Rapid Application Development in Healthcare

In 2014, Becker’s Hospital Review, a hospital business magazine, released a report exploring the various benefits of technology innovation in the healthcare industry. Overall, the report details how IT investment has an impact not only on an organization’s performance but also it’s bottom line.

One of the hospitals mentioned in the report saw complications decrease by up to 86 percent after investing in ICU telemonitoring technology. The hospital’s ICU mortality rate declined 19.6 percent, overall hospital mortality dropped by 13.2 percent and lengths of stays in the ICU and hospital fell 29.7 percent and 26.3 percent, respectively. On the financial side of things, the hospital found that the $7.1 million tele-ICU system paid for itself in less than a year.

Despite these benefits, the typical process of integrating new technology solutions for your organization can be incredibly time consuming and problematic.The typical approach begins with defining requirements and putting out a request for proposals. Once a software provider is selected, the developer usually starts by building a pilot program that once implemented must go through sometimes multiple rounds of integrated testing before it goes live. From start to finish the entire process can take upwards of 18 months and ultimately by the time the new solution is fully implemented, your organizations’ needs might have changed.

Rapid Application Development is a new way of delivering software that addresses the shortcomings of the traditional procurement and development process. With RAD, companies and organizations can quickly meet initial user requirements and get a new software solution up and running faster. After the initial creation process, developers then use customer feedback to improve the software. It’s an ongoing process that allows for a fluid system that is constantly adapting to user needs.

Here are three reasons why RAD is uniquely suited to the healthcare industry: 

Consistency is key

In healthcare, interruptions in service are out of the question. Health organizations can’t deal with buggy and error prone applications when patient lives are at stake. But with RAD, they often don’t have to. RAD helps developers detect and fix bugs early in the process so there’s less need to go back and fix issues. This reduces the time and effort required for usual software testing phases.

Solutions must wear many hats

Additionally, healthcare applications have many layers. They need to be applicable to patient care, staff services, medical reporting systems and more. With RAD, the project is divided into separate modules and each module is treated like a separate prototype. As a result, each prototype undergoes a separate testing phase and each component is eventually weaved together to produce the completed application.

Development is fluid

RAD allows for greater integration of customer feedback. Since each prototype is tested individually, there is greater opportunity for suggestions and improvements. And any change that needs to be made is easier to incorporate because only the individual module is changed instead of the software platform as a whole. Unlike with traditional waterfall development, developers don’t need to take several steps backwards to make changes.

In health care, RAD is particularly valuable when applications involve the health and safety of families and employer organizations or rely on mobile applications to reach out to patients at home or at work. RAD allows the complex process of testing interactions with non-medical professional to move at speed.

The healthcare industry is constantly changing and organizations need solutions that can shift and grow with them. RAD development provides organizations with greater adaptability.

Treehouse Technology Group is working with healthcare organizations to help them implement valuable solutions more efficiently. We’ve worked with several groups on Rapid Application Development bring their organizations into the 21st century much more quickly.  If you’re interested in transforming your operation and want to work with a company with a successful track record, contact TTG for a free consultation. We specialize in helping companies develop robust solutions best suited for their specific business needs.

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