What to ask when investing in an electronic medication management system – Part 2

| 11 Mar 2014
Questions to ask when investing in electronic medication management

Not all electronic medication management systems are created equal. So to better help you evaluate the merits of medication management software in the market, here are five more questions to consider asking software providers. 

How reliable and scalable is the medication management software?

As with any industry, there are many providers who over-promise and under-deliver so it’s always essential to see the software in action so you can be certain that it performs in the way you expect. Take the time to properly understand the level of reliability and scalability the proposed software solution offers.

Does the medication management software have the capacity to scale to suit your needs and grow with you as an organisation? Will the software provider help you to configure the solution in a way that suits existing workflows and your unique model of care?

Insist on seeing a demonstration of the medication management software in a practical environment, as well as clear evidence of scalability so you can make a more informed decision. You’ll want to partner with a software provider that can offer a range of demonstrations and evidence of scalability across multiple facilities, thousands of beds and a variation of DAAs.

Also ask for success stories and references so you can be sure that their solution works as good in practice, as it does in theory. A reputable software provider will be happy to show you success stories of existing clients that can attest to real results, and a return on investment.

How established is the software provider in the market?

When doing due diligence on potential software providers, be sure to ask the tough questions around the organisation’s maturity in the market. Seek out answers to whether or not the software provider has a sustainable, long-term business strategy and how established they already are in the market. A good way to determine this is to find out how many beds the software provider currently has under licence for their medication management software.

What is the total investment required to support the medication management software?

Firstly, it’s never a good idea to invest in medication management software based on the price factor alone because price is not necessarily an accurate indicator of quality. Instead, evaluate the proposed solution based on how well it delivers on the criteria that your own organisation requires, as well as what it will achieve for you in the short term and the long term. After all, investing in a system that does not meet your complete requirements could end up costing your organisation a great deal more in terms of time, money, effort and resources in the long term.

Secondly, when considering the overall investment, be sure to gain a clear understanding of the hardware and infrastructure also required such as computers and laptops, mobile devices, internet connections, and any other technology that may play a role in supporting the software.

What is the software provider’s approach to training and implementation?

When it comes to successfully facilitating the transition between a paper-based system and an electronic medication management system, a dedicated change management approach that includes appropriate communication and training for staff is essential.

Does the software provider offer a flexible implementation and training program that meets the needs of all stakeholders, particularly to suit the availability of GPs and pharmacy staff? Do they have dedicated training consultants that understand the on-the-ground realities of the aged care sector? Do they offer adequate face-to-face training on how to use electronic medication management to ensure the rights of the resident receiving the medications remains the priority throughout the process? Importantly, how do they assist in the development of staff competency in computer basics, prior to the software training?

Ask these questions to ensure your software provider can deliver a smooth implementation, and ensure that your organisation and staff get the most out of the software.

What level of ongoing support will be provided after implementation of the software?

It’s sometimes difficult to gauge in the beginning, whether or not a software provider is committed to supporting your organisation long after the service agreement has been signed. A good indication of this is to determine the level of ongoing support that will be provided after implementation of the software.

One of the best ways to gain an accurate indication of this is to find out what level of support is actually being provided to those existing clients already using medication management software on a day-to-day basis. A reputable software provider will be happy to connect you with their existing clients.

Partner with a software provider who can offer you an adequate level of ongoing, personalised support as part of your agreement. Ideally, you should have access to a support team 24 hours a day, seven days a week via multiple support channels including telephone, online and via email.

If there are any additional questions about electronic medication management that you would like answers for, please let us know in the comments section below. 

(Image credit: jscreationz)

Tags: aged care, aged care software, technology

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The iCareHealth Team

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