by Gitanjali Maria
Published on 27 October 2016
If you're ripping your hair out trying to run your home health care business don't panic - there's a remedy for that.
It's worth looking at using home care software if you find yourself having a hard time managing appointments for your home care centers, or if you're having trouble tracking the activities of your on-duty field staff. Home care software can alleviate these concerns and help you manage your everyday operations more effectively.
This article will guide you on how to choose home care software, explaining what these solutions do and exploring the benefits for your business.
Home care software helps agencies manage caregivers' schedules, track client-visit time, monitor personnel behavior, and prevent double-booking of caregivers. Advanced software can also support customer portals, online payments, accounting, and reporting modules.
Who isn't happy when new clients come calling? But what if you mess up because your existing systems are not able to handle the increasing volume of appointments? You may need to improve your systems to be able to keep pace with demand.
A report by the Population Reference Bureau (PRB) indicates that the need for elder care will increase as the baby boomer generation ages. According to a study by Caregiving Innovation Frontiers, the home care market is expected to grow 68 percent from 2016 to 2020, to reach $72.2 billion. This could offer a huge growth potential for home care and hospice agencies.
To be able to tap into this market quickly and to meet the expectations of a tech-savvy audience, old-school tools such as spreadsheets and notepads may prove inadequate.
According to customer surveys by Carecenta, 77 percent of home care businesses stated that using a management software has made a big impact on their daily operations. The research revealed that these businesses could avoid 95 percent of all operational errors by using the right software.
This case study by software vendor CareVoyant outlines some of the benefits you might expect if you were to choose home care software for your business.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself when deciding if your small home care business is ready for a software solution:
Are you still using paper-based time cards? Then you must have had instances of lost records and trouble collating records of multiple employees and clients. Creating schedules and customized care plans can get daunting, especially as the number of employees and clients increase.
Are your field staff agents (caregivers) finding it difficult to coordinate with the backend administration office? You might have had instances of caregivers not equipped with the right patient details due to communication breakdowns. Effective communication can help the caregivers manage their appointments and providing the right services to the clients.
Do you often worry about your business complying with all the necessary federal regulations? Documentation work and reports need to be filed on time, a process which can be eased through home care software. You may also be worried that you're not aware of all the changes in the law and need to shell out large sums of money for external help.
There's a whole gamut of home care software that you can choose from - ranging solutions with just the basic features to others that offer complex functionality. So, choosing an appropriate home care software within your budget can get tricky. Understanding your requirements well can help you get an idea of the software best suited for your agency.
Will you opt for a cloud-based software or an on-premise solution? Cloud-based or SaaS solutions let your agency and its caregivers to access the software system and all associated data from anywhere. Another advantage of going for a cloud solution over on-premise it that your home care agency shouldn't need to investment in IT hardware and maintenance. SaaS solutions can be scaled up as the agency grows.
Will you require an integrated software suite or a stand-alone solution? If you are buying a software for the first time, choosing an integrated suite that offers additional modules in CRM, billing, accounting and human resources might be a better option. On the other hand, if you are already using software such as QuickBooks, you could choose a stand-alone home care solution that has capabilities to integrate with your other systems.
Will it have mobile apps for iOS and Android devices? Mobile apps can help field staff in adding clients and creating point-of-care notes. Other features offered by mobile home care apps include electronic task documentation, digital signature capture, GPS clock-in/clock-out, and real-time access to schedules and care plans.
Will the software be regularly updated to meet the changing market needs? Software updates are something to look out for, and it's worth checking if they are free and making sure new features are regularly added. Rules in the healthcare sector change frequently and regular updates can help ensure continuous compliance with the latest regulations.
Will you have to invest in expensive training? The application should be easy to use and the field staff should be able to adapt to it quickly with minimal training.
What are the pricing options available? The pricing model for cloud-based home care software is generally subscription-based. Payments are on per month basis and users can also request for customized quotes. Some vendors also offer free versions of their software that support either a limited number of users or have restricted capabilities.
Once you have an idea about your major requirements, the next step will be to make sure the home care software has the key features you need. This graphic shows you some of the core things to look for in a home care software solution:
Here are three of the most popular solutions on the market to consider when you choose home care software:
Carecenta is a cloud-based home care system that provides features around scheduling, billing and payroll, reporting and HIPAA compliance. The system is designed to integrate well with key business financial systems, and offers HR features such as time and attendance, employee background verification, and secure communication channels.
Price : From $500 per month
Savii Care's home care agency management platform helps to coordinate client care, manage field staff, and handle client referrals. It also supports GPS validated timekeeping, payroll management, and real-time reporting. The software is optimized for use on mobile devices and offers native iOS and Android apps.
Price : From $99 per month
Kinnser is a web-based solution that helps to track caregiver accountability and manage field staff schedules. The software also supports billing and invoicing, field communication and integration with third-party HR, CRM, payroll and telephony systems. It offers native iOS and Android apps as well.
Price : Available on request
You can check out the full list of all home care software on** GetApp **.
For a more detailed look at the major software in the home care market, check out our comparison page , where you can see at-a-glance how the applications differ in terms of features, integrations, mobile support, and online presence.
Once you've chosen your home care software, or even if you're just running trial versions of some of the apps, we'd love to hear your feedback. Go ahead and leave a review of home care software.