Specialized Assisted Living Software Enhances Care, Strengthens the Bottom Line
When it comes to software for managing assisted living communities, one size does not fit all.
Different jobs require different tools. By using a tool that is designed specifically to meet their needs, communities can enhance safety, resident care, operational efficiency, employee engagement and their operational and financial health.
Different Tools to Meet Different Needs
In senior living today, managing operations through the continuum of care is critical. It’s understandable that organizations seek a single software suite to use across their portfolio, believing it will streamline operations system-wide and enable communities to provide better service to residents.
But, for example, the core functions of assisted living and skilled nursing communities – pricing models, regulations and medication administration – are managed differently. So, when providers implement a single solution for both, they inevitably find that one or more entities is inadequately managed.
Managing Medications and Cares – The Essential Function
In selecting software for your assisted living community, the top priority should be finding a tool that that is rooted in managing cares and medications while closely matching your workflow, regulations and billing structure. Anything not built upon that foundation will only hamper operational efficiency and leave staff frustrated.
Assisted living software can be a potent risk mitigation tool. It is not uncommon for insurance providers to reduce liability premiums for communities that use the right kind of software.
Robust electronic medication administration records (eMAR) and electronic health records (EHR) functions can dramatically reduce errors in administering medications and providing care. This is why, as mentioned above, the top criteria in choosing a software tool should be its ability to manage these functions in a way that supports your team’s work process.
When falls, elopements, challenging behavior and other incidents occur, assisted living software can help protect your community with incident reports that are timely, detailed and accurate. When done poorly, incident reports can leave details open to interpretation. Managing risk is a priority. Therefore, look for assisted living software that can separate the investigation from the medical record. Flesh out root cause analysis without compromising the integrity of quality assurance programs. Then, if you must present the incident to regulators or in court, the outcome will be based on medical records, rather than internal investigations. Furthermore, well-crafted reports can also help you deliver better care and prevent incidents from reoccurring.
Resident Acquisition and Retention
A customer relationship management (CRM) module specifically designed for assisted living can help you keep your community filled with the type of residents you need to meet your objectives. Using the right CRM, you can track leads, manage marketing campaigns, and leverage prospect data to build community-fit assessments.
There may be times when you need to add residents quickly or maybe you have a wait list and want to find the absolute best residents. Finally, when it is time for a prospect to become a resident, his or her information should seamlessly transfer to your EHR system; no need to re-key the data.
In a perfect world, your assisted living software can help manage your buildings as well. There are real and noticeable benefits to ensuring that your buildings remain compliant, look their best and are operating at peak performance. Seek out a solution that ensures your facilities team can easily manage housekeeping-, maintenance- and compliance-related tasks.
Billing for A La Carte Services
Whether it’s an extra bathing or an additional meal so a family member can join your resident for dinner, your residents regularly request items and services that are above and beyond those outlined in their care plan. All too often, these a la carte items are not billed; they are either never recorded or a note is hastily documented onto a Post-It Note that is soon lost. Assisted living software can help you capture this additional revenue by making it easy for caregivers to record these services and cares for inclusion on the resident’s next invoice.
Automation has incredible potential to help assisted living communities operate more safely and efficiently. And new, more powerful tools are being introduced every year, from menu planning to accounting, building automation and more. Assisted living software can help communities maximize these opportunities. In choosing software suites, communities should look for programs that are flexible enough to seamlessly integrate with the tools they use today and those they will use tomorrow.
A Sign of Quality
Finally, use of a comprehensive, specialized assisted living software suite is a tangible sign of quality – a valuable point of differentiation that you can leverage in your marketing program and to support your employee recruitment and retention efforts.
Prospective residents and their families will feel more confident choosing your community knowing that you use a real-time system of checks and balances to ensure residents’ needs are met. You can distinguish your community by explaining how the software promotes quality care by documenting care plans, helping ensure caregivers know what to do, and greatly reducing the chance of human error in administering medications and cares.
For your current team of caregivers, having software that properly directs them and provides an intuitive method for ensuring they are providing the right care goes a long way toward improving morale and reducing stress. For prospective employees, it demonstrates your commitment to creating a great environment in which to work and giving your team the tools they need to deliver the best care possible.
Assisted living communities are far better served by management software that is designed specifically for them. In using the right tool for the job, you’ll take better care of your residents, your team and your bottom line.