SmarteHIS or SmarteCare  is a free and open source Hospital Information system built on top of ERPNext which is gaining the spotlight now as powerful open source ERP with ease of use, development standardisation , powerful security model, and developers friendly solution. However SmarteHIS is now within ERPNext Healthcare domain. SmarteHIS or smarteCare as it's main developers call it has merged with ERPNext and introduced as part of ERPNext built for healthcare sector. The name is pretty confusing as the domain states SmarteHIS and the new name/ title shows SmarteCare but that’s does matter much as it's just a place holder for a project integrated fully with it's parent: ERPNext.

So what is ERPNext and how it can benefits the healthcare industry and healthcare application development?

ERPNext : is an Open source ERP solution, built by open source technologies and released as an open source software under GPLv3 License, It has been built by some interesting technology mixes as Python/ JavaScript ( NodeJS )  using MariaDB, It can be installed on Linux, MacOSX and Windows. There are different options to install and run it, as automated installed powered by Bench Tool commands using the terminal, or with Bench GUI. If you may prefer using Virtual disks and software as VirtualBox there are different disk images. However as a developer I went for manual install Which was pretty easy and quite automated. That’s what makes ERPNext little more different than other open source ERP solutions out there.

ERPNext has the features you may see in other ERP solutions as CRM module, billing, messaging and notification, Project management, HR and Payroll, Support disk, Inventory and many other modules. As ERP next is targeting different industries it has different modules for different industries. As example it features Batches and Serial Numbers, Tracking and Quality inspection for Shipping and Disruption sector.

Platforms

ERPNext for Healthcare :

As in Healthcare ERPNext is currently featuring  Patient records management,  Appointments management Module,  Laboratory records management as well as patient milling and invoices management. It may be quite fit to be in production for many healthcare settings which don't require advanced or complex clinical workflow. However there is some other modules are missing but easy to build and integrate with experienced developer.

ERP modules:

  • Billing and Payments
  • HR and Payroll
  • Inventory and Stock management
  • POS Point of Sale for checkout integrated with billing and payment module
  • Project management
  • Financial Accounting
  • Quality Inspection
  • Batches and Serial Numbers  tracking
  • Support desk
  • Chat and messaging

Healthcare modules

  • Appointments management
  • Patient records management
  • Consultations
  • Inpatient management
  • Pharmacy with complete integration with ERPNext store, and stock management module
  • Laboratory workflow including  Items tracking and reporting
  • Laboratory records management      
  • Custom Reporting for Clinical  and Laboratory workflow
  • Patient notification through SMS/ email

What about DICOM Integration?

SmarteCare  has listed a set of planned features for the future release with intention to go for full DICOM/ PACS integration :

  • DICOM Modality Worklist
  • Modality Performed Procedure Step
  • Open source PACS integration
  • DICOM Query Retrieve client
  • DICOM Image Viewer

Should I request a demo or install it?

Yes and Yes, if you are a developer or with web/ software development experience I would recommend to install it to go through the Frappe framework  , and evaluate the installation, configuration and deployment process. As for decision makers as hospital owners and managers, I would recommend  to get a trial demo account on ERPNext cloud account and try out the features especially the healthcare modules. Then go with their IT managers for a developer/ installation and deployment test.

What makes ERPNext powerful?

     The company behind ERPNext has built set of development tools including the framework that ERPNext is based on it " Frappe " which is itself set of modern and powerful open source tools, languages and libraries as it uses Python/ JavaScript for programming, MySQL database, Redis  for caching as well as my favourite Socketio.js on top of NodeJS for real-time data processing and reactivity . They have easy to use command line tool " Bench " to install, deploy, manage not only single installation of ERPNext but multiple installations at the sometime. ERPNext has provided very rich development documentation for installation, deployment, building apps and extensions and REST API. Lets summaries the features which makes ERPNext the next big open source ERP for healthcare :

