Case Management Software

Written by Kimberly Clark
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Non-profit and private organizations that provide rehabilitative or social services to the public have a doubly vested interest in the success of their programs. On one hand, they want to make sure their clients are receiving the proper individualized care that they need. On the other hand, though, they need to be able to develop statistics that clearly show quantifiable demographics, which will prove to the agencies that fund and regulate their activities that the program is indeed meeting its objectives.

Thus to assist them in maintaining accurate records on the course of action recommended and in tracking how well a particular client is responding to the action plan, many organizations are enlisting the help of a case management software. This type of software can be used to log and store detailed case notes. This could include noting such things as the particular programs the client is enrolled in, the therapies or treatments they have undergone, as well as who is responsible for approving and subsequently paying for the treatments.

Most case management software products allow the caseworker to set up some definitive milestones that could be used as a metric for objectively measuring the programs success rate. Yet it still provides the flexibility to track the progress a client is making against his or her individual plan of action. By documenting any positive or negative results they observed, it gives the casework a more efficient way to review their case notes and permits them to make adjustments where necessary.

Data Entry and Reporting

In most instances, case management software comes pre-equipped with several standard reports and form templates that are applicable to the caseworker's particular field. A large number also include several customizable tables that allow the caseworker to quickly prepare their case notes with the use of drop down or pick lists. However, most products still offer the user the option of designing their own forms and reports to use in conjunction with the standard ones.

Security

The majority of case management software packages are built on a database platform, and this technology gives the database administrator the capability of setting up different permission levels for their users. For instance, a caseworker might be able to view all cases contained in the system, but is only allowed to make edits to the case he or she is personally responsible for. This is very important for ensuring data integrity and protecting the privacy of the organization's clients.

Billing

Since most of the services provided by rehabilitation and social organizations are funded by outside sources, they must maintain detailed accounting records just in case the funding agency wants to review them. Hence, the use of a proficient case management software product not only provides the organization with a central repository for storing their case files, it also gives them a place to keep their billing records. This is a feature that could definitely come in handy if the organization's activities are ever audited.

In addition to being able to review the books, many funding agencies also require that the invoices that are submitted to them conform to a specific format. With that in mind, when selecting a case management software product, the user should verify that it is configured to prepare claims and invoices according to their industry's standards, making sure it takes into account all federal and local government regulations and payment schedules.

Who Uses It?

Some of the rehabilitation and social service organizations that have found the use of case management software to be beneficial are drug and alcohol abuse centers, homeless shelters, and job training programs. Additionally, it is being used to chart the progress of people being reintegrated into society, such as parolees, those trying to get off welfare, or people recovering from addictions or severe injuries and impairments. It also widely used to manage the daily operations of sheltered workshops and other types of work centers.


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