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Home care software – frequently asked questions

July 1, 2021 12:56 pm

Before adopting a new system, it’s vital to consider how it may impact your organisation. To help, we’ll address some of the common questions we receive from our clients:

How will our care staff cope with a new system?

If staff have been using one system for a long time, it’s natural to be apprehensive about change. We also know that care staff might not always be comfortable with the latest technology. Therefore, it’s vital to search for a simple system that doesn’t require a PhD in computing. The OnCare system is designed to be used by ‘non-techy’ people and we do everything we can to make sure care workers and office staff know exactly how the system will work before getting going with it.

How will we learn how to use it?

Getting started with any new technology can be daunting, and comprehensive training is essential to get you off to a good start. Having top notch support on-hand will ensure that any of your questions and concerns are answered quickly.

Is it safe?

The team behind any software should be make it as secure as possible, through individual logins, encryption and secure data storage. As such you can rest in the knowledge that client data is kept secure and you’re compliant with current regulations. At OnCare we’ve built in additional features to try and avoid user-error and to keep client data secure. The CQC are fully on-board with digital systems for care record keeping, and often quote the use of centralised systems as a reason for giving ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ ratings.

How can other people in the wider care circle access the notes if we go digital?

Often care management systems have ways to share data with key individuals in the wider care circle to help ensure the best care outcomes for the client. In the OnCare system, social workers, physiotherapists, or GPs can be added to the system and given access to only their specific client’s information; and there are other tools designed to make it easy to download care notes from a certain period and share securely with external parties. In an emergency situation, if paramedics are called, it can be a literal life-saver to be able to access a client’s profile remotely and quickly provide information on medication, health conditions, or DNAR (do not attempt resuscitation) status.

Will it work in my area where phone signal is poor?

Some systems will require a phone or data connection to work correctly, whereas others (like OnCare) work just as well online as well as offline, or in poor signal areas. Make sure you ask about this before you sign up to any digital system, to check it will function for all your support workers, regardless of whether they’re visiting clients in remote or rural areas.

How much does home care software cost?

Home care software can vary wildly in price, so let’s take an example to get a clearer picture of the costs.

For an agency with 5 office staff, 10 care workers and 30 clients, who need call monitoring, rostering and family updates, prices can range from £100 to £1,300 in the first month – a really big spread, and a significant decision point if you’re just starting out as a new agency.

Let’s face it – some software costs an astronomical price for functionality you might not actually need.

At OnCare we differ from most companies in terms of pricing, catering to small and large organisations by keeping costs low, only building functions that care providers actually need, and offering additional bolt on products as the provider grows their business.

est that time and money back into delivering amazing care for their service users

How do I get started with home care software?

1.) If you’re thinking of jumping on board with home care software, first decide what you require – what are your biggest pain points that are keeping you up at night? Smaller agencies naturally have different needs to larger organisations and listing your specifications will aid your initial research.

2.) Hit the Internet and check the features offered by popular pieces of software. Do the products on offer match your preferred price point?

3.) Decide how long you want to commit to one piece of software. For example, at OnCare, we offer a flexible rolling contract, making sure you’re happy every step of the way and allowing you to leave at any time. Many companies however, may have a minimum contract length, locking you into their product.

4.) Reach out to your shortlist of companies and ask for a home care software demo. This can be done through screen-sharing on your computer, providing a step-by-step walkthrough of the features and functionality of the software. You can ask any questions and visualise the platform at work in your agency.

5.) Ask about setup fees and ongoing support, which could affect your initial budget. At OnCare, setup and support is free, although many companies may charge for these services. In some cases, set-up costs can go into the thousands of pounds, so be sure to ask about this up-front.