Technology has helped the healthcare sector in many ways and has accelerated the practices people access medical assistance in the modern era. Medical institutions have included various technologies such as artificial intelligence, augmented reality, etc., to treat the patients, but the patients still vary in using technical assistance.
One of the prime reasons modern-day patients are ambivalent about using technology is the interoperability issues of the healthcare data. Also, the patient portal user interface is exceptional for doctors and hospital staff, but the engagement levels are not quite there for patients.
Therefore, creating an engaging solution that renders value to the patients and addresses needs faster is essential. So, in this blog, we will understand everything and how much a patient portal software costs. In addition, we will discuss the best practices, must-have features, and other essential things that will define the patient portal software cost.
What is a patient portal?
This online solution is a mobile application or web page that provides 24 hours access to patients’ medical records, health billing management, personal profiles, and healthcare service data.
The patient portal is often considered similar to other health-related apps such as diet planning apps, fitness apps, etc. Moreover, these portals are also provided by healthcare insurance services as they can directly access their medical records.
The purpose and aim of the patient portal software depend on its type; they are:
Integrated patient portal
This portal, also known as the tethered portal, is used where data is in large quantities, such as Electronic Health Record (EHR) or Hospital Management System (HMS). The integrated patient portal software cost is more as it requires more time and effort in its development process.
On the other hand, an integrated patient portal renders a direct connection to the patient database and is used for various functions and services. This portal also can digitally redefine the working process of a more extensive hospital management system.
Standalone patient portal
This type of portal generally has one fundamental function and a limited data capacity. The function can be accessing a lab test or scheduling doctor appointments for patients, etc. Private labs, independent drug stores, local medical officers, etc., are the primary users of the standalone patient portals.
The patient portal cost is affordable as it has limited function, and an essential skilled software development team can quickly build it. It has simpler software architecture and is required for dedicated purposes. Therefore, the software development process is fast as well.
Guide to developing a patient portal software and its cost
After understanding the basics of the patient portal, we will take a closer look at its development process and price. Let’s begin:
1) Have a concrete plan in place
The primary step of developing a patient portal is to prepare a lean canvas (action plan). The program will include three stages:
Ø Strategic roadmap.
Ø Superlative business model.
Ø ROI-centric portal development strategy.
Along with the three steps, an in-depth research is necessary to understand the target audience's priorities, requirements, and other activities. The research and development process will also include competitor analytics and getting to know the pain points of the targeted customers.
2) Design process of the portal
After the roadmap is designed following a research process, it is time to move ahead and create the UI/UX of the patient portal. While designing the patient portal user interface, it is necessary to understand that the portal has multiple functions. Therefore, it must support different user roles such as patients, doctors, hospital management, front-desk staff, nurses, etc.
As the user roles are specific, it is advised to have work straightforward patient portal user interface. This approach will help deliver a more immersive user experience to the patient and the hospital staff. As the design is defined, the portal designers will have no problem mapping out the flow and creating the product according to the requirements.
3) Prototyping of the patient portal
Once the design flow is finalized, it is necessary to assemble static and dynamic UIs and develop a clickable prototype for real users. This process will help get the actual feedback from the users and improve the overall design process (if needed).
Developing a prototype will also assist in improving the scalability of the patient portal app in many ways. Moreover, it becomes easier for the developers to concentrate on specific aspects of the portal and not go haywire during the development process.
4) Developing the patient portal
To keep the patient portal cost in check, it is essential to go through sprint cycles during the portal development process. With such an agile approach, it is easier to tweak things according to the changing requirements and act on the feedback strategically.
Moreover, there are certain things that the software developers must keep in mind while developing the patient portal application; they are:
Ø HIPAA compliance
Including the best security practices while designing the patient portal user interface and developing the app is necessary. Whether it is the authorization, communication protocols, or the encryption of the portal, it is inevitable to abide the HIPAA compliance to keep the portal smooth and functioning for a longer time. In addition, the developers must keep in mind to delete all the emails and notifications that are HIPAA related from the system to maintain data privacy.
Ø Integration with cloud services
With the proliferation of technology, patient data comes in massive amounts, and it is necessary to store it strategically. Therefore, integration with cloud services is essential as it will allow the patient to access their medical data from anywhere in a safe and secured way. In addition, with cloud integration, the patient portal software cost will also decrease.
Ø Have a vision of localization beforehand
If the patient portal app has multilanguage support, it can increase the userbase. Moreover, the patients will also feel at home while using the portal. Therefore, it is necessary to have a vision of localization before finalizing the app architecture, as it will be beneficial in the long run.
5) App portal release in the market
After ensuring everything is in order during the development process, it is time to finally release the patient portal in the market. Also, it is necessary to check the stress levels the outlet can handle once it is life. Regular monitoring and stress tests will help analyze the portal's performance, make necessary changes, and thus reduce the patient portal cost.
