A Detailed Guide on Nursing Home Software Development to Build Best Long Term Care App
2 years ago
The entire nursing home and LTC home industry is going through tremendous challenges.
Be it staff shortage, tedious paper-based work, medication management or data management of seniors or residents, each challenge influences the overall effectiveness of senior care operations in negative ways.
And out of surprise, almost all nursing and LTC homes are still not considering digitalization at the cost of the well-being of our seniors.
If you are among them, you’ll surely find this blog bizarre. But if you are not, this blog will prove to be an outstanding knowledge-gaining 5 minutes of your life.
So, let’s get straight into it.
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Why do nursing homes & LTC homes require a mobile app or software?
We just went through the bad phase of the pandemic. But what made it worse was the LTC crisis.
As per official data, more than 2500 senior care homes witnessed COVID-19 outbreaks in Canada, resulting in the unfortunate death of more than 14000 seniors.
When authorities and experts attempted to find the cause, one of the causes they found was a lack of modernization or digitization.
And it was creating a domino effect.
For instance, a nursing home lacks a digital solution which leaves staff with no option than spending more time on paper-based administrative work which further results in delayed senior care operations and which in the worst case can trigger life-threatening situations.
While some may argue that senior care homes had been running successfully without mobile app or software for years, many senior care homes are achieving 10X more productivity and reducing administrative burden by more than 50% using nursing home software or best long term care apps.
Here, we have a real case study to share with you.
Top use cases of nursing home app or software
If you are planning to go for nursing home software development, you must be wondering how and where you can use it. So, here is the complete use case list.
- Data management of seniors
Nursing home staff can record and manage each and every personal as well as clinical data of each senior living in a nursing home or LTC home using the app or software.
Many of the data get recorded and stored automatically. For instance, when a physician writes an ePrescription for any senior, that ePrescription gets stored in a digital bundle under that senior’s profile automatically.
This frees up staff from data entry work and eliminates the scope of errors.
- Virtual care
Care teams can schedule virtual visits of seniors with physicians using a nursing home software or app.
Physicians equipped with digital toolkits can write ePrescription, medical notes and even refer patients completely digitally.
Most importantly, physicians can even access the medical history of patients as the solution is integrated with EHR.
- Medication management
As soon as physicians write the ePrescription, it automatically gets shared with the pharmacy and stored under that senior’s profile.
Care teams can access a complete list of ongoing medication of each patient or senior from their dashboard and help seniors with their medication plan for enhanced outcomes.
- Consent management
Nursing home or LTC home staff can digitally send consent forms to residents' family members and collect & save consent very effectively, without spending much time.
- Remote patient monitoring
If you integrate a remote patient monitoring system with nursing home software, care teams can remotely monitor the vital body signs of each resident and they receive alerts if the value of any vital body sign drops or increases in abnormal ways.
Which are the different nursing home software development options you have?
If you have made up your mind to build a nursing home app or software for senior care homes, let us clear your doubts around the different development options you have.
You can build a total of 3 types of digital solutions.
- Nursing home mobile app
A mobile app can only be operated using your smartphone. Your stakeholders can download it from Play Store (if you have an Android app) and from App Store (if you have an iOS app).
- Nursing home web app
A web app is the advanced version of a website. Like a website, it can be accessed through any mobile or web browser. However, a web app does support advanced UI/UX and features.
- Nursing home software
The software can only be accessed via any laptop or computer. It is similar to all other software you download in .exe format, install and use.
Taking this further, let us explain the top development options you have regardless of the type of digital solution you choose.
- Full-fledged custom development
Here, your hired development company builds your digital solution while following the entire software development lifecycle and by adding all common, basic and advanced features.
- MVP development
Here, your hired development company builds a basic version of a digital solution with only basic features. Once you use it in real life and collect user feedback, the development company adds more features or upgrades the existing features.
Compliance requirements for building an app for LTC home or assisted living facilities
Every healthcare mobile app, web app, website, or software that collects, stores and shares crucial personal and clinical data of patients needs to be compliant with applicable data privacy laws.
These privacy laws have different technical and administrative requirements.
To be compliant with applicable laws, your digital solution must manage the data of patients as per the technical requirements. And for that, it needs to be developed that way.
You also need to follow administrative requirements at your organization level to be fully compliant.
Talking about privacy laws, there are major 3 levels of privacy laws in Canada.
- Federal-level privacy law
In Canada, there is a major federal-level privacy law called PIPEDA which applies to all entities that collect, use and share data during commercial activities.
- Provincial-level privacy law
A few major Canadian provinces have their own privacy laws which apply to you in certain situations. In Ontario, there are two such laws, MFIPPA and FIPPA. (It may or may not apply to you based on your business practice and business identification.)
- Healthcare-specific provincial-level privacy law
This one is most crucial. A few major provinces in Canada have imposed dedicated privacy laws applicable to only healthcare entities. For instance, PHIPA in Ontario and HIA in Alberta.
Need help with healthcare compliance? You can hire our healthcare compliance experts!
Number of resources you would require to develop the best long term care app or software
If you are thinking that app or software development is all about coding, you are terribly wrong. Because, the best long term care app is the outcome of an entire process, not a single task.
And this process includes,
- Development (coding)
- Compliance audit
So, now it is easy to explain to you that app or software development is only 20% coding and 80% of the rest of the development phases.
Each phase of the development cycle requires a different set of skills, so do resources.
The following are the top resources you would require to build an app for a nursing home.
- Business analysts
Business analysts are responsible for documenting everything related to your project, defining business models, preparing workflows, estimating project costs, setting project timelines, identifying risks and preparing risk mitigation strategies.
- UI/UX designers
UI/UX designers design the user interface of digital solutions while keeping user journeys and workflows in mind.
As you all know, developers code the digital solution. However, their responsibilities also include defining the most suitable tech stack for your digital solution.
- QA testers
The QA team tests each and every feature and UI element of your developed product on different devices and in different real-life scenarios to find bugs and evaluate the overall code quality. They also measure the performance of your product.
- Compliance specialists
Compliance specialists prepare the compliance strategies and compliance documents. They assess which laws apply to your product and guide developers to address the technical requirements of each law.
Once the product codebase is ready, they carry out a security gap analysis and compliance audit to ensure that there is no privacy issue that can trigger non-compliance.
We’re a full-size healthcare-focused IT company, can help you with full-scale nursing home software/app development
We’re Ontario-based. And by healthcare-focused, we mean that we only entertain healthcare IT projects.
Why? Well, to serve the healthcare industry, you must need specific knowledge.
Ever heard of a dietitian treating patients with skin issues? No. Because a specific healthcare issue needs a specific person with specific knowledge!
Same way, to build healthcare digital solutions, you must hire specific experts.
All of our team members have only been working on healthcare IT projects since their first job. And that’s what makes us unique.
We have an on-ground understanding of how the healthcare and senior care industry works, which and how to integrate EHR, how to define workflows, how to test the healthcare solution and most importantly how to address healthcare privacy laws.
We have previously - even during the pandemic period - worked with several nursing and LTC homes across Canada and the USA to help them solve their challenges with our expertise.
And now we are looking forward to working with you as we both share the same vision - to uplift the lives of our seniors while not stressing out care teams!