Assisted Living
Nov 2, 2021

10 Questions You Should Ask Before Buying Assisted Living Software

Picture of Joel Moyer
by Joel Moyer

Great assisted living software is as vital to residential care management as fully trained staff and safe environments for the seniors who rely on them. The program should readily offer a comprehensive eMAR and EHR as part of the complete software solution. However, not all assisted living software is equal. It's essential to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of each before settling on the one that will best improve your offering and keep your business compliant 

The following ten questions should be on the lips of every buyer looking for assisted living software. They spotlight the pros and expose the cons that will make your company more or less efficient and secure, improve or harm your customer relations, and assure your compliance.

1. How much does assisted living software cost?

Assisted Living CostIt's tempting (budget allowing) to choose expensive assisted living software, reasoning that cost equals quality. This can be true, but they typically develop software for multiple sectors, specializing in none. Other programs may offer more attractive pricing while also knowing the assisted living sector almost as well as those who work in it. Another temptation is not to buy software at all and stay on error-prone paper records. In that case, it's worth considering the following nine questions more carefully and asking – what's the cost to me if I don't get assisted living software?

2. Is it easy to use?

Your software's interface needs to be user-friendly, logically organized, and, most importantly, quick to master. Software that ties you to the keyboard because its designer focused on fancy tricks rather than keeping it simple will not do you, your residents, or your business any good.

3. Does the software developer know the assisted living sector?

Assisted Living Software DeveloperThe needs and expectations of assisted living staff aren't the same as, say, someone working in skilled nursing. The software developer has to know how the assisted living sector operates, its challenges, and how their solution can help alleviate them. The software you buy needs to be as valuable to the facility owner as it is to the staff, each of whom will want something different from it.

 

4. Can I access the software from anywhere at any time?

Great assisted living software isn't anchored to one operating system or stuck inside one network. It's cloud-based and can work seamlessly between Macs, PCs, tablets, and phones, enabling you to work whenever and wherever you want.

5. Will I be able to customize it to suit my operations?

Directors_heroEvery operation is unique. Software that forces you to compromise and alter efficient business practices to serve its rigid structure should be scrubbed from your shortlist immediately. Great software lets you easily mold it into the shape you need, whether you operate one assisted living facility or many.

6. Does it integrate with other programs?

Programs that work in silos are not only limited in scope but can seriously reduce your operation's efficiency and risk the health of residents. Ask if the software can connect to pharmacies to ensure the seamless management of electronic medication administration records (eMAR). Also, ask if it can pull records from EHR to ensure your staff is constantly working with up-to-date information.

7. What's the provision for customer support and staff training?

ECP Customer SupportUsing new software can be like the first day of school - exciting and intimidating but more effortless with a great teacher. Your software supplier should provide 24/7 support from its own staff, not an anonymous call center where they take you through pre-written flowcharts, failing to solve your problem if it's not on their charts. The program should also include a designated trainer for your team and a knowledge base with text and video guides, enabling staff to learn at their own pace using their preferred learning methods.

8. Will it improve staff efficiency?

The program should be easy-to-use and not require a savvy technical background from staff, allowing them to move off paper and go digital right away. A complete software suite will also understand all clinical outcomes, business performance, and compliance needs, making for safer med passing, enhanced oversight, confidence in charting, and ensuring the best care.

9. Will it help me remain compliant?

Generated from assessment responses, your software should be able to automatically build a unique care plan for each resident, including daily task lists. Since requirements differ from state to state, a powerful assisted living software should come pre-stocked with a comprehensive library of standard and customizable reports that are specifically tailored to your state.

10. Will my data be secure?

ECP Data SecurityKeeping data out of the hands of criminals is like securing your home - the more preventative measures you have, the harder it is for them to get in. You should ask if the software supports multi-factor authentication for all users. It should also have an encrypted one-way secure hashtag algorithm to protect user credentials that include salting (a method of generating unique outputs that can thwart multiple types of attack).

ECP is an excellent example of a software solution that answers 'Yes!' to all ten questions confidently. The leading web-based clinical, business, and compliance software provider, ECP, works with over 2,000 assisted living communities and other long-term care providers. Their core clinical products include eMAR and electronic health records (EHR) used in assisted living communities, group homes, and intellectually and developmentally disabled care settings across the country and globally. ECP also offers a customer relationship management (CRM) that fully integrates with the core products. 

Assisted Living Software

Its award-winning assisted living software program is user-friendly and customizable, accessible from anywhere, keeps data secure, helps communities remain compliant while improving efficiency, and is supported by genuinely personal customer care. Buyers should check out ECP's offering – they won't be disappointed.