Seven steps to a successful software implementation

| 07 Aug 2015

Partnering with a software vendor is a long term commitment, so it’s important to find a partner that has a comprehensive implementation process that is in line with your organisational culture and priorities. Our seven step guide will help aged care providers navigate the implementation process and find the right vendor for their organisation.

Fixed price implementation

Most aged care providers have tight margins, so partnering with a software vendor that provides a fixed price implementation will eliminate the common risk of project cost blowout. To protect your organisation, partner with a vendor that has well-established project methodology, highly experienced staff and a long and successful history. Partnering with a vendor that does not have a clear implementation plan or timeline, or who misrepresents the overall budget, will inevitably lead to project fatigue and poor outcomes. Look for a vendor that has an in depth implementation plan with agreed responsibilities, actions and timelines, and who has the resources to be flexible if needed.

Cultural fit

The financial investment of implementing a software system can be substantial, so getting to know the vendor you intend to partner with is important. Visiting a potential vendor partner’s office can provide an insight into the work processes, culture, and staffing resources of the business. Visiting a vendor’s office lets aged care providers see for themselves whether there is a large team on the phones ready to help, or if it is largely unmanned without the resources to ensure the investment will be protected into the future.

Reference checks

Visiting existing clients of a potential software partner is an important part of due diligence. Transparent vendors will happily provide a wide variety of current clients that a potential provider can contact, not just a handpicked two or three. Ask potential vendors for a substantial client list in order to get a thorough understanding of how the system works for a range of providers.

Infrastructure requirements

Technology is evolving more rapidly than ever, and as a result, software upgrades are becoming more frequent. Partnering with a vendor that has a true cloud offering provides the option to implement and upgrade software with lower infrastructure costs and at a faster speed. Even if a provider chooses traditional infrastructure based software, partnering with a vendor that has a cloud option will help to future proof the investment.

Take up of system

The success or failure of a software system can be determined by the uptake of key staff utilising the system. It is therefore important that core users – such as nurses and care workers – are stakeholders in the initial decision making process. Thorough training is another way to facilitate the comprehensive use of software, and ensure staff understand and are happy with the system. Effective software implementation consultants are invested in the outcomes a provider wishes to achieve, and will assess the necessary training requirements.

Configuration vs customisation

Customisation – where a software vendor changes the underlying code of the software for an individual client – can lead to complications and should be avoided. Innovative vendors will offer the ability to easily configure certain elements of the software to suit a provider’s model of care. Configuration should be the ongoing responsibility of the aged care provider so that they can manage their own evolving model of care. This model also avoids expensive vendor professional fees for each configuration.

Reassurance before you invest

For a fraction of the overall cost of a software investment, well-resourced vendors will offer to perform an implementation planning study (IPS) prior to the purchase of their software system. This comprehensive piece of work gives aged care providers a best practice guide that covers their specific implementation needs, and lets them road test the culture and capability of the vendor.

Interested to learn more about the steps to a successful implementation? Contact us today. 

Tags: aged care, aged care software, change management, clinical and care management, cloud, cloud computing, cloud technology, ehealth, home care, iCareHealth software, residential aged care, residential aged care solution, software, software provider, technology

Sophia Bolden

Communications Manager

Sophia Bolden is the Communications Manager 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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