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Technology and A Few Things to Consider

by: 
Kathleen Gutierrez, DCI

“If we fail to train, We train to fail.” ~ Author unknown

As our industry employs staff from five generations, technology is developing with a rampant pace and requirements for agency compliance may see changes more regularly with federal and state requirements altering, we are faced with how to include technology and software while making it a productive component in our workplace. We need to encompass all levels of comfort and knowledge surrounding usage of devices and ease of software functionality.

There are many factors an organization needs to take in to consideration for the successful introduction and implementation of software.  A few to keep in mind……

Devices: Many agencies choose to purchase the devices their staff use. Employees often have a type of device from phone, tablet or desktop computer. There are still many who do not have a device for a core knowledge or access to internet services. An agency may find implementation more successful if staff have an opportunity to learn the devices they will be using, (i.e. turning on, home button, changing screens, etc.) There are enough differences between device types and operating systems, it can be overwhelming for staff to “pick-up” the differences. You may be able to relate to a time you switched to a new phone and it took you days to figure out basic concepts. In the same respect, an agency may want to keep in mind the existing knowledge base of their users. If they do own a personal device, or utilize the internet for social media, purchasing or “surfing”, there will be many skill sets that can be assimilated to the usage of a different device and reduce staff apprehension once the dots are connected, (i.e. logging in to an account, moving screens, actions of buttons, etc.). If an agency asks staff to use their own devices for documentation requirements, there may need to be a training to assist with usage of the program on their device, any usage parameters and agency expectations surrounding policies and procedures.

Software Implementation: Agencies are on a wide spectrum for software usage. They may already have an existing form of software while others are making a move to a new form of completing daily operations from a written form to an electronic record. Staff may find confusion in all facets of these changes. If an agency has never implemented a software, they may find it helpful to relate the staff expectations to those they already complete in a paper format, coupled with training on the software and devices. There may also need to be a shared awareness of the higher level of accuracy, oversite, compliance and usage. If an agency has already used technology and electronic records but looking at changing, they may need to be focused on the differences in systems. It is a great time to refresh their knowledge base around how the change will improve the quality of service for the individual served while adding efficiencies and compliance to staff duties.

Software: With a plethora of electronic records and technology on the market, agencies may want to focus attentions on: Does the software complete the outcomes needed by the agency/regulatory agencies? Does the software increase the efficiencies of the employee jobs? Is it “user-friendly”? What kinds of support and training are available for new and ongoing implementations? Is there enough options for the limits experienced across the wide expanse of services provided, (i.e. EVV-Telephony, FOB, Desk top, or mobile device.

These are a few of the many items for agencies to keep in mind and at the end of the day, hopefully, assist to increase the opportunity for success of those things that are new and changes.

The team at Direct Care Innovations (DCI) is proud to be the Exclusive Sponsor of ANCOR’s 2018 Policy Summit & Hill Day, taking place October 2-3 in Washington, DC.