms to capture, store, distribute, and use different kinds of patient information to improve patient health outcomes and experience while streamlining organizational processes.
  • Patient information management systems can help healthcare providers make better treatment decisions at the point of care and reduce the chance of dangerous medical errors and follow-up oversights. 

What Are Patient Information Management Systems?

A patient information management system (PIMS) is a software platform that captures, stores, and analyzes patient information collected from diverse sources. Implementing PIMSs allows healthcare and life science organizations to achieve a more holistic understanding of patients for personalized treatments, improved communications, and, ultimately, better health outcomes.

Patient information in these systems begins with integrating electronic health records (EHRs) and electronic medical records (EMRs) into a consolidated platform with visibility and data integrity throughout the disparate parts of a healthcare organization such as care providers, third-party administrators, and other payer and claim processing entities. Nevertheless, creating a comprehensive view of patients depends on incorporating less commonly collected data types beyond patient medical records. In PIMSs, other data sources may include:

Patient information types collected by PIMSs.
Image Source: https://cloudian.com/guides/hipaa-compliant-cloud-storage/health-data-management/
Key Takeaways:
  • Claims Data
  • Enrollment Data
  • In-Home Assessment Data
  • Disease Management Programs
  • Patient Lifestyle Information
  • Remote Monitoring Devices
  • Patient Experience Survey Data

Benefits of Better Patient Information Management

Capturing and making available more comprehensive patient information to authorized users provides many benefits for patients and the organizations that manage their care. 

  • Improved understanding of patient health at the individual, household, and population levels
  • Increased patient engagement through more data-driven and personalized reminders and care suggestions
  • Enhanced predictive care capabilities based on population data trends
  • Lower organizational overhead through improved resource allocation
  • Improved performance monitoring for physicians and other care providers

4 Essential Patient Information Management System Features

Any PIMS capable of meeting the changing demands of healthcare data management will require at least four core features. 

1. Integration of Patients’ Personal and Demographic Data

Just as marketers use personal and demographic data to identify and target potential customers, healthcare organizations can use patient demography to provide better care and more efficient services. This data should include, at a minimum:

  • Patient’s complete legal name
  • Date of birth
  • Gender
  • Biological sex
  • Contact information such as phone number, email, and address
  • Ethnicity
  • Race

Other possible entries may contain insurance and employer information.

Having comprehensive personal and demographic data not only streamlines communications and billing processes. It also helps providers anticipate patient needs that may not be evident in individual medical histories. For example, 20% of women over 50 have osteoporosis. Physicians who have this demographic data available during regularly scheduled visits will know to check for symptoms or request preventative screening tests in other cases.

2. Real-Time Availability of Comprehensive Health Histories

Healthcare providers collect patient health histories to better understand patients as individuals– even when different physicians and institutions treat them. The more consolidated and consistent this information is throughout a patient’s network of providers, the more organizations can deliver value-based care. Health histories should include:

  • All EHRs and EMRs
  • Known allergies
  • Surgical history
  • Family medical history
  • Social History 
  • History of medications

Health histories in PIMSs increase care providers’ chance to identify and prevent many conditions such as hypertension, strokes, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers. 

3. Electronic Prescription Transfer

Electronic prescription transfer protocol.
Image Source: https://developer.digitalhealth.gov.au/products/electronic-transfer-prescription

Electronic prescription transfers allow prescribing physicians and care providers to create an electronic record of a prescription and send it to a pharmacy, along with the paper copy, to expedite service and reinforce the audit trail. PIMSs that incorporate prescription transfers save time both for patients and for record-keeping responsibilities in pharmacies. Electronic prescription confirmation also reduces the chance of error.

4. Automated Follow-Ups and Patient Portal Options to Close Gaps in Patient Experience

As the ongoing healthcare labor shortage affects organizational effectiveness and patient outcomes, timely and successful communication with patients following treatment and referrals remains a widespread industry pain point. Among recently polled patients, 45% report difficulty in scheduling their appointments on time, and for 25%, these difficulties resulted in delayed surgeries and specialist referrals. Automated follow-ups scheduled through a PIMS combined with portals for patients to access their information and schedule appointments can decrease delayed appointments and treatments and improve the overall patient experience

Capture Patient Information Across Your Organization and Contracted Partners with Coperor by Gaine

Coperor by Gaine provides healthcare organizations and life science companies with a single platform for comprehensive master data management across complex, unintegrated organizational tiers and contracted third parties. Designed specifically for the unique demands of the healthcare industry, Coperor helps organizations achieve a reliable single source of truth in complex data ecosystems.

To schedule a live demo of Coperor, contact Gaine today.

 

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