Skip to main content

The Essential Guide to EHR Software Development

If you are an EHR developer, this post designed to provide insights and guidance for developing Electronic Health Record (EHR) software. This guide covers various aspects of EHR software development including some of the challenges and frequently asked questions. 

8 key features to look for in an EHR system

  • Data Aggregation: EHRs gather and consolidate patient medical information from various sources, enabling centralized access for authorized healthcare providers.

  • Storage: EHRs securely store clinical records, medical histories, test results, and treatment plans electronically, ensuring data integrity and accessibility.

  • Interoperability: EHRs facilitate seamless data exchange among healthcare facilities, enabling interoperability between different systems and improving care coordination and patient outcomes.

  • Authorized Access: They allow authorized medical professionals to access patient data securely, ensuring privacy and compliance with HIPAA regulations.

  • Clinical Decision Support: EHRs offer insights and alerts to aid clinicians in making informed treatment decisions, providing clinical decision support tools that improve patient care and safety.

  • E-Prescribing: Physicians can electronically prescribe medications directly from the EHR system, reducing errors associated with traditional paper prescriptions and improving prescription management.

  • Patient Portals: EHRs provide patients with access to their medical records, appointment scheduling, lab results, and secure communication with healthcare providers, promoting patient engagement and empowerment.

  • Data Analytics: EHRs support data analysis for population health management, research, and quality improvement initiatives, enabling healthcare organizations to identify trends, measure outcomes, and optimize care delivery.

Leverage Elation API with our developer platform

Developer platform | Elation Health EHR

Step-by-Step Guide on how to build an EHR system

  • Planning: Create a clear roadmap for implementation, outlining tasks, milestones, and goals to ensure a structured development process.

  • Leadership: Establish strong leadership to guide the development process, assign roles and responsibilities, and ensure effective communication among team members.

  • Budgeting: Define budget limits and projections to ensure financial feasibility throughout the development lifecycle. Allocate resources appropriately to meet project requirements.

  • Development: Build the EHR system according to the defined specifications, design, and coding functionalities. Implement features such as data aggregation, storage, interoperability, clinical decision support, and patient portals.

  • Testing: Thoroughly test the EHR system for functionality, security, performance, and user experience. Conduct unit testing, integration testing, and user acceptance testing to identify and resolve any issues or bugs.

  • Training: Provide comprehensive training programs for users, including healthcare providers, administrators, and support staff, on how to effectively use the EHR system. Offer training sessions, workshops, and user manuals to ensure proficiency and adoption.

  • Implementation: Roll out the EHR system across the organization in a phased approach, ensuring a smooth transition from existing systems. Coordinate with stakeholders, conduct data migration, and establish protocols for system usage.

  • Support and Maintenance: Provide ongoing support and maintenance services to address user inquiries, technical issues, and system updates. Establish helpdesk support, troubleshoot problems, and implement enhancements or upgrades as needed.

  • Evaluation: Continuously monitor and evaluate the performance and usability of the EHR system post-implementation. Gather feedback from users, identify areas for improvement, and implement iterative enhancements to optimize system functionality and user satisfaction.

Identifying EHR software development challenges

  • Cost: EHR implementation can be expensive, involving costs for software licensing, hardware infrastructure, training, and ongoing support. Link to EHR Cost Considerations

  • Technical Issues: Software bugs, integration problems, and system downtime can hinder smooth operations, leading to disruptions in patient care and administrative processes.

  • Data Security and Privacy: Safeguarding sensitive patient data from breaches, cyberattacks, and unauthorized access is critical to maintain patient trust and comply with regulatory requirements, such as HIPAA.

  • Interoperability: Ensuring seamless data exchange between different EHR systems, healthcare facilities, and external stakeholders (e.g., labs, pharmacies) can be complex due to differences in data formats, standards, and protocols.

  • Usability: Poor user interface design, unintuitive navigation, and inefficient workflows can impact user satisfaction and productivity among healthcare providers, leading to resistance to EHR adoption and suboptimal utilization.

  • Regulatory Compliance: Meeting legal and industry standards for data protection, privacy, and security, such as HIPAA, GDPR, and Meaningful Use requirements, poses challenges in terms of implementing robust security measures, conducting regular audits, and ensuring compliance with evolving regulations.

Streamline primary care with our modern EHR


How long does it take to develop EHR software?

The time it takes to develop EHR software can vary significantly depending on factors such as the scope of the project, the complexity of features, the size of the development team, and the level of customization required. Generally, the development process can take anywhere from several months to a few years. A smaller-scale EHR system with basic functionalities may take around 6-12 months to develop, while larger, more complex systems may require 18 months or longer.

How does EHR software benefit healthcare organizations?

Electronic Health Record (EHR) software benefits healthcare organizations in several ways including through improved efficiency and enhanced patient care. 

What technologies are commonly used in EHR software development?

Technologies commonly used in EHR software development include security technologies, APIs, and cloud computing.