How to Pick a New Care Management Software
However, before you sign up for a new care management software package, it’s important to make sure the product you’ve chosen is a good fit for your business. Which package or provider best meets your needs will depend on your organisation’s size, objectives, and budget, amongst many other factors.
With that in mind, let’s dive in and explore what care management software does and how you can choose between different offerings.
What Does Care Management Software Do?
Put simply, care management software can help you handle:
Client information, including their plans, notes, goals, and updates
Client invoicing, including via the NDIS scheme or Home Care Packages (if relevant)
Staff members’ attendance, time-tracking, and expenses
Staff documentation and certification
Communication with carers, clients, support coordinators, and clients’ loved ones
Modern care management software applications should offer different dashboards for staff, clients, and their friends and family. Ideally, you’ll also be able to integrate it with the other apps and accounting systems you’re already using (or that you want to use in the future).
If you don’t need all these features and integrations, you may be able to sign up for a more limited package at a lower rate.
How to Choose a Care Management Software for Your Business
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by choice, don’t worry. Use the following process to help you quickly evaluate different packages.
Outline Your Needs
Before you begin researching software features, take the time to work out what’s most important for your organisation. Some things you should consider include:
How many staff members will need access to the software? This can affect the overall price you’ll pay.
What are your main objectives? For example, you might want to make invoicing easier, avoid mistakes in rostering, track client information across multiple carers, reduce time spent on administrative tasks, or create a more intuitive process for staff members. If you have multiple objectives, work out which ones have the biggest priority.
Which features do you need, and which additional ones would you like? For example, you might decide that you need rostering and accounting integration, while NDIS funds management would be nice, but not necessary.
Once you’ve outlined what you need, you’re ready to review different care management software packages.
Compare Features and Support
At a minimum, the care management software you pick needs to include all the features you listed above. It’s also worth considering the following factors:
Ease of Use: Is the software intuitive? Does it automate processes and allow you to quickly duplicate tasks or settings? Will clients be able to use it, even if they struggle with technology? Will it make carers’ work easier, rather than harder? Think about the most common tasks that staff members and clients will complete in the software, and then run through how they’d carry out this work in each tool you’re considering.
Compatibility: Can you integrate the software with your accounting software or other systems?
Training: Is training available? If so, how is it organised? Online or in-person sessions will give you the chance to ask questions. However, when you onboard new members of staff, you might find online videos and help centres more useful.
Support: What happens if something goes wrong, or if you don’t understand a function? Will support be available at all hours, or just during office hours? Is there a phone number you can call? Will you be paired with an account manager who can assist you when needed?
Security and Compliance: How will your data be held? Will it be regularly backed up? Do the software providers’ security measures comply with all relevant privacy standards and regulations?
Pricing: Are there different packages at different rates? Will you need add-ons to accomplish everything you need within the software? Are there extra fees for more clients or users? And if so, can you upgrade or downgrade your package mid-subscription? Will sending an SMS or an email have a cost?
Once you’ve reviewed all the features, you should have a good idea of whether the software is, on paper, a good fit for your business. Your next step is to see if it lives up to expectations.
Ask for a Free Trial or Demo
Most care management software publishers will offer either a demo or a free trial. While a demo gives you the chance to ask questions, we believe a free trial is better, as it lets you try the software out on your own time, over several days, in order to see how intuitive it really is.
Create a list of tasks you want to trial with the software, and try all of them at least once during your free trial. Ask some of your team to try out the program and give you their feedback as well. As you use the software, write down any questions that come up so that you can follow up with the provider.
If you’re still having trouble deciding, go back to the list of needs and objectives you created in the first step of this process. Which of the software products you’ve tested will best help you achieve the goals you laid out initially?
Deliver Better Care with the Right Care Management Software
As a care provider, you have an enormous list of tasks to tick off every day: rostering, invoicing, accounting, certifications, fund management, recruitment, training… and that’s before you even get into delivering quality care.
Our secure and intuitive care management software will enable you to roster individual staff members and groups, review and update client information, issue invoices, track carers’ hours, and more. Even better, it includes NDIS price integration and can help you forecast fund spending.
Carers can use the ShiftCare mobile app to view their roster, mark their availability, upload certifications, and submit expenses and update progress notes on the go. Then, support coordinators and loved ones can see updates from you and other carers, including photos.
Ready to see for yourself? Sign up for a week’s free trial to see how ShiftCare can help you cut down on administrative tasks, while providing a higher standard of care.