The advantages and disadvantages of bespoke software for healthcare

The advantages and disadvantages of bespoke software for healthcare

Bespoke software has both advantages and disadvantages for healthcare. If you are looking at a bespoke solution for your healthcare organisation, it’s good be aware of the positives and negatives.

In some cases highly personalised software is the best way to go whereas in other instances off-the-shelf products might offer a better alternative.

Advantages of bespoke software for healthcare

Healthcare staff using bespoke software

1. A tailored solution for your healthcare team

Tailored-made software fits your organisation like a glove. It meets your wishes and offers what it needs to offer without any added distractions.

This advantage is one of the main reasons organisations decide on bespoke rather than off-the-shelf. Particular departments in healthcare at times require specific software solutions to manage cases, monitor clinical trials, report lab results etc.

In order to take full advantage of the adaptability of bespoke software you have to offer clarity on what you wish out of your software solution to the developers.

This way a solution can meet what’s in your mind and offer the best solution for your organisation and your team.

2. Reduces training time

Because bespoke software adopts to an organisation's wishes, healthcare organisation can align the words, icons and navigation in the software to what fits best with your team.

Having a solution as such can be of great value as it reduces training time. There is less need to explain what the different items do, and the system will be more intuitive for your specific team and organisation.

3. Easy to scale up

If you find a new need in your organisation and wish to expand the software, for instance to a new hospital department, bespoke solutions can adapt and scale up easier than an off-the-shelf solution.

Even more, as you’ve already established a relationship with a developer, they will be aware of your wishes and scale you up with those wishes in mind.

Disadvantages of bespoke software for healthcare

Working on bespoke software visual

1. Bespoke software can be expensive

Because bespoke software is made to fit the organisation, tailor-made solutions can become expensive. Dedicated time has to be put aside to define the design and build the software. This means that initial costs are higher than off-the-shelf software.

The upside to this is that the costs in many cases offer better value over time and reduce costs in your organisation as well. A snug-fitting software piece should reduce time your staff might spend on administrative tasks, thus freeing up time for actual patient care.

In addition, with bespoke you do not have to worry about license fees or subscription costs.

2. Bespoke software can take a long time to build

As with any custom-built piece, perfection takes time. The same goes for bespoke software. To fully zone in on the requirements from a hospital, pharmacy or general practice, a developer requires time.

This means bespoke software can at times take a long time to build. In particular if the bespoke software has to meet many different demands. Off-the-shelf instead offers a quicker solution allowing for a relatively fast implementation period.

Go with flexible off-the-shelf

Rather than choose inflexible off-the-shelf or fully bespoke, you can also decide on a fairly flexible solution. 

Our Quality Portal is a great example of a digital solution as such as it has different modules that you can add to your package. Whether you’d like a full bespoke solution, off-the-shelf or a more flexible solution, we are happy to help your healthcare organisation. Get in touch to learn more about the healthcare software solutions on offer.