Choosing The Best Assisted Living Software in 2022
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Assisted Living Facilities and Senior Living Communities are much more than just a place to live. The best communities support their residents across all facets of their lives, from clinical needs like supporting the activities of daily living and ensuring that the right meds are taken, to helping residents enjoy a rich and fulfilling community and social life.
In addition to supporting their residents, ALFs are businesses too, with their own unique compliance, operational and business responsibilities like attracting, training, and scheduling staff; complying with state regulations and completing required reporting; and marketing to prospects, invoicing residents, and collecting revenue.
Choosing the right technology is key to growing your business, attracting residents in today’s competitive senior living landscape, and providing seniors with the best possible community to call home. This article will help Assisted Living operators understand their technology needs and how they can select the best technology to help their organization thrive.
Using Assisted Living Software to Manage Clinical and Compliance Needs
Supporting clinical needs is a key responsibility of every assisted living community. These responsibilities include:
A key responsibility for Assisted Living operators is conducting assessments of new residents to understand who they are and why they are moving into your community.
Assessments will typically include biographical information, family information and key clinical information such as what medications a resident takes, allergies, illnesses, communication abilities, dietary requirements, and what kind of assistance is needed with the activities of daily living.
Assessments must also meet state requirements. These requirements can be updated from time-to-time and vary by state, which can create operational challenges for both larger operators with multi-state operations as well as operators without dedicated compliance teams.
Care Plan Management
The care plan – also known as the individual service plan – is a detailed plan of action that describes how an assisted living community will help a resident achieve his or her individual goals. A great care plan starts with a strong assessment to understand what a resident’s needs are and is then individually tailored to meet the needs raised by the assessment across multiple areas, including physical health, mental health, daily needs related to the activities of daily living such as bathing, eating and toileting, and more.
Typical residents in assisted living communities consume 12-14 medications per day. Safely administering these medications – making sure that the 8 med rights of medication administration are fulfilled – can be a complex undertaking. The best Assisted Living Software will include a medication management component, electronically connecting to a resident's pharmacy to access medication information, and using this information to automate med-passing.
Assisted Living Facilities are regulated at the state level. As such, every Assisted Living operator has compliance and reporting obligations they need to meet. The best Assisted Living Software will make it easier for communities to meet all regulatory obligations by providing easy-to-use clinical workflows that meeting state requirements (e.g. around assessments and care plans), reduce mistakes like med errors, and allow administrators to export state-required reports out-of-the-box.
The Best Assisted Living Clinical Software in 2022
Founded in 2004, ECP is the leading provider of EHR and eMAR software to Assisted Living Facilities across the US. ECP's key clinical features include:
- Assessments - ECP is compliant in all 50 US States, with out-of-the-box assessments and reporting for each state and license type.
- Care Plans - ECP's EHR and care plan engine will automatically generate customized care plans for residents based on their assessment responses. These care plans can be used to automate caregiving.
- Alerting - ECP will automatically notify caregivers and supervisors via customized alerts (which can be delivered via pop-ups, emails, or texts) whenever cares or meds are late or missed.
- Incident Reports - ECP has incident reporting built-in, so when something does go wrong, a timely and compliant incident report can be made.
- Medication Management - ECP has the industry's leading eMAR - electronic medication administration record - which can connect to over 500 long-term-care pharmacies across the country to automate med passing and help to reduce med errors.
- Compliance Reporting - ECP produces dozens of reports out of the box, and has a customizable reports engine that makes it possible for communities to export their own custom reports, too. This makes it easy for communities to comply with regulations, handle audits without breaking a sweat, and produce their own quality improvement reports, too.
Using Assisted Living Software to Manage Business and Operational Needs
No Assisted Living operator will be around for long if they can't take care of core business needs, such as:
Invoicing and Billing
Assisted Living Facilities are typically private-pay, and therefore need to invoice and bill residents and their families on a monthly basis. Different operators will employ different philosophies to billing: some will bill a fixed rate, some will bill based on care-rate or care-level, and some will bill on a variable basis for actual care received. Some have an "all-inclusive" offering, while others have an a-la carte billing model.
If you use a fixed billing model, then general-purpose billing software will likely suit your needs. However, if your Assisted Living communities bill by level-of-care or use a-la carte billing, then choosing a billing system that is built for AL specifically will be key.
Customer Relationship Management Software (CRM)
Growing and managing census is a key part of building a successful Assisted Living and Senior Living business. CRM software can help operators track potential prospects and ensure that follow-ups are taken to convert prospects into residents. Some communities prefer to use general-purpose CRM software, which will often have more integrations, e.g. with email or calendar software. Others prefer CRM software that is Senior Living-specific and can help capture various aspects of a Senior Living resident's various social needs, and that directly connects to the community's clinical software to eliminate the need for manual re-entry of data.
Like most businesses, Assisted Living Facilities need to keep a general ledger - a central book compiling all financial activity including accounts payable (money your communities owe to others) and accounts receivable (money that residents owe to you).
The Best Assisted Living Business Software in 2022
Used in over 6,500 communities across the country, ECP is one of the most trusted providers of Assisted Living business software.
- Assisted Living Billing - ECP Billing is built to help assisted living facilities maximize billed revenue. This is accomplished via built-in workflows where care levels automatically flow from the clinical platform into the billing platform, to ensure that billing is updated as soon as the level of care creeps up. In addition, a-la carte charges automatically flow into billing, so that communities can capture revenue from one-off items like guest meals or spa trips, too.
- Assisted Living CRM - ECP CRM has all of the advanced features that sophisticated senior living marketers expect, like care plans and campaign and referral tracking. In addition, ECP CRM contains senior living-specific features like the Life Story - a special module for capturing the important details of a person's life like their hobbies, interests and favorite sports teams, so that they can hit the ground running in their new home. ECP CRM also connects to the rest of ECP out-of-the-box, so that residents who move in via the CRM automatically show up in the rest of ECP.
QuickBooks, available as both a desktop application and a browser-based web app, is used by thousands of assisted living operators to easily manage finances.
- Simple Billing - QuickBooks is great for communities with simple billing models, such as flat-rate billing, or care-rate based billing that isn't updated frequently. QuickBooks supports subscription-based invoicing and billing out-of-the-box.
- General Ledger - QuickBooks is one of the most popular general ledger platforms available. QuickBooks can manage Accounts Receivable, Accounts Payable, and can help Assisted Living operators produce standard financial reporting like income statements, cash flow statements and balance sheets.
- Payroll - QuickBooks can manage payroll, including tax deductions and tax reporting.
Hubspot is one of the most popular general-purpose CRMs (it isn't specifically built for Senior Living). It has powerful automation features and is easy to use.
- Marketing Automation - HubSpot makes it easy to send emails, start paid advertising campaigns on Google and social channels, and track telephone follow-ups to prospects, encouraging them to convert from leads into residents.
- Content Management System - HubSpot has one of the leading website-building platforms, which can be used by Senior Living communities looking to build marketing websites with the least hassle possible.
Choosing the right technology is key to growing your business, attracting residents in today’s competitive senior living landscape, and providing seniors with the best possible community to call home. When choosing an assisted living software, make sure to look for a web-based, technology leader that provides clinical, business, and compliance software, explicitly built for assisted living communities and other long-term care providers. Integration with long-term care pharmacy partners is also a vital component. When your software provider has your business operations and the seniors you serve in mind, your organization will certainly thrive.