Hospices often find themselves in need of changing their EMR to improve their efficiencies. Maintaining consistency in level of care provided and ensuring no patient data is lost during this transition once the decision to switch is made is incredibly important. However, changing hospice software companies can be an intimidating task.
When a hospice switches the software they use to run their business and manage their patient charting, it can be intimidating for everyone from clinicians, to administrators, to the IT team. To make transitioning as smooth as possible, hospice leaders need to protect against data-loss caused by transferring to a new program, work with staff to get buy-in on the program and implement a training program to ensure no loss in efficiency.
Below, we’ve provided some tips for working with your new hospice software provider to make transitioning a breeze.
1. Store and Maintain Your Historical Data
CMS requires hospice organizations to maintain access to their data for at least 7 years. This requirement leaves hospice vulnerable to their software providers and can be daunting for organizations when they make a switch to a new vendor. Often, hospices must either work with their new vendor to export their data in an organized fashion, or they must continue to pay their previous software provider for access to their historical data.
When a hospice has decided that it is time to upgrade providers, one of the first questions they should ask new vendors is how they handle transferring data. While the answer will vary based on who the hospice is currently using, new vendors should be able to answer with confidence how they will ensure data is maintained.
Some key things that hospice administrators should look for during this process are:
How long has the software provider been working in the hospice industry? Providers who have longevity in the industry will have experience with other vendors and know how the data transfer process works. They will have been through the data transfer process before, be aware of the pitfalls, and know how to overcome them.
Does the new vendor have experience working in the hospice industry? Vendors who primarily focus on home health organizations may miss critical details in the data transfer process. Ensuring that the vendor knows what information is required in the hospice industry is key to a clean technology transfer.
Is the software migration team in-house or outsourced? In-house software management teams often provide better communication and more congruency in the data transfer process. When you work with an in-house software team, the lines of communication between you, your customer service rep, and the engineer working on your transfer are transparent and open, so nothing gets missed.
2. Train Your Staff Thoroughly and Effectively
Ensuring your staff is properly trained on your new software is an integral part in keeping your hospice running smoothly. One of the first steps in training your staff effectively is to get staff buy-in. Working with your new hospice software provider is a great first step. Your new provider should be able to give you key reasons why each member of your team - from administrators, to billers, CNAs, RNs, physicians, and more - should be excited about using the new software. Work with your new provider to get resources to prepare your staff for the change and highlight why it will benefit them.
Once you establish buy-in, it is important to provide a training program that works for your staff’s needs. Hospice software vendors should have multiple training options. Onsite training may be ideal for groups that are located close to the hospices main site, while online training may work better for organizations are more spread out. Looking for a hospice software provider who is known for strong customer support is a good indicator of the quality of their training program.
Whatever training method works best for your hospice, having a trainer with industry knowledge and in-depth experience is important. Making training relevant to your staff will increase retention of new software procedures, and garner excitement for using the new system.
3. Find Easy Ways to Integrate Compliance
As employees learn a new software system it is expected that they will require time to adapt. Finding a system that can anticipate the information that is most likely to get missed and has tools built-in to help, will not only make your transition easier, but will also improve workflows in your operations long term.
Having the flexibility to require certain information be entered or steps be followed allows hospice owners to provide a failsafe for common deficiencies. Flexibility and industry knowledge are key components in this process. Every hospice has different procedures and working with a hospice software team that has both industry experience, and flexibility in their program will give you the piece of mind to know that information is not getting missed.
Switching your hospice software can be intimidating. When you’re working with the right software vendor, they can help you plan and conquer some of the most challenging aspects of integrating a new software in your hospice.
Talk to mumms Software today to see how we work with hospices on a transition plan that maximizes employee buy-in, ensures data in maintained, and focuses on compliance.