ALF software solutions are long term software systems used in Assisted Living Facilities (ALFs) to manage resident care and facility operations, automate processes and coordinate care between different providers externally and internally.
While the care provided in assisted living facilities is less complex than that offered in skilled nursing facilities, ALFs still require EHRs for tracking care services and for general business management. ALF software solutions also facilitate communication between nurses, residents, and their families by way of the CRM (customer relationship management) module.
The care services tracked in assisted living facilities include:
- Assistance with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)
- Provisions for regular meals to residents
- Laundry and housekeeping
- Medication monitoring
- Social and recreational activities for residents
Other notable features of efficient ALF software solutions, which assist with both care and business operations, include:
- Clinical modules: The best ALF software solutions offer a complete EHR solution that is cloud-based and has a single database for all of the facility’s providers. Top long term care EHR will also include an admissions process that allows for the assessment of each resident. Further, it will maintain care plans, provide for physician orders, remind staff of incomplete tasks, and generate resident reports.
- Financial Modules: Administrators should look for ALF software that offers a comprehensive financial module that includes accounts receivable, accounts payable, general ledger, and payroll. The long term care software should also offer budgeting capabilities while tracking resident occupancy and revenue. In addition, an ALF software solution should interface with the facility’s point of sale system as well as any third-party pharmacy services that the facility uses.
- Operational Modules: Facility leaders need software that can help with the management of daily tasks and operations in the facility. The software must include modules for managing staff, data analytics, and Customer Relationship Management (CRM). The ALF software solution should also possess reporting capabilities, so the facility can track key performance indicators.
- Base modules: These include eDocuments, ADT (Admission, Discharge, Transfer), and eAssignments.
ALF Software Solutions vs NetSolutions
- TimeKeeper: This is a time clock management software for assisted living facilities that allows them to manage their employee’s work times, pay hours, activities and more. It has an overall rating of 4.5 on Capterra and is ALF Software Solutions’ most popular module.
- Service Planning and Assessment: Software that assisted living facilities can use for service planning, and clinical assessments
- Resident Account Management: Accounts receivable software for assisted living facilities
- Lead Tracking: This is a customer relationship management software that assisted living staff can use to keep track of their sales leads
- Apartment Tracker: Software to record maintenance projects, inspections, and resident service requests, as well as manage assets on hand.
- TimeKeeper Scheduler: This software helps assisted living facility managers manage employee schedules
- Health Screener: A screening tool for residents and visitors to an assisted living facility
Meanwhile, Experience Care’s NetSolutions is a complete EHR with all the features that ALF Software Solutions provides and then some. NetSolutions has an overall rating of 4.7 on Capterra, with over 15 positive reviews. Rated the best value assisted living software by Capterra, NetSolutions is a great option for assisted living facilities looking to improve the quality of care for residents while also maximizing their reimbursements.
Another big draw for Experience Care’s NetSolutions is reliability. Janice Klein and the team at Seashore Gardens have trusted Experience Care for over four decades, as the software vendor helped them transition from paper to electronic records while keeping them compliant with all regulations. And Experience Care’s support team has been willing to accommodate the changing needs of Seashore’s facilities by customizing the software to their specific needs at no extra cost.
“The communication is outstanding,” said Klein. “We’re never just left holding the bag. There’s constant communication, if not instantaneous, with the service reps. And that has been a very favorable situation.”
Experience Care remains committed to the three Cs as it provides its services to its customers:
- Customer care,
- Commitment to the industry
The 5 Best ALF Software Vendors
The ALF software vendors below have been chosen based on the features they offer, their ease of use, and their price. These five vendors provide software solutions that are specific to the context of assisted living and, in some cases, more affordable than software designed for skilled nursing.
Experience Care is an ALF software vendor that prides itself on fulfilling the very specific needs of its customers. Unlike other ALF software solutions providers, Experience Care is developed in coordination with its users in the form of monthly user calls.
By combining charts and reports into one easy-to-use database, Experience Care’s ALF software solutions enhances assisted living documentation, making it simpler and more informative. Everything is under one roof, which means a variety of reports, including patient information, health records, and financial files, are all organized into an easy-to-view dashboard.
In particular, assisted living administrators will be impressed with a robust service tracker module that accurately documents all services provided to residents at the point of care and automatically bills services. Service tracker comes with an integrated Kardex, a user-friendly observation menu, point of care documentation, and compatibility with multiple portable devices, all of which are essentials for assisted living facilities.
