4 challenges HCP software solves for home care providers
With the right HCP software, home care providers can overcome many of the challenges facing them including time pressure, employee retention, changing compliance and disconnected systems.
The home care industry has come under the spotlight in recent times and providers are under pressure to respond to changing preferences and community expectations about how and where care is delivered. The ongoing reforms to aged care have been accompanied by a shift in Australians’ care preferences as they age, with the majority of older Australians preferring to remain in their own home for as long as possible.
This preference has increased the demand for home care packages and higher-level supports in the home. As such, we are likely to see a substantial shift away from Residential Care and towards Home Care Packages (HCP) as we have already seen with the Government’s $6.5 billion investment in the 2021/22 budget which came in the form of an additional 80,000 HCPs.
While this represents significant growth for the home care sector, many challenges remain, including deteriorating profit levels, critical staff shortages, strengthened governance arrangements and the introduction of new aged care standards.
This is where home care software will play a crucial role in the provision of HCP services in Australia. This article explains what HCP software is and how it can help overcome home care industry challenges.
What is HCP software?
HCP software is an end-to-end software solution that helps home care providers manage the full lifecycle of personalised consumer directed care and the complexities of the HCP program. HCP software can help automate administrative tasks, manage client information more efficiently, streamline scheduling and rostering, simplify billing and claiming, and ensure compliance standards are maintained.
To keep up with ongoing industry changes, such as the new payment arrangements, we recommend that the software that you choose is built on a cloud-based platform and is regularly updated so that it grows as the HCP program does to ensure you remain compliant.
It’s also important to consider the importance of having a partnership with your tech provider.
Let’s take a look at how HCP software enables home care providers to address key industry challenges by optimising their organisation and simplifying their care management.
4 Challenges HCP Software Can Solve
1. Provision of Consumer Directed Care
All Home Care Packages use a Consumer Directed Care (CDC) model of service delivery to give the consumer more choice and control in the care and services they wish to receive, how it is delivered, and by whom. HCP providers need to be able to provide care that is responsive to the individual client needs and preferences, and communication issues can inhibit personalised care delivery.
Below we outline some key HCP software modules that can increase data transparency and improve communication to support person-centred care and create better outcomes for the community.
With the right software solution, home care providers can give their clients more choice and control with access to tailored information through a client portal.
With Lumary‘s Community Portal, providers can assign access to a client and their family to an individual client portal to empower care recipients with the information they’re looking for. The Portal allows clients to request services, adjust appointment times and view information such as real-time budget balances, invoice history, client statements and more.
Client case and task management
It’s not hard to imagine the inefficiencies and room for error in relying on spreadsheets and paper-based processes – from lost sheets of paper with critical information on it, to simply doubling up on data entry.
HCP software allows support workers to manage service agreements, care plans and budgets, and accurately record notes, assessments and alerts so that they can build personal profiles for each of their clients. Staff will have access to all of this information in real-time right from their laptops or mobile phones which enables the delivery of more personalised care and will improve the relationship between support workers and the client.
With cloud-based software like Lumary CM, you can eliminate time wasted on unnecessary double data entry, reduce human error and lower administrative costs, while promoting greater collaboration between teams. You can also assign tasks to anyone in the organisation to ensure nothing is missed.
Real-time reporting and dashboards
For providers that aren’t digitally connected, the inability to make sense of all their data and access it in real time can be a major source of frustration. With real-time reporting and dashboards, HCP software can help providers analyse metrics that matter most to them, all in one place. This empowers providers with the ability to build meaningful data insights and identify areas of improvement to create better workforce and client experiences.
For example, the intuitive design of Lumary CM means that each user can easily create and manage their reports and dashboards according to their needs. For collating data for auditing purposes, modules like this make it much easier for providers to transparently and accurately share data, saving your workforce precious hours that could be better spent on the important things – providing quality care.
Alert notifications and incident reporting
Key modules in maximising efficiency and response times are alert notifications and incident reporting. HCP software can help build and track many different workflows and alerts to provide staff with critical information and respond immediately to incidents. This enables staff to follow up straight away and leads to better-informed care delivery and improved customer relations.
Along with alert notifications, Lumary CM features an incident reporting module that allows carers to accurately capture all incidents in the system and manage the incident with configurable escalation paths. You can then utilise reports to proactively analyse and address trends to analyse how they can be reduced.
2. Employee Churn
The retention of the aged care workforce remains a significant challenge for the sector, with an estimated 23% of workers intending to leave aged care between 2017-2022 according to the HESTA ‘Transforming Aged Care report.
