The most prominent type of healthcare software solution designed specifically for nursing homes is long-term care Electronic Health Records (EHRs), which allow healthcare providers to save and retrieve resident data more easily and communicate with each other and residents.
But a number of other nursing home software programs provide essential support as well, like organizing tasks, medication management, and scheduling appointments. And users of long-term care software will often benefit from impressive features, such as secure messaging or patient registration.
So how to choose amidst a sea of options? Ultimately, the right software for your nursing home is the one that meets your particular needs. Today, with just a little research, you can find the software solution that helps you improve both operations and the standard of care at your organization. Here we’ll walk you through the various systems, explain their functions, and even demonstrate some of them in action.
Long-term Care EHR Software Explained
A long-term care EHR is a software system specifically designed for use in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. This software for nursing homes can include features like patient records, scheduling options, medication management, communication tools, and more.
One of the key benefits of using long-term care EHR software is that it allows nursing homes to track and manage all aspects of patient care in a centralized, digital platform. Additionally, many types of software for long-term care EHR are cloud-based, which means that staff members can access them remotely and collaborate seamlessly.
Other key benefits of an EHR include:
- Reduced paperwork and improved accuracy: With senior care software, there is no need to rely on paper records, which can be easily lost or damaged. In an EHR, everything is stored electronically, which means that it is always accessible and up-to-date.
- Enhanced security: EHR software typically includes features like password protection and user permissions, which help to protect sensitive resident data.
- Improved workflows: EHR software can automate many tasks related to patient care, such as order entry and prescription refill requests. This can free up staff members to focus on more important tasks.
Having understood what an EHR is, we can now look at some essential software for nursing homes.
Contact us here if you would like to test our intuitive long-term care EHR.
13 Essential Nursing Home Software
Nursing home software makes operations run smoothly. Some of the tasks that software for nursing homes provide assistance with are: managing finances, tracking patient information, and ordering medical supplies.
In this section, we will list software programs that are essential for effectively running a nursing home. One should note that while some of the software programs can be obtained as a stand-alone, Experience Care offers them all as elder care software modules with its long-term care EHR.
1. Admission, Discharge, Transfer (ADT) software
Patient admission software is used to manage the process of a patient being admitted into a healthcare facility, including a nursing home. This software can help track important patient information, including insurance coverage, contact information, and medical history.
Resident discharge software helps manage the process of a resident being discharged from a long-term care facility, such as a skilled nursing facility (SNF). The healthcare software can also track contact information, insurance coverage, and medical history.
Finally, resident transfer software is long-term care software that helps manage the process of transferring a resident between different healthcare facilities.
Admission, Discharge and Transfer (ADT) is a software for nursing homes that combines all of the three capabilities of the above into one easy-to-use software package. This means that nurses and other nursing home staff can:
- Track re-hospitalization rates and current facility census
- View all resident details
- Filter residents by demographics
An often overlooked function of ADT software for nursing homes is the ability to take a snapshot of clinical summaries. This means that staff can view a report that shows all of a resident’s vital information at one time.
NetSolutions EHR by Experience Care comes equipped with ADT software with snapshot capabilities, which be helpful for making decisions about treatment, care, and discharge planning.
2. eAssignment software
Nursing homes are increasingly making use of emerging technology, and electronic assignments (or eAssignments) are one of the most significant developments, as this module improves the communication and coordination of care for residents and reduces paperwork. With eAssignment software, nurses can submit care plans and other documentation electronically, which ensures that everyone involved in the resident’s care is kept up to date on their progress. Other features of this senior care software include the following:
- Seamless sending and receiving of eDocuments in messages and tasks
- Real-time updates to tasks
- Sorting of staff by role, location, shift for eAssignments
- Compatibility with email and SMS service providers
In addition to this, reporting capabilities and task summaries are a must-have to analyze performance in a facility.
3. Physician orders system
A physician order is a written instruction from a doctor that is used to direct the care of patients in all settings but most commonly in hospitals and nursing homes. In long-term care, physicians’ orders are a way for nurses to ensure that residents receive the medication and treatment they need as per the doctor’s instructions. According to Registered Nursing, there are four types of medication orders that nurses will encounter as they provide care to their residents:
- Stat orders: Written instructions from the physician that must be carried out immediately. They are typically used in emergency situations.
- Single orders: Written instructions that are specific to a particular situation. They are not as urgent as stat orders
- Standing orders: Written instructions from the physician that are to be carried out on a regular basis
- PRN orders: Written instructions from the physician that are to be carried out only when a specific condition is present e.g., when the resident experiences pain
It is essential that nurses understand each type of medication order so they can carry out the physician’s orders as required. Nurses also need to be aware of any potential side effects of medications or treatments so they can report them to the physician if necessary. This is where an effective physician orders software for nursing homes comes in.
A physician orders system is software that helps nursing homes and other healthcare facilities manage the flow and implementation of physician orders. This software can ensure that all physician orders are processed in a timely manner and that they are tracked and archived for future reference.
One should ideally look for a physician orders system that can integrate with other nursing home charting systems such as eCharting software, ePrescribing and clinical decision support senior care software.
