The need for innovative technology is reshaping the way skilled nursing facilities and software vendors align. With new technologies, regulations, and reimbursement constraints, a collaborative relationship with your software partner is critical. The time is now to engage and collaborate on a frequent basis.
You may ask how collaboration can be seamlessly incorporated into your operational plan. Begin with positioning your software vendor as an extension of your organization, not as an outsider.
Best practices in solid relationships
It is no secret that relationships are built on trust. Take a look at how you are treated from the first point of contact.
Service extends beyond getting quick responses and resolutions to problems. You should expect proactive communication, shared information and easy access to stakeholders. Seems easy, right? However, it’s also about knowing the right type of communication, timeliness and method.
Superior service is about communicating opportunities to enhance the experience and less about communicating problems. Keep track of how many positive experiences you have compared to negative. Excluding quick solutions for issues, the frequency of positive experiences and learning about enhancing your software experience should be occurring regularly.
You’re not a techy, but you have a voice
You may not be the technical expert when it comes to software. Because of that, your software vendor should make sure it’s easy to use, simple to train, and does not disrupt your care management process.
Effective software vendors have a structured way of engaging you regularly. This can be done remotely, but face to face contact is very effective. Savvy software vendors are listening to how your clinical staff interact with the software. Have you talked to your software vendor lately about your needs?
Have you seen or heard from your vendor lately?
The most successful relationships are those that interact with each other in creative ways. A software vendor may lose touch with skilled nursing for a variety of reasons: 1) software changes based on reviewing support tickets and not talking to you, 2) intense and frequent regulatory changes, and 3) minimal effort and time to meet with each other.
For all these reasons, the risk of unmet needs is likely to occur. To overcome that, I recommend a “Collaboration Plan” at the beginning of the relationship. A Collaboration Plan is a realistic and convenient schedule of events of how you will interact with each other. The Collaboration Plan accommodates any unexpected events. The best vendors get out to see you and the technology working in real-life.
Progress is shown by action. When you provide feedback (and you should have a seamless way to do so), you should hear back from your vendor, and more importantly see action when it is appropriate.
If you don’t know, ask
Consider these questions of your software partner:
• Is your main contact empowered to meet your needs?
• Do you have access to the decision makers?
• What is your collaboration plan?
• How do I share feedback?
• Do you have the opportunity to connect in person?
• When was the last time you saw them at your facility?
Don’t settle for any answer that includes “no” or “I don’t know.” Make sure that your needs for today are being met while also collaborating on plans for future success.
Learn more about how MatrixCare collaborates with clients. Contact us today.