Why Should I Invest in Care Management Software?
As the owner of a company providing residential or domiciliary care services, you have probably heard about various different ways that technology can be used to make improvements to the way you run your business. In this blog post we will try to look at some of the things to consider when choosing Care Management Software and how the technology could help you in ways you may not have thought about.
Any time you are thinking of investing in new tools for your business it is best to start with asking yourself what you want the software to do for you? Working out what you want to achieve with the investment is a key question that needs answering. There are many factors that could affect your decision, from inspection ratings, GDPR readiness to improving staff retention and morale. The strongest driver needs to be the desire to improve the quality of care within the organisation. So the software needs to be able to achieve many different things at the same time.
What Do You Need from the Software?
Understanding the drivers is probably the best place to start. In other words, what parts of your business do you need to improve? This is not about putting together a feature list or a set of functional descriptions, more like a high level set of areas that need to be improved. For example:
- Improving operational efficiency
- Better care environment
- Improve regulatory compliance
- Better performance at inspections
- Better information storage
- Reduce staff turnover
Once the drivers have been identified, the task of identifying the features that will help you to achieve the drivers that you have just identified.
Many vendors will have the basic functionality such as scheduling, rosters, staff & client management or invoicing or payroll. This will be a good starting point to start looking at what else is available. At this point it might be worth getting creative and asking yourselves the question – Wouldn’t it be great if we could……..? This gives you a great opportunity to do two things. The first is to start a relationship with your eventual software provider. If they are serious about what they do, they will be very keen to work with you and to develop their products to suit your requirements. The best ideas often come from the people working at the coal face. The second opportunity is to look at your own business and look for the areas that need improving. By bringing the staff together to look for new software to help manage the business, you can engage the staff and get a good picture of where the software can help improve things for everyone. This will also have the effect of getting buy in from the organisation which will be very important when it comes to implementing the new product. Change is always easier to implement if it is driven by the whole organisation not just the management or IT department.
Juggling the Benefits
By moving from a paper based management system to a digital care management system, we would expect to see significant improvements in the business. The interesting aspect is how broad the range of improvements can be. Some of them will have clear financial benefits, while others will improve the overall quality of care being provided. One of the key advantages is the possibility to measure the improvements. By having a single digital record every action can be recorded. Every task can be marked as done and every report filed quickly and easily. As a result, every driver that was identified as needing to be improved can be measured. By measuring , then it can be improved. This goes for CQC inspections, better financial performance, greater efficiency leads to greater scalability of the business with increased quality or simply reducing medicinal errors. It all adds to a better care environment.
This post isn’t aimed at highlighting one particular vendor over another or one feature over another, but rather to highlight how important it is to look at your own business as a whole when trying to decide on the best care management software for you. A comprehensive system should be able to give you benefits across the whole of your business which is why it is important to understand where you are and what needs improving. Less functional software may need to be replaced early while many vendors may not have that much experience to fall back on when bringing their new products to the market. Do your homework, ask questions and above all, understand what your really need.