There can be significant changes to routines and the way tasks are carried out when switching over to digital care management software, or upgrading or replacing an existing system. People will need time to get to know the new functionality and to ask questions when they are unsure about anything. It is vital to get everything up and running, and people onboard with how it all works quickly. This will help prevent disruption affecting the care and support provided to residents during the time of transition.
A great way to ensure that you can become familiar with your new system as quickly as possible is to draw up a list of questions to ask your care management service provider. They should be more than willing to answer them, and to suggest other ways in which they can help the whole team get to grips with their new system. Here are some questions to ask, that should cover most, if not all of the main areas of concern that a busy care setting might encounter.
Will the system meet our individual care management requirements?
Always ask precisely what functions are available before agreeing to buy care management software. Every care home will have different requirements and priorities, as well as core tasks that will be the same across the board. Getting the most out of a digital care management system means choosing one that can be customised to provide exactly what your setting needs to function. You should also ask for a demonstration of the key tools, so that you can check that they really do cater for your requirements and are straightforward to use.
How about other functions, such as HR and payroll? Procurement?
The most effective care management systems are those that integrate all key functions of a care home into one interface. Often, the admin-based and commercial side of working life in a care home are intrinsically linked to the caring side. For example, planning staff rotas, managing annual leave and assessing staff training needs go hand in hand with ensuring that the right ratios of care staff are available to look after residents and oversee key medical treatments and daily routines. Procurement and buying functions must align with meal planning and event management to ensure the relevant people have taken delivery of the right amount of food, beverages and supplies for everyone involved.
Can we use the system on mobile devices?
Increasingly, care homes and other settings operate across multiple sites. Care managers and other staff are better supported to work from home, or to operate remote working so that they can be available when needed, without having to travel for ages to attend meetings. This enables better time management, which needs to be backed up by managers and team members having the tools they need available to them wherever they are. Being able to connect via smart phone, tablet or other device can also speed up sharing of information and allow people to read and comment on updates and reports on the go. Find out whether the system is accessible offline as well, in case of any connectivity emergencies further down the line.
What training and customer support is available to help us learn the new system?
Digital care management software providers that offer bespoke training to their customers show a reassuring commitment to making sure they are able to use the system to its highest potential. Providing training that meets customers’ individual needs can really help the whole team engage with the new software and appreciate its benefits. This clearly has a knock-on effect to the quality of care the care staff can provide to their residents and the communications they have with families and external medical specialists. While enquiring about training, see what other forms of longer-term support are on offer, such as a customer helpline for queries and issues.
What security is there behind the software to protect our staff and residents’ information?
Protecting confidential data, medical updates and health reports is crucial for care teams. Residents need to be fully confident that their information will not be shared among unauthorised users. So, make sure that you are confident that your chosen digital care management system comes with the most up-to-date, reliable security protocols, passwords and cyber security features to protect sensitive information. Make sure, too, that you know what happens to your data, should you cancel the contract. It must remain protected and secure, even after the arrangement comes to an end.