Home Health Best Practices

Home Health Care and Hospice Software Solutions – Choosing a Software Vendor

Choosing a hospice software or home health software vendor is a big decision. Many factors should be taken into consideration when making your choice. Following are some important points to consider when making your move.

What’s Prompting You to Look for Home Health or Hospice Software?

Answering this question will help you ensure that going into the selection process you know your motivation. It will also ensure that you can relay that to prospective vendors. Before going into the demo portion of the selection process, meet with your team and understand what key things your organization needs. For example, you may have a report that you’ve identified as key to your business. Does the report need to look exactly the way it does in your current system? What is the business purpose behind it and what do you do with the information? You never know, you may not even need that report in the system because the function that used to be manual is automated now!

Cloud-Based or Server Based?

During your search for software, you will likely run across vendors who have either cloud-based or server-based products. For many agencies, cloud-based software has several advantages over server-based. With cloud-based software, you do not pay large, upfront costs. Instead, you pay a monthly fee, with no servers to buy, backups or hardware maintenance. In addition, server-based software typically has 2-3 releases per year requiring manual installation by your IT staff. Cloud-based companies can provide more than 100 releases per year, through a seamless update process that requires you to do nothing.

Server based software is software that is installed onto individual computers, with the data deployed, managed and executed on a server within your office. A large upfront investment is typically required, and once the software is purchased, is yours to keep.

Scripts: Share With Your Vendor

  • If you have a specific scenario that you think is challenging, or impossible, to complete in your existing system OR it’s unique to your agency, ensure you share that with the vendor.
  • Scripts take a lot of effort on both the agency side as well as the vendor side. Be sure they’re really needed before you create one. What is your goal of creating one? Creating scripts for the sake of creating them can end up being more frustrating than rewarding. Have a purpose, if you decide to use them.

Narrow Your Selections Before Demo Time

  • Decide on the things that are the most important to your organization and narrow your selections accordingly. Ten demos of ten different products will likely leave participants with a feeling of, “which one said X?!” or “who had Y?”
  • If you finish viewing the vendors’ products on your short list and aren’t sure you’ve found “the one,” finalize one from your short list then maybe start a couple of others.

Consider the Following Questions when Going Through Demos and Talking with Prospective Vendors

  • Will this software vendor be able to meet my needs two, three or five years from now?
  • Will this software vendor be able to respond quickly to market needs, as well as the needs of your agency?
  • Does the purchase of the system require a significant upfront investment? Consider the investment and if your relationship with the vendor changes how will that impact your agency?

Complete your Due Diligence

If there’s something that’s critical to your business, ensure you share that with prospective Hospice or Home Health software vendors. It’s in your best interest to be honest and forthright with your requirements and needs. Ensure your goals and that of your vendor align.

Software is Important… Relationship May be More Important.

  • There are key pieces and parts of a system that every agency needs. The journey of how the process is completed may vary from vendor to vendor. That being said, feature functionality aside, does the vendor seem to be an organization that is client focused? Are they willing to listen? How do they engage with their customers? Do they have User Groups? Focus Groups? Understanding a potential vendor’s relationship with their customers is important. Choosing a Home Health Care Solution or Hospice Software Solution vendor that understands the home health and hospice industry will help to ensure a successful and long-lasting collaboration.

Selecting the right home health software or hospice software for your business is critical to your success. For more information about HEALTHCAREfirst‘s software designed exclusively for home health and hospice, please contact us today.