Finding the best software tools for your home care business can quickly become confusing and overwhelming. How do you know which one’s right for your business? Do you need multiple tools or just one? Will your team be able to use the tech?
When you get it right, software tools streamline business processes, simplify tasks and save you time and money so that you can elevate your home care business to the next level. More importantly, they free up your time so you can focus on what really matters - providing the very best care to your service users.
In this article, we’ll share tips and advice and help you identify the questions to ask to pick the best tools for your home care business.
How can software solve problems for a home care business?
If there’s one thing home care providers need, it’s more time. When you’re running the back end of your business, managing a team, fulfilling legal and auditing requirements, organising client care, liaising with families, and everything else that comes with running a home care agency… every minute counts. Saving time is one of the most valuable benefits of using the right software tool.
Providing evidence for CQC inspections
Meeting the requirements for CQC KLOEs takes a lot of work. Not only do you need to provide a high-quality service across the board, but you also need to track and provide evidence of care quality and all your systems and processes. The CQC recommends using digital solutions to improve care delivery where possible, so as well as simplifying home care delivery, the right software also demonstrates your willingness to use technology to benefit service users.
Eliminate paper records
Completing, managing and storing paper records can be a headache for home care providers. It’s hard to keep paper documents clear, readable and intact, and notes can (and do) go missing in clients’ homes. Collecting paper records for audit and storing them according to fire hazard and data protection regulations can also be challenging. A software tool that eliminates the need for paper will transform the day to day work for your team.
You might have tried adding different tools to your business to help with individual problems, resulting in a disjointed, clunky system that increases the risk of errors or missed information. If this sounds familiar, you’re probably a bit overwhelmed trying to manage them all.
You find yourself writing things on scraps of paper or, worse still, trying to keep everything in your head (the very problem you were trying to get away from!). A good tool offers an all-in-one solution, so you don’t have to keep track of multiple different systems.
Simplify billing and rostering
Backend business systems like billing and rostering can be complicated and stressful, particularly for larger home care agencies. Simple invoicing and payment processes are essential for cash flow and business growth. Keeping your carers happy is also vital, but payment errors or inflexible rotas can leave them feeling undervalued and increase staff turnover.
In the meantime, you’re trying to provide care continuity for clients, which gets complicated when managing the rota, honouring staff requests and remembering client preferences. A clever software tool simplifies your backend systems and organises and presents your information logically, so you can find what you need with one click of the mouse.
Questions to ask when considering software tools for your business
Getting clear on the problems you need to solve helps you know what to look for in a software tool. Ask yourself:
- Which problems does this tool solve?
- Will this tool allow me to scale and grow the business?
- Is there any ongoing support from the software team to help us set up the tool and use it to its full potential?
Explore more in our article: What to consider when choosing software for your business.
Our top tips
- Look for an all-in-one solution that can cover every area of your business, so it's easier to manage everything from one place without the stress of lots of different platforms. Keep an eye out for built-as-one solutions.
- Where possible, don’t be constrained by budget - factor in the time-saving and cost-saving aspects of switching to digital software. A recent survey indicated that using a high-performing software tool can save home care providers up to 7 hours per week, which is 30 hours per month. Work out how much money you could save with the Birdie cost saving calculator.
- Compare! All software is different, and it may take a while for you to find the solution which feels like the right fit for your business. A good software provider should talk you through their product with no hard-sell or pressure to buy.
- Don’t rely on recommendations alone. Whilst recommendations from other industry professionals can be helpful, remember that no two home care agencies are the same. Your business will have unique needs that only you can fully appreciate, and your software tool needs to reflect this.
- Ask about the onboarding, training and ongoing support from the software provider. Choosing a tech solution is a big decision, so it’s essential to find a partner with the tools to make the transition as smooth as possible.
See it in action
Our final word of advice is to see the tool in action. Reading about the features and benefits of a software solution is one thing, but a demonstration is the best way to really get a feel for how it could work for you.
During the demo, ask questions that relate directly to your operations, so you can be clear on whether it’s a good fit for the way you work.
Choosing a home care software tool is a big decision and one you should think about carefully before committing. The right decision will transform your business, and by following the tips here, we’re confident you can find the software tool to meet all your business needs.
We love to hear from home care providers, so feel free to get in touch for an informal chat, to ask questions or get a free demo of how Birdie works.