When searching the market for EAP software solutions, it’s a good idea to have a checklist of features and attributes on hand to make sure you’re comparing apples to apples (or eapples to eapples?).
There are a number of features that should be basic components of any Employee Assistance Program software - for example, a scheduler that can be used to track phone and clinical contacts, as well as consults, travel time and mileage, is kind of a gimme.
Likewise being able to track any client demographics you want or configure automated workflows to help ease the administrative burden faced by your staff - these features should be built in and available ‘out of the box,’ so to speak.
Similarly, it should probably go without saying that the software you’re evaluating should have a Utilization report, as well as built-in billing capabilities for you to keep track of contract limits, usage, and so on.
If the EAP software system you’re evaluating does not have these or similarly fundamental items - like a Utilization report, for example - it’s time for you to start looking elsewhere!
Check out our list of 63 Case Management Software essentials for some non-EAP specific must-have features that should be a part of any comprehensive client management system.
But what about the features that you might not be able to take for granted?
Here are 6 things you should look for when evaluating EAP software for your organization.
Whether the EAP services you’re tracking are internal or external, the security of the data you are trusted with should be paramount.
If you’ll allow us to toot our own horn a wee bit, Athena Software is ISO 27001 certified for our information security systems. This means that our business operations have been independently approved as following the global standard for managing data in a secure format. Or, to put it another way, your client data is safe with us.
We offer our EAP software solution Penelope as a cloud-hosted system, and our data centres are chosen for their commitment to the high standards of privacy and security that we hold ourselves to.
The EAP software solutions you’re looking at will also likely be offered as a SaaS / cloud-hosted solution - make sure you include the data security credentials of each software company in your evaluation.
The data you enter into your software belongs to your organization - so it stands to reason that you should have the flexibility to use that data to create the reports you need for your stakeholders.
Penelope includes over 130 standard reports - including a Utilization report - but it also provides you with the freedom to export your data via an Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) driver to applications such as Excel or Crystal Reports, where it can be organized in an unlimited variety of ways.
We also offer access to Tableau data visualization software, an add-on module where your organization can benefit from pre-built dashboards or have our data specialists build reports to your requirements.
Whether inbound or outbound, tracking referrals to and from your organization (or even within your own company) is an important component of your business intelligence.
A good case management system should have an easy way to track and report on referrals, and Penelope is no different. Our system includes a simple process for tracking inbound or outbound referrals, as well as referrals between services.
This is connected with our Blue Book, which is a configurable directory of community resources who might also serve as referral sources or destinations.
This works in Penelope in a smart way, such that - for example - information about a referral source (or destination) will auto-populate when logging the referral, saving users time and countless keystrokes.
Smart Forms / Client Engagement
Most EAP software options will likely have some form of creating custom forms and documents, but what makes Penelope unique is our Smart Forms, coupled with our Engage feature.
Smart Forms is the name of our custom form creation tool, which allows you to create an unlimited number of templates for forms, surveys, assessments, and letters.
As their name might suggest, Penelope smart forms come with built-in intelligence to include auto-population of data, conditional questions that can show or hide additional questions / sections based on a response, flags or alerts that are triggered by responses, and more.
Engage is a tool that allows you to send forms to your clients directly from Penelope - they can then fill them out at their convenience on their computer or mobile device and the completed forms are automatically stored in their file in Penelope.
For example, you could set up an automated workflow to send a survey to clients whose cases were recently closed to gauge their satisfaction with the service they received.
As mentioned earlier, the existence of a scheduling tool in a client management system should be a guarantee. Not all systems have the ability to track group programs effectively, however.
Being able to enroll multiple clients in a group program with the option to add group notes but also individually specific notes for each client’s file where necessary, along with being able to mark attendance for all group members simultaneously, are key features to look for.
The users of your EAP system will likely have to access the software outside of the office at one point or another.
Perhaps they’re providing training to a client off-site, and want to update their session notes on their laptop, tablet, or smartphone. Or maybe they’re just looking to catch up on some work from home - either way, it’s important that users can access the system when and where they need to.
Hopefully, the Employee Assistance Program software you’re looking at includes a built-in option for your users to stay connected to their colleagues and their clients at all times.
And there you have it - with these tips in mind, you’ll soon become an EAP software expert!
If you’d like a demo of how Penelope software can work for your organization, contact us by filling out a form and we’ll be in touch to set up a date and time to walk through the system with you and your team.