Home Health Software
BuyerView | 2014

Every year, Software Advice talks with hundreds of home health agencies looking for the right software for their organization. This provides us with unparalleled insight into the needs of home health software buyers. We recently analyzed 385 of these interactions to uncover home health agencies’ most common pain points and reasons for purchasing new software.

Key Findings:

  1. The majority of buyers (67 percent) were replacing their existing software solution(s).
  2.  
  3. Field support (including remote access and mobile support) was the most-requested feature.
  4.  
  5. 97 percent of buyers preferred Cloud solutions over on-premise (among buyers with a preference).

Most Buyers Are Replacing Existing Software

Thirty-five percent of buyers we spoke with were looking to replace an existing home health software solution. An additional 26 percent were replacing a combination of software and paper, while 5 percent were replacing multiple home health software products.

All told, only 33 percent of buyers were purchasing software for the first time. Nineteen percent were looking to digitize a paper-only process, while the other 14 percent were opening new agencies or practices and planned to go digital from the start.

Existing Software Users Seek More Robust Solutions

Among buyers using existing software (alone or in conjunction with paper), the key reasons cited for replacing these solutions revolved around needing more robust functionality.

Thirty-five percent of buyers said their current solution was missing one or more features they needed, while 30 percent complained about their software being too slow, or too cumbersome—i.e. difficult to navigate and requiring too many clicks.

The vast majority of buyers replacing multiple software systems wanted to move to a single, integrated suite that met all of their needs, rather than using multiple products that met some needs but not others.

Thirteen percent of buyers replacing existing systems said they were doing so because their current software was outdated. These buyers mentioned wanting to “explore other options” rather than invest in updating their existing solution. This suggests dissatisfaction and low brand loyalty among these existing software owners—they’d rather shop around and invest in a new solution than maintain their existing system.

Home Health Buyers Want Field Support

Field support was the most-requested feature mentioned by home health buyers, with 34 percent citing it. Buyers said they wanted to track employees (e.g. nurses) in the field, and for these employees to be able to access the software from mobile devices.

Other commonly-requested features include OASIS assessments (33 percent) and 485 form support (24 percent).

First-Time Buyers Want the Efficiency of Going Digital

Among the 33 percent of buyers purchasing a software solution for the first time, the most common reasons for doing so had to do with the benefits of going digital. Fifty-eight percent of first-time buyers cited wanting their organization to be more efficient and/or more productive, while 35 percent mentioned the desire to eliminate paper, with more than one mention of “drowning in paperwork.”

Meanwhile, 29 percent of first-time buyers were starting new home health groups and looking to implement an electronic solution from the start.

Buyers Generally Prefer Cloud-Based Software

Most of the buyers we spoke with—69 percent—didn’t state a preference for Cloud-based systems or on-premise (client-server) systems. Among those with a preference, however, 97 percent favored Cloud-based software.

Buyers Want Scheduling, Billing and Integrated Suites

The overwhelming majority of the buyers we spoke with (95 percent) were interested in a single, integrated solution offering multiple applications. This aligns with our finding that buyers replacing multiple existing solutions wanted to transition to a single system.

Buyers seeking integrated suites were primarily looking for billing and scheduling: 94 percent of buyers requested scheduling, while 88 requested billing. (Remember, there is a high potential for overlap here because buyers wanted both of these applications in a single software solution.)

Another 64 percent of buyers were interested in a point of care solution, while 9 percent wanted accounting. A small proportion of buyers also sought peripheral support, such as human resources (8 percent) or customer relationship management (2 percent).

  • Software Integration Preferences

    An overwhelming majority of buyers expressed an interest in an integrated solution offering multiple applications.

  • Requested Software Applications

    Most buyers sought assistance with administrative tasks such as scheduling and billing. Many also wanted point of care clinical solutions.

Sample Demographics

Most of our buyers (58 percent) came from home health agencies, while 33 percent were private duty nurses providing home care. Other buyer segments included hospice care (5 percent) and therapy/rehabilitation (4 percent).

Our buyers primarily represented the smaller end of the market—55 percent of organizations employed 20 or fewer full-time employees, while 69 percent cared for 100 or less patients. That said, we did encounter buyers from organizations of all sizes, with 13 percent from groups with over 100 employees and 7 percent representing organizations with over 400 patients.

  • Buyer Segments Represented in Our Sample

    Most of the buyers we spoke to came from traditional home care agencies, with private duty home care nurses also comprising a significant portion of the sample.

  • Number of Employees in Buyers' Organizations

    The buyers we spoke to came from a variety of organization sizes—about 1/3 from smaller organizations, 1/3 from mid-size and another 1/3 from larger organizations.

  • Number of Patients Under Care

    Although employee sizes at the organizations we spoke with varied widely, the majority of the buyers we talked to were responsible for the care of fewer than 100 patients.

Methodology

In 2013, Software Advice spoke with 1,274 home health organizations seeking new software for their agencies. We randomly selected 385 of those interactions to analyze in compiling this report. To further discuss this report or obtain access to any of the charts above, feel free to contact me at melissa@softwareadvice.com.


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