Other additional features that are a must have in a physician orders system for long-term care include the following:
- eSignatures for order reviews
- Drug interaction warning on demand
- Management of lab and x-ray orders
- Immunization records
- NDC (National Drug Codes) codes for medication identification
Experience Care’s NetSolutions is a long-term care EHR that includes a physician orders system with all of the features mentioned above. With this software, nursing homes can improve the efficiency of their order processing, ensuring that resident care is not negatively impacted.
4. eMAR long-term care software
It is vital that nurses and other caregivers have up-to-date information on what medications each resident is taking, and what interactions those medications might have. This information can help prevent dangerous and even life-threatening drug interactions. Accurate medication records help ensure that residents are getting the correct medication dosages and the correct medications.
This is how Experience Care’s electronic medication administration record works:
- To get started with a medication session, a nurse will first compile a list of residents according to location, shift, pass time, or route(s) of administration. eCharting will then access the information from NetSolutions Physician Orders and put together resident orders that match the specified requirements. Plus, it offers additional ways to sort residents by name, location, or odd/even rooms.
- Once that is done, an eCharting page with the session’s first resident’s orders appears. PRN orders are included if selected. This nursing home software interface comes with color-coded boxes that differentiate late, new (color-coded for the initial 72 hrs), due during this session, upcoming sessions, and held orders.
- To begin, click the “Yes” box next to each administered medication/treatment. The box will then turn white. If an order is held, check “No,” and document the reason in the provided space. For orders that require a vitals check or documentation, the system will display the appropriate window.
- Should staff need to order more of a specific medication, they can click the ‘Reorder’ button. This will add their request to our ePrescribing elder care software, where the order will be processed.
- Once a resident’s medication/treatment pass is completed, one can move on to the Next/Previous resident or choose a specific person from the group. Also, barcoding can be used for navigation. Nurses should be aware that the eMAR nursing software for nursing homes will alert them of orders that were missed for previous residents.
- After the session is complete, nurses will be able to view a summary page, which includes information such as start and end time, PRN orders, medications delivered, and any held, late or missed orders. Nursing home staff can also click on each statistic for more details about the residents involved, treatments given, and medications delivered. Hiring a medical courier service can ensure that deliveries are completed on time, improving patient satisfaction.
5. ePrescribing software for nursing homes
ePrescribing is a senior care software application that allows healthcare providers to send prescriptions electronically to a pharmacy. This can save time, as the prescription does not have to be entered manually into the pharmacy’s software nor sent by fax. ePrescribing also minimizes human error, ensuring the correct medication is ordered for long-term care residents. Some of the features to look for in an ePrescribing software are:
- A one-step process for medication order creation
- Pharmacy health information exchange capabilities
- Compatibility with the PrescribersConnection network
- The ability to transmit electronic prescriptions using the NCPDP SCRIPT
6. Care plan software
A care plan is a document that lists the kind of care nurses and other staff should provide for their residents in a long-term care facility. It can be used to help track an individual’s care and get the staff in a facility involved in the care process on the same page.
The care coordinator is primarily responsible for the creation of a care plan, but other nurses, the resident’s physician and the resident themselves may also be involved in the care plan creation process. To make this process easier, a facility can employ the use of a care plan software system.
A care plan software is an elder care software that helps nurses and other staff in a nursing home understand the care to be provided to residents. The software can also be used to help track a resident’s care progress and automate the care plan creation process. Ideally, care plan software for nursing homes should include:
- Pre-defined User-Defined Assessments (UDAs)
- A dashboard for Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
- Automation capabilities for care plan creation
- MDS 3.0 quick plan library
- Medical diagnoses libraries
LTC software vendors have created a number of programs that make it easier to track a person’s care and ensure that the nursing home is in compliance with state and federal regulations.
7. Interdisciplinary progress notes
Interdisciplinary progress notes are a way for long-term care nurses to keep track of the progress a resident is making in their care across multiple shifts. This helps to ensure that staff are on the same page in terms of care progress and that any potential problems can be identified early.
The notes are typically written by nurses, doctors, social workers, and other caregivers who are working with the resident. They include changes in condition, treatments that have been administered, and any goals that have been set for the person. The notes can be used to help make decisions about a resident’s care and can be shared with the resident’s family members.
Instead of using paper to record progress notes, a facility can instead implement interdisciplinary progress notes software. The benefits of using this software for nursing homes are:
- Elimination of handwritten notes
- Organization of resident progress notes in chronological order
- Less time spent on typing
- Links to other eDocuments in the nursing home EHR
8. Point of care charting software
Point of care (POC) is the term used to describe the use of technology to capture data from patients as close to the time of care as possible. This data can then be used to make decisions about the patient’s care. The goal of POC is to improve the quality and accuracy of information while also reducing the cost of healthcare.
In long-term care, a POC CNA charting system can be used to capture data from residents on a daily basis. This data can then be used to create care plans, track care progress, and make decisions about the best course of treatment.
