What is Case Management Software, and Do I Need It?
As someone who works for a nonprofit or social services organization, you’ve probably realized that there’s an overwhelming number of software options for managing your client information. Do you need a case management system, or a client information management system? What about a practice or agency management system? Are these all just different terms for the exact same thing? Without a clear understanding of what you’re looking for, your software search will be very frustrating.
Keep reading to discover what case management software is, how it can help your organization, and whether or not you actually need it.
What is Case Management Software?
Case management software provides your organization with one central location to store and track all client data. This includes things like contact information, case notes, appointment scheduling and history, client communications, and billing.
What does Case Management Software Do?
The process of case management involves a lot of information collection. Case managers are often working with dozens of clients and collecting data on hundreds of data points. It’s hard to keep track of this information without the help of a reliable software tool. Having all of your client information in one place makes it easy to visualize the data, create reports, and leverage the information you collect.
Case management software also makes collaboration between case workers easy. Anyone who is part of a case can be given access to the information they need. Communications regarding a client can usually be sent within the software and automatically attached to their case file. In some softwares, like Penelope, case workers can even send communications directly to their clients. Since these communications are sent from within the system, they’re automatically tracked, so you never have to worry that you’re missing something.
Another major benefit of case management software is that client progress and other metrics can be easily tracked and displayed using various report types. This gives managers and other senior employees an overview of how the agency is performing and help to pinpoint where and how operations can be made more efficient.
Do I Need Case Management Software?
If you work for a human services or nonprofit organization that still uses paper as their primary method for recording client information, the answer is “yes”.
Many organizations use a combination of basic software and paper to record client information, which makes it very difficult to have full visibility into their data. Other organizations work with outdated or unsupported systems which provide them with only basic functionality and may prevent them from producing the reports and insights they need. Deploying a comprehensive software solution would allow these organizations to improve the accuracy of their data, ensuring that all staff have access to detailed and consistent client information.
Ask yourself if your current process, whether you’re using software or paper tracking, is meeting your needs. If not, it might be time for an upgrade. Change isn’t always easy, but it’s worth it—especially when the payoff is a software system that will help you improve the lives of your clients.
What to Look for in Case Management Software
As we mentioned earlier, there are many case management software options out there, and it’s important to find one that meets your agency’s tracking, reporting, and communication needs. And while features are very important to look at when deciding which system to choose, there are lots of other questions to consider.
- Does the provider offer quality, ongoing support?
- Is it easy to retrieve and report on the data you collect?
- Can the system be configured to fit your organization’s unique needs?
- Can you make minor system changes without having to go through the provider?
- Can the software (and the provider) grow and adapt with your organization?
It may seem impossible to find a case management software provider that can check all of these boxes, but have hope—we’re here for you, and we’re ready to help.
If you’d like more information about Penelope case management software, please contact us today.