It’s tradition to ring in a new year with fresh ideas and goals for your personal life as well as for your business. One goal every home care agency should set in 2018 is to evaluate their home care agency management software. In today’s world, advancements in technology are made at lightning speed, and if your operations software can’t keep up, it will negatively affect your bottom line. Situations you might see as merely inconvenient – slow moving systems, unresolved issues, missed payroll calculations – cost your agency much more than you think.
Take some time this month to evaluate whether your current home care software system is moving your agency forward or if it’s holding your agency back. The areas of your business most likely to be impacted by an out-of-date system include:
Slow moving programs and inefficient workflows contribute to costly lost time. You may not think these things cost you real money, but wait times and complicated processes significantly increase the collective time it takes staff to accomplish tasks. For staff primarily working by the hour, time literally translates into money.
By investing in new systems, your agency reaps cost savings long term. A quality home health care software system helps you simplify day-to-day operations and work with maximized efficiency. Operating a well-managed agency with streamlined scheduling, billing, time and attendance, and reporting helps you get the job done and stand out from the crowd of other home care agencies.
Arrow’s scheduling system has multiple time-saving features built right into the system; caregivers are assigned to clients based on their work preferences and a client’s particular circumstances, the graphical calendar allows for copying, moving, and editing appointments with a few simple clicks, and double entry is a thing of the past as the system integrates relevant functions, including HR, billing and payroll.
Hiring and retaining quality caregivers, as well as support staff, is critically important, as a home care agency is only as good as its team. To attract and retain the best staff, agencies need to show that they value staff time and invest in ways to make jobs easier. Today’s best workers expect technology that creates efficiency.
Those from the millennial generation (soon to be the largest generation in today’s workforce) highly value technology in the workplace. According to a Workforce Study sponsored by Dell and Intel, 81% of millennials say the technology available influences their decision to take a new position compared to 53% of baby boomers. Likewise, 22% of millennials say they would quit a job with substandard technology. The home care workers of the future will care deeply about timely communication, personalized scheduling, work mobility, and using technology to improve the standards of care. To attract quality caregivers, start to upgrade your software now to a system that allows customization and flexibility for your unique business goals and population served.
Employees will appreciate Arrow’s agency management program which allows employees to voice their caregiving preferences, track in-service time and automatically log hours worked, time for travel between clients, as well as modify pay rates based on overtime and holiday differentials.
People choose your business to provide care for their precious loved ones. When looking for an agency, consumers want reassurance that they are working with a caring, skilled, and professional team who will take the best possible care of their family member. When a call is not promptly returned, a caregiver arrives late, care does not seem coordinated, or issues are not addressed with a systematic approach, families lose confidence and take their business elsewhere. They may even leave you a bad review online, drastically weakening your agency’s reputation.
Perception is important. Put yourself in a family member’s shoes and think about what your agency looks, sounds, and feels like. In today’s world, people do not place confidence in businesses that still utilize paper files, aging computer systems, and antiquated processes. When shopping for something as important as in-home care, potential clients do not want to be involved with an organization that looks and feels like it may soon be obsolete.
Legal and Regulatory Requirements
The past few years have ushered in significant new regulations for the home care industry, and change is likely not going to stop anytime soon. The federal government set goals to achieve measurable improvements in the quality of care provided through Medicaid and Medicare programs. Likewise, some states, including New York, have implemented stringent policies and procedures regarding Medicaid eligibility[KK9] .
In this current environment of evolving and increasing regulations, it is the agencies that can adapt to allow for flexibility and accountability that will survive, and better yet, thrive. A good software system makes it easier for agencies to remain compliant and adjust processes to meet new regulatory and legal mandates.
Arrow’s agency management suite of services offers agencies the reassurance that they are compliant with HIPAA, as well as have transparency in tracking of caregiver arrival times, hours worked and visit compliance. Additionally, the Arrow system allows agencies to track employee compliance requirements, including medicals, drug screens, evaluations, work authorizations, violations, complaints, in-services, and more.
Arrow’s Medicaid Eligibility Verification System is a unique standalone product that allows agencies to keep track of who to bill when a client switches insurance companies. The system is able to initiate an inquiry for eligibility for patients via a member identification number, interpret the response that comes back from the payor, and alert the agency when a change occurs so agencies know they are billing based on current information every time.
Evaluate if 2018 Is the Year for Change
If inefficiencies and costs in any of these areas ring true for your agency, it may be time to seriously evaluate your current system. Arrow Solutions is home care software designed by home care industry experts. Our goal is to offer software solutions that empower your agency and simplify your life. If 2018 may be the year for an upgrade, feel free to contact us to learn more or schedule a free demo of our services.