A 7 Step Guide for New Agencies

A home care agency owner excited in front of his computer because he's about implementing home care software
Implementing home care software will have a positive impact on a new home care agency’s efficiency, processes, and overall care delivery.

Implementing home care software to improve workflows and enhance efficiency has become a necessity in this modern technological age. As new home care agencies embark on the journey of choosing the right software provider to fit their needs, we recommend approaching the process with a clear understanding of what to expect.

Whether you are a seasoned user or a newcomer to home care software solutions, there are key considerations to keep in mind.

1. Set Realistic Expectations When Implementing Home Care Software

Successful software implementation requires setting realistic expectations before you even begin. Whether it’s a scheduling software or an external texting solution, the primary goals of adding any software to your operations are to:

  • Make your processes better
  • Boost efficiency
  • Get the most value possible from the chosen software

That being said, businesses need to understand that no software can solve 100% of the challenges they may face. Software, while a powerful tool, is not a magical cure-all for every organizational issue, especially those that require human interaction.

In addition, it’s common to encounter aspects of existing processes that no longer align seamlessly with new workflows. This should not be seen as a roadblock but rather an opportunity to make agency operations run more smoothly by refining your processes.

New home care agencies should move forward with a mindset that expects significant improvements while also recognizing the basic limitations of any software solution.

2. The 80/20 Rule

When it comes to software of any kind, users should take note of the 80/20 rule. Most software solutions, including those tailored for home care agencies, can address approximately 80% of the agency’s challenges effectively.

The remaining 20% requires businesses to adapt their established processes to complement the strengths of the software.

Overall, software is designed to impact the largest number of users possible. Because of that broad scope of users, it’s just not possible to build a software that works perfectly for everyone.

Depending on the spectrum of needs your home care agency has, it’s quite possible the software will do more than 80% of what you want it to do. However, it’s more likely that agencies will have to update their old processes to truly get the best results from their software.

3. Anticipate Adjustments When Making Big Changes

When rolling out any new software, don’t underestimate the complexities of implementation. Whether it’s scheduling, billing, or even graphic design software, it’s important to keep in mind the potential need for adjustments as you move forward.

Understanding and preparing for these complications is really crucial. Issues may range from staff resistance to the initial learning curve associated with new technology.

Make sure everyone on staff is onboard and on the same page, from leadership on down. A proactive approach to addressing potential challenges and a buy-in from everyone at the agency can significantly contribute to a smoother transition and implementation process.

4. Don’t be Afraid to Ask for Help

For those new to agency management or business operations, the process of selecting suitable software may seem daunting. Assessing needs, setting goals, and understanding what to look for can be overwhelming for someone with limited experience in running a business.

To navigate this challenge, seeking guidance on how to run a business should be on every new agency owner’s to-do list. Explore resources and consult with experts to identify software solutions that align with your specific requirements and goals. Being proactive will guide you in a more informed decision-making process and set the foundation for a successful software implementation tailored to the unique needs of your agency.

Reaching out to local resources such as your area’s agency on aging or trade groups and associations can be very helpful. Those entities often offer resources, some of which may be free, that provide insights about the foundations of running a business. Many cities have a local chamber of commerce or small business association that might offer workshops or classes on leadership, management, marketing, or even creating a business plan.

As you delve into the process of finding suitable software for your agency, don’t hesitate to seek guidance from potential software partners. While every software company may offer varying insights, many can provide valuable recommendations for getting your agency up and running smoothly. While not all companies may offer coaching or training on business ownership, they can certainly assist in organizing and implementing their software effectively for your business.

The willingness to learn, ask questions, and absorb information will contribute to your growth as a business owner over time.

5. Diversifying Payor Sources as You Grow

One of the biggest mistakes a new home care agency can make is not knowing which client base they want to go after. While it’s extremely important to start with a goal, it’s equally important to look a few years down the road to create a game plan.

Startups entering the home care space with private pay clients have very different needs than those relying on alternate payor sources like Medicaid or the Veterans Administration (VA).

While the assumption may be that all home care payor sources are similar, the reality is they are very different. Private pay agencies primarily contend with hurdles related to hiring caregivers, finding clients, and marketing their services.

On the other hand, agencies offering Medicaid services have more obstacles in their path. Doing research for your state’s specific requirements isn’t optional. The Medicaid approval process is very involved, requiring state approval, site visits, and the establishment of software that includes Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) tools.

Despite the challenges, there is a compelling case for considering adding Medicaid clients to your roster. With the demographic shift and the shrinking number of private pay clients, Medicaid is a great payor source addition. Diversifying income streams by incorporating Medicaid and even VA services positions an agency for long-term sustainability.

Partnering with local home care, assisted living, or hospice facilities provides agencies with additional revenue streams, reducing the impact of fluctuations in any one revenue stream. Many agencies are also choosing to provide services to workers compensation or long-term care insurance clients.

6. Be Patient With Yourself

When it comes to implementing home care software, there’s an aspect that often goes unnoticed but is crucial to be mindful of – patience.

Many individuals, in their eagerness to adapt quickly, may become frustrated or even embarrassed when grappling with the complexities of software. It’s important to acknowledge that software, by its nature, is intricate, and even individuals well-versed in technology may find it challenging.

Even if you’ve grown up using computers, tablets, and smartphones your entire life, all software is different. Scheduling software, for instance, is very complex and takes time, practice, and patience to learn.

It’s not uncommon for users to feel frustrated or embarrassed when they struggle to master scheduling software swiftly. Embracing challenges is a good thing; tackling difficult tasks keeps you sharp and encourages personal growth. Software, akin to learning a new language, demands a shift in thinking, and it’s okay if it doesn’t come easily.

7. Practice Makes Perfect

Having resources and training available is essential for getting accustomed to the tools required for your business. At Rosemark, we provide a demo database accessible to all users, encouraging them to explore and familiarize themselves with the functionalities in a safe environment where no irreversible damage can occur. This demo database plays a fundamental role in becoming comfortable with the tools, fostering a willingness to try new actions without fear of initial mistakes.

Implementing new software, be it QuickBooks or Adobe Photoshop, is like learning a new language. Each software serves a distinct purpose, and expecting immediate mastery is unrealistic. Learning new skills requires a significant investment in time, but in the end, that is time well-spent.

Remember when you first used a smartphone? It felt bewildering, yet now even the less tech-savvy among us can effortlessly navigate them.

Everyone, regardless of tech-savviness, can learn and navigate technology. The key is acknowledging the unknown and seeking solutions, making the journey towards understanding technology and software less intimidating.


The path to success in the home care industry involves not only selecting the right software but also proactively seeking support and guidance. Embrace the uncertainty, be open to learning, and build a network of resources to empower your agency for long-term success.

Implementing home care software is just one of the many tools that will help have a positive impact on a new agency’s efficiency, processes, and overall care delivery.

For more information on how Rosemark can help your new agency get started, contact us today.