Sound Options of Tacoma, Washington, offers two primary services: Home Care and Care Management. Prior to adopting ClearCare in 2013, Sound Options was using HomeTrak’s desktop software system to manage scheduling for the Home Care side of its business. The first thing that stood out to Bob Beckham, Vice President of Operations, was the inefficiency of having two different softwares running two different sides of the company.
In addition to managing multiple systems, the scheduler had a lot of complaints about the inefficiencies within the scheduling process and choppy communication when tracking tasks with caregivers.
“The overlap, the double work, the double entry, the entry errors…within the first two weeks, I was banging my head against the wall telling myself, ‘This is a critical mass issue, and it will prevent our growth.’ The company had achieved very little growth for several years prior (between 1-3% growth). Something had to change so I set out on a journey to explore software options.”
Finding the Best Solution
The two biggest requirements Sound Options had for their new system were that they could manage both sides of the business with one solution, and that their Care Managers could have anytime, anywhere access so they could use it in the field.
“Our Care Managers are in the field all the time. Their ability to look up information and make notes on everything while not being in the office was absolutely critical,” said Bob. “ClearCare was the only cloud-based solution that also had the functionality to bring together the Home Care and Care Management pieces.”
Ultimately, two rose to the top in terms of being the most sophisticated. When the Sound Options team started doing a side-by-side comparison to evaluate the pros and cons of each one, ClearCare separated itself quickly.
“We signed the contract and were up and running - with all of our information available in ClearCare in exactly one month - with completed assessments updated just a few weeks after that.”
Once Sound Options was up and running on ClearCare, Bob recognized several advantages of their new system.
“The one thing that I really liked about ClearCare was its intuitive nature. If you want to go to reports, you hit the report button. If you want to go to clients, hit the client button. The interfaces were not straightforward among all the other software solutions we used or looked at. The intuitiveness of ClearCare was really a selling point.
One of the things we really like from the scheduling perspective is the recurring schedules. If you want to just change one shift of an ongoing shift, it’s so easy and smooth... All those little idiosyncratic things that ClearCare allows you to do very easily... Again, very intuitively."
"In addition to the scheduling processes, which are way more efficient than what we experienced with our previous software, we are using the Caregiver Portal to manage communications with our caregivers. We've cut out all of our paper task sheets and narrative notes that were previously kept in the client’s home and submitted on a weekly basis. Caregivers are doing all that now in ClearCare, so everything is documented in real time in the system and we’re alerted to any potential issues with clients - it’s a much better system for us and for our clients.
On the reporting front, being able to see the revenue generated by each referral source is so valuable. It really helps us hone in on where we should be investing our time. The fact that this information is so readily available on the referral source page is so great."
"Eliminating paper comes with a small cost savings. It isn’t huge dollars, but it's way less work. You add in the administrative time spent manually processing paperwork - somebody had to read all those notes, then scan and file them into the client files. The amount of time and work that went into that is all gone now because everything is in ClearCare. It translates into a significant cost savings."
"Our experience with the transition can be summed up by the experience of my scheduler. She did not want to switch to another software system, even though she was not happy with our current one. When I told her I was exploring new software options, she threatened to quit. She says, "Every single time I have gone through a software change I’ve been told it would make my job easier. I would be more efficient. And every single time, I spent more hours at work, it was more complicated, and the software never did what they said it was going to do. I'm not going to go through that again." So, I got her in on the process very early and when we completed the implementation, she told me, as a joke, that this was the one and only time that I was right.
I don't know that the transition could have gone any smoother. The implementation team we worked with was very hands-on and everybody on the ClearCare side met every deadline they said they would. A few days before I was even expecting it, ClearCare tells me we’re ready to go. Then we were live. It was pretty incredible."
The customer service from the ClearCare help desk is wonderful. The follow up, the continuity, whomever you're working with, you continue to work with until your ticket is solved - unless they have to escalate it, which is pretty rare. The help desk experience from a customer service perspective is unlike anything I’ve experienced anywhere else from all the other software that I've used, even outside of the Home Care industry.
Customer Support isn’t something you can "demo" and it's an incredible side of the company that you don't see until you need it. It's clear that ClearCare has put an enormous amount of time, energy, and probably money into the help desk process and training the staff because they're fantastic."
The Bottom Line
“With everything from the core software itself to the innovative nature of ClearCare, we knew that this was the right partner to support us and help us grow our business. We want to provide the best for our clients and our staff, and ClearCare aligns with that mission.”
Since 2013, Sound Options increased care hours by about 35% without adding administrative staff and has reduced time spent on administrative tasks - such as billing and payroll - by 30%.
Bob concludes, “ClearCare is the market leader for the reason. They are the best at what they do. Yet, they're always striving to improve to do more and provide more to their clients. They are always innovating and thinking beyond simple scheduling. Whether it's workers’ comp insurance, integrating background checks or payment, they are always looking at ways to improve the system and make it better for their customers. And as a customer, that's really appreciated.”
About Bob Beckham
Bob Beckham has a history in caring for the elderly and those with dementia. He did research working with Alzheimer's patients before spending more than a decade in managing operations for 250 bed clinical research facility prior to joining Sound Options to oversee the agency’s operations in 2012. In his current role, Bob is responsible for all operational aspects of the business and setting standards for Sound Options’ care teams. In Bob’s words, “My job is keeping people in the right direction, motivating people to do the right job and to do the right thing every day, and managing all of the processes and policies and procedures that go into that.”