Experience Care has the following state-of-the-art features:
- General financials modules
- Electronic Health Records (EHR)
- Revenue Cycle Management (RCM)
- Hospital and physician referral portal
- Data exchange-interoperability
Some of other advantages that assisted living facilities can expect to gain from Experience Care’s NetSolutions include:
- Free EHR training
- Monthly user group meetings in which customers discuss new regulations and other software needs that are immediately implemented by developers
- Software customization to fit the unique needs of each assisted living facility
- 24/7 customer care (US-based)
- Value-based pricing
Unfortunately, a disadvantage of the software is that there is no free trial at this time.
Founded in the early 2000s, PointClickCare (PCC) has grown to become a popular option in the long term care software space.
PointClickCare’s product offering includes:
- Skilled nursing core platform
- Senior living core platform
- Home health care platform
Advantages of PCC include:
- An open forum, Pulse, that allows users to ask general questions about the nursing home software and its capabilities. Users may use this useful feature to exchange information and gain first-hand experience regarding software use.
- Cloud-based data
Some of the cons associated with PointClickCare when used in assisted living facilities include:
- Lack of software customization
- Slow customer support response times
- No free online training modules
- Difficulty in linking with other 3rd party software
Having been in the long term care space for over 40 years, Cerner prides itself on its interoperability, care coordination and insightful analytics. Their products include:
- PowerChart LTC™ EHR Software
- Clinical Intelligence and Analytics
- Financial Management
- Point of Care
Unfortunately, Cerner does not always meet the needs of assisted living facilities and other long term care facilities. This is because the software is designed for acute care.
Cerner’s software causes great frustration among nurses in long term care. Brian Free—an IT specialist at Chatuge Regional Nursing Home—shared that his facility began to “hemorrage nurses” when they adopted Cerner. This was because they were no longer able to spend time with residents but rather stuck behind their computers for hours documenting med passes. Then, after moving to Experience Care’s long term care software, 25 percent of the nurses who had asked to be transferred to acute care began to come back.
Other cons of Cerner for assisted living facilities include:
- Login difficulties
- Higher priced than some of its alternatives
- Not compatible with iOS
- Slow documentation process
Netsmart is a software company that works with a number of healthcare providers and organizations to provide management process solutions and electronic medical records.
Netsmart prides itself on its live-rep assistance, in-person training, and iOS and Android device compatibility. This ALF software provider partners with providers to deliver value-based care through technology services and advocacy.
Netsmart’s product offering consists of:
- Care plan management software
- Care coordination software
As for the cons of using Netsmart in an assisted living facility:
- Lack of customized reporting capabilities
- No on-premise offline installation
- Functions and points of entry do not always match, creating duplication in workflows
MatrixCare provides post-acute EHR software for nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and hospices. They are a large, well-established firm that focuses on the care continuum. MatrixCare’s expert nursing software includes a ResMed security program that safeguards high-risk data, system integrity, patient data, and revenue information from being stolen or lost.
Their product offering consists of:
- Life plan community software
- Care network solutions
- Care community management
The cons to using this software vendor are:
- Has a per-user pricing model, which may be costly for large facilities
- Limited customization options
- Not compatible with some devices (iOS)
- No device installations
Contact us here if you would like to test drive our user-friendly long term care software.
Tips for Choosing the Right ALF Scheduler Software
For assisted living facility leaders, choosing the right software can be the difference between having efficient processes and facing multiple F-tags or a low five-star quality rating. One element of such a system is an ALF scheduler, which can create staff schedules and shifts as well as resource scheduling.
- Look for cloud-based ALF software solutions: Cloud-based ALF software solutions offer assisted living facilities the ability to be more nimble and quicker to respond to changes. Cloud-based ALF software also offers remote access, increased security, and the ability for resident records to be updated in real-time, so all nurses—regardless of shift times—are aware of what care and treatment has taken place.
- Check the vendor’s ALF customer service: ALF software should be accompanied by excellent customer service. When considering an ALF software vendor, research the quality of their customer service. A vendor with good customer service will have a track record of quickly resolving issues and be easily accessible when you need them.
- Consider its integration with long term care pharmacies: One of the most important aspects of an ALF’s day-to-day operations is its relationship with long term care pharmacies. The best ALF software vendors offer integration with long term care pharmacies, which allows for streamlined workflows and the ability to manage medication administration from a centralized location.
- Analyze the clinical and financial or business features: ALF software should offer a comprehensive set of features that can help with the clinical care of residents as well as the financial and business side of things. Some features to look for include shift scheduling, payroll, billing, accounts receivable, and accounts payable.
Why Facilities Should Adopt the Use of ALF Software Solutions
ALF software solutions are designed to help assisted living facilities improve their quality of care. When choosing ALF software, leaders should look for cloud-based solutions that offer integration with long term care pharmacies and comprehensive clinical and financial features. Also, the software vendor should provide outstanding customer service. Hopefully, the tips above will help you narrow down your options and choose the best ALF software for your facility.