Enterprise Resource Planning for Hospitals
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Enterprise Resource Planning for Hospitals

Any organization big or small is made up of several departments or units, with these units/departments include supply chain management, inventory management, human resource management, marketing, sales among others with the aim to increase efficiency and to ensure that the organisation meets its objectives, all these departments must be linked together by a system that ensures real time flow and sharing of data to enhance making of decisions critical to the organisation and increase productivity.

This is precisely what Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) does. Enterprise Resource Planning is a business software that uses integrated applications to manage the various activities taking place in different departments of an organisation and also helps in automating various functions such as in human resource and service sector. By using a shared database, any department of the organisation can access real time data flowing from the other departments.

Enterprise Resource Planning for Hospitals

The ERP software consists of various modules tailored to suit the needs of a particular organisation or for a particular department of the organisation such as the finance department or the human resource department. A combination of different modules is normally used for managing the various departments.

If we were to talk about organisations or institutions made up of several departments where sharing of real time data is critical, hospitals would definitely make the cut. More importantly, data has to be transferred fast and accurately from one department to another. A delay or inaccuracy can easily translate to loss of life.

The inventory department should be aware of the stock in stores to promptly reorder to avoid disruption of operation due to stock outs. The clinician should receive the laboratory results immediately they are out to ensure timely treatment of the patient. These are just some of the examples that show how important a system that links all the departments of the hospital is.

Hospital ERP

Though unpopular in the healthcare sector till recently, Enterprise Resource Planning is the ultimate game changer in management of the various vital activities that take place in a hospital. Various Enterprise Resource Planning modules can be used in a hospital such as patient management module, appointment scheduling module, human resource management module among others. A combination of these modules ensures efficiency and hence increases productivity and the quality of services offered in the hospital.

In any day of the year,there will be influx of different patients in a hospital. The staff of the hospital may be required to perform different procedures or functions at different departments of the hospital. This is where scheduling becomes vital to ensure that the patients are attended to timely, to maximize the use of the hospital's resources hence increasing productivity and to ensure that no member of staff is overworked. Enterprise Resource Planning software has various modules that can be used in roostering and scheduling hence making this task easy. By linking the various departments, ERP software ensures that there are no overlaps and hence there is harmony in the day to day execution of functions.

ERP for Hospitals

In outpatient clinics, patients have to be given appointments of when they are to come back to see a specialist, get laboratory results or get treated. Using ERP software, it is possible to tell how long a certain test is going to take and hence give an appointment accordingly. Also it ensures that no two patients are scheduled to see the same specialist at the same time hence the patient does not have to waste time waiting for the specialist. This enhances efficiency and customer satisfaction.

Scheduling for operating theaters is also crucial in a hospital. It helps ensure that priority is given to the most serious cases. Also, no surgeon is given two surgeries at the same time and so patients do not wait for their operations which could lead to their conditions worsening.

The personnel working in a hospital must well managed to ensure increased productivity and quality. ERP software helps in personnel scheduling allowing for allocation of offs and leaves without leaving the hospital understaffed. The staff are optimumly utilised and they get to have a personal life besides the professional work hence improving their productivity.

Benefits of ERP software in a hospital are several, which include:

1. Improved service delivery.
2. It cuts on production costs increasing profits.
3. There is increased ease of accessing patient's information.
4. There are reduced instances of disruption of operations for example due to stock outs.
5. Helps make the hospital competitive.
6. There is increased customer satisfaction.
7. Provides centralised backup options.
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