Have you ever heard of decision paralysis? It’s what happens when you have too many options for an important decision. When you are deciding to switch your home care management software, or just starting your own agency, there are several questions you have to ask yourself before deciding on which one to select. Though the process might be daunting, with this handy guide you will be able to tackle it and get your agency running. 

  1. When was the last time I evaluated my management software? 

It’s important to do a full assessment of your home care management software in order to make sure that it is operating on the highest level and that your needs are being met with all the features. There might be a part of your operations that you have to do manually or is rather slow on your current system. 

2. What are the other home care software options that are available on the market? 

Make sure that you do a thorough search of what is on the market, what the different features are, and how each system would or would not serve your needs. You do not want to overpay for a system that might not work for you long term, or is too complicated to figure out for a small agency. Make a spreadsheet with your choices, perhaps schedule calls with each system, and make an informed decision. 

3. Are you sure your system is protecting you from every angle? 

There are a few concerns that every home care agency should have at the top of mind. First, whether your system will support you in a quick and painless Department of Health audit. You would want to have automated reporting that can be generated with a moment’s notice and can blow your auditors away. Also, you want to make sure your system is protecting you with the patient’s confidential information. A properly working system would protect your agency and simply the processes that ensure your agency is compliant. 

4. What is the pricing structure and what am I comfortable with? 

One option is to pay-per-client, where you work with the software company to determine how many clients you have and figure out the pricing from there. On the other side, you can pay-per-caregiver, which is determined by how many caregivers will be using the software. A third option would be paying a flat fee for the service with a contract. Whatever you choose depends on your needs, where you are in your agency development, and what you can afford.

5. What will IT support look like and is the company prepared to handle any issues? 

Even the most reliable software will have days where it cannot perform properly (too much data on the platform, too many users, etc.). As you are doing your research and meeting with different providers, it’s important to ask about technical difficulties that have come up and ask about typical response times. If you are comfortable with their answer — or even how they answer, then it could be a good fit for you. 

6. What is the onboarding process like? 

If you are an established home care agency that is switching to a new software, a major question you should ask is what the import process looks like for your older data. In addition to that, however, ask about what the initial process looks like, from installation, importing, adding clients and caregivers and then exploring and understanding the various features. Ask about the training process, the launch process, and the troubleshooting for errors in the initial few runs and what the process is for calling IT and getting support. You might also want to try to run tests to make sure everything is working smoothly. 

7. Does your existing software put you in charge of every dollar owed to you by your payers? 

If you are not comfortable with accounting and billing, it is vital that the software you choose supports you in that. You would want that the home care management system keeps you in control of all the money that is owed to you in accounts receivables. If you are relying on another system then there is room for error or for the information not to be completely integrated. Having a system that is fully integrated and triggers when money is owed will be a necessity for maintaining payroll and for your reporting during your audits. It

These are just a few questions to ask when taking on the task of finding the right software management system. Of course you will have to look at what features you need, how big or small your agency is, and what your budget might be.

Manish Mathur is marketing manager of Carecenta, a cloud-based home care management system.