6) Maintenance of the patient portal
Once the portal is live, it is necessary to do regular maintenance and update as per the requirement to ensure its longevity. To keep the patient portal software cost in check, it is required to add new features only based on the feedback and after having concrete planning.
In addition to fixing the issues, the portal should be regularly updated with the update of the OS version. This process will make the portal more secure and accessible to the patient and the hospital staff.
Cost of building a patient portal app in the healthcare sector
The cost of developing a patient portal app will depend on various factors, such as the project size of the development team, the features required for the portal, the number of updates, and more. In addition to the team size, the patient portal software cost also depends on the demographic location of the hired software developers.
Rapid prototyping can become a valuable tool to ensure that the patient portal software cost doesn’t get out of hand. It will help the developers analyze the requirement of the targeted audience and thus make regular changes. Moreover, based on the data, they could make more informed decisions and speed up the entire development process.
The project’s duration will also define the patient portal cost as the per hour rate of the developers will differ from place to place. For example, the average per hour rate of developers in the United States is close to $150/hour (depending upon their specialization and work experience). While on the other hand, in India, the cost would be around $15-30 per hour. The lower cost doesn’t mean that India’s developers would do substandard work. This varies according to the cost of living as well.
A general estimation of patient portal software cost is:
Ø Project Duration: 3-6 months.
Ø Team: 1 Project manager, 3-5 software developers, 1-2 designers, 1 Quality assurance.
Ø Estimated cost: $40000 to $70000 (The exact rate would solely depend on the requirement of the project).
Advantages of a patient portal for the healthcare team
The primary aim of the patient portal is to become a bridge between the healthcare service providers and the patients. It also helps solve communication problems and allows the patients to get the best treatment for their ailments. Some of the better advantages of a patient portal are:
1) It keeps the costs in check
The patient portal automates all the mundane tasks and saves time. Moreover, the hospital management doesn’t require hiring people for functions such as customer service.
2) Better decision-making process
If the hospital management has data on the patient in one place, it will reduce the rate of human errors. Moreover, the intuitive patient portal software will help the hospital staff connect with the patients on multiple levels and regularly check their health updates.
3) Saves time
The patient portal app will automate several tasks in one place and help the hospital staff to concentrate on more productive tasks. Along with automation, self-help tasks will also assist the team in focusing clearly on the patients’ pain points and doing their job according to their requirements.
4) Generating more revenue streams
An interactive patient portal user interface will allow healthcare firms to offer subscription services to the patients based on a SaaS model. Also, with more revenue services, it will be easier for the hospital to turn that money into development schemes for the patients.
5) Better results
The patient portals will help the suffering patient get better, more synchronized treatment with practical plans. Improved outcomes are one of the better advantages of healthcare software. Moreover, with a better-formed patient portal, the patients will not only become healthy but loyal to the hospital organization as well.
Top features to redefine the patient portal app
After getting the details about how much a patient portal software costs, it is time to see the top features that will make the app shine among the rest. The hospital staff has to be cautious of the fact that they must not include too many features as it would make the app confusing for the patients. Here are the leading features that must be included in the patient portal app.
1) Appointment scheduling
It is a critical feature as it is tough to picture a patient portal app without appointment scheduling. The real advantage of the appointment scheduling feature is that the patients can access it without access to a web browser or application.
Therefore, it is unnecessary for the healthcare service providers to render an online portal, thus saving money on the overall patient portal software cost.
2) List of all the doctors
If patients have access to a catalog with all the services and the list of doctors, it will be easier for them to find the available specialists. A clear and easy-to-read dashboard that presents this vital information can be a handy feature in the patient portal app.
3) Artificial Intelligence (AI) assistance
A virtual chatbot that answers all the related queries of the patients and helps them in their treatment can be a critical feature in the patient portal app. Moreover, it will also render direct access to the patient's medical data and help accelerate the treatment process.
4) Registration and authorization
This feature of the patient portal app will make it easier for medical organizations to register new and existing patients in their databases. The patients can get a text message with the link to log in and start accessing the portal’s services. In addition, two-factor authentication plays a pivotal role in safeguarding the data.
Developing an interactive patient portal application can be game-changing for healthcare service providers. It will help them treat their patients better and keep them loyal to the hospital for other healthcare services.
For the patients, it would be simpler to get access to the medical data and have a clear understanding of their ailment. The patient portal software cost depends on various factors such as the app's features, the app developers' demographic region, and more. Moreover, it is essential for healthcare service providers to understand their requirements before deciding to develop a patient portal app.
At Third Rock Techno, we boast a team of experienced and dedicated app developers and designers who have exposure to a wide range of industries, including the healthcare sector. Therefore, to be the best healthcare service provider and increase your customers’ engagement, look at our work portfolio to understand us. Contact us now to start your dream patient portal app development project!