Your nonprofit organization has been growing and helping more people on a regular basis. You have good case workers who care about their clients and making a difference. Have you reached the point where investing in the right case management software could propel your organization to a new level, while making your case workers more effective at their jobs? Here are some tips to see if you’re ready to take that next step.
Assess Your Needs
Take a look at how many case workers you have and what their case loads are. Is it getting hard to keep track of where everyone is at? Are your case workers getting stressed over the need to spend too much time doing tasks that aren’t directly related to serving their clients? Is everyone able to access the information they need on specific cases they share, while making sure you remain HIPAA compliant?
Make a list of the answers to those questions. Now are there other things you should add to the list? How many of those are things case management software can help your nonprofit with. The right nonprofit software solutions can streamline the workflow and simplify some of the necessary but time consuming tasks your case workers need to do. That would free them up to spend more time with clients and servicing their needs. That one thing would make everyone happier: clients, case workers, management – everyone.
Which Needs Can Case Management Software Fill?
Once you have your list of needs, start matching them up with ways case management software can help. These could be handling day-to-day case management, data collection, outcomes reporting, monitoring case alerts and potential safety concerns, filling out and filing forms, connecting various workers or agencies working together on a case, tracking client medications, treatments and triggers and more.
Then look at what data is important to your organization and how is it logged, tracked and analyzed. For instance, if you deal with kids, do you need to keep track of Foster Home and Adoption Agency data? Do you have volunteers in addition to your case workers that you need to track? What progress data and outcome reporting do you need to compile? Do you have grants, donations or other funding you need to manage, track and plan for?
Also, what about personnel? What is their level of technical skills and do you have an IT team to help them? If your team isn’t very technology savvy, you will want to make sure you get case management software that is easy to upload and begin using. Or that you are able to get proper training for your case managers along with good tech support.
Matching the Software to Your Needs
We often say that some of the biggest transformations of any business come from what, in many cases, are small but specific changes to only a few areas of focus. We call these pivot points or points of leverage. They are often the 5% of processes that generate the largest productivity gains for your case workers and management. These are the processes that having the right software can have a big impact on.
So, how do you know if you’re choosing the right software? You want one that fits your specific industry but is flexible and scale-able enough to be able to fit your unique needs and grow with you. You want to be able to automate many day-to-day workflow functions such as scheduling, case reviews, progress notes, treatment or care plans, intake and referral or whatever tasks are standard for your nonprofit agency. You need it to be able to configure, customize and tailor it to your specific forms. These are all factors you need to assess.
If you need further help deciding which case management software works best for you, you can download a pdf of our action guide called How to Decide if the Software Solution you are Researching is Right for You. It’s free, walks you through the process and gives you a list of questions you should ask any software company to make sure you’re getting the best fit for your organization. Once you decide, you'll be on your way to creating better productivity and happier case workers.