5 Things to look at when evaluating nurse case management software
When evaluating case management software, it is important to determine whether the software system can accomplish some universally accepted nurse case management workflows. Can it keep track of my notes and daily activities? Can I bill? Can I generate progress reports? Does it keep an accurate case log? Can I link medical reports to the case? These are essential case management activities: if the software system cannot support some of these basic tasks, then move on. After the case management software system validates basic requirements, here are 5 things to help you make the best choice for you.
Is the software easy to use while still collecting the data you need? – Case Management Software applications can create incredible efficiencies and provide invaluable data to your customers…if they are easy to use. Decision makers want data, but If your users have a difficult time entering data because it requires them to navigate a maze of menu items, your productivity will decrease at the expense of data collecting. The gold standard for case management systems include user interfaces geared towards case manager productivity, while collecting and storing valuable data for future use. Additionally, the gold standard system ensures minimizing workflow adjustments to end users when new features are made available. Following the standards above during your case management software evaluation will ensure optimal workflow efficiencies while not trading off valuable data assets.
Does the software change the way you work? Is it positive change or negative change? We all know that change can be scary, especially if you have been trained to do things a certain way. “If it’s not broke, then why fix it” need not apply here. For example, the billing life cycle can be a source of painful consternation (especially when you have several services lines, across multiple regions, with specific billing exceptions, rules, and handling instructions) and a great candidate for process improvement. If the case management system makes billing superfluous to the user, that is, if the case manager does not have to remember rates, exceptions, special handling, etc., and is only concerned with providing great case management services, I would say that’s a change worth having. Even though your current processes may not be “broke”, it does not mean it can’t be improved. Ask the software vendor to run through some of your most common case management workflows and see for yourself if the solution gives time back to your case managers.
Will the vendor be able to support my case managers? – In addition to making sure the case management software you are evaluating meets your functional requirements, make sure the vendor has a structured end-user support in place. The last thing you want is frustrated case managers unable to perform their work because they are stuck, forgot how to perform a task, or something is simply not working. Ask questions such as, what type of support is offered post implementation? Is there phone/email support? What are your live support hours? What are your SLAs (service level agreements)? Are there manuals, reference guides or knowledge bases available? Although some may argue that an intuitive case management system should be self-explanatory, manuals and reference guides serve as a sort of safety blanket for user. Users inherently want to use a system correctly, and reference manuals are the de-facto way that vendors communicate this is the “preferred” way of doing things.
Does the case management software use a modern infrastructure? Is the software hosted on the cloud? There are several advantages that you obtain from having your case management software hosted on a cloud infrastructure: scalability, availability, disaster recovery, and performance to name a few. I will not belabor the point more than I must, since many people already understand the benefits of the cloud. If the case management software is not hosted in a cloud type environment you will want to understand the reasoning, with the understanding that few exists.
Security, Security, Security- Did I mention security? It doesn’t matter if the case management software you are evaluating checks off all the items discussed above and more, if the platform is not secure or if the vendor does not have a proven track record for security, move along! A vendor that ignores security leaves your entire operation exposed to potential data breaches. Require your vendor to be SOC2 compliant. Do your own extensive risk assessment prior to selecting your case management software vendor. Ask the vendor to provide their policies regarding IT governance, change management, and access management to name a few. It will be hard and time consuming, but this exercise will help mitigate disastrous consequences in the future.