The world of healthcare IT is continuously evolving. Providers have long been used to clunky IT systems that are full of frustrations and inefficiencies. Luckily for providers of all kinds, innovation hasn’t ignored healthcare IT, and digital health technology is finally in a position to offer convenience and meaningful solutions.
Health technology modernization has sparked the growth of many different solutions, including software as service (SaaS) technology. Before we get to SaaS, let’s review a very brief history of healthcare tech.
How did we get here?
Looking back at a brief history of health IT can give us an eye-opening picture of just how far we have come. If we take a trip back only to the 1990s, EHR systems are not yet widespread. In fact, in the early 1990s, there were still many barriers to EHR deployment. With gradual improvements in safety, security, interoperability, and reduced costs, EHR systems became an integral part of healthcare in the late 90s and 2000s.
In 2004 the federal government set forth initiatives to get every American on an EHR by 2014. In 2009, the U.S. passed the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act. The meaningful use piece of HITECH went into effect in 2011, further expanding HIT adoption and promoting widespread use of EHRs.
In 2011, the MU program launched officially and began with a staged rollout. Stage 1 focused on data capture and sharing. Stage 2, established in 2014, extended Stage 1’s requirements and further improved clinical processes. Stage 3 began in 2017 with a focus on improving overall outcomes.
Where are we now?
Thankfully, we have come a long way since the earliest EHRs. Notoriously slow, rigid, and clunky, the first iterations of EHRs were questionable in their ability to improve clinicians’ lives. Many clinicians held onto their paper charting systems as long as they could for these reasons. EHR systems are now plentiful and offer functionality that genuinely solves the daily clinic frustrations plaguing so many clinicians.
Now, not only do clinicians have choices when it comes to their EHR, but they must consider a myriad of other software solutions, including practice management software, patient engagement software, and billing software. Each of these options solves persistent practice problems and can make both clinicians’ and patients’ lives easier.
What is Software as Service?
Software as service (SaaS), also known as on-demand software, is delivered over the internet. SaaS solutions are centrally hosted and licensed to customers on a subscription basis. Traditional software solutions required installation and maintenance, which, on some level, were the responsibility of the customer. With SaaS, the software provider retains the responsibility of implementation, performance, and maintenance of the solution.
Why choose a SaaS solution?
- Get the solution you need without extra work.
Because SaaS solutions are centrally hosted and maintained by the software provider, you can get the software you need without the headache of complicated installations or regular maintenance.
- Keep up with the digital transformation with flexible software.
Modern SaaS solutions are flexible, ensuring that the code can be continuously updated, which means you get to enjoy improvements and innovation as the software developers fix bugs and add new features.
- Customize a solution to meet your needs
With flexibility comes customizability. Even with a centrally-hosted solution, the infrastructure of the SaaS platform allows customers to alter their network to suit their organization’s needs. Even when the software provider pushes updates to the software, customer customizations are maintained.
- Improve access for you and your clients/patients.
To use web-based SaaS software, all you need is internet access. This means that both you and your patients can conveniently access the software from any networked device.
When to use SaaS
The great news is that technology can ease almost any problem you can conjure up related to healthcare delivery. But, with SaaS popping up everywhere, it’s challenging to keep all of the solutions straight. How do you decide which software solutions you need when you can use SaaS for almost any problem?
Start by identifying your daily frustrations and patient-care challenges. Once you’ve done that, look for software solutions that directly address those problems. Modern SaaS solutions work cooperatively with your current systems, so you can keep using your EHR and any other software while adding a new solution to address your persistent challenges.
SaaS for this, SaaS for that
As digital health technology continues to boom, we are seeing highly specific and innovative solutions popping up. The result is a myriad of SaaS solutions that each solve individual problems.
Let’s consider an example. You want to work closely with your patient to manage their diabetes and heart disease. You may find a SaaS solution that helps them track and monitor their blood sugar, one that deals with med management, one for their diet, and one for their fitness tracking. And, we have yet even to examine solutions that are more specific to cardiovascular disease—the problem: too many answers for one issue – the health of that patient.
Fitango Duo: SaaS for Patient Experience
Fitango’s Patient Experience solution aims to reduce overwhelming technology silos, making everything you need to provide an exceptional patient experience available on just one SaaS solution. With features like medication management, active patient engagement, family engagement, health content management, secure messaging, telehealth, and population health, you can take care of all of your patient care frustrations with one instant-access SaaS solution.
With Fitango Duo, you can bring your practice into the modern world with just ONE innovative solution. The best part? You get to put your logo on the software and offer your patients a fully branded application with everything they need on their journey to better health.
Fitango Duo is coming soon! Stay tuned for details on how you can get started right away, for free!