Patient-centered Care Management software changes how healthcare providers treat patient relations, appointment scheduling, and patient communication. Instead of creating hybrid systems of old paper filing, disjointed software, and standalone EMRs, Care Management software creates a synergistic digital environment that simplifies patient management.
As with any technological change, switching to a new Care Management system can be a scary time for teams. After all, the familiarity of a system you already know creates a sense of security, and some team members may have decades of experience working with your current system.
The transition to new technology is the natural evolution of how businesses work, regardless of the sector that they reside in. However, that does not mean there won’t be hurdles your team will need to overcome. Some of the critical challenges for healthcare teams making the transition to a new Care Management platform include:
- Fear of unknown processes and technology
- A lack of communication between management and team members
- The perceived threat to expertise or job position
- A sense of comfort in the old system
- No initial understanding of clear benefits or value
- The effort required to learn a new procedure and concerns about lacking necessary skills
- Unclear reasons as to why a change is needed
These initial objections and obstacles may seem difficult to overcome. But the sooner your team adopts a new way of handling Care Management, the sooner your healthcare facility will see a significant ROI on your new patient Care Management software.
What is Care Management software?
Care management software is a revolutionary new way for healthcare professionals to manage patient data, appointments, and communication. This software creates a detailed patient profile through patient assessments, then utilizes that information to streamline patient care. The results are higher success rates, increased patient interaction, and fewer missed appointments.
The foundation of this software is the record-keeping process. Instead of utilizing paper documents to handle patient confidentiality forms and patient assessments, patient-centered care software implements digitized documents. This document management system keeps all patient records in one place and automatically updates patient profiles — keeping everyone in your healthcare network on the same page.
Another integral feature of Care Management software is patient scheduling. The care platform implements digital calendars that sync with facility, physician, and patient schedules automatically. Because of this streamlined system, patients no longer fall through the cracks during scheduling.
Additionally, digital care systems open the possibility of communicating with patients directly from the platform. Clinicians can actively view a patient’s preferred communication method, best times to contact, and even send/receive messages or place phone calls from the patient care software. This system simplifies and increases the effectiveness of patient communication.
The consolidation of separate systems into one convenient location makes patient Care Management software a must-have for modern healthcare facilities. The simplification process makes life easier for patients, clinicians, administrative professionals, and everyone on your practice’s medical team.
How to get your team to buy in for Care Management software
Even if you have the most skeptical healthcare team, there are clear benefits to switching from traditional patient management systems to patient-centered Care Management software. You can help overcome your team’s initial objections and move your healthcare facility forward by taking the following steps.
Ease your team’s skepticism
People are often skeptical about learning a new system to do the same job. In many cases, making a change in daily routine is seen as an attack on a team’s way of doing things. Though implementing new systems may be seen as an upheaval initially, upgrading to a better patient Care Management system can make an astronomical difference for your practice.
One of the best things to do when implementing changes around your business is to be proactive with how you inform everyone about the changes. Give your team plenty of time to prepare for the change and let them know there might be a learning curve with the new software. The more supportive and encouraging you are during the transition, the more your team will share your desire to make the change.
In addition to preparing your team for the transition, you should also work with them through the adjustment process. Continually encourage your staff during the change and assure them that things will be beneficial in the long run. During the time leading up to the transition, be sure to explain the following benefits of implementing the new patient care network to ensure that your encouragement does not fall on deaf ears.
Better patient care
Through simplified systems, your team can work better as a unit. When healthcare networks implement patient care software, less time is spent on administrative processes. Because of this, physicians and team members no longer need to segment significant amounts of time away from treating patients just to handle paperwork properly.
These automated processes also offer the peace of mind that your entire staff is knowledgeable about every patient’s care status. As a result, your team can spend less time focusing on administrative tasks and more time on what matters most — the patients themselves.
Internal continuity and efficiency
With a well-constructed patient Care Management software platform, your practice gains access to consistently updated patient records. Once a patient leaves your healthcare facility, their care journey does not end. Patients gain instant access to after-care procedures, dietary restrictions, and other physical limitations that usually get buried in extensive care packets.
Your team will also benefit tremendously from patient charts that update in real-time across your network. Instead of worrying about constantly maintaining records and searching for the correct file, updated patient data can be at the fingertips of everyone on the team with permissions. Patient Care Management software keeps everyone on the same page — all of the time.
