There are several hundred home health software programs on the market today. Knowing that your agency is choosing the right one can be difficult. Is your agency using the software that makes the most sense for an agency your size, for your clinicians and ultimately your patient base? If not, there is a solution. The one great benefit to using software is that it is never too late to change or switch home health software programs.
When shopping for home health software, many of companies are unwilling to release certain information, such as pricing, and require for the purchaser to schedule a 20 minute – one hour demonstration. In order to decrease the amount of time spent and eliminate the stress involved when trying to choose the right home health software, or evaluating the current software used, offered below are the following suggestions and guidelines:
Does the software meet the needs of the facility?
When purchasing or switching home health software programs, the most important factor is the ability of the software to meet the facility’s needs. For instance, is the software cloud-based, scalable and/or or reliable? Does the program offer technical support, ongoing training and/or consultation?
In order for the software to meet a facility’s needs it must also allow for the user to easily and quickly verify Medicare coverage and process insurance claims. For example, when verifying a patient’s insurance it usually necessary to go to a different site or resource. However, with the use of a home health software program verification occurs instantly through the entrance of minimal information.
Other factors to consider when determining if a home health software program meets the needs of a facility include:
- Accounting/billing functions
- Clinical completions
- Electronic claims
- Employee functions (payroll/scheduling)
- HIPPA compliance
- Human Resource functions (job applications)
- Medicaid/Private Duty
- Medication database
- Mobile device compatibility (cell phone/iPad/application)
- OASIS analysis
- Point of Care
- System upgrades/updates
Does the software make work flow faster?
The primary goal of any home health software program is to make the work flow faster. Duties such as processing insurance claims and creating patient/employee schedules should be done at ease. There are a number of home health software programs that show negative feedback in relation to processing and uploading times; some programs show signs of lagging within the system and/or reports of disappoint within customer service/technical support.
To ensure that the facility is using the appropriate home health software program, consider determining the amount of time it takes to process information using the program versus not using the program. It is also suggested to conduct research pertaining to the agency’s overall approval rating(s).
Does the software increase profitability?
Another main goal when using a home health software program is to increase profitability and patient referrals. The facility should ensure that the program is cost-effective and beneficial according to the number of users and patients within the facility; since these numbers a likely to vary from one facility to another.
Many of home health software programs charge by the amount of users or patients while others charge per hourly usage. When choosing a home health software program, and wanting to ensure that profitably is increased, first determine whether it is best to pay per user, per patient or by hourly usage.
Is the software user friendly?
The best way to determine whether or not a facility’s software is user friendly is to ask and answer the following question: “Are all users within the facility understanding how to use the software?” This question can be asked individually to each of the facility’s users and the opportunity can be given to provide feedback on the friendliness of the system.
Once this feedback has been received, many of the home health software agencies are willing to accept, and actually listen to, the suggestions received from a facility’s users.
Was the software implemented properly?
The final guideline for using the right home health software program is ensuring that the system has been properly implemented. While working with an IT (Internet Technician) to install the program, be sure to have all questions answered and confirm that every aspect of the system is properly functioning.
During the process of implementing a home health software program, everyone in the office will be involved. Generally, one or two individuals from each department (accounting/billing/human resources/medical records) are trained on how to use the system. These one or two individuals will then set up a training meeting with each of their employees in order to train them on how to use the new software. During this time, users of the new software are provided the opportunity to ask questions and offer feedback/suggestions.
The user interface, the industrial design field of human–machine interaction, of the right home health software program should be easy to navigate and include icons and tabs that are properly positioned. The design of the program should also allow for the ease of navigation between pages, however, a number of programs have shown signs of lag time and systems errors. Other factors that cause an impact on the ease of navigation between pages includes installs, updates and/or backing up data.
One important feature offered by most home health software programs allows for only certain users to access certain information. For instance, the design of a home health software program has the ability to allow only the human resources department to access the records pertinent to their department and the same for other departments within in the facility (accounting/billing/human resources/medical records).
During the process of implementation, if an issue were to arise immediately contact the agency’s customer service and/or technical support department for resolution.