Assisted Living Facilities (ALFs) are senior living communities that support residents with clinical needs, such as assisting with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) and administering medication. But not all facilities achieve assisted living success or meet the needs of seniors, whose inability to perform ADLs can lead to unsafe living conditions and low quality of life, depression, and higher mortality rates. ALFs must assess their residents and create a personalized care plan that enriches and fulfills their lives.
But while ALFs are responsible for the well-being of their residents, they are also businesses. This means they have responsibilities, such as maintaining a high census, attracting new residents, marketing to prospects, and collecting revenue. Operationally, they must train and schedule nurses, complete the required regulatory reporting, and send invoices to the residents or their families.
For optimal business results, an ALF must operate efficiently. Today that means effectively using a long term care EHR software system that integrates with back office departments like accounting and finance. Integrating Electronic Health Records (EHR) with financial software allows the clinical and financial departments to combine data, thus minimizing medical errors, improving resident outcomes, and increasing financial reimbursements.
Even though there are several nursing home management software systems on the market, ALFs need a solution specifically designed for their needs. Thus, the nursing home EHR software system that a leader at an ALF selects must be able to do the following:
- Create personalized care plans and agreements that are tailored to each resident’s needs and requirements
- Determine the needs of each resident according to their age, health conditions, and needs
- Track staff availability and schedule appropriate levels of care based on the residents’ needs
- Provide helpful reports and accurate documentation so facilities can track the quality of care delivered
- Deliver efficient workflows to manage pre-admission and admission processes
- Manage communications between caregivers and residents or their families
ALF administrators must also remember that they need a senior living software system that can grow the business and attract new residents while providing the best care possible. We will now discuss the importance of assisted living management software programs and how they help ALFs thrive in today’s competitive market.
Why Do ALFs Need Nursing Software Programs?
Nursing software programs have a range of capabilities, from managing health-related information to collecting data and ensuring facilities receive the correct payments for services. To better achieve assisted living success, facilities can use nursing software programs and receive the following benefits:
Improved Billing Accuracy
ALFs must operate efficiently while providing optimum care for residents. This means assisted living management software must have automated processes to collect and track resident data, such as occupancy, medication administration, services used, and service costs.
Some nursing software programs have efficient billing applications, such as Service Tracker, an innovative new technology that allows caregivers to document services at the point of care for accurate billing invoices. This tool is synced with the ALF’s trackable services—like ADLs and personal grooming—to make documentation easier. After a service is selected at the point of care, it is logged into the resident’s file, and an accurate invoice is automatically generated each month.
More Relevant Data
Assisted living facilities must track large quantities of data from residents’ health conditions to daily routines, the facility’s performance, and staff schedules. This must be gathered and monitored to produce reports that meet federal and state regulations. Having an efficient assisted living software system allows ALFs to automatically track important data and create easy-to-understand graphs so that they can make data-driven decisions that improve the facility’s performance and quality of care.
Increased Sales Leads
Senior living sales software helps to increase a facility’s sales cycle by boosting leads. An effective assisted living software program comes with a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) module, enabling the tracking of calls, walk-ins, tours, and leads, allowing ALFs to control their sales channels to increase conversions. If ALFs want to further increase their sales leads, they can use the most effective marketing strategies in long term care, which include revamping their website, providing more training for their sales team, and using PPC (pay per click) ads.
Improved Healthcare Services
Successful assisted living facilities must utilize long term care EHR software to accurately track all medical treatments via a communication tool. The most advanced tool, an electronic Kardex, allows caregivers to track a resident’s medical history, incontinence, personal eating, and sleeping preferences. This data is regularly updated so that caregivers have real-time data on hand and can focus their attention on the residents.
Enhanced Communication Channels
One of the most significant advantages of LTC software is the enhanced communication between caregivers, healthcare providers, and residents or their families. All data is stored on a cloud-based system that allows caregivers to access, communicate and share information. This improves care and reduces medical errors, as caregivers have the necessary information to make medical decisions based on facts.
Caregivers can use the nursing home EHR software system to accurately determine how much care and assistance a resident needs in real-time. This means they can create personalized care plans based on medical evaluations to best meet a resident’s needs. Additionally, they can note residents’ personal preferences, such as what music they like, their favorite food, or their preferred language. This allows caregivers to tailor care better to improve residents’ quality of life.
Another significant advantage of using nursing home charting software is that documenting critical activities—like monitoring vital signs—becomes automated. Caregivers can simply set automatic alerts for when a condition changes. Additionally, caregivers can set automatic notifications for invoicing or when a service plan is due. This reduces caregiver stress because they get all the information they need automatically.
Contact us here if you would like to learn how our long term care software can improve your ALF’s needs.
Obstacles to Software for Nursing Home Management Success
While there are many reasons why an ALF should implement software for nursing home management, it is equally important to note the challenges that prevent facilities from achieving assisted living success.
- Inadequate Staff Training: To achieve assisted living success, facilities must recognize that their staff might be less knowledgeable in using computers and modern-day technology than they are in nursing. Some teams will naturally resist adopting and accepting assisted living management software on account of being used to a simpler system. To counter this problem, when choosing the best-assisted living software, facilities need to determine what training the long term care software vendor offers and the customer service they offer in the case of a software problem.
- Reduced Occupancy Rate: If a facility’s occupancy decreases, it must assess and understand why. The organization will then look internally for problems. For example, if a facility does not document which residents want tray services, residents will become dissatisfied and move to a competitor facility. Nursing software programs have multiple capabilities, including clinical, financial, and operational functions. That means caregivers can document all details related to a care plan, from tray services to sleep and language preferences, thus, providing a higher quality of care and a higher quality of life for residents.
- Financial Status: While significant expenses are associated with implementing nursing home EMR software, the facility must refrain from transferring software implementation costs to the residents. This is because some residents will not have sufficient funds to pay the price increase. So during the research stage, facilities must ensure they have the budget to pay for the long term care software and its implementation without introducing a price increase.
- Resident Needs: Residents’ needs evolve and change according to their health conditions. This means that ALFs must implement a nursing home software system with various services and capabilities to modify and update residents’ care plans and requirements according to their needs. Failure to do so can result in seniors transferring to a competing facility.
How To Achieve Assisted Living Success
To achieve assisted living success, facilities must implement assisted living management software that can alleviate administrative challenges and enhance clinical activities. Doing so will allow caregivers to spend less time on administrative duties, such as charting ADLs, writing orders, and updating care plans.
Studies show that by using the advanced automated process of long term care software, caregivers have improved workflow processes, saving precious time in providing better care to the residents.
An efficient assisted living software program also allows finance teams to improve workflow efficiency, as the automated process enables users to find relevant data quickly and efficiently. The data is displayed on a single screen, saving the finance team valuable time that would otherwise be spent sifting through piles of paperwork.