The cost to maintain individualized coordinated care programs for patients without Care Management software can be incredibly high. On average, care managers are responsible for around 150 patients at a time. If your healthcare network is not implementing automated processes for patient care, the amount of time spent on care programs alone is astronomical.
Additionally, with the decreased cost that comes with implementing patient care software, your practice can use that money elsewhere. These savings open opportunities for increased team perks, salaries, or benefits packages.
Streamlined patient communication
Outstanding patient care systems need to communicate with patients effectively. Care Management software opens opportunities for your staff to automate and streamline communication with patients. Facilities that implement patient care software can gain insights into communication preferences, automate messages, and contact patients directly from the platform.
This streamlined service makes it possible for your team to keep patients from slipping through the cracks in communication. Your staff will no longer need to worry about making every follow-up call or handling appointment reminders with automated communication systems.
Patient Care Management software also changes how your healthcare team handles claims and billing. Automated processes maintain the financial side of your organization, which removes the direct responsibility of bookkeeping, claims, and billing from your staff.
The right software also removes worry in case of an audit. There is no guarantee that your healthcare network will be audited, but the right Patient Management software will remove the concern surrounding an audit if it does happen. Effective management software properly maintains what auditors look for, including patient eligibility & enrollment, time logging/proper billing, and care documentation.
Get your senior care team and management to advocate the switch
One proven strategy for getting your team to buy into a new Care Management system is to gain the early support of senior team members and management. Your senior members and management are the leaders of your healthcare team, and they have significant sway in the opinion of the entire team.
Before bringing the idea of using new patient care software to the entire team, confer with your senior care team. Demonstrate how the software runs and its benefits for your healthcare organization. Furthermore, choose a few individualized talking points geared toward their specific roles in the organization.
If you can get your senior team on board through a detailed explanation of the software’s benefits, you stand a better chance for a smooth transition overall. When people with seniority and those in charge support the idea of adopting a new way to run the organization, the rest of the team will be more likely to follow.
Provide adequate training
Be sure to adequately plan for the transition to new technology when switching to a new Care Management platform. That means you need to have the proper budget, hardware, and training prepared in advance. Without adequate preparation, your team will be under-equipped to make the transition.
When preparing for training sessions, make sure you train your team members in small groups. A group of 5–10 individuals allows trainers to provide personalized guidance and for team members to gain hands-on experience with their new tools. Small groups are also conducive to a more collaborative learning environment that facilitates questions.
In addition to small group training, make sure you set aside enough time for your team to ask enough questions. Not everyone on your care team will pick up new technology right away, so be sure those who are not as technologically savvy have enough time to inquire about the new processes without feeling overwhelmed. Training also opens opportunities to offer incentive programs for team members to learn and adopt software quickly.
Continue the discussion
After your practice adopts new patient management software, be sure to keep open discussions running about the software. Not everyone will immediately understand the implementation of new software, and that is okay. When you create a space where your team members can give honest feedback, it makes it possible for everyone to express themselves.
Take time to encourage your staff to bring up any concerns or suggestions for improvement with the new software. Then, take the time to respond to the questions they raise. The more active the collaboration is when implementing new systems, the more cohesive your team will be as they put the new software into practice.
Your team needs to understand that it’s healthy to give feedback and question things that may not work out for everyone. If you are open to receiving these responses, you will build more trust throughout your team, resulting in a better work environment for everyone.
Choosing a patient-centered Care Management software
Implementing changes at your healthcare practice may have a few bumps in the road. Still, you should not let that discourage you from switching your company from outdated patient care systems to patient-centered Care Management software. Taking the time to lead your team with empathy and understanding your team’s concerns will make adopting new technologies more accessible. Knowing how your team feels about choosing a new platform will help you choose the right ways to implement the technology while being sensitive to their feelings.
Also, be sure to take the following steps when preparing to roll out the new technology:
- Reassure your team that the change will be incredibly beneficial down the road — even if they feel like it will not work out initially.
- Get your senior care team and management on board to convince other team members that the change is a good plan.
- Be sure to provide adequate training for your team members. Everyone will not learn at the same pace, so you need to train in small groups and allow sufficient time for questions.
- Continue an active discussion about the software and how the team can improve its systems over time.
Welkin has the Care Management platform your team needs to improve patient care, boost communication, and produce better outcomes. To learn more about the benefits of Care Management software and how to implement it at your practice, read our guide to implementing patient-centered Care Management software.