Now more than ever it’s important to look at how service providers can better support their staff with the right software to reap the benefits of lower employee churn including reduced costs, and happier, more engaged staff. Support your workforce with a real-time solution that improves efficiency and streamlines admin so they can focus more on providing quality, value-based care.
While many time-saving modules from the previous section will help boost employee retention, what else should you look for when choosing an aged care solution?
Remote and mobile accessibility
Home care requires support workers to be out on the road a lot, and HCP providers are increasingly looking for technology that will support their mobile workforce as a result. Not only is this vital to delivering personalised care, but it creates a better employee experience.
Software like Lumary CM provides an easy-to-use web and mobile application for staff to access important information from anywhere. With real-time access to the system, staff can schedule appointments transparently, record case notes accurately, and document services as they are delivered, which eliminates the need to double up on data entry.
Online resources & customer support
One of the biggest barriers to successful technology adoption is users feeling uncertain or uncomfortable using a new system. If you’re investing in a tech solution, you want to be sure your workforce is getting the most out of it. This is why post-implementation support is so important. We suggest finding a tech partner rather than just a tech provider that will continue to support your organisation through ongoing changes as both your organisation and the HCP program evolves.
For example, Lumary supports customers with an in-house Customer Success team that works to resolve any support requests, and a Customer Outcomes team that is the first point of call for any other queries, with dedicated account managers to ensure the best outcomes for customers. Meanwhile, the online Help Centre is a great resource for everything employees need, from product development updates to step-by-step guides and knowledge articles to make sure you’re getting the most out of the system.
3. Difficulty maintaining compliance
Within the hyper-regulated environment of the home care industry, meeting quality and safeguard standards and complying with compliance requirements is one of the main considerations for many HCP providers. Below are reasons why HCP software can make all the difference in maintaining compliance.
Data security with a cloud-based server
Providers hold large amounts of sensitive information, which is why data security is critical. We recommend choosing home care software that is hosted on cloud-based servers which have security protocols in place to protect your information using both server authentication and data encryption.
For example, Lumary chose to develop its application on the Salesforce platform, which is considered the world’s number one CRM and cloud software development platform. Used and endorsed by Australian Government agencies and every major Australian bank, Salesforce is contractually bound to comply with Australian privacy law. This means Lumary can confidently offer enterprise-level data security and storage for its clients.
Whether it’s government fees or your own pricing schedule, manually entering these amounts each time can be time-consuming. The best HCP software will pre-load and update government-driven fees such as subsidy and supplement amounts for providers which streamlines the billing process and ensures providers remain compliant without the administrative burden and stress of manually updating it themselves.
On top of this, Lumary CM allows you to upload and manage your own pricing schedules, as well as billing tables of supply contracts that you broker out. This allows your organisation to accurately forecast and monitor package funding so that you can plan ahead.
4. Disconnected systems
A common frustration among home care workers is having multiple disparate systems that don’t talk to each other resulting in a lot of wasted time in going back and forth between them.
As such, it’s integral that the HCP software solution you choose provides a holistic, single workflow platform that integrates with other software vendors to enable a seamless end-to-end experience for your organisation.
Below we’ll discuss a couple of the most important integrations.
Scheduling and workforce management
Scheduling and workforce management tools allow providers to easily build optimised schedules and allocate staff to visits according to travel time between clients. The benefit is that you can accurately record staff shifts, fill rosters more easily, complete timesheets more efficiently, and minimise gaps, double bookings, and travel time.
As an example, Lumary utilises its own workforce management tool but also integrates with systems like Skedulo and easyemployer so that no matter which system you use, your staff can see their schedules all in one place. Importantly, your staff can access the application from their mobile devices and laptops, so they’re always prepared for what’s to come.
Accounting and finance
It’s crucial that the aged care software you choose integrates with multiple accounting software tools to simplify the administrative process and reduce time spent entering data across multiple systems.
Lumary partners with various market-leading accounting software tools like MYOB, Xero, Sage and NetSuite to create a seamless experience between your HCP software and accounting tools. With Lumary CM you can easily export invoices and statements created in Lumary CM directly to your integrated accounting software.
HCP Software To Meet Changing Demands
Navigating the HCP program can seem complicated and at times overwhelming. The right HCP software can help you cut through the complexities of the program and overcome industry challenges.
Designed with and for HCP providers, Lumary CM helps you streamline care management, maintain compliance, increase employee retention, and deliver seamless, consumer directed care to your clients.
If your systems are causing more trouble than they are solving and you are wondering how you can get ready for the future of home care, a good place to start is by considering the 5 steps to digital integration.
To speak with a member of the Lumary team and see how you can deliver better care and transform your organisation with HCP software, contact us for a free demonstration today.