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When’s the right time to overhaul your home care software system?


The industry of home care in Australia is undergoing monumental change. The new model of consumer-directed care has shifted how services are delivered to those who need them.

Everyone involved in the delivery of these services must evolve or risk being left behind. We’ve watched as large organisations get tripped up with inefficiencies, providing more nimble competitors a window of opportunity to start eating away at their market share. 

Those inefficiencies tend to link back to software systems that are outdated today, and increasingly outdated with each passing year. In some large organisations, these systems are over a decade old, serving as anchors instead of engines when it comes to company growth. Home care has long been an industry in desperate need of new technological solutions – and until recently there have been scant options due to complexity, legislation, issues of privacy and complex funding models.

Since AlayaCare entered Australia in 2015, our adoption by organisations has grown much faster than we could have anticipated. Those who have transitioned to our cloud-based software, 32 and counting, have experienced what’s possible when a software system is intended not only to bring efficiencies but to improve client outcomes.

Taking the leap to improve your business – and client outcomes

AlayaCare came from Canada, yet evolved to support the Australian market. It features a SaaS delivery model (that’s “Software as a Service”), mobile-first framework and machine learning algorithms. Across the world, it’s been shown to save staff 16% more billable time per shift and a 43% reduction in late visits.

Now, moving away from a legacy software system can seem daunting. It’s one of those things organisations just don’t get to (cue the decade-old platforms). Many still want to hope that their current systems will eventually catch up, but the reality is that it’s almost impossible to build on top of old legacy infrastructure. Before you know it, inaccurate billing, slipping client service and higher staff turnover become consequences of inefficient operations.

So, when is it the right time to switch software? Maybe it’s when the pains of remaining the same outweighs the pain of change.

Remember: once you decide to make a switch, it could still be another six to 12 months before the system is live and then another half-year before your organisation really starts seeing the benefits.

Aside from the fear of moving away from a legacy system, here are the top three reasons we tend to hear from providers on why they’re reluctant to make a change:

We don’t have the budget: An impression persists that it is quite expensive to change software. But, the way SaaS fees are structured now, modernizing tech doesn’t require a major capital expenditure. Instead, SaaS fees are charged monthly or quarterly, and the software company must handle everything for that one fee – including hosting, storage and upgrades. In some cases, even implementation costs are rolled into the SaaS fee.

What if I lose my features: Some are worried a new piece of software doesn’t have one or more features that their old system has. As a result, they wait it out, hoping newer software will eventually develop those pieces of functionality. While it’s true that no system is perfect, a good rule of thumb is that the software you choose should solve at least 80 percent of your current issues. As importantly, it should be a technology with momentum, backed by a developer that is committed to ongoing innovation. If a software is out innovating the competition, rest assured that it will routinely add new features and eventually solve any gaps in features.

I don’t want to lose my workflow: The truth is, a new system provides the opportunity to do things differently, more efficiently, which may ultimately make your current workflow obsolete. If we compare AlayaCare to an older system, the need for rostering and scheduling no longer needs to be two different things. In the past, it had to be separate because information wasn’t live, systems didn’t have strong enough matching algorithms, availabilities were difficult to keep up- to-date, and rosters needed to be manually distributed to carers in lieu of a mobile app. In AlayaCare, all those issues are solved, making rostering and scheduling one in the same – and always in real time. So, just to keep in the back of your mind: if a new system doesn’t have certain functionality, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s missing something. It’s just that things could be done differently.

So… when do you know it’s the right time to switch software? 

Answer: only you know whether your current software is holding you back. Taking the leap to modernize operations sooner than later means getting the most value from a new system while limiting losses due to inefficiencies. Managing change isn’t a walk in the park, but waiting too long to adapt can be much more consequential to your business, staff and clients.

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