Homecare affiliate members Careberry discuss the crucial factors to consider when looking at homecare management software in our latest guest blog.
What are the key considerations when looking at homecare management software?
Many homecare providers are looking at digital solutions to address the issues they face on a daily basis when providing care to people in their own homes.
First and foremost, it’s looking at the software where everything can be done under one umbrella. That is the biggest consideration, you do not want to jump from one software to another to manage your service. For example, managing medication within the system, the careworker's data, care planning, rostering, recruitment, time-sheets, payroll and accounting. These all need to sit in one place.
A lot of software packages do claim they can do all-in-one, but has the software been tested in the real world? If a careworker goes into the field, would they be able to write their reports without care software to hand on a mobile or tablet? Would they be able to see the client's medication and mark it off as administered or not? Have they got the tools to effectively carry out their role?
Also, how often is the system updated, and how quickly can the software companies do the updates that are requested? Sometimes the change might be minor for a care provider, but not big enough for a software provider to do it. You have to build strong relationships with your software provider with a framework for deliverables.
For example, we have a client who have four branches, they were with a big software provider and they wanted a minor change which their previous provider never added. The update they needed was to have a small summary box added to the client’s record for oral hygiene. It may seem trivial, but that summary could go into the client’s care plan if the summary box had been there. We did this update in under 24 hours!
Then there is security. How secure is the system? Is the software and data hosted in a globally known place like Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure? We aren’t not saying the smaller hosting operators are not good, but they may not have the amount of sufficient security to keep data safe and secure.
To summarise, the top three important elements to consider are inclusiveness, user ability, and security.
Digitalisation vs paper
Having a robust homecare software management system saves the need for endless streams of paper. All the invoicing is done on software systems like ours. Rather than writing it down and calculating it, which gets inefficient for each client if you are providing services to a large number of people.
It is the same with a rota and medication, it is every feature you need, in one platform! These days, technology is everything, and paper MAR charts, for example, may easily get lost in a small office with endless streams of paper. When the CQC comes to inspect, they will want to see that MAR chart and you could never find that piece again! You can eliminate the need for paper with a software solution like ours since everything is done digitally, in one easy place, every day.
It is not only a safe and secure way of keeping your files and data, it is also a way of reducing your carbon footprint. When using the old model of pen and paper, documents and records for care workers and clients can easily be stolen if the office is broken into, resulting in a GDPR breach. However, with a software solution, you can eliminate that risk because everything is digital. Everything is in one place, and accessible at any time and from anywhere. You can instantly obtain record from notes to medication because it is all updated in real time.
From recruiting to care planning, everything is migrating to digital platforms. When you use a platform, you can accomplish everything you need to run your homecare service. As a cloud-based system, you won't have to be tied to your desk, and you will be able to follow your carers' progress in real time wherever you are, providing care managers peace of mind and timely management information.
The Homecare Association can accept no liability for advice, services or products offered or provided by third parties. Inclusion on this blog does not imply endorsement by the Association of the opinions contained in the blog.