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When Aged Care Software Isn’t Really Aged Care Software

For many Australians we have had to make do with what we've got on many occasions. Whether it was having our mum cut our hair as a kid, living with lazy housemates, or owning the bomb of a first car, not always having what we'd like is a reality of life.

A reality that requires us to make justifications and at times, tough decisions. 

This is as true for business as it is for your personal life. So, while these above examples of our youth may be the source of some great memories, you are likely to now be facing a number of business related concerns that won't put a smile on your face in years to come.

The performance of you aged care software may very well be one such example.

Aged care software by design 

If your current aged care software was not built as a senior living solution, but rather catered for the independent living, residential aged care, and community care market as an afterthought, then you really need to consider the deficiencies and limitations this places on your capacity to meet growth targets. 

So, if your aged care software fits into this category, you should ask yourself these two key questions: 

  1. Am I missing out on any key functionality? 
  2. Is my software supported by someone who truly understands my industry?

It's 2016 you are within your rights to expect your software to be flexible, relevant, integrated and well supported. Therefore, if your answers to the above questions were yes and no respectively, then you also need to also ask yourself whether you can actually grow with this current software.

While you are putting things under the microscope, you should also be looking deeper than the market relevance of your software and review your software based on its geographical relevance. 

Quite often in Australia aged care organizations are not the primary focus for software vendors and as such have become accustomed to using software and support services that lack localised understanding.

However, in this industry, knowledge of the Australian market and the aged care industry poses a unique combination of requirements that if not delivered appropriately can leave a significant functionality gap. 

Aged care software and support 

Software and support have a synergistic impact. When delivered well together the value to an organization is immense. When they are both poor, the impact can potentially be detrimental. 

Your software should allow you to be somewhat self-sufficient with support services augmenting your capability to get the most out of your investment. However, when you lack confidence in your software support, it is unlikely you will strive for innovative solutions in line with your desire and your capability. 

Additionally, if the software was rigid and complicated in the first instance, then you have the compounding impact I was referring to above.

This illustrates the importance of selecting your software solutions by the vendor's total product offering. 

Using aged care software for growth

Dealing with funding restrictions, changes to government legislation, and the daily challenges of running an aged care organization, presents a fair set of obstacles for achieving your growth targets. In light of this, even though you may be aware of the shortcomings of your current software, you may also feel somewhat restricted to make a change given its significance to your operations. 

Through our own recent research, we found that 72% of Australian business leaders agree it isn't possible to grow without the right technology, yet 67% of Australian business leaders say they are concerned about whether their IT systems can cope with the complexity that growth brings.

If your aged care software is not serving to help you grow, but rather adds more tasks on your growing to-do-list, then hoping this will just get better next month, next quarter, or next year, isn't a viable solution.

This aside, let's assume you are able to experience growth with an under-performing software platform. Now that your organization is bigger, how likely is it that your challenges will reduce, or even go away? Or will further growth serve to magnify them?

What then is the true total cost of ownership of such software? 

Your software should not place unrealistic constraints on how you operate. It may seem like an absurd premise, yet it is a functional reality for some organizations across the country. 

When you invest the sort of time and money that it takes to purchase, manage and operate business critical software, you need to outline a certain set of expectations for how it should operate.

Your software should allow for true integration, scalable growth capabilities and flexible business processes. If it doesn't, then I suggest you take the time to quantify what your organization requires from its software and then take the necessary steps to ensure you obtain the functionality and support that you need. Your growth depends on it.

Posted by Lee Robbins - Epicor Senior Product Manager, Senior Living Solutions


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