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Top Five Reasons a Home Care Agency Switches Software

Back-Office

Home care agencies of today need modern homecare software solutions. Some have existing software that can adapt while others feel stuck with something that may not be functioning to expectation — precisely when they start exploring new options.

Over the years, we’ve seen many reasons why agencies choose to abandon their current software for a better solution. Here are our top five:

  1. They have outgrown their software.

Home care agencies don’t stand still as times change and neither should their technology.  Businesses evolve but software contracted years earlier often can’t keep pace. Any forward-looking agency may decide to add (or, at least, test-drive) new services to improve care for their current clients and support their bottom line. 

Agencies frequently forced to work around their technological limitations (even using multiple solutions or having to stick to paper documentation) tend to assess the market for a new solution — one that acts as a single platform and can evolve over time with an expanding range of services.

  1. The software misses the mark for clinical staff.

We could have gone with a more general point about poor user-experience. While that is true, it is most important when applied to clinicians and nurses, who are key to the home care experience and better patient outcomes. As we wrote recently, technology is vital in recruiting and retaining top caregivers; inefficient software and rising complaints can lead to frustration, poor morale, and retention issues. In particular, point-of-care clinical documentation must be quick and intuitive for busy nurses.

Consider too that skilled nursing care is on the rise, which may involve IV therapy, wound care, injections and other tasks where the level of expertise must be high. An agency’s software must hold the functionality to track the information required by this level of care, and respond to the differing documentation involved.

  1. They lack mobile functionality.

There is plenty of chatter about native apps versus mobile web apps, the benefits and disadvantages of both. A native app is installed individually onto a cellphone or tablet where it runs as a standalone app, while mobile web apps are accessed through a web browser, thus residing on the Internet. For a forward-thinking home care agency, a native mobile caregiver app holds greater power.

The big advantage is that it can tap into the advancing technology of phones and tablets themselves, syncing GPS, camera, video, and any other built-in features that could benefit a care worker on the move. Native apps are also generally superior in user-experience, and run more swiftly and efficiently than those that rely on an Internet connection. (For more on this, see our post on how this relates to point-of-care documentation.) Head-to-head comparisons of the two types of apps generally fall in favour of native.

  1. They want the latest in telehealth.

Some software platforms aren’t set up to fold in modern client care elements, such as remote monitoring and virtual care delivery. Agencies are bolstering their service and expanding in ways that optimizes how telehealth aids both client and caregiver.

After all, the benefits of incorporating telehealth into an agency’s portfolio are clear: it is client-centric, it permits people to receive medical care at home, it saves time for everyone involved, it leads to faster results, and caregivers can keep tabs on a larger roster of clients with much more ease.

In short, home care executives need software that can fully support the virtualization of care.

  1. They want something better for scheduling.

Home care technology must be configurable and adaptable to scheduling changes, versatile enough to overcome conflicts, and nimble enough to adapt to real-time changes in the business. 

If technology hinders any of this, agencies often start looking elsewhere.

One key aspect is how an agency manages scheduling recurrences. Often, when a recurrence is built, it becomes difficult to change or edit individual visits without disrupting the entire flow of recurrences already loaded in the program. This isn’t conducive to quality care, where clients may need visits for unanticipated reasons. An effective software suite is one that does this seamlessly while permitting users to easily anticipate and sidestep future scheduling conflicts.
 

These five represent key issues that lead a home care agency to consider alternative software solutions. We would love feedback on what you perceive the main reasons are for agencies to switch software: send us an email at sales@alayacare.com, or tweet us @AlayaCare to let us know what you think.