Meet the team: Guidance for selecting the right software partner

| 22 Apr 2015
Seven Cs

As a part of the iCareHealth management team for almost seven years, Michael Donnelly has been integral in growing iCareHealth to become the largest aged care clinical, care and medication management software provider in the country. Working as Principal, Clients & Growth, Michael is focussed on growing the business and strengthening client service. As the newest installment in our staff profile series, we interviewed Michael to find out what information aged care providers should consider before selecting a software partner.

What characteristics should aged care providers look for in a software partner?

Entering a partnership with a software vendor should be for the long term, and like all successful relationships, the main ingredient is trust. As a client you have to trust that the management team of your software partner are capable, competent and set the right culture for the organisation. It’s also important to know that there is a proven focus on innovation, and that their business model allows for continued investment in the future.

There’s another important characteristic that I feel is sometimes underappreciated when selecting a software partner and that is client focus and support. Aged care providers need to know that their vendor prioritises client relationships. From time to time things will go off track, and that’s when the value of a partner who cares comes to the fore.

How can aged care providers help to futureproof their investment?

It’s important to select a software partner that invests in their product and their company. This investment ensures aged care providers are supported as their requirements and technology change, while protecting their annual investment.

In the last few years there have been examples where vendors have been charging large amounts for software version upgrades. Our view is that this places significant pressures on aged care providers who are operating on very tight margins. iCareHealth believes that aged care providers value fixed price software implementations followed by a predictable annual investment.

Aged care providers are encouraged to understand the core values and business model behind their potential software partner. There will be significant consolidation in the aged care software industry, as there has been for aged care providers in the last few years. Make sure your potential software provider has the capability and financial backing to survive.

What are the five software features you suggest residential aged care providers should look for in a software partner?

  • Providing a safe and caring atmosphere for residents to live is the number one priority for aged care facilities. A software system that has a resident centric approach will support this priority.
  • Software should provide a great user experience for staff. Most modern software companies now employ a dedicated User Experience (UX) Manager, whose role is to ensure their products are enjoyable and easy to use.
  • Every aged care provider is different, so it’s important to choose a software vendor that allows for easy configuration. This ensures the provider will be supported as they grow.
  • Effective software starts with a simple and modern user interface. The less time staff spend behind the computer, the more time they get to spend with residents; that’s where simple design and straightforward navigation are valuable.
  • Residential aged care providers often select their clinical and their medication software from the one vendor. This is more efficient for care and nursing staff and reduces the risks associated with managing key resident data in multiple systems.

What are the five software features you suggest home care providers should look for in a software partner?

  • Consumer Directed Care (CDC) is changing the landscape of the home care sector in Australia. Make sure to partner with a software vendor that has the capability and willingness to invest as the CDC model evolves.
  • The ability to roster and schedule care workers effectively can make or break a home care organisation. Make sure your chosen software has a sophisticated engine to allow for the complexity of matching the needs and choices of the consumer, together with the skillsets and preferences of the worker.
  • As in residential aged care, selecting software that has a simple to use, modern interface is essential to create an enjoyable experience for users.
  • Choose software with a highly reliable mileage calculator. This feature alone can provide a fast and significant return on investment.
  • Working with a provider that has a strong mobility solution will eliminate paper based time sheets and other manual inefficiencies to create significant time savings for the home care provider.

What other information should aged care providers consider before selecting a software partner? Join our conversation below.

 

Tags: aged care, aged care software, cloud, cloud computing, cloud technology, consumer directed care, home care, iCareHealth software, implementation, medication management, residential aged care, residential aged care solution, software, software provider, technology, training

Sophia Bolden

Communications Coordinator

Sophia Bolden is the Communications Coordinator at Telstra Health - ADCC (formerly iCareHealth). With a background in the disability and aged care sector, she brings an understanding and passion for aged care. Sophia recognises the importance of social media and online communication in relating technology and aged care news in the most effective way possible.

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