The best point of care software for nursing homes should include:
- A built in Kardex (cheat sheet/flowchart) that provides data such as the code status, fall interventions and ADLs
- Data warnings on resident status
- User-defined tools for custom data collection]
- Charting capabilities for MDS 3.0 and PDPM
- Custom reports
9. Service Tracker
Although Experience Care’s Service Tracker is primarily designed for assisted and independent living facilities, some nursing homes may find that its integration into the NetSolutions EHR enables them to accurately track certain resident services.
Service Tracker is a senior care software designed to assist facilities with the process of tracking all billable services provided to residents. By billable services, we mean extra services provided to residents such as beauty services, activity services, laundry services and transportation.
The features that the Service Tracker come with include:
- Point of care documentation
- An integrated Kardex
- Compatibility with multiple hand-held devices
Experience Care’s Service Tracker also comes with advanced documentation and reporting capabilities, an essential part of running any long-term care facility.
10. General ledger LTC software
It is no secret that nursing homes are expensive to operate. In order to keep the doors open, it is essential that nursing home staff are able to manage their finances effectively. This includes ensuring that they are billing patients and insurance companies accurately and on time, managing their budget effectively, and investing money wisely. This is where a general ledger comes in.
A general ledger is an accounts book where all financial transactions of a business are recorded. The transactions are usually classified into groups, such as cash receipts, cash payments, accounts receivable, and accounts payable. The general ledger is used to track the overall financial status of a business.
In the technology world, a general ledger software is a software program that enables a business to track its financial transactions electronically. The software typically includes a chart of accounts and a set of journal entries and can be used to generate financial statements, manage budgets, and make investment decisions.
When choosing general ledger software for nursing homes, one should typically look for a software vendor that has experience in long-term care. Then, one should ensure the general ledger features include:
- Bank account and account inquiry capabilities
- Per-patient day statistics
- Budgeting capabilities (manual, trend, fixed or spread)
- Journal entry tools
- Month-end processing capabilities
One should note that in a general ledger, financial transactions can be classified into different groups, such as cash receipts and payments, accounts receivable, and accounts payable. Thus, they should ensure that the accounts receivable and accounts payable capabilities meet the requirements of their facility.
11. Payroll software
Payroll software is a software program that helps facilities track their employees’ hours and pay. The software typically includes a set of journal entries, which are used to record the hours worked and the pay earned by each employee. Experience Care’s payroll software enables facilities to produce essential reports such as:
- Quarterly FUI Wages
- Timecard Reports
- W-2 Wage and Tax Statements
- Overtime reports
- Distribution Expense
One should seek our payroll software for nursing homes that can:
- Calculate overtime pay per FSLA regulations
- Comply with EEOC reporting rules
- Support up to 999 Benefit Accrual rates for different classes of employees and benefits
- Interface with time clock software
12. Resource scheduling software
Resource scheduling software enables a business to schedule the use of its resources. The software typically includes a set of templates, which are used to create schedules for employees, equipment, or other resources. The software can be used to generate schedules and appointments for residents or resources that the resident may need to access.
This software is great for avoiding schedule conflicts and provides staff with a quick and effective means of scheduling appointments. Features to look include:
- A calendar embedded into the software
- Filtered schedule and appointment reports
- The ability to book multiple resources for a single resident
- Consolidated appointment capabilities
13. Analytics dashboard
EHR data analytics is the process of understanding and extracting meaningful insights from large data sets. This can be used to improve resident care, reduce costs, and support evidence-based decision making.
EHR data analytics is done by applying software to the data to identify patterns and trends. This information can then be used to improve the care of nursing home residents—for example by identifying patients who are at risk for certain conditions—or support quality improvement initiatives and identify areas where cost savings may be possible.
One such software for nursing homes that can be used for EHR data analytics is CareMetics. Designed by nurses for nurses, this analytical tool stands as one of the best for post-acute and long-term care facilities.
This new software suite is not only able to display data on a facility’s LTC software dashboards but also represent it through meaningful visuals. This means that nursing home teams can make decisions based on concrete data and save time normally spent on the collection, formatting, and analysis of information.
CareMetrics boasts the following features:
- A general tab that provides an overview of an organization with data, such as census by pay time, AR aging over the last thirty days, and AR aging by category
- A census dashboard that enables the comparison of the current year to the previous year to see if census numbers have trended upwards or downwards
- The ability to gather data from financial modules, such as the general ledger and create data comparisons
Overall, EHR data analytics provides a number of benefits that are essential in long-term care facilities. It helps improve care for residents, reduce costs, and make more informed decisions. These benefits make CareMetrics an invaluable tool for any facility looking to provide the best possible care for their residents.
Choosing the right software for nursing homes
Choosing the right software for nursing homes can be a complicated process. You need to consider the vendor, the team that will review and demo the senior care software, and the price of the software.
Another thing worth considering is the list of requirements of your organization. This means that you should carefully consider the elder care software features that are most important to your organization. The software should be able to meet the needs of your staff and help you improve resident care.
To further help you get through the nursing home software selection process, we have created the ultimate software checklist, a long-term care EHR vendor’s comparison table, as well as a complete guide to an EHR demo. By following these, you can be assured that you will select the best software for your nursing home
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