  • Developer friendly
  • Integration ready with  developer friendly REST API provided by Frappe framework
  • Developer tools : Bench
  • Mobile ready : Mobile apps for iOS and Android with responsive  design
  • Powerful Community for end-user and developers

Developers note:

Installation is pretty easy for developers as for development and standalone one device installation ERPNext or to work in production. ERPNext is developer friendly which ease the extensions and building new Apps on top of it, so it's the idea solution for healthcare service providers which are looking for stable, developer friendly solution to customize their solutions on it. On side note it's freaking fast and responsive so as smooth. Though I didn't like the messages/ chat module design but it's usable. The design/ user interface of ERPNext is very simple yet so powerful easy to use, with different access tools as utilizing the main search bar as command line/ shortcut access to run and automate operations. Notification module for the user is noticeable and easy to access which is very important and required features either as in healthcare setting.

In many cases the users are looking to build their own modules, apps on top of their usable platform, With ERPNext tools which based on Frappe they have automated the process and provided very powerful, clear documentation and active support forum to help their users to build and extend their ERPNext installations.

What are the technologies used to create ERPNext? Are they open source?

Here is the Development summary of the technologies used in Frappe framework source

User manual and Developer documentation

ERPNext team has provided very detailed user manual in for the ERPNext Modules in English and set of other languages as Deutsch Spanish and Lithuanian. Developer documentation is very detailed for the Frappe, Bench. REST API has detailed documentation.

ERPNext Mobile Apps :

ERPNext is providing mobile apps to standalone/ cloud installations of ERPNext on for iOS : iPhone/ iPad and Android devices,  Android app has been downloaded +10.000 times and has about 4.3 and it's lightweight as 2.9MB, As well as the iOS version as well which is 10.8 MB. The mobile apps has ERPNext user interface in responsive view which is perfectly working on android tablets, iPad and different mobile resolutions.

Apps and Extensions :

ERPNext does not have what is mainly common with other ERP solutions which is Extensions Marketplace/ store,

However it provides set of apps built by ERPNext community, Unlike Odoo ERP and similar solutions in the same domain ERPNext didn't provide marketplace for extensions/ apps/ modules yet.

Support, Community and Integration

To get support as ERPNext user you have many options, but regarding to your usage, and implementation, ERPNext community is very active at ERPNext forum, and gitter chat , The forum is categorized to serve developers, implementers, end users and devOps. Its also featuring some main modules as accounting, eCommerce, CRM, Stock and manufacturing. ERPNext community forum is featuring integration  category which is full of threads about integration of ERPNext and services like : eBay, DHL, eCommerce platforms like Shopify , There are few threads about SMS integration, Google calendar, Dropbox and AWS ( Amazon Web Services ) . Some services like Zoho suites and Google suite also has many threads with answers from the developer community to help integrate those services.

Finding ERPNext developer for Healthcare extension/ integration? Check ERPNext jobs.

Decision makers in healthcare services are often struggling to find developer(s) to extend their work on ERP solution, and that makes them reconsider using it, and even conflict with their decisions about using ERP as complete suite to run their facility. ERPNext jobs is a simple portal to post ERPNext jobs and what makes it usable is the jobs listed are setting the location for the job which means it'll get  local ERPNext  developers attention first as well as improve the developers base for job owners with different options.

License

GPL v3

Conclusion

ERPNext as an ERP is very usable to handle the healthcare process, It also provide it's users with necessary tools to extend and model their requirements and their  workflow with ease. It's integration ready ready to be integrated within the current solutions which can provide easier migration process later within ERPNext. But what makes ERPNext the right solution for many healthcare service providers is community support, also finding developers to hire to extend. ERPNext is in active development but upgrades are not that hard as it's ERP competitors which struggles while upgrading from one one version to another leaving the user stuck with old version and integration problems as splitting the community to version nodes. ERPNext has overcome most of those problem, as it continues to grow and gain more stands in the healthcare sector.

Resources:

Related topics :