The work of social services organizations is much tougher than it looks or sounds. Especially when it comes to a person’s health and wellbeing, things tend to demand more attention and responsiveness than in any other instances.
On the face of it, the social service provider performs seemingly simple tasks like answering calls, asking typical intake questions, coordinating with service providers, etc. But in reality, it’s an exhaustive job that can easily add hours to the staff’s working time.
But it’s not just the service providers who face hardship in their job; the clients they are serving also come across problems pertaining to accessing different levels of support from medical or social services providers. One effective way to deal with the problem is client portals.
A client portal is an integral part of any quality social service or healthcare organization software solution. It connects clients/patients with the case managers and healthcare service providers in a seamless way. By doing this, the client portal reduces staff hours by folds besides enabling effective, two-way communication.
Using a client portal, the clients get instant access to the social service or healthcare organization. In part, the portal enables them to be in better control of their health and contributes to a speedier recovery. This is also important because today, keeping the clients engaged in their own healthcare regime is considered more of a necessity than a perk.
The client portal empowers the clients to do a lot including request, view, and modify appointments, communicate faster and better with service providers, fill out necessary documentation, and much more. Today, both caregivers and receivers recognize the importance and crucial role client portals play in responsive communication and swift patient recovery.
The short answer is that the transition is natural and evolutionary. In this increasingly digital age, no organization or individual should be left behind when it comes to reaping the benefits of the ubiquity of empowering solutions. Any resistance to this change will not only hamper growth but also make them irrelevant sooner than they can expect.
Similarly, the ways of serving clients for the social service or healthcare providers are also experiencing this rapid transition. Clients, on their part, are also becoming increasingly digital-savvy using smartphones and apps more than before. So, there’s no reason why their access to social or health service providers should not be digitized.
Besides improving the clients’ connectivity and access to human/health services, the client portals also give them enhanced knowledge of their health with health records being at their fingertips. This heightens their sense of self-care and allows for greater participation in their own healthcare program.
A general approach of any client portal is to bring improvements on these critical fronts: collaboration; accessibility; customized content; customer loyalty, productivity; customer service; responsiveness; affordability; analytics; security; and minimization of errors.
While a client portal for human, social, or health services also has broadly the same approach, its focus areas may differ from other portals in some ways. For instance, it enables clients to manage their appointments, keep track of their care program, access health information, keep medical records in check, connect with a service provider, and do a lot more.
So, essentially and quite naturally, it’s more focused on easing a client’s access to relevant service providers and information. It also helps the service providers keep a seamless track of multiple clients’ progress in their respective healthcare programs at the same time. And all this happens without any compromise on the attention that each case requires.
There are many reasons that a social service organization should integrate a client portal into its system sooner than later. It increases their efficiency by folds and reduces their staff hours. A client portal simplifies everyday tasks for them, reducing routine tasks to mere taps and clicks.
Client portals also help case managers handle more cases simultaneously yet more effectively than the conventional ways. Plus, these portals reduce the communication gap between case managers and their clients who can access them easily and can be active participants in their own healthcare programs.
That said, client portals are the present and the future and there’s hardly any way of doing without them. A majority of social services organizations are using client portals today and it will only be a matter of years that the entire social service sector switches to human services software and client portals.
The benefits are countless, as mentioned above, and it’s only a question of when not if that more organization’s transition to client portals. While some small-scale organizations may find such solutions expensive, but the returns this small investment brings far outweigh the expense.
Although there are many benefits of integrating a client portal into your organizational system, here are some of the more noteworthy ones.
Making two-way communication faster and more effective, a client portal will make missed appointments a thing of the past. In today’s fast-paced and mobile life, the portal, which works on both computers and smartphones, will ensure that the service is provided on time. And it works both ways; the service provider also benefits from the seamless scheduling ability of the portal.
As discussed above, receiving or making calls, booking appointments, and channeling clients to different caregivers may look easy but it’s not. It’s a lot of work on the case managers’ part who can easily lose track of their cases, which can be highly detrimental as it’s a matter of health and wellbeing. The portal reduces admin tasks for staff, enabling them to focus better on serving clients.
A majority of social services organizations run on donations and findings. Keeping stick to the routine and repetitive administrative tasks, organizations and their case managers are spared little time to put their attention to funding efforts. With admin functions reduced and automated, client outcomes achieved, and paperwork minimized, organizations manage to work on securing and maintaining critical funding.
Ask yourself this simple question: why shouldn’t your clients be able to pay for your service online when they can make digital payments for their food and other stuff? With a client portal, organizations are able to offer clients the option to access their invoices online, right on their phone or computer screens, and process the payment online straight away. It’s easy, effective, and completely secure!
The most important thing for a social service or health organization’s client is the attention of the care provider. Although case managers give their best to serve all clients as per their needs, conventional ways of case management will always hamper their way to a smooth and focused care regime.
A client portal enables the caregivers to give the right kind of attention to the client, besides giving the client better control over the management of their program. This definitely turns the latter into satisfied clients, who positively impact the organization’s outlook and also helps it secure and keep critical funding.
Being able to be an active participant in their own healthcare regime gives clients better control and a greater sense of independence, which in most cases impacts positively on their health. Easy access to their recovery program, health records, and other relevant information enabled by client portals make clients more satisfied with their nonprofits/service providers.
The outline of these benefits is based on real-world reviews from clients using digital portals. A 2017 Norwegian study explored and gave ample proof of the many ways in which using a client portal positively impacted their health. Service providers, on the other hand, reported a better understanding of clients’ expectations of them.
Many clients reported improved health just by their service provider’s improved availability, and their ability to connect with them at their convenience. Similarly, having access to useful information about their condition as well as their health records, made many clients an active participant in their care programs. This also impacted their health positively.
The client portal is an integral part of any social work and human services case management software. Such advanced software solutions allow human service organizations and social workers to manage their clients, service programs, and operations. There are many case management solutions available today in the market, but some are definitely better than others.
Some of these software solutions are fully integrated and HIPAA-compliant. Specifically designed for nonprofits, these software solutions allow them to record and report interactions with clients, make case notes, set goals and measure outcomes, perform assessments, make referrals, manage and secure funding, and do a lot more. Using one, you can also positively transform lives in an easier and more efficient manner.
So, to get the client portal, you’ll need to integrate a case management system in your organization that will effectively solve all challenges of case management in today’s fast-paced highly competitive, and technologically demanding world. And the increased efficiency will naturally reflect on your organization’s financial stability too.
If your social services organization has been doing case management in conventional ways, the digital systems might take some getting used to. You may come across some teething troubles surrounding the new system and making it a part of everyday life, but once you’re past that phase, the whole thing should work like a well-oiled machine.
You should be able to reduce your administrative functions by folds, and also save costs as you cut down on staff hours by becoming more efficient. Plus, the software should make your case managers handle more clients efficiently at any given time, thus reflecting positively on your organization’s financial outlook. The portal should also help you achieve greater client outcomes and thus secure more outcomes-based funding.
Furthermore, the new system should make your billing and other critical functions swift and error-free. The improved two-way communication should help you build deeper ties with your clientele. With more things done in less time, your teams will be able to give the clients more attention, and also spare time for funding efforts. And the benefits go on and on.
In this increasingly digital age, it’s important for human services organizations and nonprofits to understand and meet their clients’ needs in smarter and more efficient ways. And investing in the right software solutions to facilitate everyday functions appears as the only way to go. With interactive client portals and comprehensive case management solutions, serving clients and staying competitive should come easy for you.